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How to Tell Your Parents You Want a Small Wedding

Without causing a tizzy.

reception dinner guests
Photography by: Kate Holstein Photographs

Planning a small wedding can be a tough when you have a large family or parents with a big social group. Most parents assume they'll have a guest list of their own and telling them that you want to keep the wedding intimate can be a nerve wracking task. Here, we walk you through the basics.

 

Unexpected Advantages to Having a Small Wedding

 

Deliver the news gently.

Once you've decided you want to have a small wedding, it's best to break the news to your parents gently. Back up your decision by explaining to your parents that your budget, ideal location, and your personalities prompt a small affair. Whatever your reasoning, you should be candid about it, but understanding of the fact that this news could be a disappointment for them.

 

Be open to their advice, but stand your ground.

If your parents feel strongly that they'd like you to have a large wedding so they can invite all of their extended family, they may offer to put more money into the budget. But this is your wedding, not theirs. If you're feeling pressured to say yes, it's probably not the right thing for you. You might recommend that they host another party they can invite all their friends to, but stick firm to your decision about the wedding size.

 

Be specific about how many guests they can invite.

In order to plan a small wedding, you'll need to be specific about the number of guests each set of parents can invite, whether it's zero or 20. By spelling this information out early on, you can avoid some uncomfortable conversations later when they come to you with a list of fifty people who absolutely "must" be invited.

 

Remember it's your wedding, not theirs.

It's not necessary to say these words out loud to your parents, but every decision you're making about your wedding (size included) is because it's what feels right to you. Whether your parents imagined you'd have a 200-guest bash or a 10-person dinner, they're still going to have a wonderful time celebrating your marriage when it comes to the event itself. And hey, the smaller the wedding, the more likely they are to see your smiling face throughout the whole event.

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