Pros and Cons of a Small Intimate Wedding

intimate wedding

February 4, 2021

There are a handful of pros and cons when it comes to hosting your intimate wedding. Whether you’ve always wanted to plan a more intimate celebration with your nearest and dearest, or the pandemic has thrown you a curveball and you’re transitioning, this can be the best decision for you. 

Who doesn’t want a wedding day where you can be fully present and create something one-of-a-kind?! Intimate weddings are the best of both worlds, where you get the time to celebrate your love with those you want, while also keeping it fairly low-stress. Typically your tiny wedding will consist of 15-60 or so guests, and can honestly include whatever experiences/decor/food you want and no expectations!

intimate wedding new hampshire

Here are the top 6 reasons why you should have an intimate wedding

Pros of an intimate wedding

  • Less Stress – When you go small, you minimize distractions and disruptions. You’re able to focus on certain aspects of your day that really excite you with a lot less complexity! No need to worry about crazy timelines, super trashed plus ones, etc. You get to relax, and let the day naturally unfold in a very simple way!
  • Spending Time with Everyone – When you have 25 of your guests nestled into one spot, you’re definitely going to enjoy spending quality time with each one. If you were to spend 5 minutes with each person, that’s only 2 hours of your night. That is 2 hours where you can dance together, chat over drinks, take a walk around the property together. It’s no secret that very few couples actually have the time to interact with every one of their guests. When having 100+ people attend their wedding, nobody has 8 full hours for 5 minutes with each guest!
  • Location Flexibility – Ever dream of having a destination wedding but didn’t think it was feasible with 100+ guests? One huge advantage of going tiny is the ability to make it a destination, and your options are endless. Stay local at a Cape Cod airbnb and have dinner on the ocean, rent a villa in Tuscany, hang at a resort in Turks and Caicos, adventure out in the mountains of Colorado. Wherever you want to venture off to, you can make it happen with fewer important people by your side. Creating an experience in a new space with those you love the most will be unforgettable. (And here’s some location ideas too!)
mexico intimate wedding
  • Budget Stretching – Just because you decide to host a smaller affair doesn’t mean you need to cut corners in your budget. When you don’t have high food/beverage minimums at expensive venues, you have more freedom to create a truly unique day. Truly think about that for a minute. Would you rather spend $25,000 on 200 people for a pasta buffet and beer/wine, or $25,000 on your 30 guests to spend an entire weekend in a vacation home, have a personal chef for the day whip up your favorite spreads, and go big on those specialty services you once thought weren’t an option. Even if you decided to do something low key and more affordable for dinner like a pizza truck, you could re-allocate that money to upgrade to those beautiful farmhouse tables you’ve always wanted, hire some chill live music for the afternoon, go big on your honeymoon, and honestly just go for the grazing board because why the heck not and who doesn’t love cheese?
  • Make Your Own Traditions – This is your opportunity to take advantage of doing whatever the heck you want. Be non-traditional, out-of-the-box, and totally you. Being meaningful and intentional with all your decisions is part of what makes an intimate wedding so wonderful. Also keep in mind, just because you elope or have a tiny wedding doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate traditional wedding aspects. You can very much still have speeches, dances, etc. and make it feel special! 
small beach wedding

Cons of a intimate wedding

  • Less Gifts – Ultimately when you scratch off 75+ people from your potential guest list, you’re going to receive less gifts. However, there’s a high chance the gifts you do receive will be pretty dang high quality!
  • Disappointment to Guests Not Invited – Of course there’s going to be people in your life that wish they could have celebrated at a big wedding with you. But that’s life, and they’ll get over it. If they’re really your friend or loved one, they’ll support you through it! There’s always time to celebrate down the road with a brunch when you’re back from your honeymoon. After all, you’re making this decision for yourselves, and nobody else.
  • Date Flexibility – Some venues/vendors may not book your Saturday wedding if they don’t meet a certain minimum for that date. Being open to Fridays, Sundays, or even weekdays might help when booking vendors for a small wedding.
  • Payment Confusion – It’s common for those who are paying for your wedding to feel they have decision making power. Make sure that if you are accepting any money from someone, that they are in support of your plans. Otherwise, you may have to pay yourselves. 
  • FOMO – You might have friends that are going through planning a big wedding and they’re chatting about food tastings, their epic song list, etc. and you may be feeling like you’re missing out. Don’t worry, they’ll be envious of you when they don’t have to deal with guest list drama and major money! 

If you’ve been thinking of an intimate wedding but not sure where to begin, reach out! I’m always here to welcome you with open arms to the intimate wedding gang, because it was the best decision I ever made 🙂 Check out the blog for some favorite intimate weddings from last year!


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  1. Molly says:

    THis post is a helpful and concise list of the pros and cons of a big versus small wedding. So many couples are wrestling with this right now, and you’ve done a great job summing up why a small wedding is not “less”.

  2. I love that you give the full details on what to expect for an intimate wedding and how to plan.

  3. Kat Carney says:

    At first, I was like, wait, what cons are there?! But you had great points on both sides of the argument. It boils down to what you value more! Thanks for this awesome article!

  4. Stacy says:

    This is such a clear and thoughtful resource for people thinking of having small, intimate weddings. I love how you make the points clearly and it will certainly help couples trying to decide if they want a small wedding or not.

  5. Jacqueline G says:

    I love the points you made about pros and cons of intimate weddings! They aren’t for everyone, but they are so special for the right couples!! I love intimate weddings! Its not less of a wedding because there are less guests, quality over quantity.

  6. So many pros to intimate weddings, I am a huge fun of those myslef…and my hubby and i eloped as well….kudos to those who follow thier own dreams and make it very special!

  7. Laura says:

    This is such a great resources for couples who are considering a Intimate wedding day! Putting this information ona pros and cons list makes it so easy t read too!