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Small wedding worries and tips needed

(11 Posts)
UpAllNightToGetLoki Mon 15-Aug-16 12:20:13

Hi, I'm looking for advice on how to have a fab small wedding.
Myself and my partner are hoping to get married next summer, we have started looking at venues but we're not really getting anywhere. The main issue we are facing is that it will most likely be a relatively small wedding, in the region of 40, maybe 50 guests, maybe even less depending on who says yes to the invites!
We also don't have a lot of money, £5000 would be the absolute max but we would rather closer to £3000.
We don't particularly want a traditional sit down meal but obviously want to treat our guests really well. I was thinking of having a hot buffet type thing, but having everything on the guests tables for them to eat as they wish rather than having to get up and down, but I'm not sure how this would actually work.
I'm just so worried it's going to be a bit flat, I know that some guests would most likely leave early and I want people to enjoy themselves and have a dance etc.
I'm also worried that people will judge the fact it is relatively small, myself and my partner don't have massive extended families, and prefer to have a few close friends rather than big groups.
It doesn't help that I've just come back from an amazing, large family wedding. I enjoyed every minute but I can't help but feel my own wedding will fail in comparison!
So basically, we are totally open to something a bit different, but would still like music (ideally live) and dancing, we want it to still look like a wedding.
So has anyone got any advice on how to have a small wedding but still make it fun and worth while for guests (some live in different countries so I want it to be worth their trouble!)
We are in the north west, specifically Liverpool, if that helps.
Thanks in advance!

Scottishchick39 Wed 17-Aug-16 23:24:10

We are getting married (40 ish people coming) then going for a cream tea with them. Then 25 of us are going away for the weekend to a holiday park so not having a proper reception. Two weeks later we are hiring our village hall to have a reception. We've booked a disco, chair covers, table cloths, fairy lights, bunting and a photobooth. Food is a buffet and a hog roast, everyone brings their own drink but we'll have prosecco and wine on the tables. Maximum cost for everything including photographers, dresses, shoes etc will be around £3k if that.

AngelaSimmons Mon 29-Aug-16 07:33:44

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Havingkittens04 Mon 29-Aug-16 07:48:01

We had a small wedding for around 5k in a lovely Manor House Hotel, with two course sit down meal, evening entertainment - the lot! We opted for a smaller room rather than their main room ( which I thought was far more beautiful with its chandeliers etc anyway) which had a more intimate feel, and used the colours of this room for our wedding scheme and tied it all in together.

Getting married on a week day brings down the venue, photographer, videographer etc fees. We put together a very grand looking cake ourselves, 3 tiered with pillars between the layers and had our florist decorate with flowers from our colour scheme. The stunning trailing bouquet she made me doubled as flowers to decorate the signing of the register table. We used slices of the wedding cake for the dessert course of the wedding breakfast meal.

There are lots of cost-cutting ways to save money and still have a beautiful, memorable wedding. Despite the size we had so many guests comment on my attention to detail, and our wedding being the fanciest they'd been to! The hotel grounds were stunning and the photos we had taken there really are spectacular. The fact that we chose a hotel also meant that we got to have breakfast the next day with the guests who had stayed overnight.

Hope you have your perfect day on your ideal budget too x

Havingkittens04 Mon 29-Aug-16 07:50:57

BTW - The room we chose was used as the ceremony room, then transformed into a room for the wedding breakfast while we were all having photographs taken, then once more to accommodate a dance floor for the evening wink x

user7755 Mon 29-Aug-16 07:53:05

Best bit of advice, it's one day - don't overthink it. Have a nice day and focus on having the rest of your lives together.

40-50 isn't that small, I bet it will still be hard to spend time with everyone. Go for a normal buffet, no one will mind getting up to serve themselves (and that way they can choose what and how much they want to eat). Don't faff about with favours, they're instantly forgettable but become an extra expense you don't need, ditto chair covers etc.

Have a pay bar, maybe one glass of fizz for a toast, and spend your budget on some entertainment. Went to a wedding recently with a terrible Elvis impersonater - it was hysterical (don't think he was intentionally bad).

Good food, good company, good entertainment - it's a party for a day (no matter what the wedding industry would have you believe)

ChilliMum Mon 29-Aug-16 07:59:18

One of the best weddings I have been to was a small wedding. There was quite a proportion of guests coming from overseas so they chose a fairly small hotel in a pretty location. Because of distance most of us were there for 2 nights so they had organised a party the night before the wedding with live music and dancing which was great fun and a chance for all the guests to meet and get to know each other.
On the day the wedding was late afternoon so we had the day free to explore the area (hotel were great with ideas and reccomendations) then a really beautiful ceremony followed by food and a bit of dancing. It was very intimate and relaxed with a few informal speeches and toasts staggered throughout with family and friends telling short and funny stories.
The thing I loved the most though was it was absolutely just how the couple are. They are a lovely funny chilled out couple and it felt personal to them and that we had been included in something very special.
I dont think i have explained it well but it's uniqueness and charm was that it was small and personal. I am sure your friends and family love you for who you are so choose the wedding you will enjoy and your guests will love being a part of it.

pinkdonkey Mon 29-Aug-16 08:09:39

We had 44 people RSPV as coming but due to illness ended up with 38. We chose a small intimate venue (try looking on your local registry office website for a list of venues registered for weddings, ours wasn't the tradtional 'wedding venue ' but was perfect for us) Our day cost £6000 in the end but we could have done it cheaper, we were in the very fortunate position of being financially better off than we expected so splashed out on a few areas.

A lot of guests have commented that it was the best wedding they had been to and even with so few guests I felt I didn't get enough time with each. We had a cold sit down knife and fork buffet which was perfect for the hot summers day, followed by lawn games and then a disco.

Don't worry about the number of prpeople being small, thats not important just focus on having the day you and your h2b want. As for keeping guests happy make sure they are fed and give them something to do in between the wedding breakfast and the evening. Ours lawn games weren't expensive and people really enjoyed them, also made for fab photos.

Indiaplain Mon 29-Aug-16 08:14:03

I had very similar worries about our wedding. I'm an anxious host and so wanted everyone to have fun!
At our wedding the dancefloor did not get going til late, but we had no live music. To get people dancing the key is providing lots of free booze which is doable with 40-50 people (do a booze cruise to france)?!

With a small wedding you can do personal touches which our guests really liked. Eg for place settings we printed out old or recent polaroid photos we had of our guests.

Still do wedding y stuff like speeches/ first dance. Choose a small ish venue so it feels full.

I think trying to think of 'activities' helps make it fun for guests.. At ours we had a retro typewriter for guests to leave us messages rather than a guest book. We also had giant board games and giant Jenga, photo booth..

We didn't want a buffet for the same reasons as you. We made the food ourselves and I delegated family members to put the food platters on each table. It took some organising but worked really well.
I've been to really wonderful small weddings, I'm sure yours will be. Plus you will actually be able to spend time with all your guests!

UpAllNightToGetLoki Mon 29-Aug-16 11:29:42

Thand you, hearing all your lovely stories has made me feel so much better and got me excited again! We have actually found our venue now, it's not a typical 'wedding venue' but that's perfect for us!
I think the best advice was not to overthink it, I am terrible for that, and desperately just want it to be nice for the guests.
I'm definitely going to see if there is room in the budget for some kind of entertainment.
Thanks for all the tips on how to keep it within budget too, I'm making some decorations myself and I'm just going to pick little things up as I see them, I'm not fussy about everything matching perfectly!

TutanKaDashian Thu 01-Sep-16 10:07:57

We are getting married in a registry office, which is in a beautiful Georgian building (got lucky there!) Then taking our 25 guests up to a lovely hotel up the road to have a meal in their private dining room which leads put onto a private terrace looking out over gorgeous views. We'll have the meal and speeches and then everyone can sit on the terrace (weather permitting) having a drink, listening to music (we are having a band) and just chilling. This will cost no more than £2.5k. My mum is getting my dress and the bridesmaids dresses and MIL to be is making the cake which all helps.

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