5 Reasons to Have a Smaller Wedding


Weddings are expensive. 

There, we said it. The average cost of a UK wedding is now £20,500. Crazy when you consider that the average salary (after tax) is around £31,000 per couple.

The bigger the wedding the more expensive it’s probably going to be. This isn’t just about bums on seats for the ceremony; it’s about what it’ll cost per head: the venue capacity, the wedding breakfast, the buffet, the accommodation, the favours etc

The average price in 2014 for each guest was £226.  

Fine for your parents, your best friends and close family but would you pay £226 for Julie in accounts? Or £226 for your cousin’s box fresh boyfriend? Having a smaller wedding isn’t about having something small, it’s about finding the perfect balance between expense and atmosphere. 

The extra money could be spent on getting a better venue, a wider range of food options, a free bar or an extra few nights for the honeymoon.

You could go absolutely crazy and, I don't know, put it towards your future?


Bigger isn’t always better. You can’t judge your personal and social worth by how many people you can fit into a venue. The problem is that families can present a huge problem before the invitations have even gone out. Unrealistic expectations of who's on the guest list can fracture familial relationships for years (no pressure). 

It's easy to believe that you have to invite everyone, but you don'tInvite them to the evening reception and keep the ceremony small. This isn't an excuse to be personal and cut people out deliberately, it's about making smart choices.

Marriage is, after all, between two people. The wedding is the moment a couple pledges their lives to one another and it's about as intimate as it gets on a non-physical level. 

Don't feel like you need an audience. Keep your circle small and know that the people around you aren't just there out of duty, they're there because they want to be. When this happens, you'll have real atmosphere and you can't buy that.

Not having to put up with people and their crap

People are difficult at the best of times. It’s a sad fact of weddings that you might have to invite individuals that could cause you some problems: uncle with a drinking problem, a sibling with jealousy issues, a father made uncomfortable by homosexuality or in-laws with a mutual disdain for one another. 

You might love these people, but don't assume everyone will keep their BS in check for the sake of you and your partner.  Close proximity to a bar probably won't help things either.  Again, keeping your circle small will make it easier to manage any problems. 

Wider Venue Choice

It’s tough finding the perfect venue (start with our directory). It’s twice as tough when you have to discount options because you're inviting too many people and especially if you’re splitting the day by having the ceremony in one place and the reception in another. Going smaller doesn’t mean that you'll have to sacrifice opulence or style. It doesn't mean settling. Historical venues will often have a smaller capacity anyway because they were built in ye olden times and not with conference facilities in mind.

You could always opt for a smaller venue and then talk to them about adding on a marquee or gazebo for extra space if you would still like to have a bit of room.

Less to organise

Fewer people should make for an easier job of organising everything. This is especially true if you're making a lot of the wedding by hand: fewer invitations to write and send (fewer to chase up, too), smaller spaces to decorate, fewer dietary requirement to sort out, fewer champagne bottles to buy and not so many favours to organise.

Organising a wedding can feel a little like juggling hand grenades on a unicycle. Even if you're planning something small then you'll still appreciate having less to do. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting or having a big wedding. After all, it's what most us dream about when we first start planning our big day. 

We could write a post next week about why bigger weddings are better because that’s all wedding planning is: personal choice.

The reason for this post, however, is that it's far easier to be tempted (or tricked) into having a bigger wedding than it is a smaller one. It's often only with hindsight that we realise how things could have been done differently. Having spoken to a number of couples over the years, I'm always surprised at how many wished they had a smaller wedding

Whatever wedding you choose to have we hope it's a beautiful and happy one :)


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