Why We Had a Small Wedding
If you’ve ever been married or you plan on a someday wedding, when it comes to making it all happen, the planning and financial investment can be intimidating. As the hubs and I found ourselves doing something we said we’d never do again – planning our own wedding day – we decided to change things up a bit; we went small. Of course, each couple should do what is right for themselves to achieve a dream wedding. I’m definitely all about the perks in keeping things petite…Here’s why:
It was more intimate
A smaller wedding allows you to spend more time with each other and your loved ones. You get to sit down, relax and actually eat, too! And hey, our food was GOOD! We had a great time with my step/bonus daughters and our close friends reminiscing and laughing over fun times we had shared together while overlooking and enjoying the beauty of the lavender farm where we got married. You don’t feel like you have to be everywhere at once and you get to savor the moments that mean the most to you.
With hundreds of guests driving and flying in to attend, the average wedding that takes place over the course of several hours emits 14.5 tons of CO2. That’s crazy when you realize that it takes one person an entire year to emit 12 tons! Mailing a small amount of invitations reduces paper waste and thousands of gallons of water are saved at reception sites; fewer guests mean less dirty dishes to wash.
We saved. A LOT.
The average cost of a wedding in the United States is over $26,000. In San Diego, where we were married the average price is over $36,000 (seriously!), and the spend goes up in urban areas like New York City and Boston (true fact: Over $20,000 was spent on my first wedding in 2000 in Miami Beach)! By keeping it small, our wedding venue and catering costs were less than $900. We were able to take my husband’s kids with us on our honeymoon to Maui, purchase a new vehicle and put money away toward future expenses like the kids’ college educations. The savings goes a long way in starting a life together.
If there is one thing we all need, it is less stress! You don’t have to worry about seating a cranky uncle next to a chatty aunt since you won’t need a seating chart. If you’re a few minutes late, no worries! Snafus aren’t such a big deal and making it up as you go along is a bit easier when you keep the count to a minimum. With less to keep track of the focus becomes more on marrying the person you love than fretting over all of the details that go into the day.
There were so many more venue options
When it comes to a smaller wedding you have more options for where to wed. You won’t have to be concerned on exceeding maximum capacity at a venue. Most parks and beaches will also waive required permits or fees for smaller parties and many reception venues will reduce rental costs since they are incurring less risk to their site.
I had more time
Creating your guest list, writing out invitations and keeping a tally of RSVPs takes up hours of time. Pre-event meetings will be fewer (or not necessary at all) and less keeping track of everything means more free time to look forward to your day. I told people where to show up and if they wanted to, they did. Otherwise, they got to hear some great stories and look at beautiful pictures after.
It was about US
Often with a big wedding it can feel like you’re planning for everyone else instead of for yourselves. Everyone has an opinion and keeping it small allows you to focus on the opinions that matter most – yours. The emphasis is on you and your vision; no need to worry about having five flower girls so you don’t offend a family member for leaving their child out of the wedding. You actually know everyone since you call all the shots on the guest list (no having to invite your second cousin’s on-again, off-again flame). Your food choices and cake flavors are about what you like; no need to please everyone else’s palates. A small wedding means it’s all about you. And that’s just how it should be.