There are so many perks to having a small wedding. Not only does having a fewer number of guests cut down on wedding costs, but it also allows you and your guests to have more intimate social interactions.
Having a small wedding gives you the ability to get really creative with themes and seating charts, allowing you to leave a more personal touch that truly reflects you and your love. You’ll be able to create a relaxing and enjoyable environment for everyone.
If you are considering having a small wedding and are in need of some inspiration, check out these 25 small wedding ideas for the perfect intimate occasion. Once you find the idea that works for you, you’ll be itching to start planning and send out some adorable save the dates.
1. Choose a small, non traditional venue
Not having to fit hundreds of guests under one roof means that you are free to get creative with your venue. Consider getting married where you and your partner first met, like a coffee shop or library. This will make your day even more sentimental and meaningful.
2. City Hall wedding
Avoid the costs of a traditional wedding venue by getting married at City Hall. Be sure to check the maximum number of guests when you are setting your date so you can determine who to invite (and make sure to include your photographer!).
3. Replace formal caterer with food truck
Want to skip the caterer and opt for something a bit more unique? Hire a food truck for your outdoor reception. Consider trucks that serve dishes such as fresh woodfired pizza, falafel, street tacos and even ice cream trucks. Just be sure to attain the proper licenses and legal paperwork from your vendor ahead of time.
4. Destination wedding
Destination weddings are smaller in nature since many guests won’t be able to easily attend a wedding that’s far away. Perhaps you and your honey have a location you’re both dying to travel to. If so, this would be the perfect opportunity to cross it off your bucket lists. Plus you won’t need to go far for your honeymoon.
5. Try a potluck meal
If you plan to invite a small group of family and friends that have some culinary skill, consider a potluck meal for the reception. Ask each guest to bring their specialty dish. This is a great way for guests to get to know one another at your intimate wedding and maybe even swap recipes.
6. Camping celebration
Do you and your partner love the great outdoors? Go on a camping trip with a few family and friends and get married among the trees and tents. Supplement a wedding cake with some yummy s’mores and celebrate around the campfire.
7. Backyard wedding
Having a backyard wedding is a simple way to celebrate you and your partner’s love out of the comfort of your own home. Place tables and chairs under a canopy decorated with string lights and greenery for your guests to eat and socialize. You can even make a dance floor on the lawn with recycled wood pallets.
8. Make welcome gifts or wedding favors
Inviting just a few people frees up your budget to get creative with wedding favors. Treat guests to homemade pastries, preserves or granola or their own mug filled with coffee and tea.
9. Get creative with your seating plan
Fewer seats makes it easier to get creative with your seating arrangement. Play with different shapes or form a spiral aisle to walk down with the officiate in the center.
10. Make invitations more personal
Make your friends and family feel even more appreciated by calling each of them personally to invite them to your special day in addition to sending a formal invite. Try sending guests personalized champagne flutes as a save the date for a creative touch.
11. Plan events around the wedding
Perhaps you’re getting married in an exciting city. Organize some site-seeing to keep everyone entertained. Split guests into teams and compete in a fun scavenger hunt that is tailored to you and your partner’s interests. Have a special prize ready for the team who wins.
12. Create an intimate seating arrangement
Having fewer guests allows for a much more intimate reception where everyone can get to know one another. Choose to have one large circular table so everyone can conversate more easily.
13. Splurge wisely
Having a small wedding frees up your budget to splurge on a few key elements of your wedding. Whether it’s the flowers, the food or the venue, make sure you determine what is most important to you and your partner.
14. Have a brunch wedding
Celebrate your love with the most important meal of the day. Invite your family and friends over for brunch complete with Belgian waffles, mimosas, fresh fruit and muffins.
15. Shrink the bridal party
Having a small bridal party or none at all is very budget friendly and makes it easier to keep everyone organized. If you can’t imagine getting married without your bestie by your side, consider just having a maid of honor and best man for your bridal party.
16. Hire a few musicians or make a playlist
Having a few musicians at your small wedding is much more appropriate for an intimate number of guests. Hire some local talent or compile a reception song playlist of you and your love’s favorite songs and queue them up as you please.
17. Be sure to take group photos
Photographers can easily take group and wedding party photos with smaller weddings. Have guests stand together outside of the venue or ask your photographer to get an aerial shot of you and your guests standing in a heart formation.
18. Explore colored wedding dresses
For a non-traditional approach, opt for your favorite colored dress instead of a white gown. Celebrate your personality by wearing something unique and pairing it with a beautiful flower bouquet.
19. Serve your favorite dessert
Ditch the fancy tiered cake for you and your partner’s favorite dessert. Choose a wedding pie, cupcakes or macaroons. Or show off your baking skills and make your own dessert!
20. Have fun group games
Provide guests with some fun activities that encourage them to socialize. Play giant outdoor jenga, limbo or even break open a pinata.
21. Throw a post-reception after party
Not ready to stop the celebration? Invite some guests over for an after party and some drinks after the reception is over.
22. Get married in the woods
String some lights between the trees, set up a few chairs for friends and family and sprinkle some flower petals down a makeshift aisle. This is a no-hassle way to celebrate an intimate moment with the ones you hold close.
23. Backyard BBQ wedding
Want a more casual reception with some delicious comfort food? Invite friends and family over for a backyard BBQ wedding. Avoid the fuss and enjoy some delicious ribs, pulled pork, corn on the cob and potato salad.
24. Consider getting married on a boat
For a more nautical experience, choose to get married on a boat or a small yacht. Your photographer can get some great photos of the ceremony with the city’s skyline in the background. Guests can opt for a dip in the sea during the reception and you and your partner can make an awesome exit on a jet ski.
Skip the fuss and spend the day with your love. Whether you choose to run away together or make a spur of the moment decision to elope, you have complete freedom to do whatever you want. Elopements allow you to relaxed wedding day that’s focused on you and your spouse.
Not only is a small wedding budget-friendly, but it also gives you the freedom to make this special event branded to be a perfect reflection of you and your partner. After all, marriage is about celebrating the love between you and your significant other with the people you truly care about. Once the big day is over, create a personalized wedding album that you and your spouse will look through for years to come.