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Small wedding regrets anyone?

(50 Posts)
SuperSnowWoman Wed 09-Jul-14 10:48:55

We're currently trying to plan a wedding and already the cost is £6000+, which I know is 'cheap' for some weddings anyway it is way more than I envisaged spending

The initial idea was a small bash, however the guest list is 80 and who knew it cost £1000+ just for a venue to marry in, we'd only be there for an hour max!

We could do it at the town hall which still costs c.£400 but would only hold 40 'spectators'
Anyway, just wondering if anyone has forgotten the whole thing, got married with only a few people then had a party later- and regretted it?

We could miss out a larger venue to fit everyone in and skip the full sit down meal. It is a format that we've seen at many weddings many times ( however it must work hence the popularity!)

We're really sociable so the party bit is the part we are keen on, however it feels like not inviting good friends to the ceremony misses the most important part?
I'm not sure if I will live to regret missing out on a 'proper' wedding?
We aren't religious and already live together.

There are many traditions we plan to skip as it doesn't suit us, I'm just worried that we/I shall wish we'd done it differently.

Anyone out there who wish to share their experiences?
Thank you

specialsubject Wed 09-Jul-14 10:51:06

10 mins in a registry office worked for us with the absolute minimum family and no friends. Not fair to ask the working people on a Friday anyway. Have a party on a saturday night, don't tell the venue it is to celebrate a wedding and the cost will halve.

over two decades later - so far so good...

Pollywallywinkles Wed 09-Jul-14 10:51:32

Very, very small wedding with only 4 of us. Never got round to organising a big party, or a party of any description. Don't regret it for a moment.

StillWishihadabs Wed 09-Jul-14 10:53:44

We got married in 2005 at the height of wedding mania . Registry office, £150 dress, few bottles of champagne. You know what they say the bigger the wedding the shorter the marriage go for it smile

Sparklingbrook Wed 09-Jul-14 10:54:50

18 including us, at tiny village church wedding and meal afterwards. We all sat at a huge round table for the meal.
No bridesmaids, no best man, no fuss.

I am sure some people had the hump but the only family were parents and siblings-any other family members weren't invited so nobody was left out.

16 years later no regrets at all.

Poshsausage Wed 09-Jul-14 10:57:45

Village church then village hall with drinks and ice cream reception then sit down with buffet for 60 people then disco and evening nibbles


PoirotsMoustache Wed 09-Jul-14 10:58:06

Small wedding here - 12 of us altogether and no party afterwards, just a few drinks with a couple of extra friends/family members. Had a fantastic day with the people I really cared about. No regrets at all.

PoirotsMoustache Wed 09-Jul-14 10:58:43

Although you may wish to discount my reply, as the wedding was only 18 days ago! grin

thecuntureshow Wed 09-Jul-14 10:58:57

Two witnesses here. £120 for the ceremony, plus lunch after. We had a party later

Only wish we'd done it entirely on our own and gone to Vegas!

Nothing about the traditional wedding appeals. The identikit dress, the same old bunting, the same old fairy lights, the same old mediocre and cold food, the boring disco... Same old crap time and again

Far better ways to spend the money for me!

Small wedding with a reception for about 40 in the evening . No regrets at all after 14 years. DH and I would have hated to feel like we were on display all day. Pick the wedding that suits you and your DH not other people's expectations of what your wedding should be.

BrainSurgeon Wed 09-Jul-14 10:59:45

I had a very small wedding too but I don't think that's the point of the OP?.... If I understand correctly the question is, if you wish you had a big wedding but you settle for a small one (mainly due to finances), will you regret it later?

Well, personally I know I wouldn't, as I tend to make peace with my own decisions and very rarely look back to regret them.

It's a bit of a personal one this one, it depends how much you really want a big wedding.
I reckon a small wedding with close family, and big party later will be great. There won't be any regrets to be had if the party is good! :D

Mrsgrumble Wed 09-Jul-14 11:00:46

We had a huge wedding and it causes huge rifts in the family. One of the bridesmaids wanted me to hire a tan tent to get ready. All sorts of crap. I am not a fussy person and it wasnt me. Ended up being my parent friends day rather than mine.

That said, it's difficult to do it right. Irish weddings are a different affair to UK weddings. We wanted a church wedding and its the don thing to bring the neighbours.

feetheart Wed 09-Jul-14 11:03:34

13 at wedding including DH, DD and I then a meal in local Italian restaurant.
!00+ at a picnic the next day where we could invite everyone. They brought their own food and outdoor games, we provided cake and fizz.

9 years ago, we don't regret a thing and it is still talked about by those who came smile

SuperSnowWoman Wed 09-Jul-14 11:05:09

I don't think we want a big wedding, we do want all our friends to come though, I think those two statements can both be true??!!

I don't feel pressured into anything- mainly because we haven't told anyone we're getting married yet, more hesitant that I'll regret not having friends joining us?

Please keep your wedding stories coming, I love to read all

SuperSnowWoman Wed 09-Jul-14 11:05:24

Of them!

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 11:05:41

I got married in a registry office with 40 people, then had a meal with the 40 guests and another 30 came for a party in the evening. That worked well, it felt like a medium sized wedding. Could you do something like that but miss out the meal bit as that was the most expensive bit or have a buffet/drinks reception instead before the party.

SuperSnowWoman Wed 09-Jul-14 11:07:51

I guess I'm saying I cannot justify that much money on one day, but want people to party with us!

An evening party with bacon sandwiches would do us, my hesitation is regretting important people not seeing us do the important part!

Sparklingbrook Wed 09-Jul-14 11:09:43

How about the two of you plus witnesses for the wedding-then party for everyone after?

RedToothBrush Wed 09-Jul-14 11:09:49

I know a couple who married in the registry office with just witnesses then hired a barn for the weekend and had a ceremony in front of their 80 guests. The barn was very basic (it had a small kitchen, toilet, tables and benches and electricity but not much else). BUT they got friends and family to decorate it, do all the flowers themselves and do all the food. There was a barbecue in the evening that everyone helped with. They hired some entertainment - some dancers and someone did the rest of the music. Some guests camped, some got hotels. There was bacon butty breakfast for everyone who helped tidy up.

It was wonderful. Everyone who helped out, got to know each other and the families rather than just having polite conversation on the day.

Think outside the box. The more you can do, the less it costs you. You don't have to have anyone bar witnesses for the legal ceremony - you can have a ceremony in front of those you love somewhere else. Just decide on whats important to you and find a way to do it.

I think it all came in for well under £2000.

Glastokitty Wed 09-Jul-14 11:09:51

26 guests, loved it! I don't enjoy big weddings so didn't have one.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 11:11:32

You need to go through the key people you really want there. If it's about 15-25 could you have them all there and then party for everyone after. I think booking a late in the day slot helps if you do it that way.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 11:16:12

RedTooth I went to wedding like that this weekend. I can honestly say it was the best wedding i have ever been to. There was a hog roast for lunch served by the local village teenagers, an amazing cheese board after the meal and a BBQ in the evening served with lots of home brewed drink.

drivenbyyou Wed 09-Jul-14 11:18:00

Could you not just get a celebrant to do it at the venue? Everyone would see the ceremony then go straight on to party. Means you could do it later in the day and just have a buffet.

Not sure how it works in England/Wales, but in Scotland a humanist celebrant can do a ceremony wherever they're willing to travel to, or you can get a temporary license for a venue that doesn't already have one.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 11:21:57

What is your budget?

QuacksLikeADuck Wed 09-Jul-14 11:23:17

We felt similar to you OP, and managed to do it in West London for less than you are spending.

We hired a function room under a pub/hotel which was licensed for marriage, so we could get married there and have the reception afterwards in the same room. We had 60 guests but the room could have held 100+ easily, we also had a further 30 guests in the evening after dinner. It was £1000 for the venue like you, and then £300 ish to get the registrar to come to us from the council. Then about £1800 for the sit down meal for 60 and evening buffet etc.

Excluding costs like clothes, rings photographer etc etc, the final bill from the venue was £3500, and we stayed in one of their posh rooms for our wedding night.


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