The Perks of Having a Small Wedding Guest-list

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

Though it’s easy to buckle to the pressure of inviting absolutely everyone to your wedding - family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else you've met in the last ten years - it’s important to know what you’re giving up for this big event you didn’t even necessarily want. A smaller guest list may mean you forgo the scale of the celebrations but also comes with a large range of benefits. From the intimacy of being with your nearest and dearest, to avoiding the stresses of crowd control… here is a list of some of the many perks of having a small guest list at your wedding. 

1/ YOU CAN KEEP THINGS INTIMATE

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Image by Grace & Jaden Photography

A smaller guest list will give you the ability to spend quality time with your partner and each of your guests on the big day. Instead of having to rush from reception table to reception table just to say hello to everyone who wanted to celebrate your wedding, you can really share the experience in a meaningful way. The intimacy of smaller weddings is really beautiful, but you may find it difficult to get your guest list down to a size that will enable for this kind of togetherness. Read this for some subtle, gracious ways of artfully navigating this problem. 

2/ YOU HAVE SO MANY MORE VENUE OPTIONS

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Image by Lynn Lewis Photography and Design

With a smaller guest list you’re no longer limited to the traditional wedding venues that have capacities to seat 100+ people (though these larger places will definitely be among the options from which you can choose). A whole array of amazing venues become available for your consideration, including ones that aren’t conventionally used for weddings but may just be the perfect place for one: florist shops, art galleries, smaller churches nestled in the countryside… Not to mention that the smaller the guestlist, the bigger your possibility of a destination wedding - not only will your potential venues encompass the many gems of New Zealand, but also some magical destination spots overseas. 

3/ YOU GET FLEXIBILITY TO INVEST IN MEANINGFUL DETAILS

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Image by Yoris Photographer

The larger the guestlist, the harder it will be to personalise your wedding. It’s an unfortunate truth, but you’ll likely be spending a significant proportion of the wedding budget on standard wedding services simply because there are so many people you have to accommodate. A smaller guestlist gives you the financial flexibility to invest time as well as money in the meaningful details that will make your event more memorable and meaningful. For example you could do more DIY projects, handwrite invitations and thank you notes, give favours your guests will actually want to keep, and invest in quality catering services and accommodation so that your closest friends and family get a truly luxurious experience. 

4/ YOU AVOID UNNECESSARY FINANCIAL PRESSURES

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Image by Lydia Rachel Photography

A smaller guestlist means that the focus of the wedding is on celebrating the milestone you and your partner have reached and not on meeting whatever expectations your collective social network may have about this event/weddings in general. You can avoid the pressure of putting on an ostentatious performance/display of your love for each other, and avoid the snowballing list of expenses that many couples endure and regret after everything is over. This way, you will also be better positioned financially to start your married lives - you can put the tens of thousands you’ve saved towards a honeymoon, mortgage, or some other, more lasting investment. 

5/ YOU GET THE CELEBRATION WITHOUT THE STRESS

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Image by The Kitcheners

Larger events inherently involve more stress to organise (wedding planners wouldn’t exist in the first place if this kind of event planning didn’t require vast amounts of expertise). As well as all the time and money you’ll need to spend finding and negotiating contracts with vendors/venues, communicating with guests about the logistics of the day, and planning backup options in case of unexpected illness/weather on the day… you’ll have to make sure that everything runs on time on the day to avoid overtime fees. A smaller sized wedding means you get to have the celebrations without the stress, giving you the peace of mind to be present on the day and fully experience every magical moment. 


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