In my business, the business of gay weddings, I don't see too many of the 400 person (straight) weddings planned by many of my colleagues. In my business, we plan a lot of small weddings. Last year alone we planned 25 weddings with fewer than 50 guests, but our average size is in the 75-100 guest range.
There are a bunch of reasons for this, but the most obvious is that gay marriage is not legal most places in the world, so for many same-sex couples seeking a wedding, they have to travel for it. And most of the time, the guest list is below 50 people traveling for the gay destination wedding. I love hearing the stories that start with, "We were going to come here, just the two of us, and then people were getting mad they weren't invited so we ended up with 50 people!"
Isn't that sweet...those guests so eager to travel to show support of their LGBT friends. I love when that happens because a) the money supports the economy of a state where gay marriage is, in fact, legal; and b) by traveling so far to one of the 6 states (plus D.C.) where legal marriage is an option, it shows the true meaning of the legal ceremony.
Many times guests travel 3000 miles because there's not an exciting legal wedding option much closer (sorry Iowa!) It proves to the guests the length the couple has to go through to get married. And it proves to the couple who their true friends and family really are.
Another big reason that same-sex weddings are smaller is because the couple often pays for the wedding themselves. This means that the couple can truly handpick their guests and avoid strangers and acquaintances at their wedding - people such as parents' neighbors, co-workers and old family friends, invited out of obligation. The question, "who ARE these people?" seldom arises at gay weddings!
These small weddings are so beautifully intimate. We do many of the same details that are seen in big weddings but in a cozier package. We can have receptions in smaller, edgier, more boutique spaces like galleries. Our venue options are greater when we consider buyouts of the coolest restaurants in town. Guests are not ignored. Receiving lines aren't necessary.
And with smaller weddings, the wedding weekend turns into three days of parties that everyone is invited to. How cool is that?! If the guests don't know each other before the weekend begins, they are BFFs by the end of it all, bonded together by booze...and tears of joy for the happy couple.
Don't get me wrong! I love the big weddings too -- the more people that go to gay weddings, the more the world changes so bring on the big weddings! But there is something really cool about the little ones. I hope you get invited to one soon.