6 Creative Ways to Make Your Small Wedding Feel Personal and Special

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This post is in collaboration with ValuedVoice. Please practice an abundance of caution or even consider postponing the big celebration during the pandemic, paying particular heed to local public health orders.

family at wedding outside a big building

Whether you had always wanted a wedding on the smaller side or you’ve been forced to rearrange your initial plans for public health reasons, your small wedding can still feel personal and special with a little additional planning.

When many people think of weddings, they likely think of big affairs complete with hundreds of guests, elaborate decorations, full-day schedules and the works. The more people at your wedding, the more expensive the event will be.

By contrast, it can sometimes feel like a smaller wedding or mariage civil, with perhaps only ten or twenty people in attendance and usually a more toned-down venue, might not meet expectations.

However, many soon-to-be spouses have opted for smaller events for their charm, deeply personal feel and memorability. If you’re planning a small wedding, here are some creative planning tactics to start implementing right away.

Provide Wedding Welcome Boxes

When you have 200 guests on your list, it’s hard to personalize the welcome for each of them. By contrast, when you have perhaps 15 people on your guest list, you can easily provide each of them with a more tailored welcome to your wedding.

A fun idea is to create a ‘welcome box’ for each of your guests that you can have left at their hotel, or give to them on the day of depending on how socially distant your wedding is. These boxes can include small mementos from the wedding, small gifts and favors or little trinkets to make the guests’ weekend easier, like engraved bottle openers for the reception or ponchos in case of rain at an outdoor ceremony.

Be Extra Choosy With Your Shortened Guest List

Because small weddings inherently involve trimming the guest list, you’ll have to be extra choosy with who you invite. Now is the time to consider which people in your life you absolutely can’t picture yourself getting married without. You may have to gently break the news to those who didn’t make it by explaining that although you love them, space or health restrictions meant you had to cut back.

Consider Whether You Want To Drop Certain Traditions

A lot of the traditions that are expected as part of a big wedding become truly optional once you drop down the event in size, so now is the perfect time to consider which traditions you want to keep and which you would be ok without. For example, if you don’t want to do a first dance, a garter toss or stand-up toasts and speeches, you can easily get rid of them while still having your small group feel entertained.

Opt for an Intimate and Cozy Venue

One of the best parts of a small wedding is the cozy, intimate feel, and your venue should reflect that. If you’re having the ceremony at a town hall, for example, you could go to a local restaurant afterward and get a private room. Other cozy venues include a family member’s backyard, a small banquet room or even a rental boat.

Step It Up With Your Dinner Offerings

Another benefit of having only a small group in attendance at your wedding is that you won’t have the stress of covering food for a huge group of people! This means that you might have a little more money to allocate to each person’s meal, allowing you to choose more gourmet dinner options.

A fun way to make the after party and reception truly memorable is to provide top-notch food, so spend some time calculating your food budget and consider local vendors who can bring dishes sure to appeal to everyone.

Add Unique Personalization to Your Décor

No matter what your venue, you can still personalize it by adding a little décor. If you’re getting married in a town hall, you may need to ask permission to rent a side room and put up some decorations, but most venues will allow you to bring in your own décor upon request.

Since your space will likely be on the smaller side, you might have a little more budget wiggle room for decorations and can choose the ones that represent your wedding theme the best, or that will photograph well for the wedding album.

Just because you have a short guest list and a pared-down venue doesn’t mean you can’t still have the unique and memorable big day of your dreams. There are still several creative ways to tailor every aspect of the day and create a ceremony and after party you and your guests are sure to remember for years to come.

1 thought on “6 Creative Ways to Make Your Small Wedding Feel Personal and Special

  1. Liza Martell

    The easiest way to keep costs down is definitely to keep the guest list minimal. We had a home wedding, had home-cooked food and a potluck and it was delicious and inexpensive.

    Decorations wise, water beads are really fun. Marshalls/HomeGoods have a lot of inexpensive glass decorations that are significantly cheaper than elsewhere.


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