Weddings have developed a reputation for being a wellspring of laughter, tears, and long hours of partying. Seriously, what could be more endearing than a weeping groom? Not much, we believe, but there are a few strong contenders.
The first kiss, the vows reading, the symbolic value of slipping the rings on each other’s fingers, and those personal touches, cherished looks, and in-between instants that are simply impossible to describe. There is hardly anything quite like these intimate gestures to evoke all the emotions of a wedding.
However, now it is your turn. The ring has been given, the question has been asked, and the stars are shining brightly in your eyes. Your big day has arrived. You are not a spectator anymore; you have assumed the role of the protagonist. So where do you start? With so many duties and intricacies to coordinate, wedding planning might appear extremely daunting.
There was a time when weddings were open to anyone and everyone, regardless of how close the relationship between the couple and their guests was. But in recent years, this trend has turned toward smaller nuptials.
Since many people have postponed or reconsidered their wedding plans for 2020 and 2021 because of security concerns, health issues, and restrictions, ceremonies have become smaller, more personal, and, if we’re being honest, more emotional than ever before.
If you find yourself in a situation where a large gathering is not possible, if you wish to cut costs, or simply want to establish a deeper connection with the people you have invited, have a look at these 25 small wedding ideas for a second-to-none event.
Once you’ve settled on the concepts that work for you, you’ll be eager to begin planning and sending out some charming save the dates. Don’t forget that your imagination is the only constraint. So, without any delay, let’s tie the knot!
25. Say “I do” at City Hall
While outdoor settings are magnificent, marrying in the heart of a metropolitan scene has its own draw. Are you fed up with the challenges of wedding planning? Do you prefer to stay out of the limelight? With city hall marriages, you may say farewell to all those concerns.
And, even though extravagant nuptials are charming and memorable, there is something minimal and cozy about marrying downtown. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to break the mold; wear a sharp suit, a flirty minidress, or brightly colored pumps if you so desire!
24. Give a Welcome Package
Whether you’re throwing an out-of-town private dinner reception, a three-day feast, or a destination wedding, putting together a welcome bag for your short guest list is such a thoughtful gesture. Are you confused about what to add to your welcome gift box? The possibilities are practically limitless.
Don’t hesitate to add the ceremony and reception venues, as well as any shuttle details. Additionally, you may like to provide a post-party recuperation package. Consider Aspirin, ear plugs, eye masks, or do-not-disturb signs that coordinate with your wedding decor to add a lighthearted flair.
23. Make it a Weekend-long Event
While your wedding day is unquestionably one of the greatest moments of your life, what if you could extend that happiness to a whole weekend? This will give you the chance to spend more valuable time with your loved ones.
Planning is paramount when arranging a three-day event. It is your responsibility to keep things going and to guarantee that no awkward pauses occur. Thus, you should adopt a theme to connect disparate elements.
For example, festival weddings have grown in prominence in recent years and make a terrific concept for a weekend celebration. You may integrate concerts or workshops to keep the weekend moving.
22. Engage the Services of a Day-of Coordinator
Whether you choose to organize your wedding yourself or employ a third party, the chances are you’ll be swamped on the big day. How are you going to marry and handle the event’s logistical challenges? This is where the day-of coordinator comes in.
These excellent specialists can alleviate tension and even camouflage minor issues, allowing the newlyweds to concentrate on their wedding and savor every minute of their special day.
21. Make a Statement with Flowers
You are not bound by convention when it comes to wedding flower choices. You’ve almost certainly had enough of bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and aisle embellishments at nuptials. Therefore, “go big or go home” should be your new M.O.
If you truly want your wedding blooms to stand out and garner all the likes on social media, consider adopting a few innovative ideas that reimagine popular floral styles.
Flower arrangements in 2022 are going to have a lot of impressive designs, like graceful flowing blossoms, floral arches in a variety of shapes and sizes, decorative borders with a wide range of colors and patterns, hanging abstract creations, blooming ceilings, and flowery chandeliers, among other things.
20. Write Menus By Hand
Menu layouts are perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of wedding planning. This may seem inconsequential in the context of a beautiful and well-organized table, but it matters.
For example, a paper bag embellished with hand calligraphy and a baguette, inspired by Tuscany’s vibes, will be the ultimate approach to whisking guests out to a cheese and wine event. The best part is that having fewer participants will make it easier for you to write all the menus on your own. Of course, there are many other creative menu card ideas.
19. Consider Unusual Venues
If the concept for your wedding is anything but run-of-the-mill, begin with an offbeat or unorthodox venue. You know, the type of place that turns your wedding into an adventure instead of a classic deal.
Epic weddings are typically held on top of a mountain, beneath a waterfall, or deep within a ravine; in general, the more spectacular and godforsaken the setting, the better. If this is too much, think about treehouses, forts, vineyards, zoos, palaces, museums, libraries, factories, yachts, or even a train station.
18. Small Brunch Wedding
The truth is that people adore brunches almost as much as they enjoy weddings. Thus, it was only natural that newlyweds would mix the two to achieve the best nuptial fiesta. When the weather permits, an outdoor brunch is a stunning backdrop for a wedding since you can dress it up or down to your heart’s content.
However, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you consider brunch? Food! A brunch wedding would be incomplete without the finest buffet. Therefore, you should provide both sweet and savory options to appease everyone.
The disadvantage is that you will require more fare than you normally would for an evening reception because of the diversity of tastes and preferences. Oh, wait! This is not a con. It means more food for you too!
17. Bespoke Place Cards
Escorts or place cards can play the dual role of being extremely useful (after all, attendees have to know where to sit) and offering a charming decor highlight. These details are subtle but effective, and not to mention a great way to balance the central tone and feel of your big day.
As a brief refresher, escort cards show the table at which guests will be seated, whilst place cards indicate the exact seat at the table. Personalize your cards with a unique message, whether it’s a playful motto like “and so the adventure begins” or a heartfelt thank you to your participants. Make them even more individual by writing something different for every guest.
16. Spend a Little More on Special Details
Most couples establish from the beginning a spending plan for their event. While some may have more money than others, we all have to speak in terms of price tags, correct? Rather than daydreaming of a thousand different items you want at your wedding, why not use the money to invest in something that leaves a lasting impression?
If you’re a flower person, indulge in extravagant, stunning bouquets. If you are a funny person, hire a stand-up comedian. For gourmet lovers, overspend on an incredible wedding reception menu. Why not serve caviar if your guest list is only 25? You set the tone of your celebration.
15. Open Mic Toasts
Toasts might be among the most outstanding moments of a wedding reception if properly planned and are usually delivered by the maid of honor, the best man, or the father of the bride. However, occasionally, the couple takes the risk of opening the mic to anyone who wishes to speak.
Yes, having open toasts at your wedding is a gamble. It can be one of the most exciting aspects of the day, but it could also backfire and leave you with a bitter taste. That’s why it’s important to consider your guest list and how they may behave in this situation. Or simply, throw caution to the wind and do something out of the ordinary.
14. Choose a Banquet-Style Table
Banquets have a rich and illustrious history as celebration gatherings, and their private, exuberant feel has been extended to weddings. Banquet seating can be imperial or rustic, and broad tables provide an excellent basis for a captivating design.
While circular tables have their advantages, rectangular configurations foster a more familiar atmosphere while looking extraordinarily charming. They’re not only elegant and intimate, but they’re also ideal for encouraging interaction among guests.
Long tables are completely customizable, acting as blank canvases and offering you a plethora of stylistic options to meet your and your spouse’s preferences for a celebration that is in a class by itself.
13. Hire a Food Truck
As nuptials have become highly focused on guests’ experiences, the greatest way to guarantee a one-of-a-kind event is through food and drink. While some brides-to-be choose dynamic food stations or live shows, others envision something grander.
A food truck wedding service, to be more specific, is an unparalleled addition to your party. Not only will this provide your guests with a tasty, unique fare, but it will also make for an Instagram-worthy photo backdrop.
You can have several trucks serving meals with a variety of gastronomic delicacies, or one or two vehicles serving prosecco, pastries, and late-night munchies.
12. Design a Comfortable Lounge Area
While guests indulge in your specialty cocktails, they’ll want a place to unwind and interact. A wedding lounge area, which features luxurious lounge furnishings, stylish coffee tables, and armchairs, is a fashionable concept that can be set up throughout the reception.
Furthermore, when done right, lounge spaces can be a great way to add flair, personality, and vibrancy to any facility or event. Experiment with your color pallet, blend different cushions’ textures, or repurpose the furniture. Rather than selecting a coffee table that mirrors the sofa flawlessly, change it up a bit! You could mix and match chairs and play with designs.
11. Make Things Interactive
Are you striving to throw an awe-inspiring wedding reception for your attendees? Along with a scrumptious buffet, cascading drinks, and a fantastic wedding playlist, some newlyweds want to get the ball rolling with reception competitions, get-together games, and other immersive experiences.
This may entail it all, from quintessential lawn sports to bride and groom quizzes, a treasure hunt, board games, karaoke, or even a magic show. If you know your crowd, you’ll make the best decision.
10. Hire a Live Band
Live music boosts a wedding celebration from mundane to outstanding. It has the power to elicit a crowd’s feelings from the first plucked strings, as music performed live is more intimate and genuine than recorded tunes. Your nuptial soundtrack should be meaningful to you as a pair, but it should also appeal to a broad spectrum of visitors.
A live performance is all about passion and will enliven the reception thanks to the band’s capacity to move all around the venue and engage with the crowd. Having top-notch musicians work together and interact with each other creates an atmosphere that no DJ can replicate.
9. Customize the Look and Feel
While each wedding is unique and spectacular in its own way, there are certain strategies to add some further dash to your celebration by incorporating small things that have a major influence and dazzle your participants. From having all your close friends wearing lovely one shoulder bridesmaid dresses to the flowers and the décor, it’s all in the little details, as we’ve said earlier.
Yet, in the midst of event planning turmoil, you may overlook this in favor of venue hunting, vendor contracting, and budget management. However, besides the logistics, your ceremony should be all about you and your partner, boasting relevant details that define both of you.
One of the easiest ways to customize your event is to choose a trademark color scheme and include it in all aspects of the event, from cards to souvenirs. Pick the shades that are meaningful to you or symbolize a part of your relationship: the emerald of the dress you wore on your first date, the shades of crimson at the dinner when he proposed, etc.
Getting in the same shade will surely add another touch of magic to the whole event.
8. Opt for a Low-Key Ceremony
An unforgettable wedding day, breathtaking nuptial ambiance, and a festive ceremony do not have to include the pomp and circumstance associated with a classic black-tie event. An informal celebration can incorporate all of the excitement and exquisite features of a formal affair without all the pretentiousness.
Rather than that, low-key weddings put great emphasis on enjoyment and empower couples to showcase their laissez-faire attitude. From decorating your walkway with fitted soft mats and placing your guests around fire pits, to offering your favorite pizza for dinner, there are countless ways to incorporate laid-back touches into your big day.
7. Consider Hosting your Event at a Small Restaurant
If both you and your spouse are foodies in search of a reception venue with a bit more flair than the standard ballroom, look no further than your beloved local restaurant.
You’ll be happy to greet your guests, serve them a wonderful supper, and relax in their presence. Then, at the final moment of the night, express gratitude, make the payment and leave. Wedding planning has never been easier.
However, you may be wondering, what’s the catch? Well, you will not be able to fit a dance floor. So, if you’re looking for a long night filled with music and partying, this is a major disadvantage. It all depends on your personality and tastes.
6. Having a Destination Wedding
If you want to walk down the aisle at a fascinating site, you may want to consider a destination wedding. It is an event that takes place outside of the bride and groom’s home country, and most of the time, the guests have to travel as well.
Whether you’ve chosen an exotic ceremony in the Caribbean, a secluded party in the Maldives, or a charming retreat in Greece, find a planner or manager who excels in destination weddings.
This way, rather than wasting months attempting to surmount a language gap or making executive choices from afar, a specialist will handle everything for you. If hiring a planner is not an affordable option, search for a property with an experienced on-site coordinator.
5. Be Inventive With Seating Configurations
Once you’ve determined who will be attending your wedding reception, you will want to assess the layout of the tables. Are you going to have circular tables? What about square ones? Alternatively, how do you feel about long counters running the length of your ceremony area?
You can get incredibly creative with seating and table configurations, especially if you have a large space at your disposal. The possibility to mix and match shapes and sizes brings sophistication to a reception plan, just by creating the appearance that the room has been custom-made to your demands.
4. Plan the Perfect Airbnb Wedding
Do you aspire to a minimal, do-it-yourself, intimate wedding that diverges from the traditional ceremony? Then, an Airbnb marriage service may be an excellent alternative. There are myriad locations to exchange vows, ranging from chalets to desert getaways, to yurts or traditional homes. Airbnb’s options appear to be limitless and enchanting.
Nevertheless, prior to settling on a site, you must first locate the rental homes that expressly declare that they are open for ceremonies. Regrettably, not every property is. Even if it’s a small wedding with a few guests, you must confirm that the owner is comfortable with the celebration being held in their home.
3. Intimate Chapel Wedding
A small wedding chapel is an exquisite substitute for the courthouse, and it does not need to belong to a specific religion or denomination. The right chapel can elevate and inspire a wedding ceremony, even more so when the setting is exceptional. The United States is home to a diverse array of chapels: historic, majestic, quaint, elegant, and some even open-air.
Chapels are already equipped to accommodate your guests; there is no need to organize the technicalities of “where will my attendees have a rest?” since everything is fully set for you. Moreover, there is no need to monitor the weather, as chapels are often indoors. Most will have climate control, heat, and a special area to celebrate your big day.
2. Keep it Tight
Setting your guest list is undoubtedly the most challenging component of wedding planning. Choosing how many people to invite and then selecting who those individuals will be is no trivial task, especially when all the factors are taken into account.
Nevertheless, with a small list of attendees, you must be highly picky. You are well within your rights to state that there should be no plus one, no children, and no extended family. Each person you invite must be someone you appreciate and couldn’t imagine marrying without.
Ask yourself: “Would I want them by my side when things get rough?” or “Am I comfortable around them?” If the response is no, they shouldn’t be on your list. While this is unlikely to be your full guest list, it is an excellent starting point and should make it easier for you to decide.
1. Have Your Wedding at Home
What place should we choose for our wedding? Outdoors or indoors? These are one of the first thoughts that a newly engaged couple has. But what about hosting your wedding at home? An air of intimacy, irresistible charm and unique passion will come together to make your day one to remember.
Bring your family and friends into a place that embodies some of your most beloved childhood or adult reminiscences, because nothing screams love quite like a ceremony with a “home sweet home” welcome mat.
Whether it’s your partner’s parents’ countryside farmhouse or your grandparents’ beach villa, an at-home wedding is a wonderful concept. While it may take more time and money than planned, we can assure you of one thing: you will not regret exchanging your vows in a location that holds special meaning for you.
As long as you are organized and have excellent partners and suppliers on your side, it will be the wisest move you have ever made.
While grandiose weddings have historically been more popular, many modern couples are now choosing a more subdued celebration. Not only is a small wedding more romantic and private, but why not spend one of the most significant days of your life with the people who mean the most to you? Quality over quantity, remember?