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To ask if there's a middle ground between tiny wedding and massive?

(26 Posts)
weddingwonderer Sun 09-Aug-15 16:39:47

Hi all

Firstly, I'm not even engaged but DP and I have been talking a lot about the type of wedding we'd like recently.

We would both like a church wedding, followed by either a meal at a local restaurant and/or a 'reception' at our house. This would only be for close family, family friends and very close friends. Friends would be the smallest category here.

Does anyone think this is a workable idea? Most people --on the internet--seem to have either a really small wedding or a really large one?

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Aug-15 16:42:08

I think there were 40 people at ours. Which I suppose is middling. It was nice. Local venue could fit it so we didn't need to deal with a proper 'wedding venue'. Nicer food too.

How many people were you thinking?

Kraggle Sun 09-Aug-15 16:47:05

We had a smallish wedding, 20 or so of us, immediate family, couple of family friends and couple of close friends. registery office morning ceremony then a local hotel restaurant with exclusive use for a 3 course meal, no night do and all over by 5pm. Dh and I stayed at the hotel overnight as did a couple of our friends so we went upstairs for an hour or so to change and open our cards etc then went to the pub across the car park for dinner with our friends. Was fab!

weddingwonderer Sun 09-Aug-15 16:49:40

Well there's another issue, where do you stop with family? For example I am close to my aunties/uncles/cousins yet DP never speaks to his.

I wouldn't mind having more at the meal/house but for the ceremony I'd really like it to be close people only - neither of us like being the centre of attention. But I imagine that's a bit of an etiquette faux pas, so seems to be one or the other!

Yours sounds great!

araiba Sun 09-Aug-15 16:49:47

a middle sized wedding is probably the middle ground between a big and small wedding

Blinkinwinkin Sun 09-Aug-15 17:00:48

I've been to a number of weddings where there have been a total of 40-80 people. They are lovely - you get time to talk to everyone there.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sun 09-Aug-15 17:02:45

We had 60 to our wedding and that felt like just the right number. Look for converted barn type venues as they tend to be smaller

LemonySmithit Sun 09-Aug-15 17:05:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Aug-15 17:05:31

Nope. We invited aunts or mine and none of DH's because mine (and my cousins) have been around a lot and his haven't.

weddingwonderer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:06:31

Thanks both - Lunch, we don't want a venue, we just want a meal - or perhaps not even that, lunch time ceremony, back to ours for buffet?

Then afternoon tea/cake.

It's not about the money, it's just not our thing to have a big 'do'.

weddingwonderer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:07:54

Congratulations Lemony!

MrsT - thanks, I think that certainly makes sense.

Crumpet1 Sun 09-Aug-15 17:14:07

Yep, we got married and 30ish to the ceremony, 40ish to the evening do. It felt like a good number as we only had people there that we actually wanted. It doesn't have to be equal numbers each side, so if you have aunties and uncles you want to invite that doesn't mean your DP has to do the same.

I was wanting to do as you suggested but got persuaded by DH to do it a bit more weddingy so we found a small but lovely venue and did a small wedding. I'm glad I did, I ended up enjoying myself much more than I thought I would. If your guests know you well enough then they will understand you don't want it to be a big centre of attention thing.

weddingwonderer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:17:27

Thanks Crumpet.

And you're right about the centre of attention thing. It's strange because I had the standard big white wedding feelings growing up but now I feel like we have been together so long (and still only mid 20s) that as long as we have our close family there, that's all we need.

Wolpertinger Sun 09-Aug-15 18:38:46

My next door neighbours had a lovely wedding. They both walked to local church together and in the evening hired a local restaurant where we all had a meal - total 40 ish people. It was fantastic.

I went smaller and had about 20 people. Got married at a hotel/restaurant then sit down meal.

Tea and cake is even easier - wedding at church, decorate church hall with bunting, all guests to bring a cake or sandwiches. Makes for a lovely low key but friendly wedding and would allow for more guests if you want all the aunts and uncles.

In terms of who to invite, it's easiest to settle on a number and work from there eg venue takes x people. For aunts/uncles etc also easiest to go all or nothing otherwise no-one will understand why Aunty Mabel is OK but they weren't. If you tell everyone you are having a v small wedding from the outset, it's easier as there is less chance people will be disappointed.

19lottie82 Sun 09-Aug-15 18:43:14

We got married in a registry office with 35 guests. Then hired the local bowling club, had a sit down meal, then had another 30 with a buffet and DJ from 7pm. So 65 guests and nothing too expensive / huge? It was great!

Purplepoodle Sun 09-Aug-15 19:03:53

We had 30 for sit down meal (most being dh aunts and uncles - huge family). Friends did come to service then had a pub meal in same hotel we had sit down meal - their choice. We had an evening reception which was about 120 only cost us for the food..

honeylulu Sun 09-Aug-15 19:09:22

We had 60 guests. I'd actually envisaged it smaller (40) but got strong armed into inviting more (90) mainly by MIL who had a massive family. However we booked or wedding for a Friday so most of my husband's 20 - odd cousins he hardly knew declined rather than take a day off work. Sort of natural selection if you like. All the people we really wanted to be there made it. We had church ceremony and then meal and afternoon party at a converted mill. All done by 6 pm, which suited us fine.

Sapat Sun 09-Aug-15 19:35:30

Yep, mine, cost £7k, we had 70 odd adults plus 15 kids. Food was half the cost but we had the best caterer in town and loads of it, including starter, roast beef, Thai curry and bangers and mash, and THREE types of pudding. Everyone raved about the food, we kept cost low by having a buffet which gave choice but was much cheaper.

The wedding was in February so costs were low, we had our reception in a converted barn for less than half the price than the sumner. I cut costs by doing all the decoration (Amazon) and hiring everything myself like glasses and tablecloths. We also bought all the booze (well in laws did a booze trip with a shopping list). We said no gifts but welcome practical help, so my sister in law made the cake, my cousin made the place names and table poster, my siblings organised the games and props, my in laws bought the booze, my uncle and other family helped decorate the day before (hundreds of metres of bunting and fairy lights, stunning), father in law was chauffeur and maitre d'... I also hired a photographer for just 2 hours which also kept costs low and I still have all my stunning photos.

We had: registry wedding 1.30, followed by champagne and canapés at our reception 2.30, then wedding breakfast 4.30 (buffet but with waitressing), then speeches and games, then at 7 evening guests and ceilidh (band was from university, they were cheap, cheerful and great) with another buffet laid out (soups and brownies). Finished at midnight.

No bridesmaids, no hen/stag do, no disco, no country house, no frills (though we splashed out on some things, so food and booze great, I got hair and makeup done, but my dress was just £500) but it was lovely (and cheap) and we had everyone we wanted!

Obviously I am biased but family and friends still comment on the wedding, and how simple and comfortable it was. And the food!!!

PingpongDingDong Mon 10-Aug-15 09:17:08

Hi OP, I know just what you mean. We're getting married next year and want a small wedding. We're inviting 20 ish people. Ceremony at a lovely venue in a city which is different to the one we live in followed by informal lunch at a restaurant.

It has been hard though in the sense that we basically decided on immediate family (my brothers and their kids and my parents) and as DP has no family she's invited a few more friends. I've invited 2 friends and know several will be disappointed. With family I couldn't invite any aunts,uncles cousins etc because that wouldn't be fair on others.

We've done it this way because we know so, so many people in the town where we live and I have such a huge extended family that we'd end up with over a hundred guests and we really didn't want that sort of day, we had a civil partnership 10 years ago that was huge and we loved it but it was exhausting worrying about so many guests and we wanted something different this time.

PingpongDingDong Mon 10-Aug-15 09:20:13

I should add that even the CP was very simple and cheaply done, village hall reception, friend did the catering etc. It was fab! You don't have to spend a fortune.

SomewhereIBelong Mon 10-Aug-15 09:22:33

Be aware, if you are having a church wedding anyone can come to that bit.... we had ours in a hotel because at my sister's wedding my mum invited along EVERYONE she knew to the church - because you can.....

We had 55/60 in a hotel, wedding at midday, buffet lunch at 1.30, some photos (about 10) and sent everyone on their way about 4-5pm... Was absolutely lovely and would do it again at the drop of a hat.

Tryingtokeepalidonit Mon 10-Aug-15 09:34:27

Went to my god daughter's wedding in June, there were 15 at the church, immediate family, myself and her godfather, his best friend and hers. After we had lunch at a lovely restaurant for 40ish and then everyone came back and sat in my garden having drinks. In the evening there was a BBQ on the beach across the road. It was a lovely, intimate day which suited my goddaughter who is quite reticent in big crowds but was able to really enjoy her special day. I believe it cost less than £2000 and they splurged on the honeymoon.

The following week I went to a huge wedding with hundreds of guests which was equally as lovely because the wedding suited the bride and groom's wishes.

yorkshapudding Mon 10-Aug-15 09:52:52

I think the reason you only hear about people having a very small, intimate wedding or a big wedding is that it's actually quite tricky to reach a middle ground. If you decide it's going to be very small (just immediate family and a couple of close friends) then people will generally accept that. However, once you start to extend that out to aunts and uncles, cousins etc then you realise that it all adds up very quickly and it will be considered bad form to invite some members of your extended family and not others. You start getting into "well, if we're inviting X then we also have to invite Y" etc. You may only invite a few friends but if they are bringing partners and kids then that really bumps up the numbers.

TriJo Mon 10-Aug-15 09:55:48

We had a medium-sized Irish wedding - booked out the top floor suite of a nice hotel in Limerick (DH's home town) for what ended up being around 75 people. Had a humanist wedding ceremony on-site, took our photos around the city and had a sit down meal and a DJ afterwards. We probably ended up spending around £7,000 on the whole thing and we were helped by the fact that the GBP-EUR rate is quite favourable at the moment. No debt as a result of it, which we're very thankful for!

Mrsjayy Mon 10-Aug-15 09:58:51

I had about 36 people at my wedding ceremony and a meal in a sports club lounge (was nicer than it sounds) then we had a night do for everybody the night do was great fun

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