For some, sharing your wedding day with people you don’t know well (or possibly have never met) isn’t a big deal, but for others, it’s a total deal-breaker. Remember that it’s your wedding and it’s totally cool if you don’t want a random plus one you’ve never met watching you walk down the aisle. Millennials are doing weddings differently, so feel free to break away from the big wedding mold.

There are so many benefits, like sending out fewer wedding invites and your day feeling super personal. Cut back the guest list and you’ll get to spend real time with the people who matter most to you. Chances are they will share some gems about past family weddings, marriage advice and sweet stories about your spouse that you would never get the opportunity to hear on your wedding day with a mile-long guest list. Scroll down to see why small weddings are actually pretty awesome.

Rear view shot of a father making a toast at a wedding reception

1. Maximize your time with loved ones. Fewer guests mean more one-on-one time with your loved ones. If you invite 150 people to your five-hour wedding, you’re looking at spending no more than two minutes with each guest, since you’ll likely spend the entire night greeting people. Once you take into account formal photos, cake cutting, dancing and dining, you’re looking at a whole lot less face time with the people you love. Chances are some (or many) of your guests will be traveling long distances to get to be with you on your wedding day + spending a lot of dough to do so. Not to mention these are the people you love most in the world, so going small ensures you actually get to spend some real time with them on your wedding day.

2. Say “yes” more often. Since you won’t be multiplying the per-person cost by as many people, you can spend less time cutting corners and more time making decisions that truly reflect what you want. So many aspects of the wedding rely on the number of guests — way more than you realize when you first start planning — which definitely add up! Besides the food and alcohol, there’s furniture and place setting rentals (if your venue doesn’t provide them), centerpieces, a larger cake, bigger venue and the list just goes on and on.

3. Increase your venue options. A lot of venues have capacity limits, which can be a major bummer if you have your heart set on a particular locale. If your dream venue has a guest limit, consider it a blessing in disguise. Have you always dreamed of saying “I do” in the small chapel your parents were wed? Dreaming of an intimate dinner at your favorite restaurant? The options multiply when your guest list decreases.

4. Not an extrovert? If being the center of attention leaves you less than thrilled, cut the invitation list to keep yourself calm. At this point in life, you and your fiancé know yourselves and what you’re comfortable with. If saying your vows in front of 100+ people makes either of you squirm, and the idea of having a serious audience for your first dance causes your heart to race (not in a good way), then keeping the guest list small is the perfect way to make sure you really enjoy the most intimate moments of your day.

5. Get personal. Smaller weddings enable you to add some seriously sentimental touches. With fewer people to DIY for, you can incorporate more personalized details for your guests to let them know how grateful you are to share this special day with them. Those DIYs demand a lot of work when there’s a larger guest list — like handwritten notes to all of your guests, creating personalized favors and gifting Pinterest-worthy welcome bags.

6. Keep your day relaxed. Fewer people means less pressure, so you can chill and feel more comfortable amongst only your closest friends + family. Even if every guest at your big wedding is laid back, when you put that many people together the stress just adds up. Figuring out accommodations, hosting pre-wedding events and coordinating transportation to and from the wedding becomes that much more work when you have a ton of guests.

7. Avoid the family drama. You may be surprised at how many friends and extended family your parents want to invite once you ask for their list. Plus certain groups of guests sort of come as a package: You can’t only invite your parents’ cousins you talk to regularly, even if you’ve never had a real conversation (or even met) with half of the other ones. To prevent the guest list from taking on a life of its own, cap the number and you’ll avoid dealing with those difficult conversations from the start.

8. Have your dream destination wedding. Inviting hundreds of people to join you in Paris might seem a little presumptuous, but including your nearest and dearest on a trip to your dream locale may be a little more realistic. It’s your wedding, so do it the way you really want to! If that means heading to a French chateau or a Balinese island with your closest family and friends, then by all means do it. While extended family and friends may not feel comfortable taking vacation days and spending major dough to travel overseas for your nuptials, your parents and best friends might be more than thrilled to do it!

9. Make it memorable. People remember a smaller wedding because it’s definitely not the norm these days. Let’s be honest, we all want people to walk away from our wedding thinking it was unique and unlike the seven previous weddings they went to this year. An intimate wedding will definitely stand out, since the guests will feel like they really got to spend time with you + get to know the other guests.

10. Make it ultra-luxe. Not all small weddings are budget-induced! A smaller wedding on a bigger budget means saying YES to any lavish detail you choose to include. Whether you’ve always dreamed about an overflowing floral arch, hand-monogrammed napkins, a couture gown or going on a totally decadent honeymoon, a smaller guest list can allow you to have the wedding of your dreams. Of course, compromising on flowers to include more people you love can be a no-brainer, but wedding planning can start to be a bummer when you have to compromise what you want for every aspect of the day due to the size of the guest list.

Are you planning a small wedding? Follow us on Pinterest for more intimate wedding inspo.

(Photo via Getty)