Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Small Weddings

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
I am resigning myself to the fact that my wedding will prob. be under 40 adults. Not that is bad at all, but not what I''d originally thought. Just family and close friends. I just wondered, for those who had smaller weddings, did you miss at all not having other friends, was it what you wanted, were you able to do other things you wanted due to the size, did you choose that for budget reasons or just personal choice? Did you have a traditional or non-trad. type of wedding? Fancy wedding dress? Bridesmaids? What was it like? I''d love to hear about it!
 

CrownJewel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
1,895
Hi Dixie! My fiance and I will be doing pretty much the same thing as you are. 40-50 adults...a lot of friends and a lot of family are getting cut out of the guest list, which we really don''t like. We are paying for the wedding ourselves, so there is a very limited budget. I''m going to get as fancy a dress as I can and I will probably have 3 bridesmaids and my sister as my maid of honor. I toyed with the idea of having a cocktail reception, but we''ve changed our minds...we''re going to have a sit down dinner. In other ways it will be very non-traditional because we are not religious and will only incorporate cultural traditions.

My dream idea is to have a fancy-ish lobster dinner in Maine. My family and I are big seafood fans and I cannot imagine my wedding without EXCELLENT seafood, so we are going straight to the source. And I''m hoping the weddings in Maine are a little less expensive than in NYC.

As for the people who won''t get invited...(most of them are family members that I don''t even know since my parents have such huge families)...I figure I can celebrate for a whole year with my friends. We can always have a nice party in NYC with the friends who couldn''t come to our wedding. We have a few close friends and many many many friends that we see once in a while. There''s just no way we can invite everyone that we want.

I''m happy with this choice because I like intimate parties anyway. Not that 50 people is intimate...but more so than having 200!!!
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,759
I''m replying to this thread since you seem set towards the 40-50 guest mark...Dixie, don''t worry! Everything will work out. Once you find the location, it will be much smoother sailing...at least you know your budget now and what you have to work with, so that is a step in the right direction.

Is Meson Sebika in or out? I can''t remember what you said their min. was. I think 60? Did you check out Sunday pricing there?

I really feel your pain here. Coming from a small town where the cost of living was so much less than here, my parents were a little shell-shocked when we started giving them figures. My father never gave us a set budget, but when we narrowed down our sites and I told him the one I was most in love with would be x amount, he and my mother worked out the gory details. I do remember that when the wedding was over he was very happy and told my mother he would''ve spent twice that if it meant seeing me happy. I don''t know what your situation is with your family, but I wonder if there is any more bargaining room?


So my next question is...is there anything special you and your FI like to do together, any hobbies/interests that stand out that could be tied into your venue? For ex. some people are horse lovers--there is a place in Clarendon Hills called Arabian Knights Farm that does weddings. They are verrrrry reasonably priced (I went to see it because we lived right down the street at the time we were planning), and the grounds are beautiful, but the reception would take place in the huge barn (think Deco). They also do on-site ceremonies.

Then there is the dessert/cocktail reception, but I''m wondering where you would have your ceremony...I''m sure you''ve thought of that one already. Just thinking aloud again, bear with me.

Did you ever look at Oakbrook B&T Club? With only 40-50 guests, I believe you could reserve just part of the clubhouse, still have your ceremony on site, and do it on a Sunday afternoon for between $2-3k...you could still bring your own cake and liquor (or no liquor if that''s a cost you''re willing to cut), pay a cutting fee, and maybe get away with it...
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
i loved having a small wedding. ours was destination but we both felt like we really got to ENJOY the guests and the party and each other. there wasn''t a bunch of stress about pleasing 100 people or having to make things go off a certain way or having to go talk to everyone who came to see us kinda thing. sure it woulda been nice to have some big massive party but really that''s not what it was about for us at all. it was perfect the way it was and the fact that it was like 1/2 the cost of a local big wedding was just a perk! all the most important people were there with us.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
Thank you for your responses!
Monarch, I know you said don''t worry but I am! I feel so silly about letting this upset me so much but it''s extremely hard to think of cutting the list. I am working on it though, and the part of me that is logical and reasonable (I know it''s in there somewhere!) realizes it will be fine and will still be a great day.

CJ, our situation does sound similar. I will also have 3 bridesmaids and a matron of honor, sit down lunch in my case and not a very religious ceremony. Since we are separate faiths, I want to write our own ceremony and incorporate some of our different traditions into the ceremony. I am looking fwd to that part of the planning! A lobster dinner sounds fabulous! That is one of my favorite foods. I think I have to keep in mind that I can still do something w/people later. I just don''t want to hurt people''s feelings, especially when I really do want them there!

Monarch, Meson Sabika is out. Although the max. of 60 was great, the per person cost of food is just too high. There are many other places w/much cheaper food. Of course, their food I''m sure if fabulous but I just can''t afford that. As far as bargaining room w/my family, it is just too difficult a subject to broach w/them again. I am just going to do what my FI and can afford and plan accordingly. This is a good reminder for me to save some $ for my son''s wedding. Although I may not have to pay for it, I''d rather he not have to deal w/this sort of budget issue. It''s not fun!
I can''t really think of anything special we like to go.. does going to the movies count?? I am still considering something in a park, since that is what I thought initially. I would actually love a beachfront wedding but haven''t really looked into that too much. I did look into Oakbrook and their costs actually aren''t bad but still a little higher than some other places I''ve seen.

Mara, what you''re saying about having time to enjoy the guests really makes sense. I''ve never thrown a party w/even 40-50 guests so it''s hard for me to have a feeling of what even more would be like. I am keeping in mind that w/a smaller wedding comes less money and more $ for the honeymoon. And it''s only one day of my life. I wish that were easier to remember!

Thanks for sharing your stories and ideas!
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
we had around 45 guests at our wedding. i thiught it was the perfect size for us. we were able to spend time with every guest at the reception. since we invited only close friends and family, i also love that everyone there meant something to us. there weren''t introductions at the reception. and we''ll never look at pictures and wonder who someone is.

we had a casual, but elegant wedding with a 4 course sit down lunch. we did have a bridal party with one maid of honor, a best man, two ring bearers and a flower girl. there are pictures on here somewhere. while it was nice to be able to have great food and alcohol with such a small guest list, this wasn''t our primary motivation. a small wedding just felt more "us".

the beauty of weddings is that they can big or as small as you want and that doesn''t dictate the other aspects (dress, bridal party, etc.)
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,759
Dixie, I keep thinking of Miranda and Steve''s small park wedding on Sex and the City...there has to be a place somewhere in Chicago where you could just do the ceremony and keep it short and sweet, and then what about finding a restaurant nearby where you could rent out a room and work out something within your budget? I hate not being able to point you in any sort of right direction! I''m getting frustrated about this myself, lol!

When you mentioned that you and FI love going to the movies I had this thought: you know those old school downtown movie theaters that still have marquee signs like theaters downtown? (There''s a few out west here, like Lagrange and I think Downers Grove)...what if you could rent that out for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and walk down the aisle of the theater? I just checked Lagrange Theater and they do private parties and business events--they have a website:
www.lagrangetheatre.com, of course! I have no idea about prices, but it''s just an idea that might fit into your budget which you and FI could take and run with if you were into it!

That''s all the brainstorming I have for tonight. I love your idea of black BM dresses, btw.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,759
Never mind, I''m back. Can''t seem to let this go, lol!

Have you looked at the Chicago Park District site? Would you be opposed to the Garfield Conservatory? Would you be totally opposed to a weekday/weeknight affair? ''Cause it''s prettttyyy darn reasonable for a couple of the smaller function areas ($750 weekday, $1000 Fri., etc.) I know you had already looked at parks in the city and were worried about paying the park permit or whatever...but I just took a brief look through the CPD site and happened upon that info. Hmmm.
 

nejarb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
324
i''m having a small destination wedding and i think we''re only inviting 40-45 people. it''s going to be informal. no bridesmaids, etc. and no dancing b/c all that just doesn''t really suit our tastes (also, it''s at a friend''s ranch and there is no dancefloor). it''s more just like the type of party we would throw for any other occasion, but it happens to also be our wedding. i don''t think we''ll even hire a photographer. but some live music would be nice--maybe something like a guitar/flute duo.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
We had 26 guests at our wedding (including the nurse we hired to bring my MIL who broke her back 3 weeks prior). I have no regrets. I would have invited my 2 closest girlfriends if I could have done so without playing the "if I invited J I have to invite K" game, but in the end it worked out perfectly. I loved that we got to spend time with each and every one of our guests and that they were all people who truly mattered in our lives (as opposed to inviting great aunt betty who always gets drunk and ignored because she is certifable!). It gave us the ability to spend $ on what mattered to us (great food and location) and we were surrounded by love on the day of. Truly an amazing experience, I''d do it all over again the exact same way in a NY minute.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
You guys are great!
Novia, it''s good for me to realize that you can still have some of the traditional elements at a smaller wedding. I rarely worry about how things look to others but for some reason, this worries me to no end! But I am feeling better about it and really enjoy reading about everyone else''s wonderful experiences. I know that a small wedding definitely is more my FI and me to some extent, but I think small is 50-75 and he thinks small is 10.
It''s all about perspective!
Monarch, I haven''t given up either. Thank you for always having ideas! I''m really hoping one of my last three places works: 1-Austin Gardens in Oak Park (so pretty, open space that would work out perfectly but I need the rentals/caterer), 2- The Milk Pail (www.themilkpail.com) around Elgin or 3- Old Orchard country club (www.oldorchardcc.com --i think). Both 2 and 3 have outdoor ceremony options and would accomodate my small guest list. They don''t have ceremony fees or they are minimal and a very cheap lunch/person rate.
As for your idea about going to a restaurant, I''ve been thinking about that too. I''m going to look into some and check out costs. But I think that these other places will still be cheaper. When I went to a restaurant once and did a family style dinner, it was around $30/person. The Milk Pail and Old Orchard are around $15-20/person.
I''m not sure about the movie theatre idea but it is a great suggestion! I really want an outdoor ceremony though and actually, really like choice #1 in the park, as long as its the cheapest. The guy still hasn''t responded to me by email and it''s annoying! I may have a connection for rentals so that could help the cost. And back to the restaurant idea, I was thinking of checking out local restaurant costs for catering and see if they''d cater it at the park. My FI''s favorite food type is Mexican and I thought it would be fun to do Mexican at the park.
I have looked at the CPD site and am trying to find something w/a very minimal ceremony fee. $750 and $1000 is just too much given my budget, unless it included food too.. which it doesn''t.
But the Garfield Conservatory is very pretty!
So many ideas, I just have to make a decision! I''m excited about seeing places this weekend.

Thanks about the black dresses!

Nejarb, dancing isn''t really for me either so I''d be fine w/o it too. A guitar/flute duo sounds very pretty! I was thinking of trying to find a violinist for our ceremony.

Kimberly, there definitely is a lot of "if I invite J, I have to invite K" w/guest lists. I didn''t realize that until now! That is actually why I feel ok cutting a # of people, b/c a lot of them know each other and I don''t know how I''d invite some w/o the others. Plus, they''re friends but not close friends so I don''t feel as bad. I really like the idea of a get together later w/those people we couldn''t include.
Your wedding sounds like it was wonderful! I want to feel exactly what you described on my day. Thank you!
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top