The Best Tips For Planning a Small Wedding

Did you know that the average cost of a wedding is over $35,000? That alone might be enough incentive to start planning a small wedding, but there are other great reasons to keep your nuptials intimate.

A small wedding lets the happy couple spend more quality time with their family and close friends. It’s also less stressful to plan an event for 50 or even 25 people than for 300. Best of all, keeping things simple also lets you focus on what’s really important: the love you share with your soon-to-be spouse.

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Small Wedding

Don’t Give in to the Guilt

As you’re making the guest list, there are bound to be some dilemmas. You might feel obliged to invite your cousin Laurie, even though you really don’t like her. Some acquaintances’ feelings might get hurt if they aren’t included while others in your social circle are.

If you’re not careful, the guest list can spiral out of control quickly. With each potential invitee, ask yourself if their presence will truly bring joy to your day. If the answer is no, leave them off the list.

Choose a Unique Venue

Limiting the number of guests can open up the possibilities when it comes to your venue. If you’ve dreamed of a mountaintop wedding, tying the knot on the beach, or even something crazy like a pop-up wedding, go for it!

Splurge on What’s Really Important

By planning a small wedding, you’ll be saving money at every step: the invitations, the decorations, the favors, the open bar, the food, and even the thank-you notes. So why not splurge on the aspect of your big day that’s most meaningful to you?

Maybe you have your eye on a gown that will make you feel like a princess, but is awfully pricey. Or you could treat your guests to a six-course meal and some really excellent champagne, instead of the usual tepid buffet of baked ziti and bottom-shelf booze.

Perhaps you want to go all out with entertainment — hire that amazing jazz combo or rent limos to transport everyone to and from the venue. Fill the dance floor with colorful balloons for instant festivity!

Take the Opportunity to Travel

Destination weddings are like rolling your ceremony, reception, and honeymoon all into one! A smaller wedding allows you to travel, and possibly even to treat your guests, too, depending on your budget. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to head to a tropical island with a dozen or two of your closest friends and family?

Have Another Party!

One popular option to consider when planning a small wedding is to plan a separate, more casual event so everyone can help you celebrate. This can take place weeks or even months after your actual wedding.

Keep things simple by hosting a potluck, a cocktail party, or a backyard BBQ. If you’re moving into a new home after you return from the honeymoon, this event can be a combination housewarming and wedding reception.

Hosting a separate celebration may help smooth any ruffled feathers, and will let you enjoy spending time with your guests at both events.


Don’t feel that you need to have an elaborate, over-the-top wedding. Remember that this is your day, and if planning a small wedding makes you happy, that’s perfectly fine.

What’s the most memorable small wedding you’ve been to? Tell us in the comments!