I frequently hear in the media about celebrities inviting hundreds of people to their wedding day. This gives me a few thoughts. Firstly, wow. These people must be really good at staying in touch with school friends, work friends and distant relatives. Secondly, that is going to be an expensive wedding (but maybe OK or HELLO! are paying for it). Thirdly, how lovely would that be to share your special day with so many people that have been a part of your life?
To maybe help you out, I’ve come up with a few points to consider when deciding on a large or little wedding.
1) Do you really have that many friends?
If the answer is yes, then congratulations! Even if you have drop-outs the room and dancefloor will be packed. If you do have a lot of friends, maybe you could consider if all of them are strong enough friendships that you want at your wedding.
Are they flakey friends that stop talking to you when they get a new partner? Are they rude friends who always turn up late? Then it might be worth shrinking your wedding party size. You could limit that guest list from being everyone on Facebook to being the people that you know will be there for you through thick and thin.
If the answer is no, well, job done, as you can’t have a big wedding with no friends.
2) What wedding party size can your venue and budget accommodate?
If you have a wedding of 200 people, you might also consider that that means 200 meals and 200 people to supply with alcohol. If you are devoted to having a big wedding but not sure if your bank account will stretch, you could always find a compromise and have a small wedding ceremony and meal, followed by a large reception with a bar.
Logistically, you would need to check the amount of people that your venue can hold as this will, without doubt, affect your plans. Often, if you have a smaller size wedding you have more options whereas if you have a larger party you may want to consider an outdoor venue with a large marquee for the reception to accommodate.
3) Do you prefer a low-key party or a loud and buzzing event?
Clearly, having a large guest list will heighten the atmosphere of a wedding reception. It could make for a busier dance floor, more photos being taken and most importantly more presents. Just joking, seriously though, it will likely depend on whether you are a fan of a big party or not. If you’re don’t want to deal with drunk wedding guests and a big clean up, then a smaller and more intimate wedding could be for you.
The benefit of a low-key wedding would also be that you get to spend more time with the people you’ve invited and that you really care about. Whereas, in a larger wedding, everyone wants the opportunity to speak to you and take a photo and so you may feel stretched a bit thin.
4) Will having to organise that many people make you stressed?
This is probably the most important point to consider. In order to have a stress-free, easy-going day, you want to ensure that the guests will not cause you unnecessary aggravation. While with a smaller guest list, you may have questions as to why your second cousin twice removed isn’t invited; it might be easier to manage.
On the other hand, with a large list of invitations, you may get questions as to whether it’s okay to arrive half way through the ceremony or whether your old school friend can bring their children/pets as they can’t get a babysitter. You may have a fantastic wedding planner that you get to negotiate with guests, or this may not worry you at all. At the end of the day, you need to think about whether having to justify a small crowd will be more stressful than having to accommodate a large number of people.
What would Emma do?
If I were to give my verdict on the wedding party size of my imaginary wedding, I would have a small ceremony and meal with my closest friends and family so that I could ensure that I give them attention and make them apart of my big day. Then, I would follow it up with a huge reception with everyone else that I know that would basically be one big party to finish off the evening! I feel as though this would give you the best of both worlds.
With love and wedding wishes,