There are always trends in the wedding industry and a post-2020 world has seen quite a few more intimate weddings over the last couple of years! Pre 2020, larger weddings were the way to go, though there was a slight uptick in intimate weddings and elopements, even before 2017-2020. There are so many positives to both larger, traditional weddings, as well as elopements, but, one of the best parts of traditions as of late is that truly, anything goes. When you’re planning your wedding day, it can be hard to picture what your wedding day might look like from the beginning. If you’re on the fence when deciding what size wedding you want to have, read through this blog post to learn about the different types of weddings to help you make the decision on what size wedding is right for you!
Before going into this post please know that you can’t make a wrong decision for your wedding day! As long as you’re staying true to what you and your partner love you’ll end up with a wedding day that you can both cherish for the rest of your lives together. To start off your planning let’s go over the 3 different types of weddings that are standard in the industry right now.
In today’s wedding industry, an elopement is typically a wedding ceremony and a small reception with you, your partner and 0-20 guests. Outside of these parameters, the sky really is the limit in terms of what you can do with your day. With Pinterest and social media filled to the brim with ideas and trends for elopements, there’s so much inspiration out there to get you on track for the elopement day of your dreams.
There are three types of elopements that are extremely popular in the industry these days, BUT, don’t let these limit your dreaming! There are so many different ways to elope, these are just three of the trends in the industry right now. Courthouse, adventure, and family-oriented. Courthouse weddings are exactly how they sound! You and your partner head off to the courthouse to get married just the two of you and your photographer. You tie the knot, and then head out for a couple hours of portraits and celebrating! Adventure elopements come next in terms of popularity. Hiking to your favorite spot, jetting off to somewhere new or exploring a location the two of you have always dreamed of traveling together are just a few examples of what you can do for an adventure elopement.
Last but not least, family oriented elopements. These are typically happening in restaurants or cool intimate venues that are popping up all over the country. Tie the knot with your closest friends and family present and then celebrate with an intimate dinner just you and the people that matter most!
Planning is usually pretty limited due to the smaller scale. Outside of venue/location planning and booking your photographer there’s not much you NEED to plan out. Of course you can add as much to your elopement day as you want but those are the basics. With the smaller scale you also have full creative freedom on what your wedding day looks like and includes. You also have full freedom when choosing a venue as long as elopements are permitted there.
The smaller guest list is the biggest drawback of eloping. Not being able to have all of your friends and family there for your big day can be hard, and if having them present is important to you consider the following wedding size options to decide which is right for your day. One important note though is you don’t HAVE to have all your wedding festivities on one day. You and your partner can have your elopement and then celebrate with all of your people on a later date and keep the party going!
The next wedding size is an intimate wedding which is typically around 20 to 50 guests. This is a great option if you want your closest friends and family present on your wedding day but don’t want to deal with the extra planning that comes along with a full scale large wedding. The smaller size comes with its own flexibilities and limitations which we’ll get into so be sure to discuss the options with your partner to make sure you’re choosing the option that best fits your needs!
The smaller size of an intimate wedding means that you have some added flexibility when deciding on what your wedding will look like. While not as flexible as an elopement, planning out an intimate wedding can have a lot of different looks. Having your wedding at your favorite restaurant, yours or a family member’s backyard and smaller scale wedding venues are just a few options that you can go with for your intimate wedding. The rise in popularity of these smaller scale weddings has led to a TON of really cool venues that are designed to be perfect for the smaller group sizes. These tend to add a lot of character to your wedding day! If you have your intimate wedding at a place that already means a lot to you such as your favorite restaurant your day will feel so special to your relationship.
With the smaller scale you’re able to spend actual time with the people that matter most to you. This means more meaningful moments and conversations with those closest to you. Intimate weddings also have a lower cost on average than large scale weddings meaning you can spend your funds on other things, like a honeymoon for example!
While your guest list will be larger than that of an elopement you’re still going to have to limit your guest list and in turn not be able to invite ALL of your people. Another drawback is that for some more popular venues you may not be able to get a Saturday wedding date as some locations reserve those slots for those larger scale weddings. If your dream venue is on the smaller side or an alternative location then you’re all set there!
Here’s your size option for if you want to invite everyone to your wedding day! There’s two different sizes when it comes to large weddings, the small wedding being 50 to 120 guests, and your large wedding being 120+ guests. While your options for venues will be limited just due to the amount of people present, large weddings tend to have the most hype to them with ALL of your people there! For a look at a full size wedding gallery check out Nicole and Earl’s here!
There’s mainly two different types of large wedding, destination and local weddings. Destination weddings mean that you’ll be traveling somewhere else for your wedding ceremony and reception. Depending on how far you travel this can limit the amount of guests that will attend as not everyone will be able to travel for a variety of reasons. If you do opt for a destination wedding and want the max amount of guests to attend be sure to tell your people as early as possible so they can plan accordingly.
For your local weddings these are much more accessible as they are near where you currently live which is usually around a large portion of your guest list. When booking your venue for your large wedding make sure to have a pretty solid number of attendees for your guest list. Most locations have a cap on the amount of guests you can have and some even have a minimum requirement. Be sure you know what your venue’s requirements are and that your guest list fits within them.
ALL THE HYPE! Seriously, all of your people all in one location celebrating your love for one another. If you want the most hype on your wedding day with as many people excited for you both as possible you should go for a large wedding. The larger guest list also means that people are much more likely to party hard for your reception which is a blast if that’s your thing!
The larger the wedding the more expensive it is on average. Plan out your wedding costs and budget accordingly if you plan on having a large wedding. You also have less flexibility and a more strict schedule with a larger wedding due to the amount of things that you have to fit into the day like wrangling family members for photos, first dances, etc. Lastly you’re not going to be able to spend much one on one time with your guests, you can always celebrate more with them on a later date, but you’re going to be BUSY on your wedding day.
Before you start thinking about what size of wedding might be right for you, you and your partner need to sit down and talk about your vision for your wedding day. You both are going to have priorities when it comes to your day. Whether that’s ease of planning, who you MUST have there, whether you’re going to get married in a church or where in the world you want to tie the knot!
Take some time to sit down together and begin to set the scene of your wedding day. Start with who you must have with you on your wedding day. If that’s just the two of you, write that down on the top of your list! If that’s you and your 6 siblings and 14 cousins, write down a rough total at the top! From there start working through the rest of the image for your day. When you want to have your wedding, what you want to do on your wedding day, how you’re going to do it and where you want to have it. Then take some time to prioritize these five things based on what is most important to you two.
As you’re planning your wedding you’ll want to start by setting a timeline and choosing a wedding date. Think about the next couple of years and everything you have planned. How much wedding planning can you take on? How much time realistically will you want to spend planning your wedding? If you’re in LOVE with wedding planning and want to be a part of every aspect, plan a wedding that you can handle planning yourself! If you can’t stand wedding planning and don’t have a large budget, opt for a smaller wedding so there won’t be too much to plan and you can rely on vendors like your venue coordinator. Or if you have a larger budget you can plan a larger wedding but hire a planner from the get go to relieve you of any of the planning involved.
The larger the wedding, the less options you will have on what your money is spent on. Similarly the smaller your wedding the more flexibility you’ll have when it comes to what you spend your funds on. Your priorities for your day like who you want there, what you want to do, and where you want your wedding will help you decide on the right wedding size for you as well as what you should spend your money on. Be sure to plan this out realistically with your partner so that you don’t stress yourselves out on how you’re going to afford everything.
No matter what size wedding you decide to be right for you, documentation of your day should be at the top of your priority list for your vendors. Your wedding photos, and videos if you opt for a videographer as well, are what live on past your wedding day along with your memories. They’re what you’re able to look back on for the rest of your lives together, something that will always take you back to this special day and get you feeling all those emotions you felt on your wedding day!
In addition to your photographer, your other vendors you’ll want to prioritize are your experience based vendors. Your venue, DJ, food/catering, really anything that will amplify and improve the experience of your wedding day. You can have as many or few vendors that you want for your wedding, just make sure that whatever you end up going with falls in line with the experience you want to have on your wedding day.
Everyone and every wedding is different, so there’s no universal right answer when it comes to choosing a wedding size. Talk with your partner and take into account everything we discussed in this article so that you two choose and plan the perfect size wedding for YOUR wedding day. And if you need a photographer to help you through the planning process and help walk you through this decision head over to my contact page. I’d love to chat and help plan out your day!