Smaller, intimate weddings are becoming increasingly popular through necessitated circumstances such as Covid-19 protocols and by choice. It’s a trend that is likely to continue to rise as couples seek out more affordable and environmentally conscious ways to tie the knot.
A reduced space, budget or guest list often forces you to be more creative in how you approach your wedding, allowing for plenty of opportunities to showcase your individual love story.
Of course, arranging all things for the wedding still takes a lot of time, thought and effort, regardless of the scale of your wedding.
With that in mind, it’s worth breaking down the six common questions most couples and wedding planners have when organizing a small wedding.
1. What is a small wedding?
There are a few essential components that help classify a wedding as “small,” although as with most special occasions there’s no one-size-fits-all definition. Typically, they include a reduced guest list that is limited to immediate family and close friends only. Small weddings sometimes take place at a more intimate or unusual location too and often veer away from the more traditional elements associated with getting hitched.
Usually, small weddings are the perfect solution for those operating on a budget, as they tend to steer clear of many of the costs that come with catering for large numbers of people and renting out expansive spaces.
Many small weddings have a “do-it-yourself” element to them, with couples choosing to plan and carry out the various wedding tasks involved themselves.
Despite the scaled-down nature of a small wedding, it’s worth noting that most still carry many of the hallmarks and traditions we associate with weddings. They’re certainly not just an elopement or legal procedure and they leave plenty of room to enjoy the chance to declare your love.
2. Why have a micro wedding?
There can be a whole host of reasons why you might choose to have a small or micro wedding.
As previously mentioned, the pandemic has meant that in many places micro weddings have been the only option, due to the limit on numbers allowed in a social gathering. Whilst this has thrown new challenges for many couples, those determined to get married during this period have embraced small weddings and found a way to make them work in such a difficult time.
Micro weddings are also great for those operating on a tighter budget or who simply don’t want to splash out thousands and thousands of dollars on one day. Planing reception food, space to fill or venues to pay for typically means that smaller weddings can be cheaper than more lavish affairs.
Increasingly, people are also warier about the environmental impact of their decisions. Smaller weddings are a great way to make less waste, keep your carbon footprint down and celebrate in an environmentally friendly way.
3. How many guests for a small wedding?
There’s no specific number when it comes to small weddings, however, somewhere between 10-50 guests probably best fit the description. If you’re giving out 75+ invitations then it definitely starts to become very difficult to keep things intimate or more low-key.
Given most micro weddings take place in cozy or quirkier locations, having too many guests limits the amount of comfort those guests can have and also makes it difficult for the bride and groom to spend quality time with them.
If you’re planning a wedding that is at an unusual location, smaller numbers also ease logistical issues regarding transport and accommodation.
Fewer guests really allow all of those invited to feel like an integral part of the day and create personalized memories you’ll all hold for a lifetime.
If you find yourself thinking “how many people should I invite to my wedding?” a good solution is to try and make strict rules and stick to them. This might mean inviting nobody from work, having no plus ones, just having immediate family or asking for parents to find their kids a sitter for the day. Whoever you invite will undoubtedly be honoured to be a part of a day that allows them to share the happy couple’s joy.
4. When should you start planning a small wedding?
Fewer guests don’t necessarily mean less stress, so it’s worth giving yourself ample time in advance to plan your wedding.
Some people may have been dreaming of and planning their perfect wedding since they were little, but for others thinking about how they want the day to go doesn’t begin until they say “yes”.
Even bespoke venues often get booked up quickly, so ensuring your dream space is available should be done as a priority. Props and designs that need to be rented are also in high demand, so getting in touch with an event rental company can help you shape what you want your wedding to look like.
Ideally, you want to have at least a year to plan your wedding, but smaller weddings can be achieved in two to three months too. Just make sure to get your invites out at least six to eight weeks beforehand to allow guests enough time to make their necessary arrangements.
Other factors such as budget, work scheduling and which season you’d like to get married during can also play a key factor in planning your wedding, so those kinds of decisions should be made way in advance.
5. Where can I have a micro wedding?
One of the beauties of micro weddings is that the possibilities of where to get married are seemingly endless. A little love and some creative flourishes can turn just about anywhere into your dream wedding destination. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Backyard weddings have a homely feel to them and you’d be amazed at how many ways there are to make a familiar outdoor space feel magical. They’re incredibly convenient and best of all are likely to cost you nothing to use!
There are loads of imaginative and easy-to-replicate ideas available online to help set the perfect decor. From seating arrangements to outdoor bar ideas, transforming any space has never been as inventive as in recent times.
Wedding rental package services such as All Occasions can provide a wide variety of props, fixtures and fittings to achieve a style that best suits you and your space.
Whilst most people would hope for sunshine on their big day whatever the size or venue, it’s especially essential to have a rain plan just in case the heavens do decide to open up when choosing a backyard wedding. Luckily tents and gazebos are readily available for hire.
There’s something truly romantic about getting married on the beach that inspires so many couples to say “I do” by the coast.
Of course, such a beautiful setting goes a long way in making for a special day, but there are still lots to consider even in a seemingly simple setting. You may need to rent some sound equipment to ensure your vows can be heard over the crashing waves, whilst having suitable shade and shelter from the wind is also important. And then of course there’s your wedding attire. Long, flowing wedding dresses and high heels probably aren’t the best choice for a sandy ceremony.
Beach weddings have an especially intimate vibe and also provide plenty of opportunities to engage in fun activities such as limbo, tic tac toe or a tug of war! These kinds of games work especially well with small weddings due to the reduced guest numbers and can make for a day full of love and laughter.
In a Living Room
Many people choose to have a smaller wedding because they love the cozy nature of fewer guests in a comfy space. Well, where’s more comfortable than a living room?
Even the most familiar place can feel extra special with the right decorations and living room weddings are incredibly versatile, allowing you to arrange everything exactly as you like them.
Design planners at All Occasions Décor can also be used to give an outside perspective on what your chosen space could be capable of.
You can always find brilliant decoration items and ideas to transform your home into your dream wedding location. Many of these suggestions can be done on a shoestring budget, whilst living room weddings also tend to be local, making them extra convenient for your select few guests.
6. How to plan a small wedding?
If all this has helped you decide that a small wedding is perfect for you, it’s time to start planning! The following steps can provide a basic guide on where to start.
Step 1. Select your date and venue
As mentioned above, choosing your venue and a day that’s suitable for you and your guests should be a priority. As long as you’ve got somewhere to get married, you can make a small wedding happen!
Step 2. Get in touch with a wedding planner
You may want to do a lot of the planning yourself, but speaking to a wedding coordinator can go a long way in piecing everything together. Event and wedding planners such as those at All Occasions can help with everything from coming up with a theme right through to set design, on-the-day coordination, flowers and tidy up. With wedding services and packages to suit all budgets, it pays to get some outside help.
Step 3. Create the guest list and send out the invites
With small weddings the guest list is especially difficult, so decide on it early and get the invites sent out to give attendees plenty of time to make their necessary arrangements.
Step 4. Focus on the finer details
This can be the fun part! Small touches can really help provide the intimate feeling that is so wonderful with micro weddings. You can begin to think about the furnishings and flourishes that will express your love for one another and your guests. This may include some DIY design or getting in touch with a wedding rentals team to book the finishing touches that will make your small wedding a big success!