Why we include guest limits on some of our elopement packages

You may have noticed that as part of all our packages, we have guest limits according to which package you book. You can view our packages here.

The most common question we receive goes a lil something like this:

“We know that the limit is 20 people but could we possibly add on 3-4 extra people?”

If we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard this…. well, we’d have approximately $30 I reckon.

BUT WAIT – we aren’t judging you!! It’s a totally fair question! In our minds it makes sense to have these limits, so we are taking the time to write this blog post to let you know why we have these limits and whether we are flexible with these guest numbers.

This is a 6 minute read.

Why have guest limits?

Short answer – to protect the intimate vibe of our elopements and maintain the relaxed style of ceremony for both us (the vendors) and the couple alike.

Long answer – here. we. go. 😅

Weddings are different to elopements. Want to know why? Read this.

For all of us, we have our separate wedding businesses (I’ll link these at the bottom of this article). There is a reason that Big Love Elopements has become this beautiful space for intimate elopements separate from our wedding businesses.

After more than 100 elopements together, Jessie and I (Jake) have always protected the relaxed vibes that we create at our elopements. When numbers blow out to 50+ guests, little things creep into the planning and on-the-day experience that add stress. Sometimes it’s just a little stress and it’s fine – but sometimes it’s a big stress and it really f*cks with what we do. Let’s talk about some things that we do that are unique to elopements, specifically our elopements.

  • When possible, we request no chairs/seating. We have found that having guests standing in a relaxed fashion, nice and close to the couple, is a fantastic way to promote the inclusion of guests in this celebration. It feels less like you’re in the spotlight and more like everyone is surrounding you with their smiling faces, cheering you on.
  • We often don’t have ceremony entrances – unless the couple requests it. We love the idea of everyone just being together, greeting each other and then starting once it feels right. If you want to walk down the aisle, then please do so! If it’s important to you, then that’s a great inclusion. If it’s not important to you, we recommend the above.
  • We don’t want you to have 100+ people to quickly hug as you rush to try get to everyone after the ceremony. Some of our favourite moments at elopements happen in the 10-15 minutes after a ceremony. We see lots of genuine cuddles, embraces and happiness just oozing from people. Our couples have time to greet their guests with more than a quick peck-on-the-cheek. This creates a greater sense of intentionality with guest lists, so that only those people that you genuinely want there are invited. We take the awkwardness out of canning your long-lost cousins from the invite list!
  • By keeping guest lists small, it keeps our costs small. We won’t go into this too much, but when everyone can stand in close it means that our celebrants don’t need their microphone/PA kits. It also means our celebrants don’t have to arrive one hour early to ‘direct traffic’ – 15 minutes is plenty. For our photographers, keeping the guest list small allows us to truly focus on the relationships and be more intentional with how many photos we take. This reduces our work in post-production as there’s going to be naturally fewer photos than a wedding.
  • There can be less drama. We have found that our couples that do experience family dramas/issues simply don’t invite those people to their elopement! This reduces their stress, knowing that they don’t need to pretend to be happy to see Uncle David sitting in the back row during the ceremony.

We’ll do anything to protect the experience for our couples. Ain’t no room for stress/disappointment/guilt at our elopements!

Are kids included in the limits?

Yep, except for those three and under. It’s about the number of people there, not the age of them.

How flexible are you with those limits?

Not very flexible, but sometimes flexible, but generally not, but on the odd occasion we are.

Highly unhelpful, right?!

If you have an 8-person limit, but you have 10-people in your immediate family and that’s all you want there, then we can of course oblige.

If you have a 20-person limit, and want to have 45 people come to our 2-hour package, with 8 people in your wedding party (more commonly known as ‘bridal party’), then that really isn’t the vibe that we are known for with those smaller packages, so it would be a no.

We stick to what we are the best in the business at – small-scale celebrations that FEEL incredible with good vibes only.

We can suggest having a ceremony with us in the arvo, and then going to join your larger group of friends/family for dinner or a reception. That way you get the best of both worlds. A nice, intimate ceremony and then a big fun party later. Alternatively, we do have a bigger package. Read on!

Have you read all the above, and still want a big guest list?

If you’d like the big scale celebration of a wedding, and understand everything written above, we do offer a WEEKDAY WEDDING package with celebrant & photographer. We know some of you will read this and know in your mind that you can still maintain those stress-free, intimate vibes with 80 of your mates, so we do offer this package with unlimited guests. We just provide all the facts here for you to make your choice and create your perfect experience 🙂


Want some more info? Get in touch here.

Want to suss out our wedding businesses for weekend celebrations? Check out the list here.