Small Simple Weddings Done Right
You have no idea how many blogs and guides are out there giving couples advice about planning small, simple weddings. Trust me, there are a lot!
But these blogs tend to all say the same exact thing, which leaves plenty of brides feeling hopeless. If they arent total copies of one another, many suggestions are so specific it can be tough to apply it to your own wedding.
Small weddings, to us, mean anything from 2 people to 50 people. Our definition of Micro Weddings extends up to 100 guests. In 2020, we worked with a lot of couples to design their Micro or small wedding with half taking place at a venue and the other half happening at a wedding venue.
Even though these weddings were all different from one another, the majority of them were not the main event. Many of our couples had a smaller wedding and plan to have a larger one once things go back to normal.
When you know that your small, simple wedding is not the main event, you arent looking to spend a ton of money, right? In fact, brides typically dont want to wear the same dress, there may be few, if any, members of a wedding party, and decorations are going to be far less elaborate.
So, were showing you great ways to save money and still have a small, simple weddingdone right!
Weekday Weddings Become Mainstream
Hello, Friday and Sunday weddings! It started with venues not being available on Saturday nights due to the backlog of COVID weddings, but now couples are being more flexible and taking interest in Friday or Sunday for their wedding celebration. We love a Thursday night welcome event, a Friday wedding, then a Saturday lunch celebration. Were also seeing a trend where clients are more open to separating their ceremony and receptionfor example, a beautiful afternoon ceremony on a Saturday with a small group of family members and then a lovely Sunday brunch celebration with a larger group of family and friends.Bryan Rafanelli, founder and chief creative officer, Rafanelli Events, New York City, Boston, and Palm Beach, Florida
Do The Catering Yourself Or Hire A Family
While trimming the guest list saves quite a bit on catering, you can save more by finding a low-cost catering option. According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, the average cost per catered plate is $51, so if you have 50 guests, thats $2,550 in meal expenses even with a reduced guest list.
For our own wedding, catering was provided by family and friends, who prepared and served the meal in lieu of a wedding gift. This may work for you if you have someone who is interested in stepping up to that task.
Strategy: Have friends and family cater for you in lieu of a gift Savings: $2,550
If not, try asking a local family-owned restaurant to cater for you. They might be hesitant to cater a large event, but if your guest list is already relatively small, they may be willing to do this and work with you on a less expensive option. If a local family-owned restaurant can cater and save 25% per plate, thats still a nice savings.
Strategy: Ask a locally owned restaurant to cater the meal instead of a wedding catering service Savings: $638
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Giving Your Guests A Welcome Basket Is One Of The Best And Most Thoughtful Small Wedding Ideas
A welcome basket is a nice touch for your wedding guests, and youll have more room in your budget if youre having a small wedding. Some great items to include in your basket are a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers, a small fruit basket, tea or coffee packets.
P.S. Gifts and small wedding ideas are even better when theyre local and reflective!
Add local items from your area, such as honey from the city you live in or a particular fruit jam from where youre getting married.
- Include a few favorite recipes for guests who might want to cook them after they return home.
- Incorporate items that you and your fiancé love or bring influences from your wedding location or planner.
- Include something from a local vendor or some sweet treats.
- Table numbers should be included on the welcome basket, too. Include table names and where people will sit at each table, so guests know which food is theirs without having to ask another guest what its called.
- Have someone from your family or wedding party help you create these welcome baskets.
Plan A Fabulous Las Vegas Small Intimate Wedding
Las Vegas is known for being a place where you can run off to and have the smallest of weddings. It doesnt matter if its just you and your loved one, or if you bring along a small group of family and friends, you can still have a wedding day thats just as sensational as a large-scale wedding. We realize that no matter how big or small your wedding is, it can be a little confusing for some during the planning phase. Because of this, we have gathered helpful information specifically on small intimate Las Vegas weddings, to place you on the right path. Lets dive in so you can start planning your once in a lifetime wedding.
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Small Wedding Ceremony Ideas
Personalize the ceremony with contributions from the guests
Ask your guests to contribute words of wisdom for the bride and groom to be shared by a loved one or the officiant during the ceremony.
Consider a non-traditional wedding space
When you need room for 150+ people, it narrows down your selection of venues. Thats why a small wedding is your chance to think beyond the traditional hall. Restaurants, historic buildings, parks, and private homes are all options you could explore.
Have a wedding parade ceremony celebration
Once youve said I do, all of your friends and family will be waiting in a parade of cars for a contact-free congratulations! You can encourage your guests to make signs and add decorations to their cars. Some people also set up a table for guests to grab a thank you gift as they head home.
Use a circle seating pattern
Instead of side-by-side rows of chairs, arrange your guests in a socially-distanced circle around the bride and groom as they say their vows. Not only will everyone be able to sit comfortably, but theyll have a good view.
Give your guests a reception-in-a-bag
If You Can Get Married In It Its A Wedding Outfit
Maggie Winters Gaudaen, co-founder of Washingtons Pop! Wed Co. and author of Fun Size Weddings: The Simple Guide to Planning a Tiny Wedding Youll Love, says that when it comes to microwedding attire, there are no rules.
There are nudist weddings out there. There are weddings where people spend $15,000 on a beautiful dress. There are weddings where people get married dressed up like their favorite character from a movie, Ms. Gaudaen said. You can get married in anything as long as that is the outfit you feel amazing in.
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Pros Of Small Weddings
- Less Expensive: With fewer guests to seat and feed, smaller weddings are generally less expensive. You can use that extra money in your budget to put towards your honeymoon, to ball out on an elaborate menu, or to save for your future together.
- Only Close Guests: Smaller weddings are more intimate, so you can enjoy face time with all of your guests rather than rushing around to thank distant second cousins for attending. Improve the guest experience by keeping it small!
- Easier to DIY: Its easier to create DIY invitations, decorations, wedding favors, and more when there are fewer guests to account for.
- More Venue Options: Cutting down your guest list means that there are more potential venues for you to get married at.
- Save for the Honeymoon: Smaller weddings are cheaper, so you can put some of that money towards your dream honeymoon! Weddings are all about the bride and groom, so dont forget to give yourselves a nice honeymoon after the wedding day.
The Meal Becomes So Much More
Weve seen a shift with food being more of an experience, rather than just a quick feast before hitting the dance floor. Clients want to heighten their guests dining experience, making everyone feel like they just sat down for a decadent meal at a fabulous restaurant. The hors doeuvres are getting more adventurous, the courses are getting longer, and the level of cuisines complexity keeps getting sexier.Lynn Easton, founder, Easton Events, Charleston and Charlottesville, Virginia
We’re seeing more focus placed on the culinary experience directly related to the couples love story. For example, a bride and groom who met in Hawaii and were unable to have their destination wedding on the Big Island due to the pandemics travel restrictions so they served the traditional Hawaiian Luau menuin a 5-course plated experienceto their intimate guest list of 40 adults.Jillian Smith, one and creative director, OneTouch Events, Atlanta
The emphasis of a customized, unique, and incredible mealno matter how fancy or low keyconnects with a couples desire to celebrate and spend time with their loved ones and ensures each guest feels like they are taken care of.Elizabeth McKellar, owner, The Nouveau Romantics in Texas, California, Vancouver
More Face Time Less Distractions
Have you ever been to a wedding where you barely got any time to speak with the bride and groom and congratulate them? A bigger guestlist means a higher chance of this happening at your wedding. You should be able to share this meaningful day with everyone you invite. This means that you get to spend more time together rather than sharing a few brief words in passing. Many brides have expressed that this was a big problem at their wedding, and that they wish they had had more time to be able to see everyone. Make sure this isnt a problem at your wedding, and cut down your guest list so you can spend quality time with the people who mean the most to you.
Photo Credit: Megan Alvarez
Splurge On Special Details
A small sized wedding helps you save money in various ways, so you may have some extra spending money. Allocate your budget where it matters most, and dont be afraid to splurge on something you love for your wedding day. While a tiny wedding may seem less extravagant, our favorite small wedding ideas involve splurging on your favorite details!
If youre all about flowers, splurge on elaborate, gorgeous floral arrangements. For foodie couples, splurge on an amazing meal for your wedding reception why not serve sushi boats if you only have 25 guests to feed?
Or, hire a food truck to come by for late night snacks after dinner. Food trucks are a popular wedding trend, but theyre often expensive if youre feeding a big crowd. With fewer guests to feed, your food truck wedding can come to life!
If you and your future spouse love ice cream, you could even have an ice cream truck come for a special snack!
An elaborate wedding cake is another cost that some brides cut, but with a smaller guest list you can splurge on a gorgeous wedding cake! The wedding cake can be smaller as well, since there are fewer mouths to feed.
You could also go all out on a live band for entertainment, a photo booth, wedding favors that guests will truly appreciate, or anything else that matters to you. Another idea is to substitute wedding favors for a larger welcome basket with extra thank you gifts for guests!
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Korakia Pensione In Palm Springs California
Weve seen quite a few GWS weddings held at Korakia Pensioneand for good reason! The cool venue in Palm Springs boasts stylish rooms and vignettes with a distinct Moroccan + Mediterranean feel. Dating back to 1924, the restored romantic villa will whisk you away to the Mediterranean Seawhile still remaining in Palm Springs.
photo by Annie Ruby Photography
Looking for a place to get married in Arizona that includes a backdrop with wow-factor? Then The Ice House is the coolest venue for you! As avant-garde as it is historic, the space began operations in 1920 as an icehouse for the food industry! Now, couples can tie the knot within its refined, industrial walls.
If theres one thing you have to know about Dunton Hot Springs, its that its actually a restored ghost town! Not only are the surroundings stunning, but you can rent the entire town for your celebration. Renting the town gives you exclusive use of all that Dunton boasts: the original Dancehall & Saloon, Bathhouse, The Pony Express Yoga Studio, The West Fork Boxing Gym, their very own open air chapel, two spa treatment cabins, and 12 luxury cabinseach unique in size, charm and character from the next. We say YES to that!
Plan Two Events: One Small And One Big
FRED’S PHOTOGRAPHY LLC
If an intimate ceremony is most important to you, create a separate, larger guest list for the receptionâjust inform your guests of the arrangements. If you want the whole event to be intimate, you might choose to have a large, casual reception a month or so after your wedding. Of course, this means paying for another event, but it can be fun to have a bigger crowd gathered in a more relaxed setting. And the best part is you won’t be expected to serve a six-course meal to all your guests at this kind of celebration.
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How Can I Make A Small Wedding Reception Fun
Some wedding couples choose to forgo the traditional reception dance at their small wedding. A few cool small wedding ideas and activities for your wedding reception include the following:
- Board games, like Wheres George?, Guess Who? or Candyland.
- Set up a photo booth with props and fun backdrops. Many venues provide a photobooth, including Mountain House Estate.
- You can display an artsy centerpiece at reception tables as people mingle before dinner is served. Consider a mix of fresh flowers, candles, small succulents , and other items.
- Cupcake tower: stand up a tall, slim stack of cupcakes with thin cardboard circles on the bottom to help keep them standing
- Hire a string quartet, live band, or another kind of small ensemble playing for guests during dinner. If youre bold, host an open mic!
- Allow your guests to wear costumes at the reception for a more laid-back vibe.