The Myths About Planning Small Weddings

When people hear about the fact that we chose to have a small, destination wedding, we get a lot of questions and comments thrown at us. Some are well-meaning and some, well, not so much. There are many myths floating around about small weddings, especially when they are also destination weddings, and I hope I can help clear some of them up.

Myth #1: Small weddings take less involvement.

I’ll admit, when I chose to have the smaller destination wedding, I thought I was saving myself time and energy and that I would be minimally involved in the planning process. I thought I would get to sit back and have interactions here and there and not have to worry about the smaller details. I don’t have to be involved in planning one of the biggest, most expensive days of my life? Jackpot!


Image via giphy


Oh, my lanta, how wrong I was! I knew that I was going to make a lot of the decor myself. I didn’t want it to look completely like a hotel package deal and I wanted my personality to shine through. I just didn’t think about the fact that, while yes I was planning a small wedding, I was still planning a wedding. Makes sense now that I’m reading it. My guests were traveling pretty far and deserved to be rewarded for that.

Myth #2: There aren’t as many details.

I mean, having a small wedding is simple. There are only a handful of people attending, so you don’t have as much to do. A small wedding means you invite a few people and then get it done and over with. I mean, I wasn’t having a reception, so I didn’t have to worry about the tedious details most brides have to.


Again, I am still planning a wedding, I just want the scale to be smaller. A lot of people assumed Mr. SM and I were just going to have a normal dinner after and think we don’t have to think about seating charts, or tables, or decor. In reality, we still wanted it to look like a wedding reception, we were just taking out the party atmosphere of it.

We still picked out tablecloths, napkins, napkin rings, centerpieces, food, the list goes on and on. We get questions about why we aren’t inviting more than a handful of people, since we aren’t having a full reception dinner. In all actuality, it still costs us so much money per plate. Any extra people we decide to add, we have to pay a late fee for. I didn’t mind inviting people once the RSVPs started rolling in and we had declines, but I can’t just add every person we’ve ever come into contact with. I just can’t afford to.

Myth #3: Small weddings take less time to plan.

We get comments about how we shouldn’t take over a year to get married. People will say things about how we should have just done it in six months, since we weren’t having a traditional wedding.


I used to wonder how people could have long engagements. Now I’m wondering if mine was long enough. Just Kidding. Sort of.

Just because we aren’t having a ginormous wedding, doesn’t mean it’s not traditional. We are still having an officiant marry us and we will have a Christian ceremony, it will just be on a beach and not in a church. I just really liked the backdrop of the ocean and sand and thought it would be more relaxing than going into a church. We still have to work with our officiant on how our ceremony will play out. I honestly wish I had a bit more time, because I feel like I’m cramming everything in now.

Myth #4: It’s just like planning a vacation.

Some people think there’s no need to waste money on things like invitations and STDs. If there are only a few people on the guest list, and they already know the details, why do you need to waste the time and energy on those things? There’s no need.


Yes, technically you don’t need to waste money on a small wedding. Technically no one needs it for any type of wedding. I, personally, feel like it was important that I did send out STDs ahead of time. I sent them out right after we got our engagement pictures. I feel like that gave them a heads up, so they could clear their calendars if they were coming.

I sent out invitations, because they had a lot of the information I wasn’t comfortable putting online. We had a code we had to give them to book the hotel for a discount and a deadline to do it. There were also maps and directions and other important info that just wouldn’t be possible for us and our guests to memorize.

Myth #5: Small weddings are rude.

I’ve heard many people mention how rude small weddings were for shunning people who should be invited, or not giving everyone a plus one. Those comments are topped if you’re having a small wedding that’s also a destination wedding. Those are rude, because your guests have to take time off and are forced into a vacation they don’t want to take.


Do what makes you happy. I talked a bit about how I am a people pleaser and how that just doesn’t always work out. I quickly learned that you are always going to be in the wrong to someone. I say, if you want to have a destination wedding and all your guests are on board, go for it. Life is too short to live by a rule book. That’s not to say to go out of your way to be rude, but to not let it be the defining factor.

Even for a “traditional wedding”, people have to take time off work and pay some sort of travel fee. Yeah, they may pay more money for your wedding, but they also usually will take the opportunity to vacation somewhere they might not have otherwise gotten to go to. We got a discount for our hotel and that’s usually the case with any wedding package, so they get a discounted vacation.

Just don’t get your feelings hurt if some people can’t come. It’s not anything against you, nor does it mean you’re rude. They will decline if they can’t or don’t want to make it.

I am so glad that I chose to have the wedding that I wanted and I didn’t change and do a big wedding that I didn’t want. I think big weddings are beautiful and amazing and I seriously admire any of you ladies who can plan their own big wedding. That just isn’t what I wanted for myself. Even if you are planning a small wedding, it can still be just as wonderful as the biggest wedding.

Were there any ridiculous myths you heard while planning your wedding?

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