You’re engaged! The date is set. But you’re not sure whether you’ll have a big, grand celebration or a smaller, more intimate event. If you are still undecided, don’t worry because in this article, we will talk about the differences between big weddings, and small weddings.
Aside from the number of guests and size of the venue, there are other things to consider: decorations, costs, planning, and customization. Based on these factors, let us compare the two:
If you are a “social butterfly” who simply cannot imagine getting married without your entire (extended) family, friends, and co-workers– by your side, then a grand wedding is the way to go. After all, “the more, the merrier” is probably what you’re thinking when it comes to celebrating one of the most important days of your life!
On the other hand, if you prefer to have just a few close friends and your immediate family as guests, then a smaller wedding would suffice. This way, you can truly focus on having an intimate celebration. The biggest challenge, however, would be on how you can “trim down” your guest list, which would involve NOT inviting acquaintances and relatives that you rarely meet. Good luck with that!
Obviously, a grand wedding calls for a bigger venue; such as a hotel ballroom or a huge events place. In contrast, a small wedding can be held pretty much anywhere – in a garden, a beach resort, or even in your own backyard! If you’re planning a destination wedding, a smaller event is also more feasible, and not to mention easier on the pocket!
This where bigger venues may have an advantage. When you book a hotel ballroom, decorations are usually part of the cost; plus, the place may not need too much additional details, anyway. On the other hand, a smaller venue may require more work – and more costs -- to be “transformed.” In any case, it all depends on your wedding theme and the atmosphere that you are aiming for.
It goes without saying that a grand wedding will cost more. The venue, food, music, flowers decorations, giveaways – all of these will require a substantial amount of money. In addition, hotel ballroom prices may also increase during weekends or the peak season.
Budget-wise, a smaller wedding is easier to manage. Booking a garden or restaurant is less expensive than a hotel ballroom. The venue even comes at zero cost if you’re getting married in your backyard! Thus, you can focus your budget on other expenses, such as food and giveaways.
If you’re keen on having a grand wedding, be sure to start making plans at least six months before your target date. This is particularly important when booking a venue, since most hotel ballrooms and events places may have a long waiting list of couples planning to get married. The same goes for hiring a food caterer; they may be attending to multiple customers as well.
Meanwhile, planning an intimate wedding requires less time and effort on your part. There are plenty of smaller venues available; plus, inviting and responding to invitations is much easier!
The bigger the wedding and the longer your guest list -- the less options you may have for “customization,” since this would definitely cost you more. For example, you may be able to make some personalized gifts for your entourage (i.e. primary sponsors, bridesmaids, and groomsmen), but for the rest of the guests… the same or similar giveaways will have to do.
A smallerwedding, meanwhile, offers plenty of room for customization. It would be much easier to create table cards and personalized gifts if you’re inviting a limited number of guests, for instance. What’s more, you can expect everyone to REALLY participate in the program by giving a speech, having an “impromptu” dance and much, much more.
The Bottom Line
Having considered the guestlist, venue, decorations, costs, customization, and all the planning involved, the size of your wedding is -- at the end of the day -- entirely up to you. Whether you’re planning a grand wedding with lots of guests, or a smaller celebration with a chosen few, the important thing is to ensure that you will have a truly special day to remember!