Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)

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CSUFgrad08 Posts : 114 Registered: 6/19/08
Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 16, 2009 9:11 PM

Hi all,
so I'll try to make this as short and simple as I can. FH and I have decided that we would like to buy a home before we get married. That means we need to save a good amount of money for the down payment and a little bit of furniture to start off with. Our wedding is set for June of next year so our goal is to have our home by the beginning of next year. Since most of the money we will be saving will go to our new home we have decided to go with a very small and intimate reception after our ceremony. We're thinking backyard reception at my parents house because their yard is a pretty good size. We would probably only serve appetizers and of course our wedding cake. We're thinking no more than 100 people or so.
A part of me however, feels like going with a small and intimate reception like we are planning won't feel like a real wedding. I know it probably sounds silly, but I see all the beautiful pictures in magazines and I've also seen all the weddings that I've been to where the bride and groom go all out and have their first dance and everyone dances the night away. I hope all this I am saying makes sense. Anyhow, do you all think that having a small intimate wedding without a DJ and the traditional 3 course meal and all of those wonderful things that are part of a traditional wedding will make a small and simple wedding reception not "feel" like a wedding?

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 16, 2009 9:43 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

The answer to that REALLY depends a lot on what you've always dreamed your wedding would be like. If you've always wanted those elements, or have wanted them for a long time, yes, you may regret not having them. If you don't actually care but are just afraid you'll miss them because the bridal mags/friends/whatever tell you you need those things, I think you'll be fine with the backyard option. I always dreamed of a an intimate, casual wedding like you're talking about, so I would've been totally happy with the wedding you're talking about having. Instead I had a large wedding with some of the more formal elements (DJ, first dance, etc.) but still wish I'd had a small, intimate, casual affair.

There were elements to my wedding that I DID get to have that I'd always wanted--it was outdoors, we got to go hiking afterwards, my dress and flowers were exactly what I wanted--so those parts I was super happy with and have no regrets about.

I don't think anybody should go into debt to have the wedding of their dreams, which I'm sure you realize. But if you'll regret not having the "traditional" wedding elements that you're talking about, I would consider 1) waiting till you can afford those things to get married, 2) have the casual wedding now and later having an anniversary party when you CAN afford those things or 3) have all the elements you want but scale back the guest list to where you can afford to have those elements with X amount of people--not the 100 you're talking about, obviously.

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jkbride Posts : 19 Registered: 2/11/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 16, 2009 11:17 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

Wedding is wedding, there is no set rule. That's why we have different size, different style, different theme when ppl talking about wedding. As long as you're happy with what you are going to have and not regret afterward, then you should be okay.

If your parents backyard is a decent size for 100 ppl wedding. You can also hire a DJ, if you want to save money, you can upload all your favorite songs in a ipod. You can still do your first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance at the backyard. What you need to do is just rent both small white wedding tent (small one is around $300 per day) and a dance floor (small one, usually 12x12 is around $200), and put up some special lights (if you hire a DJ, he/she should be able to set it up for you). If not, you can do it yourself by putting 4 uplights (usually less than $10 each) and put them at each corner of the dance floor. It is doable and yes it is a real wedding :) HTH



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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 17, 2009 9:13 AM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

someone, somewhere, decided that wedding receptions should be the equivalent of a posh prom....with the bride and groom as Prom Queen and King. And we fell for it hook line and sinker.

What do you want? What the mags say is not important -- what YOU want is.

Misty

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 17, 2009 9:40 AM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

I would have never considered 100 guest as small or intimate. My idea of small and intimate is about 30-40 people. I had 100 and I thought that was large. Your wedding is whatever YOU want it to be. If that backyard reception doesn't feel like a wedding to you than you need to do what will make it feel like a wedding to you. For me the words you are husband and wife made it a wedding the rest was all window dressing.






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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 17, 2009 1:11 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

We had 70 people at our wedding, and it sure felt like a real wedding to me!

That said, I think the answer depends on what you've always dreamed that your wedding would be. Personally, I'm happier in smaller groups, so a wedding with 300 people would feel pretty unnatural to me.

Also, who's to say that you need to skip the dancing? Even if you plan a casual menu, there's no reason you can't rent a dance floor and plug in an ipod. I've been to several weddings that had ipods rather than djs (mine included), and you really can't tell the difference. Music is music, whether a DJ plays it or whether you make a playlist on your ipod. People don't really care.

Personally, I don't think a fancy dinner or beautiful decorations make a good wedding reception. IMO, the most important elements are: 1) Good group of guests, 2) Good food (not necessarily fancy food. I'd rather eat a good burger than a bad filet mignon), and 3) Good music (and again, I'd rather dance to a good playlist made on itunes than a bad DJ). That's it for me - the rest if fluff.

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April2010Bride Posts : 134 Registered: 4/26/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 17, 2009 8:17 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

FH and I want a small wedding, too. We were shooting for 100 - 130 people, but FMIL has a guest list of 140, on her own. FH swears he is having it cut down, but if not, we'll be forking out the money to feed and entertain 200 people - at the least!

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 17, 2009 9:36 PM Go to message in response to: April2010Bride

If you have a way to get power outside, and have a way to do some lighting, anything would work, tikis even, and throw down the dance floor and use an ipod/speakers, you can have a dance.

We used an IPOD indoors. we chose to use the money on things other than a DJ. No one complained, and our wedding was beautiful. Guests said so, and we for sure thought so, but here is why it was to us:

Our family was there, our closest friends were there (too bad we had DH's partner there bu toh well, didn't know then what we do now) Anyway, we had 40 people.

We spent on photographer, we had a caterer but did buffet and not a lot of options and frankly, if there was one way I wish we'd of cut back it's that way, we splurged on the cake we wanted cause we loved the unique baker and DH designed it, and we splurged on paying for all the wedding party clothing, cause they were our kids, some adult some not all broke.

AND, the honeymoon. 1/3 our budget went to honeymoon.

So why was it a beautiful wedding??

"For me the words you are husband and wife made it a wedding the rest was all window dressing." Kennys said it best. Those words, and the vows we wrote each other, and sharing it with the peo;ple we were closest to, and my mom playing our song while I walked in, and knowing that I was married to DH, that's why.

Do what you feel would make you and your FH happiest. But there is no reason you cannot have a dance in the backyard, if weather cooperates that is!

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sweaterpoorlyknit Posts : 10 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: May 18, 2009 12:26 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

I think it sounds wonderful! That's actually what might happen by the time we start planning our wedding. My family has a decent sized backyard, a pool takes up a lot of space however. Anyways, I think small weddings are just awesome. You won't be as stressed, and it will take place somewhere that holds some memories. (: You'll definitely save a ton of money, that's for sure.

Daisypath Anniversary Years Ticker

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MarkMartinezPho... Posts : 1 Registered: 6/25/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jun 25, 2009 2:48 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

My wife and I were married on the beach in Maui with only 8 of our friends and family in attendance. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Its the love of the people around you that make the moment special.

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cldeross Posts : 113 Registered: 6/24/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jun 25, 2009 4:23 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

My FH sister is getting married this Saturday and her budget is very small, but I think what she is doing is a great idea. She has only invited about 30 people to the ceremony and to a sit down dinner, and then the other 100 people to appetizers and drinks after the dinner. She made a playlist on her ipod and plans to use that as a dj. Plus, she asked some of the women to bring food, kind of a potluck so they all feel like part of the wedding. Sounds strange, but I think it may turn out to be very personal and beautiful. Remember this day is about you and him, they are there to just wittiness your union and happiness. Your wedding will be perfect how ever you choose to do it.

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jun 25, 2009 4:30 PM Go to message in response to: cldeross

FH sister is getting married this Saturday and her budget is very small, but I think what she is doing is a great idea. She has only invited about 30 people to the ceremony and to a sit down dinner, and then the other 100 people to appetizers and drinks after the dinner.

Now Cldross, I hesitate to even say this, since you took such offense to my other opinion in your other thread. But, I really am trying to help by letting you know that what your Fhs sister is planning on doing is really not a good idea. It is in very poor taste to invite only SOME guests to a dinner reception; and then ask the rest to only come for appetizers and drinks afterwards. Its just really rude. Its like teling those guests, they are not good enough to feed, only to hang out afterwards. Theres really no way to do that without making lots of people angry, and trust me, they will find out.

A better plan for her would be to just stick with the 30 or so people for the entire event. OR dont have a dinner reception to save money, and instead have a cocktail or dessert reception, and invite the full amount of guests. But you really cant treat your guests like favorites, its just not right.

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newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jun 25, 2009 9:48 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

I had a small wedding of about 66 guests (including DH and me) and it DEFINITELY felt like a "real" wedding! Just because it is small doesn't necessarily mean you have to forego anything since by having a small guestlist you are cutting costs needed everywhere from number of invitations to the amount of floral arrangements to the size of your venue. I still had a 3-tier cake (and sent the leftovers home in pretty boxes as favors- another money saver!), a DJ, and TONS of food (it was actually heavy hors d'oeuvres and not a plated meal- we had way too many different palates to please so this way everyone had something they liked). I chose my venue specifically because it was set up to favor smaller events and it felt wonderfully intimate. Had I booked a big ballroom but still had the same guest list it would have felt very strange. I imagine that if you keep yours as a backyard thing it will work out similarly. Really look at what you have planned so far and the funds available for it and you might find that you can do a small but lovely wedding that will feel every bit as real as a big wedding would. There are plenty of ways to get what you want and by having a small guest list you are more than halfway there.

Good luck!

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ChristyKChrisB Posts : 1 Registered: 9/5/08
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jun 28, 2009 4:06 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

If I had to do it over again I would have had a smaller wedding especially if I had just baught a house. But I think like another post said small and intimate would be 30-40. I would also definitely only do appetizers and just get like 2 kegs and have a friend or neighbor mix drinks. We have gone the cheapest we could with our wedding in Tampa FL and we are still paying like 13K for 100 people. And dont get me wrong I am not complaining but we still could have done it cheaper if we would have had it in a friends backyard and served appetizers and cake. Well have fun in whatever you decide to do and keep us all posted.

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August28th Posts : 153 Registered: 1/28/09
Re: Small intimate wedding (please post your opinions)
Posted: Jul 1, 2009 11:29 PM Go to message in response to: CSUFgrad08

Hey! I agree with HappyGirl, you should have the wedding that you want and that you've dreamed of. Don't let magazines determine how your wedding should be. If you desire to have the meal and DJ, maybe you could have all that and cut back the guest list. It is possible to have a formal 3 course meal w/ dancing and a full bar but with only 75 people or less. That would give your wedding the small intimate feel and you'd have the best of both worlds. Whatever you decide I'm sure it'll be lovely. Happy planning!!

True love is like a ghost which many talk about but few have ever seen.

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