How to Decide Between a Big Wedding or a Small, Intimate One

Trying to decide between a big wedding or a small, intimate celebration? Deciding on your wedding size can be hardddd. Do you have a big wedding at a party venue or a small backyard wedding? There are ENDLESS options, seriously!! So keep reading to find out the pros of both big & small weddings, and figure out which one is right for you two!


A big wedding is for you if. . .

1. You’ve got a ton of close family + friends


If you’re super close to a lot of people and care a lot about them being in attendance at your wedding, a bigger wedding might be for you! Maybe you have a huge family that you absolutely adore, and they mean the most to you so you truly want them all to be there.


bride and groom exiting ceremony


Don’t feel pressured to invite *everybody* – only invite a large number of people if they’re the people that care about you most & that will make your day the most special!


bride and groom entering reception


At a bigger wedding, you can have all your friends around you while you get ready, interact with all of your most-loved family members, and see all of your most important people at your reception! (Obviously with bigger weddings right now, be sure to follow COVID guidelines!)

2. You’re a party person


If you’re a party person, a big wedding is probably for you! Maybe you LOVE a good dance floor. People giving toasts in a huge room makes you excited, and you want ALL the hugs from your people. You want to dance the night away with everybody who you love the most + want them to have a blast too!


bride and groom with wedding party

3. You love being celebrated + being in the spotlight


If you both are super extroverted and love being in the spotlight, you’d probably love a big wedding!! What ff you have a lot of guests, alllll of their attention will be on you, which is definitely something you need to love if you choose to invite a lot of people. If you get easily overwhelmed by lots of people trying to talk to you, take photos with you, and give you hugs, a big wedding might not be right for your special day!


father walking bride down the aisle

4. You want to publicly declare your love + commitment


And finally, a big wedding might be for you if you want to publicly declare how much you love + are committed to your person. If you have lots of guests, they’ll be listening to you as you read your vows, exchange rings, and make it official. This will be super fun and special to you if you love big gestures and sharing these big moments with your family + friends!


bride and groom kissing with wedding party

A small, intimate wedding is for you if. . .

1. You’re NOT a fan of being in the spotlight + prefer the intimacy



If you’re more introverted and/or would rather not be around a ton of people on your wedding day, opt instead for a small wedding or an intimate elopement. You won’t be quite as much in the spotlight. You WILL be obviously in the spotlight since it’s your day. However,  you won’t have hundreds of people trying to talk to you and say hi to you after your ceremony. 



It’ll be a lot less overwhelming + will take a lot of social pressure off! And if you’d rather not say your vows in front of a ton of people, a small wedding is perfect for you so that only your very closest loved ones are there to celebrate with you.

2. You want to create a day solely focused around you two + that reflects your true relationship, not just “traditions”



If you don’t really care about traditions & would rather create a day that reflects your true relationship, have a small wedding or elopement! Big weddings are often full of wedding traditions, and smaller weddings typically don’t have that same pressure added onto them.



Create an intimate day that reflects who you two are – your day can be whatever you want it to be!



Roll out of bed, hit the waves for a quick surf, then get married on the beach a few hours later. 

Want to hang at a beach house all day and get married just the two of you at sunset? WHY NOT!!



Want your closets fam/friends to have a weeklong party on vacation with you. Then to top it off with you two getting hitched?! Sure!



Are you the type of couple that’s never home on the weekend because you’re always exploring a new national park? Have your elopement IN a national park!!


Want a normal weekend at the fam’s cabin in the woods with just your closest loved ones, and then get up early for a sunrise ceremony? Seriously, there are SO MANY OPTIONS!!

3. You only care about your closest loved ones being in attendance

If you have a small wedding, you’ll get to talk to everyone there. Instead of being swarmed by a ton of people who want to congratulate you. And those people will only be your closest loved ones!!



And with fewer people, that means you can spend as much or as little time taking photos as you want. Big weddings typically have a longer time set aside for family + wedding party photos, and a small elopement can be way more chill in that respect.

4. You want to elope in complete private



Finally, you can ALWAYS opt for a completely private elopement if you don’t want any guests present at all!! Have your officiant + your photographer and go on an adventure just the two of you, without any family or friends. If that’s what will make your day most special, go for it!!



Now, go ahead and take a look at some of my recent weddings (both big + small) for some inspiration!!



bride and groom embracing



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