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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Beauty of a Small Wedding Reception


A wedding of about 50 or less is technically considered small, though many consider anything below 100 to be a small wedding. The beauty of having a short guest list is getting to have a small wedding reception. Some of the most quaint spots for weddings are designated small wedding venues, and you are pretty much unlimited when it comes to where you can have your wedding. Here are some things to think about with a small wedding reception:

  • Remember that you do not necessarily have to have dinner and dancing. Some venues—such as a small tea house and garden in Southern California—may lend itself more to dessert and coffee, or an elegant cocktail party outdoors. However, if you do have dancing, standard etiquette says that you need to serve a substantial meal. The two typically go together when weddings are concerned.
  • If you are having a small wedding, do not sacrifice elegance and attention to detail. You still want to make sure that the flowers are beautiful, the venue is classy, and that the food is delicious. Also, make sure that the venue has high standards of cleanliness. If you have your reception at a restaurant, make sure that it is conducive to wedding parties (for example, ask what their cake cutting/plating policy is).


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Wedding Etiquette: How to Politely Throw a Small Wedding


Is it possible to have a small wedding without offending your friends and family who aren’t on your wedding invitation list? It is possible, but you have to be conscious of who you are excluding and take the appropriate measures to make sure they aren’t offended. Even though it is proper wedding etiquette to invite your nearest and dearest, doing so may not be an option if you plan on having a small and intimate wedding. Follow these tips and you’ll be in good standing both at the altar, and with your friends and family who don’t make the cut.

  1. Make two lists—one with those who are on your wedding invitation list and another for those who are not on the list. The key to protecting your uninvited guests feelings is communication. People get their feelings hurt when they aren’t included in your life, especially your wedding, but if you are open and honest with them as to why they aren’t invited the better. Keep this list close by, as you will need it for sending invites to other events, wedding photos etc.
  2. Send out a tasteful note to those who are uninvited letting them know that you’re getting married, but that you’re having a small wedding that won’t permit many guests. Let them know you’ll be either mailing or emailing them wedding photos and honeymoon updates to ensure that they feel included and up to date.
  3. Throw a wedding celebration dinner or cocktail party for those who are not on the wedding guest list. This will give those friends and family an opportunity to congratulate you and to meet your fiancé if they haven’t already.
  4. Create a wedding blog, update it regularly, and email it to those invited and not so that everyone is able to share the excitement of this joyous event from beginning to end.  Your personal wedding website can easily be used for this.

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Selecting the Right Reception Venue


Choosing the right wedding reception venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make—it sets the tone for the whole affair and is what most people will remember long after the big day.

Knowledge is Power
Unless you’ve been married before you probably aren’t aware of the options right at your fingertips. It wasn’t until my friends started getting married that I became aware of the ubiquitous wedding venues spread out all over my hometown. Ask friends, family, and search online. Make a weekend out of it with your fiancé and visit the venues on your list.

Comfort Comes First
Before you visit any of the venues on your list, make sure they will comfortably fit your wedding guests. Only search for small wedding venues if you’re having an intimate affair, and a larger space if you’re expecting one hundred plus guests. Intimate weddings often take place at the home of the bride’s parents. If your parents' home fits your criteria, then consider that an option.

Be Creative
Why not choose a venue that’s fun and fits your personality? As long as the venue fits your budget and will comfortably fit all of your guests and wedding vendors, then you are free to choose the inside of a barn or the rooftop of a swanky downtown hotel.

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Small Wedding Venues: Simplify Your Search


Choosing where to hold one of the most significant events of your life can be difficult. The key to finding the right venue without running yourself into the ground is to narrow your search by using your budget, vision and guest list a road map.

Before you even begin searching online or asking friends, sit down and write a list of the first small wedding venues that pop into your head. This will get your ideas flowing and will allow you to envision what setting you’re looking for.

Money Matters
Whether you’re choosing to have a small wedding due to a modest budget or you’d rather have an intimate affair, you’ll need to consult your budget when looking at venues. If you don’t want run the risk of falling in love with a venue only to find out later it is too pricey, then only visit budget wedding venues that fit the bill.

The size of your guest list will drastically narrow your search. If you’re expecting fewer than fifty guests then only search for venues that comfortably fit this number. Too much or too little room at a small wedding reception could make your celebration feel empty or cramped. When you make the initial calls, make sure to ask about the capacity, since you don’t have time to waste looking at venues that don’t fit your needs.

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Big Ideas for Small Ceremonies


For different reasons, many couples opt to have an intimate ceremony instead of a lavish affair. If you’ve decided to forego the big, formal wedding in favor of a small gathering, a few details change. Read on for tiny tips.

Your guest list is the first thing that gets slashed. If you’re aiming for 50 people, start with half that number. When making your list, write down immediately family, and then move on to essential friends. Guest lists double in size quickly because, as soon as you invite Uncle Lou, you’ll realize that Uncle Mick will be hurt if he’s not included.

For the actual affair, you can omit bridesmaids, but it’s wise to keep a maid of honor and a best man. You’ll be amazed at how much time and stress is involved in planning, and having a helper is a life-saver. Also, you’ll want to share the day with a loved one. Caterers, photographers, and florists are used to working for small parties, and you should still seek them out as early as possible.

If your ceremony is at a restaurant, or somewhere intimate like your home or a backyard, a band or DJ is often not the best idea, or even a realistic one. You might consider hiring a vocalist or a string trio; you can search online for both. If you want to marry in a house of worship, talk to your clergyperson about finding a smaller site. It’s possible that your clergyperson won’t be able to marry you in the location you choose, but he can direct you to the right person.

Big parties are probably not going to be on your to-do list, but it’s a good idea to have a rehearsal dinner. It’s a great chance for everyone to meet up before your big day, especially anyone who’s not met the rest of the crowd. Feel free to have a shower, but do not invite anyone who’s not invited to the ceremony. Even though your intentions are good, it might come across as if you want the presents, but don’t want to pay the expense to have them attend your wedding.

For smaller affairs, you don’t need to send out the invites far in advance, as most guests will know about your ceremony. Make sure, however, that all invitations are hand-written. To save hurt feelings, get the word out that the two of you are only inviting immediately family and friends. One way to include everyone who you can’t invite is to throw a large party after the fact. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it’s a wonderful way for everyone to celebrate the life you’ve just begun.