Attending a big wedding with 100s of guests and free drinks with a late night DJ is always fun, but not what I wanted for my wedding or what we wanted as a couple. We just wanted to be married. The registry office was booked 5 days after we got engaged. And then we started inviting people that we wanted: 40 guests, only 12 of which came in the registry. It made the process almost stress free (there are always people who will try to make it about them). We were engaged in the May and married in the August so we didn’t have much time. To add, my hubby was away in Germany the majority of our engagement, he was also posted in Wales and I lived in Dorset so organisation was mostly via text and phone calls. So the less to organise, the less stress when I was unable to contact him or he was busy with work! My amazing family took over a lot of the planning as a gift to us.
As with many weddings people kept trying to make changes and invite extra guests and I stuck to my guns as much as I could to keep the guest list small. Why? I wanted every person there to be someone who loved us as deeply as we loved them, I wanted the people who had a role in our wedding to be friends that we couldn’t cope without who had built us up as a couple, supported us one hundred percent and would continue to be a part of our lives for years to come. I wanted bridesmaids who no matter where we were posted in the future would come and visit without the need of an invitation, my best friend and my little niece. I also wanted bridesmaids to be drama free! And both girls were.
One of the most brilliant things about a smaller wedding? The cost isn’t as high; we had no debt related to our wedding and started our future together without any massive bills. Our rings were pricey but everything else wasn’t. My dress was only £65! (Chi Chi London, see the link below if you’re looking for dresses for any occasion!). My wonderful family decorated the reception venue, a lovely quay side pub. My auntie and mum did an amazing job, we had beautiful hand painted canvases and the garden party theme was delivered beautifully with the tables dressed with pretty picnic-style table cloths and personalised candles. The garden was draped with beautiful bunting. Our flowers were stunning and handmade by my wonderful gran. The colour theme was light blue and was beautifully carried through the day by my family. It was all stunning and I even managed to get some table confetti engraved with our names and wedding date. We kept the fees low and this was great as we were moving into our first home the next day so it was nice to have the money to spend on furniture and home luxuries.
We got married in a registry office and this setting was perfect for us as my husband is not religious and the limited numbers helped me to feel less anxious. I stood up in front of our closest loved ones; it felt intimate and secure, rather than feeling like I was on show. As we had a small room, there was no pressure for music to please everyone or for our guests to not be bored as the service was short and sweet. I picked two songs which held a special place in mine and my husband’s hearts; All You Need is Love (Queen) followed by You’re Still the One (Shania Twain). With only two songs, I didn’t have to worry about playlists or sound systems. I kept one important tradition though: my granddad gave me away.
With only two bridesmaids, my morning was completely stress free. My best friend did my hair and makeup so I didn’t have to worry about anyone else’s timings or travel and she did an amazing job. We strolled down to the registry office with no transport to worry about and had lovely photos on the way. I had very few people to worry about or think about and I loved it! My mum, sister and best friend drank Prosecco, with my little niece on the OJ, and helped each other get ready in relative ease. The only person I worried about was my husband… and the best man kept me updated on their whereabouts which was definitely nice!
We had a BBQ style buffet: my husband is a fussy eater so no posh nosh for us as he wouldn’t enjoy it, but we both love a BBQ. We didn’t have a disco but the whole pub buzzed with chatter and happiness. All our guests said how chilled out and relaxed they felt. No one felt stress or pressure to do anything. No DJ but with a smaller guest list made sense as most of our guests are the pop music type. We splashed some cash on bucks fizz for everyone which was a really great idea because I ended up drinking half of it! We followed up our evening with a stroll down to the pubs along the quay.
There was no mad dash to talk to every guest. All of my married friends have commented how they were rushed off their feet thanking wedding guests on their big day… this wasn’t for me. Our guest list was so small I didn’t worry about it but I did still manage to chat and laugh with everyone at ease and sit with all my guests.
We still smile and talk about how amazing our day was but most importantly our day didn’t become bigger than us. It was true to us and our relationship; relaxed, easy going and full of happiness.