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Tay
Frequent user July 2021 Ontario

Small or Medium wedding dilemma

Tay, on June 17, 2020 at 08:26 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 19
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So I'm in a little bit of a moral dilemma on what to do and just looking for some advice.


I'm planning my wedding for July 2021. I'm not a big wedding person and hate the idea of feeling that people will be watching/staring at me. FH doesn't want a wedding and is just supporting whatever route I choose.
I originally had a guest list of around 130 people and looked at venues prior to Covid and was ready to make a descion. The list included mainly immediate family, siblings, first cousins, a hand full of friends, and FH had some church folks on the list. However, in my eyes 130 people is a lot of people
I had been debating back and forth about choosing a venue since March because of the pros and cons of each and just gave up multiple times.
With the uncertainty of covid I thought maybe I should reduce my guest list and saw a venue 2 weeks ago that I did like. This venue however has a capacity of only 80 people.
I was ready to book that venue last Sunday but I can tell that mom is unhappy because she feels family members and close friends to the family are missing from the 80 person list. She feels that they will feel disappointed and as if they're not family for not attending the wedding.
Me and FH looked at the 80 person list and everyone we want is on there. However, there definitely is people missing. It's difficult for me to make descions, which is what is making this hard. I'm worried about feeling guilty for not inviting other family and friends and making them feel left out.
I personally like the idea of having a smaller wedding. I also do like the look and feel of the 80 person venue for the most part, it is also only 30mins away from home. The other venue is nice as well, but definitely is not my first choice and 1.5 hours away from home.
I know ultimately it is my descion, and I don't have long to make it, but just wondering if anyone has any input or has had this dilemma themself.

19 Comments

Latest activity by Ashley, on June 20, 2020 at 14:23
  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    130 isnt that many people but if they are important to you invite all of them. clearly you guys hesitated cuz you want those people there. plus dont forget not everyone will be able to come.

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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    View quoted message
    Yeah some people really don't understand when I say I don't like the thought of lots of people staring at me. Covid is a good 'excuse' as you stated it.
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    View quoted message
    Thanks for the advice! I'll keep a B list just in case some people don't plan on attending
    • Reply
  • Kelsie
    Beginner September 2020 Alberta
    Kelsie ·
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    I am just like you. I don't like to be the center of attention and the thought of everyone staring at me as I walk down the aisle is sort of terrifying. I think, at the end of the day it is about you and your fiance and what you two want. Whether or not your family agrees. You can always use COVID as an 'excuse' to have a smaller guest list based on the uncertainty of the circumstances so that way people are not upset. In the current situation I think most people would understand and its probably a safer bet for you as well. Some people might simply opt not to come because of the risk. Who knows where we will even be next summer and it's better to be safe than sorry!

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  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
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    Small weddings are great, but keep in mind that not everyone that you are inviting will make it. My Husband and I wanted a smaller wedding, of just family. We didn't invite any of our friends (unless they were super closed and we considered them family anyways). We ended up inviting about 150 people, by the time my venue needed numbers we were down to 112, and only 100 showed up. So if you invite 80 and they all say yes then perfect theres your list! If you have some no's then you can open it up to the people that didn't make the first cut.

    At the end of the day, it is up to you and FH to decide who you want to come and how many. Its super difficult to please everyone!

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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    View quoted message
    That's very interesting about your brother, lol. Not really who you would expect to care so much about the invitees. Thanks for you input!
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    Yes I Will probably mention that this is my dream venue and it only holds 80 people. Hopefully then there will be less of a need for me to explain my descion!
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    Yeah, my thoughts are the same! Especially since a vaccine is far away
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    Yes, Covid and it's uncertainty. Lol about trimming the guest list. Hopefully everything works out for next year 😊
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
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    Thanks Hank! I'm going to suggest what you said regarding the separate dinner, paid by them in order to appease the situation, if that's what they want to do
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  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
    • Dispute
    Thanks everyone for their input. Made me feel more confident with my descion. I've decided to just go with my gut and do a shorter guest list. Planning to book venue tomorrow!
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute

    Big weddings are a part of my culture and a lot of friends in my social circle. Those that stuck to our guns of wanting only guests we personally know while still wanting to appease parents, did it in a way where the couple controlled the guest list of the main ceremony and reception with no add-ons for the family while any extras like distant relatives you've never met, relatives' distant friend, members of family's neighbourhood growing up, etc (essentially people family deem important but have ZERO context with the wedding couple) got a separate dinner at a restaurant that was paid for by the family. Basically, they want the dog and pony show, they pay for it, we just show up, wave hi and eat.

    This move is much more effective at winning over family if you're not accepting any financial assistance from them.

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  • Megan
    Frequent user April 2021 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    Small weddings are awesome! Also, you're more likely to not be at the mercy of COVID with smaller numbers, even in 2021. You can't make everyone happy - but it sounds like a smaller wedding would make YOU happy (which is really the point of the whole thing).

    We've rebooked our reception for next year, and I'm trying to discreetly trim the guest list so it's even smaller.

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  • Karley
    Curious September 2020 Nova Scotia
    Karley ·
    • Dispute

    If it's your dream venue and you're happy with 80 people, go for it! Who knows what next year will bring with regards to COVID restrictions too. I've heard many people say limits won't increase past 50 or 100 until there's a vaccine.

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute

    This is both your day and the decision to make over anyone to say anything about it. You feel the smaller guest works to your benefit, go for it.

    Your mother and other family members may have their say though they are paying for a portion of it, they may add the guests on their budget if they want them there present. Your budget is how you set it.

    Venue wise, if the closer distance works, go for it as you don't have to go further for the other choice.

    As our guest list started little over a 100, the min. was 75 guests to start. Eventually I made the call to reduce the guest list due to making it work towards the budget and cost of the venue.

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  • Cindy
    Frequent user May 2021 Alberta
    Cindy ·
    • Dispute

    I agree with everyone here. It is up to you and your fiance who is invited to your wedding and if you want a smaller wedding, that should be your decision. I went with a small wedding as well with it being my fiance's second marriage, and I never really wanted a big wedding. The best was that we originally planned a destination wedding which cut the guest list down automatically. Then when plans changed and we decided on local, the guest list stayed the same. I have a whole side of my family that is not being invited as I really only see them once a year at Christmas. We have kept it to immediate family and our closest friends which works out to 65 people. We are both pretty happy about it so I say do what is best for both of you. It is YOUR day.

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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda Online ·
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    My fiance and I have also gone with a smaller list we have about 70 people. We both didn't want a big wedding.

    Both my mom and my future mother in law wanted more family to be there but we just told them that if we didn't really speak to them or haven't seen them in a very long time, that we shouldn't have to invite them.

    I would't worry too much about peoples feelings. It's your wedding and not theirs! And who you want their is your decision!

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  • J
    Frequent user October 2020 Ontario
    Jess ·
    • Dispute

    I totally agree with Amelia. I can totally understand where you are coming from. Ultimately it is your day, but I know how hard it can be to make and enforce decisions especially about something like this. I would also stick with the smaller list - if your mom or other people are still worrying about the missing people, you can also tell them you are having a smaller list because this is the venue you truly want to have your wedding at, and their capacity is 80.

    Thinking of you during these times!!

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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
    • Dispute
    We also went for a smaller guest list for similar reasons and I totally understand where you're coming from. Oddly my brother was the one who felt every cousin should be invited (including the one whose wife hates me and my best friends).


    I would stick with the smaller list and try not to worry about other people's feelings. Ultimately it's your day and doing what makes you happy and comfortable is most important. Unless your mom is paying she doesn't get a lot of say in the guest list. And if she is paying she should still want to support your wishes.
    There's also a good chance that 2021 weddings could still be affected by covid, so you might not be able to have 130 people, or people might not want to attend larger gatherings. Smaller is safer!
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