Many couples find the idea of having a small wedding appealing. Whether it’s budget, time constraints, or simply wanting to be able to focus on what matters most (like each other!), there are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider keeping it small. That said, there are a few things you need to know before taking that plunge. Here are my top tips for planning and getting the most out of your intimate nuptials!
A small, inexpensive wedding doesn't have to be without all the small details that make it meaningful and memorable.
You don't have to skimp on any details. Just because your wedding is small and inexpensive doesn't mean that the planning process has to be too. In fact, by keeping things simple and focusing on what's most important, you'll end up with a beautiful celebration that feels just as special as if it had cost thousands of dollars more.
One thing I can't emphasize enough is not getting caught up in worrying about the budget—it doesn't matter how much money you spend! The only thing that matters is what YOU want your wedding day experience to look like: whether it's a fun backyard party or an elegant white-tablecloth dinner at an upscale restaurant, there are plenty of ways for everyone involved (including yourself) to relax and enjoy themselves during this exciting time in your lives!
Make sure it’s still about you.
The temptation is to change the wedding so that it fits within a budget, but this can result in an event that no longer represents who you are. If you want to have a ceremony with your family and friends, spend time with them, and get married on the beach, find ways to make it happen without breaking the bank.
You have to be willing and able to compromise if you’re going through with a small wedding. One thing I did was invite my parents as well as my fiancé’s parents (who live across town), since they wouldn’t be able to travel far anyway. We planned our ceremony at a park nearby that had beautiful views of the mountain range and downtown area, instead of celebrating on top of one of those mountains like we originally wanted!
Another thing I did was buy non-traditional dresses for myself and bridesmaids from thrift stores or consignment shops—they were all beautiful but cost much less than what would have been required for new ones!
Don’t skimp on getting a planner–especially if you’re DIY-ing a lot of it.
Planning a wedding can be a lot of work, and it’s often tempting to forgo hiring someone else to help out. But think about how you feel when you have a professional come in and do something for you—it makes the task seem less daunting! If you’re DIY-ing a lot of things, or just not sure where to start with your wedding planning, getting a planner is one of the best decisions I made.
A good planner won’t cost much more than $500-$1000 (and that includes travel costs if they don’t live nearby). They can save you time and stress by taking care of many details like finding vendors, making sure everything gets done on time and coordinating transportation for guests. And if there are big things that need to be taken care of—like picking up catering from another city or organizing flowers—a planner can coordinate those as well.
Focus on the food.
You may have heard this before, but it's worth repeating: food is important. At a wedding, you'll always remember how great the cake looked and how delicious it tasted. You'll also probably never forget that time at your cousin's wedding when he accidentally knocked over his glass of champagne onto your brand-new shoes (sorry, Aunt Edith). But if you focus on making sure that your guests get a good meal, they'll leave happy and satisfied, even if they can't recall exactly what happened during the ceremony or who was there.
So don't skimp on the food—even if you're having a small wedding! It doesn't matter whether it's a backyard barbecue with burgers (and maybe some grilled veggies) or an elegant sit-down dinner with filet mignon and chocolate soufflé; people will appreciate whatever effort you put into making sure their bellies are full and happy.
Get the perfect dress—or get two!
You've found the dress of your dreams, and it's perfect. You're going to look gorgeous on your wedding day! But what if you don't like it? What if there's a problem with the stitching or it doesn't fit right? It's always better to be prepared for as many issues as possible when you want something to go perfectly—so having a backup dress is essential.
There are two ways you can plan for this: one is by getting two dresses (one for each side) and having them sewn together so that both sides match perfectly; another option is by choosing dresses of similar styles and colors so that they match even though they aren't connected.
If you do decide to go with one big wedding party, then consider getting two dresses instead of one more expensive piece of clothing. This will save money while still keeping everyone looking fabulous!
Bring in the details, and don’t forget your wedding bands!
- Bring in the details.
Do you want to wear your grandmother's wedding ring? Maybe you have a pair of earrings that were passed down to you by your great-aunt, or maybe there is a silver bracelet that belonged to your great-great-grandmother. Do they have special meaning for you? Or do they just look beautiful? Bring those pieces into play—your wedding bands don't need to be traditional gold!
- Save money by making them yourself.
If making your own rings seems too daunting, consider placing an order with one of these companies: Minus33 (they specialize in thermal underwear for guys), Sustain My Ring (made from recycled metals), and Made Solid (handmade custom rings). They all have affordable prices and really nice products that will work well as wedding bands for both men and women alike!
Go beyond what you could do with a big wedding budget and book your dream wedding photographer.
- Use your savings to hire a professional wedding photographer.
- Hire a professional wedding photographer who can capture the emotion of the day.
- Hire a professional wedding photographer who can capture the details of the day.
- Hire a professional wedding photographer who can take artistic photos to preserve memories, not just momentary snapshots that are quickly forgotten after they are taken!
Think of all the money you can save by having a small, intimate wedding instead of a large affair.
I’m going to be honest: I know how much money you want to save. You and your partner are probably already feeling the pressure of having to pay for college tuition, so now you have the added stress of planning for a wedding. A big one.
But think about it—wouldn't it be nice to get married in front of just a few people who truly matter? Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to spend thousands on catering or venue rentals? Wouldn't it be nice if instead of stressing over every detail of your wedding (or trying not to stress), you could relax and enjoy spending time with your loved ones?
Well guess what: It's possible! A small, intimate ceremony can actually save you money because there aren't any outside vendors involved; all those costs go straight into the reception itself. And with an intimate ceremony like this, everyone will feel welcome at your reception—no matter how many guests they brought along!
We hope these tips will help you plan a small, intimate wedding that’s just as memorable and special as any other. Remember to keep it about you and your partner, focus on the food and music, get creative with the little details like flowers or cake flavors, and don’t forget those wedding bands!
If you're interested in learning more about budget-friendly options for your wedding photography, please contact us today! We'd be happy to chat with you about our packages and discounts.
Thank you for reading!
Affordable Wedding photography by Fungirlwithacamera Photography.
Hope from Fungirlwithacamera Photography specializes in affordable wedding photography as well as backyard wedding photography and small intimate weddings. Currently accepting weddings in East Brunswick, Highland Park and surrounding areas in New Jersey.