17 Romantic Ideas For Small Weddings
Weddings are usually seen as big events by a majority of people. However, some people prefer smaller-scale weddings with only the closest of friends and relatives in attendance.
The reasons for this option are many, as different people have different opinions. Needless to say, small weddings are also cheaper.
A wedding numbering up to 50 people in attendance is commonly considered a small wedding. The fewer people there are, the more intimate the affair. Some couples simply invite only their parents, the best man and the bridesmaid.
Whichever you choose, there are plenty of ideas on how to make your small wedding perfect.
Tips for a Planning a Small Wedding
Obviously, planning a small wedding is easier than planning a big one simply because fewer attendees eat less and occupy less space than a large array of people. There are, however, a couple of points to be brainstormed, so let’s take a look at them.
Make Sure Your Venue Is Exclusive-Use
There are many wedding venues, but some of them only host big weddings. If you want your wedding to be intimate, you’ll need to start the planning by choosing just the right venue.
Most people dislike the idea of booking a large venue for their small wedding because coziness is all about smaller venues filled with loving people. Narrow down your options by looking for optimal venues based on their guest capacity.
From there, simply go with your preferences. Depending on your location and the time of the year, the options will vary from gardens to bars to small themed indoor venues.
Only Invite Your Personal VIPs
As far as small weddings go, inviting only the people special to you seems like an obvious choice. Still, if you’re aiming for a highly personalized ceremony, you may want to narrow down the list even more.
If you want to include more people later on, there are other ways to do that. E.g., you may invite your friends to your favorite restaurant or pub or go out and party all night long. Each to their own, and there is indeed a perfect choice for every preference.
It is also important to let your invitees know that they shouldn’t bring anyone with them. It may sound harsh, but if you make one exception, it will be unfair to the others.
Ditch the Wedding Party
As mentioned above, there are other ways to include additional people. To stay on budget and maintain intimacy, you may want to skip the wedding party.
However, that isn’t to say you can’t include other friends in other ways. For example, you can invite your friends to attend a virtual ceremony. The practice has been gaining popularity due to the pandemic — Zoom parties are particularly popular.
Disable Social Media Access
Ask your guests to turn off their cells (or even just mute them) so that they can focus on the moment rather than be distracted by notifications. This is only appropriate for small weddings, as you want to create an intimate and cozy atmosphere everyone will partake in.
Ask your guests to leave the work and entertainment at home, at least for the duration of the ceremony. This is, after all, common sense and good manners.
Venue Ideas for Small Weddings
As already noted, you should filter your venue choices by the allowed number of attendees. But, what next?
Look at Non-Traditional Venues
First of all, weddings are usually considered a big affair, meaning that traditional wedding venues stipulate a large wedding will be taking place. This means you have an excellent opportunity to customize your wedding just as you want it.
That goes for the choice of venue, too. Take your time browsing the opportunities or come with one yourself. You can always pick your favorite bar and make arrangements, for example.
Use an Airbnb
You can use Airbnb for additional options. Look up the offer and — who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to find just the perfect spot you didn’t know existed.
Make a Large Venue Feel Intimate
If you’re set on a large venue, make sure to make it intimate. After all, your guests will be occupying only a small spot, so be creative in your wedding planning.
There is really no one-size-fits-all approach here as everyone wants something different for their big day, but think in terms of themed events and the overall atmosphere you’re aiming to create. Everything from invitations to decorations can serve your purpose perfectly if you brainstorm it to the smallest detail.
There are also some tricks to making the venue smaller visually. Some ideas include removing floral installations and ceiling lanterns, using a section of the venue or lowering the ceiling with drapes or similar, installing a table at the center of the venue, using candlelight, etc.
Think of Fun Transportation to Reach the Venue
You can additionally personalize your wedding by adding a unique touch of unusual transportation. Depending on the location of your chosen venues, you can pick different solutions. Have you thought of a carriage or horse riding for an outdoor ceremony in the suburbs?
Of course, these are just some ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Here’s another idea: use your garden. Why not? There’s nothing more personal and cozy than being in a place you feel familiar with, so it may be a good idea to invite your guests to your place (if you have a garden, that is).
Décor Ideas for Small Weddings
When it comes to décor ideas, options are truly limitless. There are numerous approaches to it, too. For example, if you’re aiming for a themed wedding, it shouldn’t be too difficult to add some personal touch.
Much has been said about the choice of colors, especially if you’re staging a wedding around popular holidays. One good example is Halloween, when people often pick oranges and browns for decorations and food alike.
Create a Relaxing Lounge Area
Don’t forget the main aim of all your efforts: you’ll want your wedding to feel cozy, so put in an extra effort to create a unique atmosphere your attendees will enjoy. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with some ideas. After all, these are the closest of your family and friends, so you should be well familiar with their preferences.
Anything can serve to add to the mood: proper choice of music, decorations, plates, dress code (or its lack thereby), etc.
Customize, Customize and Then Customize Some More
Small weddings are all about customization. They are, actually, a perfect opportunity to unleash your creativity while making everyone feel perfect. By contrast, large weddings don’t allow for this opportunity. Numerous guests spell numerous different preferences, so large weddings usually follow some kind of routine.
Small weddings can go fully creative and are all the more enjoyable for that. Remember that this is the chance to make everyone happy — you should enjoy every step of the planning process, and both you and the guests should bask in the final result.
Turn the Attendees Into Décor
Here’s another idea: a dress code. Let’s use Halloween as an example again. Imagine that you’re hosting your wedding around this holiday. You can ask your attendees to comply with a dress code that uses the relevant color palette.
You can go one step further and actually include everyone involved in the ceremony. I.e., you can ask the guests to encircle you as you exchange your vows. Options are limitless; these are but a couple of suggestions.
Food and Drink Ideas for Small Weddings
When it comes to the choice of food small weddings are truly a blessing. Fewer guests mean fewer plates, and fewer plates spell more options. Because smaller weddings are considerably cheaper than big ones, you can even opt for luxurious food.
No matter what you decide, remember to keep your guests’ preferences in mind. There may be people on a different diet, so you can even go so far as to personalize every single dish (think in terms of vegans, vegetarians, etc.).
To make things more personalized, mix in the dishes your significant other and you have enjoyed together. Really, anything goes!
Ask Your Friends to Serve the Food
Here’s another idea: why not appoint chefs among your wedding attendees? No, they shouldn’t be preparing the meals. Rather, they can serve food at their respective tables. Remember that this setting includes only close friends and relatives, so the chefs should actually feel honored.
Unleash Your Imagination With Cocktails
Another benefit of small weddings is that the cocktails get delivered faster. To additionally personalize the ceremony, pick a couple of favorite cocktails so that the barman can get a go-ahead. Consider the attendees’ favorites and customize them with seasonal flavors. Think in terms of apple in autumn and ginger beer twists in summer, but you can really add anything you prefer.
There’s More to a Small Wedding Than a Cake!
More than likely, nobody can imagine a wedding without a wedding cake, but for small weddings, deserts don’t have to stop there. Sweet treats are particularly popular and can be served with coffee and other beverages so that the guests with a sweet tooth don’t have to wait for the ceremony to get relaxed.
Entertainment Ideas for Small Weddings
When it comes to entertainment, options are but limitless. Much depends on your venue of choice, but you can also look at things the other way around: choose a venue that allows for the entertainment of your choice. After all, it’s your wedding, and you shouldn’t feel limited by house rules.
Hire a Live Band
If you and your guests are party-goers or have a particular choice in music, you can hire a live band. As a rule, this is the best choice for small weddings, as a DJ may just ruin the intimate atmosphere you’ve painstakingly built.
The choice of the band is fully customizable. Think about your wedding plans: would you prefer dancing or just have some pleasant background music? Choose a band based on these criteria.
Bring Your Pets!
Unless you’re a tiger trainer, you can include your pet in the ceremony. Can you imagine anything more heartwarming than your dog accompanying the bride down the aisle, or your cat enjoying all the attention (not to mention food)?
Since they’ll be surrounded by a small group of people they’re familiar with, nothing should go wrong.
Group Games, Anyone?
Customize your wedding by adding a touch of personalization and truly including all attendees. Group games are just the perfect way to do exactly that!
If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding ceremony, the choices are limitless. Of course, take your guests’ preferences into consideration, as you’ll want them to enjoy the activities, not to promote forced entertainment. Limbo, piñata, skittles… the list goes on!
As you can see, small weddings are all about personalization and coziness, and what better atmosphere would anyone want for their big day? The whole point of the affair is to enjoy some memorable moments with the closest friends and family, after all.
That’s why you shouldn’t feel bound by any limits. Pick a venue that will allow you to customize everything — from dishes to décor to group games. Or, simply customize your garden and do whatever you feel like doing. Chill out and let your attendees in on the mood!
Still not sure what kind of wedding you want? Get inspired by the thousands of wedding videos on our site and find out what you love!