Small Wedding Ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

UPDATED FOR 2022 and 2023

small wedding ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

10 Small Wedding Ideas

For Your Intimate Day

If the idea of a traditional wedding with 100+ guests makes you nervous, here’s some good news: You don’t have to do it!

Small, intimate weddings are a popular alternative and there’s no end to the benefits; there’s less stress planning your wedding, you only need a fraction of the usual budget, you have more options when it comes to venues and providers and you only have to deal with a handful of guests.

How small does a small wedding need to be? That’s entirely up to you. If you’re planning to elope, your wedding party could be as small as 4 people.

If you want an intimate wedding with your immediate family and closest friends, you’ll probably end up with about 10 to 15 guests.

In truth, any wedding with less than 50 guests will still have that intimate feel you would expect with a small ceremony.

A small wedding doesn’t mean you have to scale down on the details too. The exact opposite is true, making your big day a little smaller will give you the opportunity to enhance some of the details.

small wedding ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

1. Handwritten invitations

A small, intimate wedding needs only a handful of invitations, giving you the prefect opportunity to express your creativity and to make your wedding invitations truly personal and unique.

The classic approach is to make the invitations yourself. You can express your creative side and the invitations will come out exactly as you imagined.

You can take it a step further and design the wedding invitations and their message yourself, then have a calligrapher transcribe them, to give them that extra touch of elegance. There are some truly amazing artists on online marketplaces and who knows, you might even end up with a fresh idea or two!

If you’re only inviting the closest family and friends, you can make your wedding invitations a truly personal experience by writing each one of your guests a personal letter.

small ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

2. Get married in a private villa or an Airbnb rental

When it comes to wedding venues, a small wedding actually means bigger options.

A small list of select guests gives you the opportunity to expand your location options to smaller, more intimate spaces that otherwise wouldn’t fit a traditional wedding.

Explore your options and take a look at boutique hotels, elegant Airbnbs and private villas at stunning locations. Does your family own a vacation place you have fond memories of? If you’re a fan of architecture and design, like us, check Holiday Architecture for some stunning venue ideas.

Make your wedding a weekend affair and have everyone stay at the same location.

Welcome your wedding guests with a small box of goodies and a sweet personal note. Include any essentials they might need for your weekend or destination wedding.

3. Goodie bags for your guests

Small Wedding Ideas

4. Splurge on a sit-down meal

If you only have a handful of guests attending your wedding dinner, think about upgrading to a sit-down dinner or adding a gourmet twist to your catered meal. A small wedding will enable you to explore culinary options that a larger wedding with 100+ guests could never accommodate.

Small Wedding Ideas

5. Plan a relaxed meal at a long dining table

Make your wedding dinner feel like a cozy family affair by switching the table layout.

Instead of the usual round table set-up, go with a long rectangle table. With your wedding guests seated on both sides of the table, the meal will have a more intimate, homely feel.

Small Wedding Ideas

6. Make it a weekday wedding

There are quite a few benefits to a weekday wedding. First, you will have a lot more options when it comes to venues and providers – all those places and providers that are fully booked on weekends are usually wide open during the week.

Second, you’re guaranteed to save a little – venues and some providers can have lower rates when it comes to weekday weddings.

And third, planning a weekday wedding with only a handful of guests is a blessing; you’ll find it much easier to find a date when everybody can make it.

Small Wedding Ideas

7. A sunset wedding ceremony

A small wedding party is usually more flexible and you can afford to bend the usual wedding timelines. Have your wedding ceremony performed to a backdrop of a picturesque sunset or do an evening ceremony by the soft glow of candlelight swaying in a gentle breeze.

Are you a morning person? Do the complete opposite and have a sunrise ceremony instead!

Small Wedding Ideas

8. Play with the seating arrangements

Traditional row seating on two sides of the aisle already offers a lot of options, but with a smaller number of wedding guests, you can even play around with that. And we mean that literally! Arrange the chairs in a semicircle or even a circle with you two in the middle.

If you’re having a short outdoor wedding ceremony, consider getting rid of the chairs altogether, but do provide some alternative for any older or special-needs guests you invite.

small wedding ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

9. Say "Yes" to a colorful dress

A traditional white wedding dress is something special, but if you’re just not feeling it, trust your instincts. Switch to something colorful or bold or go with a pantsuit.

Have an outfit change (or two!) after the ceremony and go from formal to casual or just mix it up a little with an accessory or two.

small wedding ideas

Small Wedding Ideas

10. Skip the speech

With a small wedding party, you can scale down the traditional wedding speeches and have everyone say a thing or two to make your wedding day memorable.

Or add your own little twist to the speeches – go around the table as newlyweds and thank each one of your guests for sharing your special day with you.

We hope this tips will make your planning a bit easier.

and will prepare you for some common last-minute challenges you can face.


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WE PURSUE STORIES, NO MATTER WHERE THEY HAPPEN - an old chateau, top of the mountain OR the privacy of YOUR own HOME.