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to want a small wedding?

(38 Posts)
milf90 Sun 03-Feb-13 14:40:57

I admit, i have always been one of those girls who dreams of having a big, expensive wedding - but now the date for planning seems to be getting closer, i am having second thoughts.

i dont like being centre of attention (im naturally a shy person) and we have a 18 month old and the money could be put to much better use. (i.e saving for a bigger house in a nicer area) the wedding day itself is seeming less important atm and the marriage more so.

OH is saying there is no way we can have a smaller wedding, due to how much bigger his family is. he is saying that if we dont invite people they will be offended. people have invited us to their weddings so it would be rude not to reciprocate... etc.etc. this is made worse by the fact his sister is getting married next year and is having a big wedding and inviting everyone (they dont have children and arent concerned about getting even more into debt - if i sound bitter its because i am ;) )

i say that its our day and we should be able to do it how we want to and people will understand if we cant afford to invite them because we have a toddler.


gillyweed Sun 03-Feb-13 14:49:41

I could of wrote your post word for word..!

We've started booking things, all low, key non-weddingy type wedding stuff - but for 150 its still turning into a 'big day', exactly what I didn't want!

We were going to run off and just have a big party at some point in the future but my folks after saying 'go for it' changed their minds and said they'd be a bit gutted (which I understand now having my own kid!)

I have no advice, other than to say if you've not booked anything yet do what YOU want. Other than that, I'm having to accept weddings are more about your family and friends than what you want! shock

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:51:23


I do not understand big weddings. My opinion is the marriage is more important than the wedding, and it seems like a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

You owe random family members nothing. If they are really offended by not being invited to a smaller wedding, then that is their problem not yours.

We had a very small wedding (registry office, about 20 guests, back to my mum's afterwards for buffet and lots of drink). The only person not happy was MIL who wanted more relatives to come. She did in fact invite 3 extras without asking until I told her that was IT and if any more got invited I'd call the whole thing off. (she was not contributing financially at all).

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 14:54:56

We yes, but the key word there is how we want - and that includes your fiance, to whom it is important that he has his family there. You can still have a "do" for a lot of people without spending lots, but I do think it's important to have a day with the people you want to be there, and then work out how to minimise costs around that, rather than saying we are only having x number of people and then trying to decide which of his family don't get an invitation.

Katz Sun 03-Feb-13 14:55:44

Your wedding it should be yours and your partners choice, however it is possible to have a big wedding on a small budget, may take a bit more planning but very doable.

In an ideal world what would the 2 of your really want, how much money are you prepared to spend and then put the two together and see where you get to.

Ilovesunflowers Sun 03-Feb-13 14:56:13

It's a really hard decision and one that a lot of people have to go through. I can completely see where you are coming from. If it was me I would choose a small wedding abroad. I wouldn't care if people would be a little pissed off and I would preempt this with a letter to all friends and relatives saying they are more than welcome to come and celebrate with us but unfortunately we can't afford to help out with costs/flights. I would aim to spend about £3000-£4000 total but that's just me!

It is hard for you though as it's your husband's big day as much as it's yours. Don't base it on what his sister is doing though. Everyone is different.

I would choose a smaller wedding for me because I could never jusitify spending £10,000-£20,000 on anything apart from a house! If I had that amount of money I can think of a million things I would rather spend it on. I find the cost of weddings obscene. I would feel pissed off if I was forking out £50 per head for relatives I hardly see. I have second cousins who I've never met and I couldn't justify spending that much money on them, despite them being my cousin's children.

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Feb-13 14:57:16

My parents sent telegrams to their mothers late on a Friday night to tell them to be at Chelsea Registry Office by 11 a.m. the next morning if they wanted to see their son and daughter married. They both made it, were happily united in grousing about it, and joined my mum and dad, and two other couples who'd been the witnesses, for lunch afterwards.

The extended family didn't stop inviting them to weddings etc, both grannies loved all of us very much, in fact it was all a great success.

NotYouNaanBread Sun 03-Feb-13 14:58:44

We wanted a small wedding and for everyone to sit at one table. The castle we booked could seat 52 people at one table in their dining room. So that was our max. Our parents moaned (well not my Dad, who was paying!!) but we ignored them.

Wedding was lovely. Just the right number of people that we got to talk to everyone & all the ancients got proper attention etc.

lannyshrops Sun 03-Feb-13 15:06:55

YANBU! so much stress associated with weddings!

Have you and DF have sat down and listed the expected costs associated with a wedding on the scale he seems to think you need? If not this may make him realise just how much this would all cost and make him more amenable to other cost saving ideas?

Abroad is a great idea, especially if you choose somewhere where family and friends can join you if they want to.

Alternatively, what about a very small wedding, registry office and meal in lovely restaurant for very, very close family, you, DH, parents and possibly a few very close friends, followed by evening 'do' somewhere with a nice function room or the local social club where everyone else can be invited? Doesn't have to be a big hotel, lots nice pubs or restaurants have function rooms and will do very reasonably priced buffet food.

Good luck, I have been here and it is such a minefield!

KindleMum Sun 03-Feb-13 15:08:15

I'd agree with you, it's about a marriage and not just a wedding day. But it's for both of you to decide, not just one of you.

But I would never incur any debt for a wedding and I wouldn't try to match or beat siblings. How about agreeing an affordable amount and then tailoring it to that - so that fewer guests equals a posher do and inviting the entire family equals party in the garden or church hall with sandwiches and sausage rolls? There are lots of ways to cut back the cost and still have a great day. Some of the worst weddings I've been to have been the priciest.

Also, once you have a sample cost in mind, you can discuss the difference spending that sum on a house would make. Eg, it's often said that you pay back twice what you borrow,so £10k spent on a wedding that equals £10k more borrowed on your next mortage becomes £20k repaid to the bank and is however many years extra on the mortgage.

waitingtobeamummy Sun 03-Feb-13 15:17:08

We wanted an intimate and cheap wedding but dh has loads of family so it was difficult. We got married midweek out of season in a registry office. We had about 60/70 people and a meal in a big restaurant after. Photographer did a cheap package because we were out of season and we didnt have millions of photos. My dress was from monsoonin the sale bridesmaids dresses from clearance place. Then on the Saturday we had a big party for everyone else and did all the food ourselves. Was brilliant, ticked all the boxes for both of us. Hope that helps but stick to what you two want, don't be swayed by others.

Alconleigh Sun 03-Feb-13 15:20:03

go for it. I am just starting to plan a small wedding myself. I certainly don't worry about not inviting people whose weddings I have been to; we all have to do what's right for us. And in truth, as most of my friends married years ago and now have 2 or more small children each, I suspect that actually weddings these days are more of a faff than a pleasure,so think they may well be secretly relieved!

Purple2012 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:23:09

We were going to have a wedding at home but both hate being centre of attention so we went abroad - just the 2 of us. I think my mum was a bit upset but would never have said. Saved a fortune as well.

I never dreamed of having a big wedding - it was just something I needed to do to start my marriage.

McNewPants2013 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:46:57

We only invited people who are normally a part of our lives.

I don't see the point of inviting family who can not normally give you the time of day.

thegreylady Sun 03-Feb-13 15:55:02

My dd and her df had a limited budget and lots of friends and family. We had a marquee in a friend's field in walking distance of the church and a Mediterranean buffet. Friends and family brought wine and in laws provided beer. We donated champagne. It was amazing-total cost under £5000.

milf90 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:44:13

Thank you all for your replies smile

a few of you have commented on the fact i said "my wedding" rather than our - thats because OH actually thinks weddings are a waste of money (hence why i think its ridiculous that he wants to spend so much more money on it!!) and doesnt really have an opinion on anything to do with the wedding - other than this i guess! dont get me wrong, we love each other very much, but the whole wedding things isnt really him! (again why having a big wedding is ridiculous!)

im trying to research venues that we can use for wedding breakfast/receptions that will keep the cost down a bit. my only 'request' really for the wedding is that we get married in a castle (neither of us are religious) - this isnt really something im going to back down on and OH isnt bothered where we get married. i can do this for about £300 + registrar costs, but it would be for 40 people only due to health and safety. other castles are far more expensive.

i would quite like to have a marquee in somebody's garden, but we dont have anyone with a big enough garden! FIL used to own a field behind his house which would have been perfect, but unfortunately it belongs to someone else now and has horses in it!! i suppose we could always ask though??

gillyweed - i hope your day goes well and you have a lovely day despite it becoming bigger than you expected!!

YorkshireDeb Sun 03-Feb-13 19:12:11

You don't necessarily have to cut down numbers to keep the cost down (although I see you may be limited by the castle idea). I'd just say that the best wedding I've ever been to was the one with the smallest budget. Think about things that will make it a special, memorable day. I guarentee it's not stuff like chair covers & chocolate fountains. A bit of imagination goes a lot further than a big budget. X

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Sun 03-Feb-13 19:17:53

I love smaller weddings. We had a small wedding and it was perfect. I don't know if we pissed anyone off but we didn't ask grin

AdoraBell Sun 03-Feb-13 19:22:45


We had a small wedding, OH thought he was somehow letting me down -thought every woman wants the big white fairy tale wedding. Once he realised that I didn't want to be the centre of attention he relaxed. PILs weren't happy, but they had their wedding decades ago, this was OH's and minewink

jamdonut Sun 03-Feb-13 19:23:07

When you said SMALL wedding...I thought you meant like mine! Register office, immediate family only (20 people including 6 children) and back to our very small flat for a buffet and some champagne and cake cutting. I wasn't thinking castles!! For someone who doesn't want to be centre of attention, I think you are going an odd way about it!confused

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Sun 03-Feb-13 19:24:12

We had about 50 people to ours, which was more than I wanted (I would have quite happily slipped away to a desert island but mum would never have forgiven me) and considerably less than my mum wanted, so it was a compromise for both of us but it was lovely, it was in a beautiful big country house which is used as a conference centre, had the whole day there from ceremony till the small hours and it had rooms so we could all stay the night too.

milf90 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:51:52

jamdonut getting married in a castle has been my dream since primary school and the one I'm looking at can only fit 40 people altogether, including registrar and people who work there, so we wouldn't be able to have many more people then you. I don't think it being a castle rather than a register office means I want to be centre of attention. I'd quite like just to go out for a normal family meal afterwards and that would be it, but I don't think I would get away with that!!

specialsubject Sun 03-Feb-13 20:01:14

you are planning the day and you can 'get away with' whatever you want as long as it is not 'give me lots of money' :-)

you WILL be centre of attention (I found my quickie registry office job quite cringey as I was quite shy then, although I'm not now) so if you don't want that, you need a 2-witness, no family job.

anyone who is offended about not being invited to a wedding isn't worth bothering with. You are being sensible in not wasting money that you don't have on an OTT party.

jamdonut Sun 03-Feb-13 21:31:10

It sounds lovely...and I think there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't just have a family meal afterwards.
The rest of our families still get on with me and DH despite not coming to our wedding. There didn't seem to be any bad feeling .
It was my Mum and Step-Dad, my Dad and Step-mother, DH's Mum and Dad, our siblings and their partners and children and our grandparents, and one Auntie and Uncle and my cousin (my God-parents). DH's Aunties and Uncles were not able to attend. Then we had a one night honeymoon in a hotel near Windsor.
It was all we could afford!

mardyelsie Sun 03-Feb-13 22:15:11

I'm getting married at the end of March. At the wedding will be our three kids, two witnesses, my parents and DF's father. We're going to Pizza Express afterwards. That's too many guests as far as I'm concerned, but it's the minimum we can get away with.

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