How to Choose: Intimate wedding vs. Traditional Wedding

How to Choose: Intimate wedding vs. Traditional Wedding

As you flip through bridal magazines or glance at your best friend's ultra-detailed wedding Pinterest board, you may end up overwhelmed by all of the possibilities as you plan your own wedding. Weddings range from tiny elopements all the way to grand events with hundreds on the guest list--and everything in between. But how do you figure out what kind of wedding is right for you? We'll help you determine if you should have an intimate wedding or a traditional wedding.

1. The Guest List

Sit down with your spouse-to-be and make a list of possible guests. Separate them into must-haves and maybes. If needed, consult both sets of parents to see if you're missing anyone. The biggest thing affecting whether your wedding is intimate or traditional is the size of your lists. 

Have a traditional wedding if... you have large families and tons of friends you want at your wedding.

Have an intimate wedding if... your must-have guest list is short and sweet.

The Loaded Guest List

Gina Zeidler

2. The Budget

There's no getting around it: A traditional wedding can be expensive. NerdWallet lists the average cost of a wedding at just under $34,000 in 2019. With a large venue, food to feed your giant guest list, and the entertainment for the evening, the costs really add up.

Have a traditional wedding if... you have the means to pay for it.

Have an intimate wedding if... if you don't have a big budget or you'd rather earmark the funds for a different purchase (like a house or elaborate honeymoon.)

High Budget Wedding

Carmen & Ingo

3. The Venue

Perhaps you already have a venue in mind. Maybe it's the backyard of your childhood home or the campground where your spouse-to-be proposed. Maybe you want to get married in the same hotel that your parents said their vows or you're eyeing your city's gorgeous cathedral. Because size matters, the choice of venue will have a huge impact on the kind of wedding you'll have.

Have a traditional wedding if... your dream venue has all of the glorious space to fit your guest list.

Have an intimate wedding if... you have a smaller venue in mind or you're going for a destination wedding.

Destination Wedding

Kayleigh Rust

4. The Couple

Ultimately, it all comes down to you. Although you might have family trying to sway what your wedding should be, you're the ones this event is honoring. As you think about the type of wedding you'll have, pick something that fits your style as a couple.

Have a traditional wedding if... you've always dreamed of a classic wedding like you see in the movies.

Have an intimate wedding if... you're a bit more off-beat and want a wedding that's different from the norm.

Non-Traditional Wedding

Hearnes Adventure Photography