What does your dream wedding look like? Is it all about the dress, the guests, the flowers or the cake? Everybody's vision is different, but if the actual size of your reception is not part of that vision, you may want to consider limiting the guest list – even if you keep the same budget. Why? Before you start inviting Aunt Wanda, Ed from Accounting, and your best friend middle school (who you haven't seen in years), you may want to consider the advantages of keeping the guest list under 200. Here are five benefits of a more intimate wedding.
1. More Venue Options
One of the most appealing benefits to keeping your guest list under 200 is the ability to choose from more venue options. Yup, you heard us right! Keeping your guest list small and intimate means your party will easily fit in far more spaces than a wedding with 350 guests. Lucky you!
Smaller weddings can be more budget-friendly. Think about it. The fewer guests you have, the less food you need to order. (And catering can be a big-ticket item for your big day.) You also need fewer table settings, centerpieces, chairs (yes, some venues charge per chair), and party favors (if you choose to provide these).
With all that saved money, you could splurge for a fancier dress or venue. Don't want to spend the savings on your wedding day? Put it towards your honeymoon or your first place together.
3. More Quality Time With Guests
Wedding day activities go by faster than you think, so it can be difficult to spend quality time with all of your guests. Obviously, the more guests you have, the more difficult it is to spend quality time with each of them. A smaller wedding allows you the time to greet, thank, and converse with each of your guests, making it an intimate and memorable experience for everyone.
4. Ability to Personalize Your Guests' Experience
The smaller your guest list, the more personalized you can make your guests' experience, whether that be detailed place cards, special table settings, or thoughtful favors. Think of it this way, if you had one amount of money to spend for dinner on five or 15 people, imagine how different those dinners would be. The same can hold true if you only invite the guests that really matter.
5. Less Overwhelming
In some cases, a larger wedding can equate to more stress. Budgeting, determining who to include and not include in your guest list, catering, seating, etc. can all be overwhelming. And for some of us, the idea of 300 or more people gazing at us as we walk down the aisle is nerve-wracking. But keeping your guest list under 200 people can make all that easier to handle.
6. Easier to Narrow Down Your Guest List
Believe it or not, determining that you want 200 or fewer guests to attend your wedding could make narrowing down the guest list easier. Instead of inviting everyone you've ever known to be part of your big day, a limited capacity makes it easier to invite immediate family, aunts, uncles, first cousins, and closest friends only. That's right, you don't have to invite your dad's great aunt who hasn't seen you since you were three feet tall.
Remember, most of us are not looking to host a royal-size wedding like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, so you don't have to let your guest list keep growing if you aren't comfortable hosting a huge crowd. Use some of these points if you need to validate your decision to keep your guest list down to a manageable number. And if all else fails, remember, your wedding day is your day. You deserve to share it with as many or as few people as you want.