When my husband and I first got engaged, we initially toyed with the idea of having more typical nuptials, complete with the expansive venue, the big bridal party, and 100-plus guests. As we dug a little deeper though, we realized that maybe a large, traditional wedding wasn’t for us. We ended up finding a perfect little hotel in upstate New York and invited just 14 of our closest family and friends, and haven’t regretted it once.
Apart from the obvious benefit of saving a ton of cash on a one night affair, here are some other reasons to consider tying the knot the tiny way.
1. It’s way easier to plan. Some people genuinely love planning their wedding but I am not one of those people. Executing such a large event is basically a full-time job, which can be hard when you already have a full-time job. A tiny wedding means tinier problems, which means tinier heart palpitations when something goes wrong. Having to think about moving 14 people inside if it rains? Not a big deal. Two hundred people? That’s a different story.
2. You can focus more on the details. From hand-painted portraits of your guests as place cards, to personalized welcome notes, to epic gift bags filled with a curated selection of your most favorite locally made goods, it can be easier to bring your vision to life when it’s on a smaller scale. Not having to skimp on the details due to budget or time constraints means your wedding may actually turn out like that secret Pinterest board you’ve been obsessing over since before you got engaged. (I see you, everyone does it.)
3. Your guests can actually get to know each other.As is the case for many couples, my husband’s and my immediate families live on opposite coasts in different countries (Vancouver and Maine) and never had the opportunity to hang out pre-wedding. By removing the obligation to socialize with hundreds of guests during our wedding weekend, it freed up time for our families to really get to know each other. They had breakfast together every morning, went apple picking, and truly bonded — our moms text and email all the time now! This was probably the most special part of having a tiny wedding for us.
4. TBH, it’s a great excuse to use for people who didn’t get invited. It’s hard not to feel pressure when it comes to the guest list, especially since every list has a cutoff number. While there always will be someone who is bound to be upset they didn’t get an invite, when you only invite your closest circle — “No, really, it’s a tiny wedding!” — it feels a lot less personal for those who didn’t make the cut.
5. You can be totally vulnerable. If you’re somebody who doesn’t mind being the center of attention or can easily hold back buckets of water from behind your eyes, then go for a big wedding. I, on the other hand, immediately started crying big black tears (note: this is with waterproof mascara). Our best man’s wife, who was also my makeup artist, ran up multiple times to wipe the streaks from my face with her sleeves. In a crowd of 100-plus people, I would have felt like I was supposed to maintain my composure, and would have felt embarrassed and uncomfortable. But in a small group, it was endearing and felt very much like a safe space.