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How To Have A Small Wedding

Having A Small Wedding Ceremony And Larger Reception Joy Can Help

How to plan a small wedding by yourself| My tips & advices

Does the thought of drafting separate guest lists for your ceremony and reception fill you with dread? Planning your wedding schedule and guest lists can seem like an almost impossible task. This is especially true when you combine it with other important items on your wedding To-Do list.

Thankfully, you can organize your multiple events by creating a wedding website with Joy. This will simplify your planning and limit the chances of causing drama that could result in hurt feelings. Joys intuitive interface can help you realize the wedding of your dreams while making your planning straightforward, manageable, and fun. Read on to discover how Joy works its magic.

Micro Wedding Ideas For Spring

25. Tie bunches of dried lavender to ceremony chairs with sides facing the aisle way for fragrant ceremony decor.

26. Consider an Easter egg hunt for children and adults as part of your reception activities if you plan to host an afternoon reception.

27. Serve individual berry pies in mini mason jars.

How To Plan A Small Wedding: 35 Small Wedding Ideas

Just because you’ve cut down on numbers doesn’t mean you need to have any less of a celebration! Here’s how to throw an epic small wedding for a handful of your loved ones

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Not everyone wants the big, white wedding or has the option to have one. Instead smaller weddings are growing in popularity as people choose to surround themselves with just their closest loved ones. With a more intimate guest list, you can focus on creating a personal and unforgettable experience for you and your guests.

Typically a very small wedding of less than 20 guests is called a micro wedding, while a small wedding is considered as having between 30 and 60 guests. However, its really up to each couple what they consider small.

You’ll find that adopting even a few of these small wedding ideas will create an unforgettable atmosphere. From ways to make a large venue seem cosier to family-style meals, creative seating, handwritten notes for each guest and intimate after party ideas, your day will be just as joyful, romantic and fun.

If you’re still deciding whether to have a small wedding, there’s plenty of reasons they’re amazing:

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Have A Destination Wedding


We did say think outside the box so what about outside the country? Just a few friends and family is perfect to elope aboard . Destination weddings are often less expensive than UK weddings so youll have more budget to splash out on activities or paying for some meals/accommodation for your guests during their stay. Plus youre then already in a bucket list destination to begin your honeymoon!

You could rent a large villa or the whole of a small hotel in a picturesque location in Spain, France or Greece. Alternatively, go further afield to a boutique guest house or luxe hotel on a Caribbean or Indian Ocean island and have a small wedding in paradise.

What Is The Best Time To Hold A Small Wedding

Average Cost of a Small Wedding in 2021

The best time to hold a small wedding is right after the big one. Youve been through all the planning, budgeting, and stress of the big day.

Now you just want to enjoy your special day without any added pressure.

When youre ready to get hitched, consider holding your ceremony at a local park or outdoors location. That way, you wont have to worry about finding an indoor place to host your reception.

Read Also: How To Make A Wedding Spreadsheet

Consider A Social Media Ban

An unplugged wedding is one where guests are asked to put their phones away and focus on living in the moment. Privacy is often a big consideration in having a small wedding, so it can be a good idea to ask guests to refrain from putting their photos on social media or even taking them at all if youve got a photographer.

Eastern Townships Wedding Venues

  • Manoir Hovey – on my Canadian Wedding Bucket List, having stayed here as a guest, this manor located in North Hatley, Quebec is the stuff of where former Presidents have stayed. Really exquisite and refined.

  • Beatnik Hotel – a contemporary hotel for modern couples, looking to add a slice of barn fun to their wedding day. This is a beautiful spot with a lot of potential.

  • Vignoble de la Bauge – great old barn situated in a vineyard, plenty of room for fresh air and great photographs, as well as adding your own personality to the decor.

  • LOrpailleur Vineyard – more contemporary in its decor from traditional vineyards, this wedding spot looks ripe for modern couples looking to get married among the grapevines.

  • Haltes les Pelerins – oh my goodness, a tent wedding in the middle of the vineyard is a perfect pandemic solution for those larger wedding dreams.

  • Domaine de Ridge – the last of my vineyards, this one needs to tent in case of rain youll have to check out this venue for yourself its the perfect mix of modern rustic ambience.

  • Escapades Memphramagog – want to get married ON WATER? Check out this luxury cruise on Lake Memphramagog outdoors, scenic, and very memorable.

Are you planning a wedding in a spot like this? I would love to talk to you! I have packages designed for smaller weddings take a moment to fill in your details here and lets chat!

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Research Local Marriage Requirements

If you like the idea of jet-setting to a different country, youll need to research local marriage requirements, or the process of steps you need to take for your marriage to be legal in another country. For example, many countries have whats called a residency requirement, which requires you to stay in the country for a certain length of time before you can get married. For many locations this is only a few days, but for others it can be significantly longer. Most notable is France, which asks you to arrive at least 30 days prior to applying for a marriage certificate. If your budget or schedule doesnt allow for extra time spent abroad, consider getting legally married in your country beforehand. In either case, youll want to have all required documents prepared. This, too, differs by country, but often includes your passport, birth certificate, any change of name documents, and your marriage license.

Intimate Ceremony Large Reception


If you love the idea of a small wedding ceremony but a large reception, you can have it both ways! Plenty of couples opt for an intimate ceremony with only their nearest and dearest, and then celebrate at a big reception.

Make sure that it is clear to guests that they are only invited to the reception and not the ceremony if you take this route. Give your ceremony an intimate feel with only family present, or just a few close friends to hear your vows.

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Tips On Planning A Small Wedding

Planning a small wedding is definitely easier and much less stressful than a big wedding. A destination wedding with your closest family and friends is not just the ultimate trend. It is also highly recommended to enjoy a wedding, a honeymoon and a holiday at the same time.

Most of the couples who decided to have an intimate wedding have a very clear vision. The drive of cutting the guests list is not dictated by the number of seats. Instead, the idea is to share the day with the most important people in their life. Enjoy every little meaningful moment and have fun! From that vision to booking a destination wedding and sending out Save The Date notice is a very small step.

  • Pick a dateDespite big wedding planning, micro weddings allow couples to pick a date without a massive advance. Its almost like turning a wedding into an elopement with few guests. Short notice is absolutely doable, and you can definitely consider it. Keep in mind, your guests are the most important people in your life, and they will quickly respond with yes to travel with you to your destination wedding.
  • Set a budgetDo you want a full house with a basic wedding experience? Or a few numbers of people enjoying only the best you can offer? Decide on this and create a budget to suit.Tip: Determine the number of guests by the amount youre willing to spend and not the other way round.
  • Sara Bartolini, wedding planner and coordinator for SposiamoVi

    Eat Your Favourite Things


    Most caterers will be happy to create something bespoke for an intimate dinner so plan out with your partner exactly what you both love eating the most. Dont be afraid to do something that might not even be very wedding-y: if you love a takeaway-style curry, ask for one of those if your favourite dessert is an apple crumble, dont hesitate to ask for big dishes of it with pots of custard that you can serve yourself from at the table.

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    How To Pull Off A Small Intimate Wedding Ceremony

    Your wedding day is a day that you have looked forward to for years. A day to celebrate and begin your new journey with your mate. Weddings are an occasion that come along with great celebration, family and friends and a large price tag!

    Small weddings are not the most favored, but they are the most cost efficient choice. Expect to have mixed emotions from family and friends when you share the news. They’re excited about your special day too. Listen to their opinions, but since you chose to have a small wedding, stick to your guns and explain to them that on a later date you will hold an informal reception to include everyone who isn’t invited to the ceremony.

    Step 1

    Make a budget. No wedding planner needed! Do some research on the web and around your community for local florists, caterers, and bakeries.

    Once you have an attainable budget you can start planning and purchasing your wedding necessities.

    Step 2

    Chose your location. Smaller weddings give you more options when it comes to finding a wedding location, look for local halls, churches, wineries, beaches, parks or private gardens. Depending on how small your guest list is, you can hold the ceremony at your home or a family member’s home.

    Destination weddings are a great option when you have a small guest list too. It costs more. However, you can ask your family to pitch in to help cover the traveling costs instead of gifts. After all, they will be coming along on the trip too!

    Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7

    Be Thoughtful With Activities

    How to Have a Small and Intimate Wedding

    As youre determining the details and activities, decide what is important to you and your partner and skip the things that dont matter. Many couples opt to forgo some of the traditional dancing at a small wedding, says Nick and Aleah Valley. Know your crowd and replace it with an activity everyone will enjoy, or keep it in the timeline if your loved ones love to dance.

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    What Is An Intimate Wedding

    Is it a big elopement, or a small wedding? Well, its both!

    Google intimate wedding and youll see a variety of results, with all different limits on group size, and really conflicting information. Weve heard plenty of people refer to 80-person events as intimate weddings, and thats not exactly what we do here. It really depends on what you consider a big wedding, but an intimate wedding is essentially just a wedding with a very small guest count. At Adventure Instead we consider marriage celebrations with 10-25 guests to be intimate.

    There really is no official number that takes a celebration from being an elopement to being a wedding. However, we think what is more important than the guest count is the intention behind the experience traditional weddings are often stressful events with less focus on the couple and more focus on the party. An intimate wedding can have all the best things about an elopement while still inviting guests celebrations focused on the couple, their vision for the day, and without the structured traditions associated with big weddings. Of course, an intimate wedding can also feel just like a big, traditional wedding with fewer people, but thats not usually what the couples we work with are looking for. Even our couples who bring guests are looking for an authentic, true-to-them marriage experience that is uniquely personalized to their dreams.

    You Surround Yourself With People Who Love You And Know You

    Weddings are so personal. Theyre about love, vulnerability and heartfelt promises. Theyre about new chapters and old memories with a ton of tears and laughter thrown in. Do you really want to experience all that with your dads golf buddy? Some brides are surprised how weird it felt to be the center of attention for hours on end. Keeping it intimate allows for much rawer emotion!

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    Make Sure Your Venue Is Exclusive

    This isnt a deal-breaker for everyone, for lots of couples dont want to share their wedding venue with another couple or even the general public. If its important to you, ensure you have exclusive-use whatever the size of your guest list. Itll feel more private and its lots of fun to have an entire venue, house or restaurant to yourself.

    We’ve got some great ideas for venues that host micro weddings if you decide to embrace the guest limit fully. These venues specialise in only holding very small weddings so they’ll know exactly how to make the most of your guest list.

    Small Wedding Ideas For An Intimate Affair

    HOW TO PLAN A SMALL INTIMATE WEDDING – 6 Things You Must Consider

    Overwhelmed by the thought of gathering 200 of your nearest and dearest together for your wedding day? Eloping may have crossed your mind, but thats not the only way to avoid the crowd. Instead, have all the fixings of a wedding, but on a much smaller scale. Were talking 10 guests, 20 max , and all of the things that will make your wedding feel like, you know, your wedding: invitations, dinner, a white dress, cake, and any other detail important to two of you.

    Shrinking the event down to a cozy, intimate size guarantees youll love where your money goes, and it creates the opportunity for great memories with every single guest. But theres more to it than decreasing your guest list. There are planning changes to make, details to consider, and a proportionally larger budget to work with.

    Ahead, we’ve rounded up 30 wedding planner-approved small wedding ideas to consider for your big day.

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