Wedding experts share 5 tips for planning a small wedding

If the thought of a big wedding with a massive guest list gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. Some couples dream of a big party with several hundred family members, friends and acquaintances, but others prefer to keep things private.

Small weddings can vary in size, but typically include around 20 to 80 people and are just as special – and potentially much cheaper – than a large party.

Are you wondering how to have the perfect little wedding? TMRW sought out the pros for some advice. With their help, you’ll be checking your to-do list in no time and be one step closer to marital happiness.

1. Choose your guest list carefully

Reducing your guest list to the essentials for a small wedding isn’t easy, but there are several ways you can make the process a little less painful. “Start with your must-have invitations – your parents, siblings, close relatives, members of your wedding party and their loved ones,” said Samantha Iacia, associate editor of WeddingWire at TMRW.

When you’re having a small party, sometimes your family and friends are quick to pressure you to make exceptions and add a few more people to your guest list, but it’s important to stick to your dates. weapons.

“Sit down with your parents or immediate family and make it clear how many people will be invited and how, as a couple, you are going to select who will be invited,” said Maggie Lord, David’s Bridal vice president, head of partnerships. and founder of the popular wedding blog, “Rustic Wedding Chic”. “One historical wedding tip that works well for a small wedding guest list is to invite only the people you would welcome to your home for dinner.”

If you are feeling guilty about not inviting your parents’ friends, neighbors or coworkers, you can always stream your ceremony live to make everyone feel included.

“Sending physical invitations for a virtual wedding is one way to make the ceremony special. You can include written instructions on how to join the event or add a QR code that guests scan with their phones,” he said. suggested Iacia.

2. Find a meaningful place

Small weddings are intimate and meaningful times, and your venue can set the tone for the whole celebration. The options are pretty much endless, but here are some small wedding venues that wedding professionals recommend:

  • Local and national parks: “It’s hard to beat the epic views of Rocky Mountain National Park or the dense forests of Smoky Mountain National Park on your magical day,” said Janessa White, co-founder of Simply Eloped. “Remember to contact the park to see if a permit is required.”
  • Barns, gardens and historic estates: “These are perfect venues for a small wedding because you can keep some of the glamor you want for the day without having to invest in a large space,” Lord said.
  • Course : “Backyard weddings are a blast! You have the freedom to set the mood and mood for your ceremony however you see fit. If you are not afraid to take the necessary legwork to prepare for your ceremony, we are very supportive of backyard weddings, ”White said.
  • Customize it: “I love it when couples choose to have their ceremonies held in a place that makes sense – like the site where they got engaged or first fell in love. Sometimes places like this don’t have a place. room for a large group. But, when the group size is smaller, a lot more site options are realistic, ”White said.

3. Make the decor special

When working with a small guest list, you have more money to spend on details like decorating, which can make the experience even more special and personalized.

“Weddings are all about the magic, so no matter the size of the event, the setting should always represent the personality and vision of the couple for the day,” Lord told TMRW.

Using bright colors and large flower arrangements can make your small wedding much grander and give you the best of both worlds.

“The easiest way to make a big impact, no matter where a wedding is located, is to add great lighting such as fairy lights, lanterns and tons of candles as well as large floral declarations. The flowers scream marriage so large centerpieces, floral garlands and beautiful bouquets all help bring the day to life, ”Lord said.

4. Make your reception sweet

A big, elaborate wedding cake might seem a bit out of place at a small wedding, but there really are no rules when it comes to your favorite dessert. That being said, wedding cupcakes come in handy for a more intimate celebration and still give you the option of getting that coveted ‘cut the cake’ photo opportunity.

If you want a wedding cupcake for you and your spouse, you can always get creative and serve your guests ready-made dessert options.

“I love the idea of ​​dessert trucks, such as ice cream trucks or cupcake trucks, and they are perfect for a small wedding, as long lines can arise at a large event and make guests unhappy, ”Lord said.

Small weddings are usually cheaper than large celebrations, so you’ll likely have some wiggle room in your budget if you want to treat your guests to a few desserts to choose from.

“You can serve cakes with other desserts that suit your personal taste, like cupcakes, pies or donuts. -yourself bite-sized toppings or petits fours in a variety of flavors, ”said Iacia.

5. Remember how special a small wedding can be?

Whether you’ve always dreamed of having a small wedding or planning one due to budget constraints or COVID-19 regulations, remember that a small wedding can be just as important.

“For many couples, having a small wedding is ideal because it allows them to fully engage with each of their guests and allows them to choose a more intimate atmosphere for the day,” Lord said.

A small celebration usually takes a lot of pressure off the happy couple, so that they can just enjoy their big day.

“Inviting only your closest friends and relatives to the wedding is a solution for the bride and groom who may feel overwhelmed by the thought of spending an entire day in the spotlight or impressing hundreds of people with a big party,” said Iacia.


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