Traditional wedding

Small Vs. Big Traditional Wedding: Pros and Cons

Your wedding is one of the most amazing days you’ll ever experience. This is the day you join hands and hearts with the love of your life and the start of your lives together. Weddings are amazing as they bring two families together as one and as they can be seen as the ultimate testimony to love. On the other hand, we can’t forget that weddings are also huge parties!

The music, the cake, the venue- they all play a part in making this into one of the best parties you’ll ever host. Of course, planning a wedding takes quite a lot of time and effort. That’s where the question big vs. small comes in. Is it better to go all out and give your guests a party of a lifetime or is it better to keep it small and casual?

There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages to both options. Which one you choose depends on your preferences and tastes as an individual. If you’re not sure what type of wedding would suit you best, perhaps it’s time to follow this pros and cons list. 

1. The Stress

When it comes down to it, choosing between big and small weddings depends entirely on how stressful they are. As this is an important day in your life and you want things to go smoothly, be prepared that you will definitely experience some amount of stress. It’s unavoidable in general, and especially when we’re planning and doing something very important to us.

That being said, you can still minimize the stress you’re bound to feel in this period of your life. If you throw a small wedding, you’re likely to be much less stressed. This has mostly to do with the fact that there are simply fewer things to go wrong with a small wedding. The logistics of a smaller wedding are much less complicated. Even though the amount of stress involved in planning is the same, you’ll be much more relaxed on your actual wedding day.

The simplicity of the small wedding definitely does have its perks, no matter how much more appealing a big wedding might be. So, for those who just can’t handle the stress a big wedding entails, maybe it’s better to stick to small weddings. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities much more. The start of the rest of your life deserves to be almost stress-free.

2. The Amount of Work

When it comes to the amount of work you have to put in the wedding, it seems that small weddings take less work, but that’s not exactly true. When throwing a big wedding, you’ll probably opt for paying professionals to do everything. It would simply be too much work to plan the whole thing yourself, so you even hire a wedding planner. This helps you with stress greatly, but you still feel overworked because you have to do some things by yourself and pick everything out personally. At some point, you wonder why didn’t just throw a small wedding.

Well, even though it seems small weddings will take half the amount of work, they need just as much effort to pull off. The truth is that you’ll need to do most things by yourself. As this isn’t a big wedding, there’s no need to hire someone to do the work for you. As well as that, some wedding planners won’t even consider doing small weddings. When it comes to small weddings, it’s always you that has to think of everything as well as organize everything.

3. The Meaningfulness

As big weddings are full of people and are generally more extravagant, they can often feel more impersonal. Let’s face it, you may not even know half of these people, and even if you do, you won’t have enough time to spend time with all of them. At best, you’ll be able to say hi and that will be it for your interaction for the night. You’ll spend a lot of time planning this wedding and coming up with the guest list so it would be a shame for the whole ordeal to become impersonal.

With small weddings, you won’t have to worry about this. You’ll put in the same amount of care in planning both types of weddings, but the care you put in the small wedding will show during the actual day. You’ll get to actually see how your guests are doing and spend some quality time with all of them. The small wedding will feel much more personal and less generic because the atmosphere will be more intimate. On top of that, you’ll get that personal touch from your guests that you’ve been looking for. This can all make a small wedding feel more meaningful.

4. The Atmosphere

The atmosphere of your wedding greatly depends on its size. The pro of big weddings is that they provide a lively and fun atmosphere everyone adores. If you want to make your wedding festive and have a party of a lifetime, you should definitely stick to having a big wedding. The more guests there are, the more fun it gets. People tend to relax more in crowds as there are more lively and extroverted individuals who initiate the awesomeness. There’s simply no better way to let loose and go wild than to throw a huge wedding.

When it comes to small weddings, they’re nowhere near as lively. People tend to be more laid back and relaxed and they don’t really seem up for dancing or doing anything wild. You also have to pay attention to the kinds of groups you’re inviting to your small wedding, as they won’t all feel comfortable with each other, thus furthering the atmosphere away from lively and energetic. Small weddings are generally more appropriate for intimate gatherings and give off a private and intimate vibe. If you’re a person who wants to have some wild fun at their wedding, definitely don’t choose a small wedding.

5. The Gifts

Even though weddings are about celebrating love, let’s face it, they’re also about receiving gifts. This is your chance to start off your lives together with some valuable gifts that will definitely find their place in your home. Instead of spending all that money on equipping your home and the wedding, you’ll receive all the necessities from your guests. This is especially true if you register somewhere, as this way, you’ll only be getting the gifts you actually want and need. So, if you have a big wedding, you’ll get to have all the gifts you’ve ever wanted and needed.

If, on the other hand, you opt for a small wedding, chances are you’re not going to get all the gifts you deserve. With fewer guests on board, it’s only logical that you’ll also get fewer guests. This may leave you to shop for your own things and equip your home by yourself. On the positive side, you may have more money for this option as you probably won’t spend as much on a small wedding as you would have on a big one. Still, the charm of receiving and opening gifts will be almost completely lost on you. 

6. The Venue

As a couple, you’re probably going to spend the most time choosing the perfect wedding venue. The location, as well as the size and theme of the wedding, will all play a part in your choice. The difference between small and big weddings is how picky you can be about your venue.

If you’re having a small wedding, you’ll get to choose between a variety of nice and affordable venues that are bound to impress your guests. The matter of the fact is that most amazing venues don’t usually have the capacity to host huge weddings. If the wedding venue is the most important thing to you, definitely opt for small weddings as you’ll have a much easier time finding the perfect venue.

On the other hand, the choice of venue for big weddings can be quite limiting. You’re going to have to do a lot of research to find a venue that can hold a large number of guests. This may take a long while and you not even end up satisfied with the choices you have. Of course, the wedding venue also depends on the size of the city you’re getting married in. Big cities will usually have more options for both big and small weddings. If you have your heart set on a big wedding but can’t find the right venue in your area, you may consider having a destination wedding.

7. The Cost

One of the biggest differences between big and small weddings is the cost. Small weddings tend to cost a lot less because you don’t need a huge venue and you don’t invite as many guests. This might just be the main reason people opt for small weddings instead of big ones. The matter of the fact is that you usually have to pay catering companies and venues per person, so the fewer people there are, the lower the cost is. This is a good option for people who want to have a simple and elegant wedding, as well as for those who are drawn to more intimate gatherings.

On the other hand, we have big weddings which are by default more expensive. Not only do you pay more because there are more people invited, but you also have to find a bigger venue. As well as that, big weddings are usually more extravagant when it comes to style, which just ends up costing extra. So what do you do when you simply don’t have the funds to afford the big fairytale wedding of your dreams? One option is to apply for low rate wedding loans. This way, you skip the cost of a big wedding, get to pay it at your own pace, and still host the best party of your life.

8. The Guest List

Thinking about the guest list may be the most complicated thing to think about when you’re planning a wedding. You have to figure out who of your family are you going to invite, which of your friends will be there, and if you’re allowing +1’s. On top of that, your family and friends are bound to have suggestions who else should be invited. 

Let’s not forget about your boss and coworkers. You also have to invite a lot of people just so they don’t get insulted someone else was invited over them. Add all of this together and, before you know it, you’re hosting a wedding for 300+ people. When you’re having a big wedding, this is the opposite of the problem. You don’t have to restrict your guest list at all or limit yourself to only close friends.

When it comes to small weddings, you have to be a lot more selective. Not everyone can make it to the guest list nor will they. This puts you in an awkward position of prioritizing your friends and family. As well as that, it can make things awkward when some people find out they haven’t been invited. It’s going to take you a lot longer to figure out the guest list for a small wedding than for a big one due to all of this mentioned above.


As you can see, whether it’s a big or small wedding, it’s still going to be awesome. Weddings take a lot of work but they’re very worth it. When it comes to big and small weddings, the focus where all the hard work goes just shifts. Now that you’ve read the article, you’ll be able to better judge which type of wedding is right for you and where you’re more comfortable to put in the work. We’re confident that you’ll have a truly memorable day whether you choose to have a big or small wedding. What’s important is the love you hold for each other and that you have a good time with your guests.

by StellaR

Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveller, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.

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