With all the uncertainty surrounding large gatherings and events these days, small weddings are beginning to dominate the industry.
After talking to countless couples who are either downsizing their already planned weddings or recently engaged and considering planning a smaller wedding, Nick and I realized we have so much to offer on this topic – after all, we got married at our fav local coffee shop surrounded by just 30 of our closest friends and family members.
Here are 10 reasons why small weddings are the next big thing, including our experience and what we learned along the way.
1. YOU’LL SAVE MONEY
This one is probably the most obvious, but Kansas and Missouri couples spend an average of $150 per guest at their weddings. Cutting that guest list from 200 to 30, or even 50 people makes a huge difference when it comes to your budget. We’re talking like $25k, which is enough for a hefty down payment on a house and a dope international vaca.
2. YOU CAN GET MARRIED SOONER
This was the biggest one for Nick and I. With a lower cost and less to-do’s, we were able to get married in 6 weeks.
We were ready to get married about a month into our relationship (we were friends for a couple years before we dated), but we felt like we had to wait until we had a bunch of money saved up for this big production of a wedding. He was still in college, and I was making 1/3 of what I do now, so it would have taken us years to save for the wedding we originally wanted. As soon as we found out we were pregnant with our son, we realized we just wanted to be married. Looking back, I can honestly say we made the right decision. Marriage is the best!
3. LESS STRESS = MORE FUN
With less people to impress, less moving parts, less to-do’s, and less money spent, the planning process will be A LOT less stressful. I mean, this is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. Why spend so much time worrying and stressing about the overwhelming amount of things involved in planning a huge event?
4. YOU’LL HAVE MORE FACETIME WITH YOUR GUESTS
I hear so many of my couples say how guilty they feel about the lack of time they have to visit with their guests, and a lot of times, they don’t even get around to see/thank all of them. A smaller guest list will allow you time to actually talk to and hang out with your people. *Another major bonus is you’ll also get to spend more time with your spouse than you would if you were having to entertain 200 people.*
5. YOU CAN GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR LOCATION
Do you love your parent’s backyard, the breathtaking view from atop one of Kansas’ Flint Hills, or like us, your local coffee shop? A lower guest count will allow you to choose a place that is truly meaningful versus being limited to the three venues in town that are available on your wedding date and hold 300+ guests.
Nick and I chose Thou Mayest because we love their coffee and the atmosphere there. Besides, I was pregnant, so I could drink all the good coffee I wanted while my guests enjoyed beer + cocktails.
6. YOU HAVE FREEDOM WHEN IT COMES TO DATES AND TIMELINES
If you plan on inviting a large number of people, and you want the majority of them to come, you’ll have to plan your day around normal working hours. This means you’ll have to get married on a weekend or on a Friday after 6pm. **PRO TIP: A lot of vendors charge less for weekday weddings.**
Nick and I wanted to get married on December 13th which was a Wednesday. And because we only invited 30 people (including kiddos), we were able to design our day the way we wanted.
We had an 11am ceremony, celebrated with coffee + cake, a little dancing, a couple toasts, and wrapped it up with Mexican food at Ponak’s for lunch with our families. After that, we checked into our hotel on The Plaza, took a nap, and then went out to dinner at The Capital Grille. Fantastic is an understatement!
While Nick and I’s wedding day timeline was VERY untraditional, it doesn’t mean all small weddings have to look THAT different from the norm. You can still have a Saturday wedding that starts with getting ready at 10am and ends with a sparkler exit at 11pm and all the traditional festivities in between.
7. YOU CAN SPLURGE ON LUXE ITEMS/SERVICES
Because you’re saving so much money on food/beverage and your venue, you’ll have room to splurge on things you would have had to either tame down or cut entirely.
In all transparency, Nick and I had a wonderful wedding, but if I could go back, I would have invested a little more in florals for our ceremony backdrop and hired a professional photographer + videographer. I know what you’re thinking, “The Wedding Photographer didn’t hire a professional?!?” Nope, I hired a friend! I wanted to get married on December 13th, and 6 weeks only provided so many paychecks. Unfortunately, I was just getting into the wedding industry, so I didn’t have as many friends and connections as I do now, but it’s all good. My marriage was and still is more important. Those are the couple things I would change, though!
8. DIY PROJECTS WILL BE MORE MANAGEABLE
If you do decide to DIY parts of your wedding, you’ll certainly have more fun doing them on a smaller scale. Handwritten anything is only fun for so long, amirite?
9. IT WILL BE MORE MEMORABLE
Let’s be honest, we all want our wedding day to seem unique compared to the last 4 weddings our guests went to. With your DIY projects, luxurious design, and intimate setting, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression.
10. BETTER CHANCE OF IT NOT BEING AFFECTED BY A PANDEMIC
Ok, so I really didn’t want to mention this one, but it’s actually something to consider at this point. This spring, 12 of our couples had to postpone their weddings at the last minute. It was absolutely heartbreaking. They were so close to the day they had dreamed of for so long and work so hard towards. Vendors had been paid, invites had been sent, decor had been purchased, and then BOOM! THE WORLD SHUT DOWN. I do not want to see this happen to anyone else.
While I’m confident normal life will resume and the parties will go on, I’m not certain when. If you plan on getting married in the next year, a smaller guest list might be something to consider.
Lastly, I did not write this blog post to discourage anyone from planning a big wedding. I mean, I love big, boujee dinner parties with lit dance floors as much as the next gal, and Nick and I have always said we support WHATEVER you want your wedding to look like. Big, small, $5k budget, $100k budget, all couples who hire us get the same level of attention, service, and product. It’s your day, and we truly believe it should be exactly how you want it. My sole purpose in writing this is to let you know that it can still be the day you’ve always dreamed of even if less people are involved.
Here are a couple of pics from our wedding just for kicks!
BTW- Last year we took our wedding attire to Colorado and hired our good friend, Jaci Vigil, to take photos of us lookin hot in the mountains. I’ll include some of those, too! I love my wedding dress and plan to wear it as many times as I can.