10 Fun Ideas for the Small Wedding of Your Dreams

Photo by Anna Gomes
Photo by Anna Gomes

Small extended families? Low budget? A desire for an intimate day? Your wedding doesn’t have to be huge to be a blast! Here are 10 fun ideas to make your small wedding a unique party that still has flair.

1. Think about a destination wedding.

Destination weddings by their nature tend to be smaller, as fewer guests are able to make the journey. If there’s a Caribbean island you’ve always dreamed of visiting, consider making the trek for the most important day of your life! Invite friends and family to show up a few days early, so you can have an extended vacation with those you love the most.

Photo by IQ Photo Studio
Photo by IQ Photo Studio

2. Not a frilly white dress girl? Head to City Hall with your fiancé before throwing a brunch for your immediate families.

Casual, down-to-earth, and intimate—while saving a ton of cash and stress! Bring a wedding photographer to City Hall to make sure you get the moment you become man and wife captured, and wear a casual white dress from ModCloth or Anthropologie.

Photo by Jasmine Rose Photography
Photo by Jasmine Rose Photography

3. Thanks to Pinterest, shabby-chic backyard weddings have never been easier.

Have a family member man the grill and make backyard games like cornhole or badminton available for guests. Just make sure to give your neighbors a courtesy call first!

Photo by Mario Colli Photography
Photo by Mario Colli Photography

4. Hire a food truck instead of a caterer for your small wedding.

Food trucks are a cool, modern twist on a traditional wedding meal but are often unable to handle huge weddings. Is there a local favorite you know your guests love? Or a truck you and your groom used to visit in college? All the better! You can even work together with the food truck owner to see if you can create a specialty menu for the night.

Photo by Coppersmith Photography
Photo by Coppersmith Photography

5. Group pictures are seemingly impossible with larger weddings, but a photographer can easily fit ALL your guests into a photo if you have less than 100 people.

Put a group picture on your “must-have” list—you’ll love looking at the photo years down the road and remembering who was there on your big day.

wedding food
Photo by Elizabeth Burgi Photography

6. Have a potluck meal.

If your wedding is super small—like, family only—a potluck dinner could be a fun way to have casual dining on a very low budget. If your grandmother’s red velvet cake makes you swoon, or your aunt has a mashed potatoes recipe you crave every Christmas, this can be a great way to make your small wedding meal more meaningful.

Photo by Rose Colored Photography
Photo by Rose Colored Photography

7. Consider out-of-the-box wedding venues.

Does your favorite brewery or local aquarium host wedding receptions? Maybe not typically, but if you’re wedding is small enough, they may be open to the idea. One major perk of a small wedding is that you don’t need a ton of space, so places that aren’t usually thought of as “wedding venues” may make for a unique, fun atmosphere. Having your wedding at a non-traditional location will help make it an amazing memory for you and your guests alike.

Photo by j. woodberry
Photo by j. woodberry

8) Skip the band and just create a wedding playlist.

With a smaller wedding, it’ll be easy to add the favorite song of every guest! Include a line on your RSVPs asking for wedding song requests so each guest can enjoy a tune they love. If you really want live music, make sure your band takes requests.

first kiss

9) Go camping!

Guests can all reserve campsites near each other, and you can have s’mores in lieu of wedding cake. Most campgrounds have park shelters that can be rented out for events. The morning after, you can enjoy a hike or a trip to the beach and relive the funniest moments of the wedding. If guests aren’t into sleeping in tents, make sure you select a campground with a hotel nearby.

Photo by Arte De Vie
Photo by Arte De Vie

10) If you love the idea of a really small wedding, have you ever thought of eloping?

It doesn’t get smaller than elopement! Eloping doesn’t have to mean running away to Las Vegas and getting hitched by an Elvis impersonator. Consider heading to Paris or another romantic locale—without the usual trappings of a wedding, there will be plenty of money available for travel! Bring along your best friends or parents to be your officiant and witnesses, and then throw a casual party once you’ve returned.


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2 Comments

  • Hey Betty!
    I’m not sure what flowers are growing in your area in may but I always suggest that brides hit the local farmers market a couple of weeks before the wedding and ask if any of the growers will have arrangements or bunches available the day before or if your big day. For example, pike place market in Seattle has huge bundles of flowers (40+pieces) for $20. If you are buying a bunch you may be able to get a discount. Definity cheaper than a florist. Congratulations and have fun on your big day!

  • I’m getting married in May and planning a very small wedding at a nursing home so my residents can be a part of it. It will be held on the balcony of the 3rd floor. 2 residents will be part of the ceremony. I will only have about 20 people in attendance. I need decorating ideas, etc. Thanks for any feedback you can give. Not looking for anything elaborate, just simple but pretty..

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