Planning a Small Wedding

It is easy to get lost in all of the wedding buzz and excitement after you announce you are getting married.  It is even easier to get persuaded by other people's ideas of how your wedding should be.  You know who you are, and what you like! Focus on what is going to make the two of you happy in the long run instead of trying to impress or please everyone else.  Having been in your shoes, I know that isn't easy. So let me help you clear your mind of everything wedding, and start from a clean slate. Read a few of the following statements and answer honestly, either in your head or say it out loud!

1. I love to be the center of attention, the bigger the crowd the better. (yes or no) 2. My wedding is going to be the event that people rave about for years (yes or no) 3. Having my close friends and family members present as we say our vows, is the most important part. (yes or no) 4. You only get married once so why not splurge and go big! (yes or no) 5. Napkins, centerpieces, and table numbers need to correspond with the linens perfectly, or my day would be ruined! (yes or no) 6. We need a DJ to get people dancing because our wedding is going to be a party! (yes or no) 7. Our wedding party will be over 10 people (yes or no) 8. I will need a wedding coordinator to help me with the planning details (yes or no) 9.  I want to have a "Platinum Wedding." (yes or no) 10. I am comfortable spending at least $10,000.00 on our wedding. (yes or no)

If you answered no to more than half of these questions, you may be leaning towards having a small and intimate wedding rather than a large event.  We are here to tell you to go for it, and have fun with it while you are planning.  Small and more personal weddings are becoming very popular not only due to finances, but it helps you connect with your guests. There is a misconception that you only get to have an informal out of the box wedding if it is your second or third marriage..that is so not the case!

Find a location that speaks to you, whether it is a cabin in the forest, a beach-house, bed & breakfast, a friends backyard or Paris, at the end of the day you will have the rest of your lives to think back to this wonderful time in your life so make it special. Checkout some of these photos of real weddings on

Some of the challenges you may face are: - Deciding if you should elope, or have a very small intimate event with friends and family - Finding a venue or location that is appropriate for just the two of you, or for a smaller group - Choosing your wedding party members, or not to have them at all! - Paring down the guest list

Some unique touches & benefits for small weddings - Having a friend or family member be the officiant for your ceremony - Maid of Honor & Best Man instead of a large wedding party - Guests bring a dessert or favorite dish for the reception - Including your pets in the ceremony - Displaying old photos at each of the tables - Make your own wedding cake - The bride and groom serving the guests their cake or champagne - Personalized notes to your guests in the ceremony programs - If you have children, having them walk you down the aisle - With less guests you can afford higher quality items such as better wine or champagne, or possibly plated dinner instead of buffet.

Advice from Real Brides:

".... To make the final decision we created our golden rule: If we haven’t seen or spoken to them on a regular basis in the past year, they’re not invited." (Melody, Real Bride/Intimate

"You know, weddings with hundreds of guests are merely big productions, and distractions. All big weddings have at the core, moms and sisters, grooms and dads, kids, (yours or your relatives) and a couple friends. Everything else is background noise, even the other bridesmaids.  So with a small wedding, you have most everything a big wedding has, only more time to spend with the ones that matter most."(

Look for restaurants in your area with a banquet room or private patio, wineries, bed & breakfasts, hotel banquet rooms, community centers & memorial halls, parks & other city owned locations that allow events.