The Goldilocks Wedding

If you remember the childhood story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, she had to find the bed that wasn’t too soft or too hard, but just right, and the porridge that wasn’t too hot or too cold, but just right, and the same can be said for weddings. How do you figure out the Goldilocks wedding for you!

I’ve been hearing the term ‘micro-wedding’ lately and started using it because it’s a way to distinguish between a small wedding, which could include 40, 50 or even 75 guests, and an even smaller one with, let’s say, 10 or 20 guests, give or take. Another term I hear is ‘intimate’ wedding, although that doesn’t necessarily always coordinate to the number of guests. I don’t think size is the only element that makes a wedding intimate.

It’s important that couples have the wedding they want to have – the wedding that expresses who they are, and without undue stress, not to mention the wedding they can afford.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a big, beautiful wedding, and I officiate them often. I enjoy getting dressed up, sharing the couple’s story with so many guests! A big wedding is often a dream come true.  You may have a big family or even two big families coming together. A large wedding, meaning well over 100 guests – and I’ve officiated some that have as many as 200 or 250 or more –  is full of pomp-and-circumstance – lots of traditions. It can fit your style and doesn’t necessarily have to be formal when it’s a big crowd. Maybe you just enjoy a party, and great, big party! Many people find a larger wedding very glamorous.

The average size guest list today is 150. When planning your numbers, whatever size, remember between 10 and 20% will not be able to attend.

I just spoke with someone who told me about his daughter’s big beautiful wedding. They chose to do cocktail stations instead of a sit-down meal, so everyone could mix and mingle. I love this idea. It is sometimes uncomfortable to be placed at a table with people you don’t know or with whom you can’t seem to connect. The story continued with how they, the parents, had high school friends, college friends, relatives, and the couple themselves had the same – friends and family from far and wide – all connecting and catching up, and it was fantastic.  A big wedding is one of those rare opportunities to check in with all kinds of people who live far away or with whom you may have lost touch but still hold a place in your heart.

And that is exactly how guest lists get so large, and it can be very difficult to cut that back. That is why some couples choose notthe middle ground, of maybe 50 or 75 people, but to keep it extremely tiny, or micro. If you can’t go huge, go tiny! A wedding with very few guests might include parents and siblings only, or just a few friends – the micro-wedding – solves the ‘who to cut’ problem. Anther choice for couples with children is to just have the kids be a part of the nuptials – and that’s it!

And then there is elopement – the ultimate in not dealing with who to invite and who not to invite. There are so many good reasons to elope and I’ve written about it before, but just briefly those reasons include: avoiding stress, personal style, financial choices, intimacy and expediency. But in today’s article, it’s definitely about who to invite and who note to invite.

Whatever you decide for your wedding I hope you find the perfect Goldilocks size that is ‘just right!’



thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the awesome photography!

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