How to Decide Between a Big or Small Wedding

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Looking for a NYC Yacht Charter for your upcoming wedding day? As of 2016, the statistics on weddings changed significantly. While the average number of guests at weddings dropped, the actual spending on weddings increased! Couples today invite an average of 141 guests, spending a whopping $35,329. That’s the national average. In NYC, that number skyrockets to $78,464.

What is a ‘big’ or ‘small’ wedding? People vary a bit on their opinions. For example, most people would say that anything over 150 guests is a big wedding, while others insist that a big wedding means 400+ guests. Yachts for All Seasons can accommodate wedding parties from two to 1,200 guests, but many NYC wedding venues can’t accommodate more than 100 or 200 guests.

For the purposes of our discussion, we’re going to call a small wedding one with 100 or fewer guests. A wedding with 150 or more guests, we’ll say is a big one. Polling of been-there-done-that brides reveals that there are several advantages to both small and large weddings. Let’s take a look at the pros of each option:

Pros of a Small Wedding (100 or fewer)

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1. You’ll get to spend more time with each guest. Depending on your specific plans, the average wedding with a sit-down-dinner reception lasts about four hours, beginning to end, which is about the same time a wedding cruise lasts on a NYC charter yacht. If you divide the reception time (2 hours max, after the ceremony, photography, etc.) between a guest list of 500 people, that barely leaves time to say hello to each one. However, if you divide that same time by a guest list of 50 or 75 folks, there’s plenty of time for chatting and dancing and more.
2. You’ll be able to spend more money to spend on each guest. Of course, you can keep the overall budget lower with a smaller guest list, but you can also budget your spending better. Just like with your time, less means more. Say your budget is $20,000. If you have 500 guests, that’s just $40 per guest. If you divide that same $20,000 on a guest list of just 50, that’s $400 to spend on each guest! Obviously, that’s way overkill. But it serves to illustrate how a smaller wedding allows you to be able to deliver a better experience to each guest in the form of dinner, drinks, entertainment, guest gift baggies, etc.

3. You’ll have more flexibility when it comes to choosing NYC wedding venues. Most of the wedding venues in and around NYC (hotels, ballrooms, etc.) can accommodate up to 200-300 guests. Conversely, it isn’t worth paying thousands of dollars to rent one of the larger venues for a smaller wedding. Keeping the guest list down gives you many more options in choosing your venue. For example, you can rent a NYC wedding charter yacht for a party of two up to 1,200. But most of the yachts accommodate only 200-300. You’ll have a much better selection with a smaller wedding party.

4. The wedding planning is much simpler with a smaller guest list. Each person you add also adds to the planning and costs of meals, drinks, place settings, table decorations, floral arrangements — you name it. Keeping the wedding small simplifies the planning process. Plus, if you choose an entertainment option like a live band, comedian, magician, or casino games, you’ll still have time to visit with each of your guests and still enjoy the show.

5. Choosing a menu is less complicated with a smaller guest list. When planning a wedding dinner menu, you have to consider a host of issues, such as who likes white meat versus red meat or white wine versus red wine, who’s allergic to what, who’s vegan or vegetarian, who has religious eating restrictions, etc. Smaller guest lists usually come with less issues related to selecting the perfect wedding dinner menu.

6. Everybody at a smaller wedding probably already knows one another. There’s a reason we refer to small weddings as ‘intimate’. Small parties tend to know each other, or at least know of each other, so your wedding is a true celebration of love, not just a meet and greet among the various acquaintances of the bride and groom.

Pros of a Big Wedding (100 or more)

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1. No one gets left off the guest list. Sometimes, hurt feelings result from being left off the invitations list. When the bride and groom both have large families and/or large groups of friends (like frat brothers, sorority sisters, church friends, fellow club members, etc.), it’s more diplomatic to have a large wedding so that no one feels left out.

2. Big weddings provide more of a party atmosphere. Do you like to party? With a big group, there’s never a lull in the conversation. There’s constantly something going on — dancing, joking, meeting new people, getting reacquainted with old pals from the past … It makes for a lively atmosphere, not to mention infinite photo opportunities!

3. A big wedding is a great opportunity to introduce all your extended family and friends. Not all couples know all of their partners’ extended family and friends before the Big Day. A large wedding is a great way to introduce your groom to your stepsister’s cousin or your best friends’ parents.

4. Big weddings (low-cost) are associated with a lower rate of divorce. At least one study has correlated larger weddings with lower divorce rates, so long as the bill isn’t too big. There are other factors, of course, such as the fact that couples who have big weddings also tend to have a large network of supportive people in their lives. But the facts are the facts, so if you like those odds, go big.

5. Big weddings are ideal for couples with family and friends spread out over large distances. Many NYC couples come from somewhere else. They’ve got relatives in Kansas, friends from California, folks who have retired to Florida … Your wedding is the perfect time to engage people who are important to you that aren’t necessarily around every day.

6. Big weddings are perfect for couples who love to plan grand parties. Some people live by the motto ‘The more the merrier.’ For extroverts who are simply happier surrounded by large crowds, big weddings are the perfect opportunity to showcase your party planning skills. Not into party planning? That’s okay, because Yachts for All Seasons has a team of experienced wedding planning professionals who can guide you into the huge wedding of your dreams without too much fuss on your part.

Are you ready to select your NYC wedding charter yacht? We have more than 40 vessels to choose from, whether you want an intimate affair with just a couple of your closest friends or an enormous party with 1,000 or more. Contact the wedding specialists at Yachts for All Seasons to get started planning today!

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