You Should Have A Small Wedding, If These 5 Reasons Speak To You

When planning a wedding, one of the most important considerations to tackle from the get-go is the size of the affair. While some may fantasize about an enormous bash, complete with second cousins and acquaintances, others prefer a more intimate celebration. If you suspect you fall in the latter category and you're wondering, "Should I have small wedding?" you should know that there is definitely no shortage of perks to a small wedding. Not only can you potentially save on money and stress, but you can also incorporate more personalized touches for guests.

According to The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed more than 14,000 brides and grooms, the average number of wedding guests is 136, and the average cost of a wedding is $33,931. While there are many reasons why you may be tempted to invite everyone and their brother, the reality is that a big wedding isn’t for everyone. And it’s not just a matter of finances, either. A smaller, more intimate wedding can have a completely different vibe, as well as unlock a lot of additional creative possibilities in terms of the environment as well as other elements for both the ceremony and reception.

So, is a small wedding right for you? Here are five reasons why you might want to consider cutting down the guest list.

Your budget is tight.
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The reality is, the lower your headcount, the less likely you are to go broke due to your big day. By keeping the affair small, you can save a lot on meals, seats, wedding favors, and invitations.

So, if you’re on a strict budget, a small wedding is obviously ideal. Besides, you can use whatever money you save toward an extravagant honeymoon, or to plan a more lavish celebration. Since you'll have more wiggle room, you can feel free to splurge on a five-course gourmet meal, a band you adore, or that couture gown you’ve been lusting after.

BTW — if you’ve been dreaming of a destination wedding, it’s a lot more practical to pull that off if you invite fewer people. While acquaintances and extended family may not be willing to take vacation days and shell out hundreds of dollars to trek to a Greek island or a villa in Italy to witness you exchange vows, your inner circle of immediate family and close friends will probably be psyched to be a part of it (should they have the funds to make it possible).

You dread crowds, drama and/or being the center of attention.

Does the idea of being the center of attention or making small talk with your partner’s former coworker leave you filled with dread? Whether you’re a bit of an introvert and you don’t feel comfortable saying your vows in front of hundreds of people, or you simply want to limit the potential for any issues among the guests, having a small wedding is a great way to keep your big day more relaxed and drama-free.

You’ll have fewer people to make the rounds and chat with, which means you can spend more time with those you’re actually close to. Plus, you won’t have to feel remotely self-conscious when you’re busting a move to Bruno Mars on the dance floor.

You're already stressing about how to cut the invite list down.
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Maybe you have a giant family, or maybe your spouse-to-be does. Maybe you both do. Either way, when you’re already at 150 guests and you haven’t even included your friends yet, it can start to get a bit overwhelming trying to cut your list down — especially when you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, if you announce that you’re planning a small wedding, people are far less likely to take it personally if they don’t make the cut. It’s a win-win: You’ll feel less guilty for not including your old college roomie, and they’ll likely be less offended.

You want to keep your vendor and venue options open.

The fact of the matter is, many venues have capacity limits. So, if you have your heart set on a specific location that only allows for a certain number of people, a smaller wedding may be right for you.

And in fact, a small wedding actually gives you a lot more freedom — you’ll likely have many more options to choose from in terms of caterers, etc. When caterers and vendors are tasked with managing a large crowd, they are limited in what they can do. A smaller guest list means a lot more flexibility for your menu, as well as your seating arrangement.

You value more face time with guests.
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Without a doubt, one of the most common complaints I’ve heard from friends who had larger weddings is that they barely had any time to talk to all of their guests. Not only were they were constantly circulating the room and had to limit their conversations to a quick “congratulations!” before moving on to the next table. If your top priority is having time to connect with your loved ones on your big day, then you’ll definitely want to consider limiting the guest list. By keeping the affair small, you’ll be able to have more meaningful exchanges, whether by simply catching up with family members over a couple glasses of bubbly, or breaking it down with your besties while the DJ spins your favorite songs.

Is a small wedding for everyone? Certainly not. Can a small wedding mean saving money, splurging on certain details, enjoying more face time with family and friends, and unlocking more creative possibilities for the venue and vendors? Definitely. Remember: the most important thing is that you and your spouse-to-be are able to share this special milestone with the ones you love. And just because you have a small wedding doesn't mean you can't have a big day that's beautiful — not to mention a total blast.