Choosing to plan a small wedding can open up many unique possibilities. A small wedding may mean fewer attendants, a smaller guest list, or a destination wedding. For whatever reason you are choosing a small intimate wedding, your budget will go further, there will be less anxiety over the planning of your wedding, and the wedding ceremony and reception can provide a way to personalize your wedding, making it uniquely yours.
Decide what you and your fiancée want to spend on your wedding. With that dollar amount in mind, both of you should make a guest list. Include family and your closest friends. Depending on your budget, you can then begin adding to or deleting from the list. According to the website Ideas for Small Weddings, “A short guest list means that you and your new spouse can spend time actually talking to the people who have come to help you celebrate one of the most important days of your life.”
Choose a venue for your creative small wedding ceremony and reception. Think about your personalities or activities you both enjoy. This may lead you to choose a small chapel, a bed-and-breakfast, a winery, a beach venue or a specific destination wedding. The place you met or your own backyard may complement an intimate setting. Choosing a venue that is meaningful to you will help make your small wedding unique.
Talk about who you would like to have as your attendants. Think outside the box; for example, if the bride has a brother, ask him to stand up for you. Have the friends and family members stand around the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony instead of having specific attendants.
Create a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere with flowers from your own garden or with silk flowers. Make your own table decorations, which will help you to stay within your budget and yet have a festive and colorful wedding ceremony and reception.
Consider nontraditional procedures for the ceremony. Greet your guests as they arrive and usher them out after the ceremony. Ask each guest to say something about you and your new spouse, or say what each guest means to you, along with vowing your love for each other.
Take advantage of fewer guests by having a trolley or carriage transport them to the reception. The reception can be held in a smaller location, such as the back room of your favorite restaurant, and you can hire a violinist or string quartet for music. You can lavish your guests with a full dinner or a small buffet with personalized wedding favors.
Attach charms to breakaway parts of the bride's bouquet. When the bouquet is thrown, each female guest can receive part of the bouquet along with a charm keepsake of the small wedding. This breakaway idea can also be used for the table centerpieces. Place several small potted plants together for a beautiful centerpiece, and then ask each guest to take one small plant home with them.