Traditional wedding vs. Intimate wedding, which one do I choose?

There is no right or wrong answer here, truly it just depends on what you want your day to look like. Of course there are a lot of things to consider going into planning a traditional wedding vs planning an intimate wedding. So we are here to answer some questions you may have.


The First thing we recommend doing is sitting down with your partner and really discussing what your ideal budget is. From there, talk about what you each think the most important part of the budget is, whether that is food, photography, venue, ect. This can seem like a daunting task to some people, but this is the most important part of the whole planning process.

According to Zola the average cost of a wedding in 2023 with 150 guests is about $29,000.
This is an example of what $29,000 budget looks like:

  • Wedding venue: $6,500–$12,000
  • Catering: $6,500–$10,000
  • Band or DJ: $2,000–$7,000
  • Wedding planner: $1,500–$4,750
  • Photographer: $3,500–$6,500
  • Videographer: $3,000–$6,000
  • Flowers: $2,500–$6,000
  • Transportation: $700–$1,200
  • Cake: $600–$900
  • Ceremony music: $500–$800
  • Hair and makeup: $550–$850 

The average cost of catering in the US is about $40.00 a person and most of the time this does not include the bar, the desserts or the rentals. Once you add in those costs it can add up to almost $200.00 per person to attend your wedding day.

Keep in mind the budget and costs listed above are not applicable to every market. We highly recommend sitting down with a planner to get a better gauge of what your budget will look like in your area

On the other hand, choosing to go with an intimate wedding may leave you dealing with vendors with minimum requirements for cost. Most vendors these days do require minimums during the busy wedding season. Why? Because they can book another couple for the same day with a bigger budget. So with a smaller guest count you will have to consider getting creative to meet those minimums. We suggest plated meals instead of buffets, or floral installations that WOW your guests.

Photo: Meraki Photo Co, Installation: Yarrow & Spruce

Quality Time

A huge advantage of having an intimate wedding vs a traditional wedding is the time being spent together and with your closest friends and family. Don’t get us wrong, we love watching 200 people cheer on our couples, but there is something special about watching the couples spend more time chatting with each person at the wedding instead of feeling overwhelmed.

If you decide to go with a larger wedding, be sure to let your planner know what is most important to you on your wedding day. If that means getting some quality time, make sure they add in 15 minutes into the timeline right before dinner for you and your partner to relax. 

No matter what though, this is your day so let your planner take care of the guests for a little while as you enjoy each other’s company because as soon as you return, the attention is back on you.

Brookklyn Photo

Wedding stress and anxiety

Yup, we said it. There is no beating around the bush here. Even if you hire a wedding planner, which we highly recommend, you will still deal with the stress of planning the wedding. It’s just a fact.

Couples who chose to elope or have smaller intimate weddings will deal with the stress of telling some of their friends and family that they cannot attend. While this is never easy, we recommend having another way that those friends and family members can participate. For example, consider doing a live-stream of the ceremony! For a better guide to how to handle navigating telling your loved ones your intimate wedding plans, head to our blog here. 

On the other hand, the couples who plan for the larger weddings have to consider dietary needs of their guests and where to seat people at tables. While this can be hard to deal with we recommend exploring websites with easy to use seating charts like Wedding Wire, All Seated and Wedding Planning Assistant

In summary, it is important to choose what kind of wedding you want to have together. No matter what, this is you and your partner’s day to celebrate the love you have for each other. Take the time to thoroughly consider all of the options and simply enjoy being engaged!

We want to hear your love story and what ways you plan to make your wedding one-of-a-kind. Reach out to us and let’s make magic!

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