Dear Recently Engaged, Here’s Why You Should Have a Smaller Ceremony

If you’re planning a wedding this year, you might be wondering whether or not to have a large event. While historically weddings have meant many different things, many people consider weddings to be a large party. However, the main point of today’s weddings is to bring two people together as one. It symbolizes much more than a party, so, sometimes, a smaller ceremony is best. Here are some top reasons why a smaller ceremony can be much better for you and your fiance!

  • You can have your ceremony somewhere interesting. A smaller ceremony means you can have your ceremony in an interesting location. Think a boat ride to a small island, a ski lift to a mountain top … there are lots of ways you can have a fun and interesting ceremony when you have fewer people attending. The experience is much more memorable for everyone invited as well! Make sure you wear an engagement ring for active lifestyles to your interesting ceremony, though — a blingy diamond ring can come with a potential for damage or loss, especially from tall heights. 
  • The ceremony will feel more intimate. With fewer people, it really stresses the importance of the nuptials. Invite only your closest friends and family to celebrate with you. Select people you know, love and trust — and ones both you and your fiance know well. An intimate ceremony can have more laughs and more in-depth vows. 
  • You don’t have to stress about drama. We’ve all heard the horror stories of family members getting drunk and fist-fighting at weddings because of some decades-old family feud, and no one even really remembers how it started. A smaller ceremony can avoid any of those problems — by only inviting the people closest to you, and the people you’ve been in contact with in the past year — and you’ll ensure everyone attending will get along and enjoy each other’s company. You won’t have to babysit or worry there’s going to be an altercation!
  • You can splurge on other items. One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the catering — the more people you have attending, the more money you’re going to spend. Wedding caterers charge per head, so higher guest lists will lead to higher catering costs. When you have a smaller guest list, you then have more money for other things — a more expensive DJ, signature cocktails or even a more expensive venue! 

Other ways to save include using silicone wedding bands instead of diamond and metal ones, opting for a dry wedding, renting your decor from a designer instead of DIY-ing your wedding and getting your dress on consignment instead of fresh from the rack.

  • You don’t have to track plus-ones. Ah, the dreaded plus-one. For both couples and guests, it can be difficult to determine plus-ones. If you extend the option for plus-ones to all your single guests, then that’s more people you may or may not know at your wedding. It stops being an intimate event when you have people you don’t know that well attending. With a smaller ceremony, you don’t have to worry about plus-ones!

Small Wedding Ceremony Ideas

If you decide on a smaller ceremony, you might be wondering how to make it spectacular. Here are some small wedding ceremony ideas:

  • Mis-matched seating. Incorporate fun chairs, couches and settees for your ceremony instead of the traditional fruitwood or chiavari chairs. This is perfect for families who are attending together or people who live in the same household — they can sit together!
  • Personalized wedding stationery. Wedding stationery (Save-the-Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards, Thank You cards) can be an expense that quickly adds up for couples who have a large guest list. With a smaller list, you can personalize all your wedding stationery! Use your guests’ names and include a small note to them about why you want them there. 
  • Involve guests in the ceremony. Having fewer people means you can incorporate everyone into the ceremony in interesting ways. Have everyone read a line from your favorite poem, get them to throw lavender at you as you walk down the aisle together for the first time as newlyweds or even have them all attend the rehearsal dinner! 
  • Make it more about you. A smaller ceremony can allow you and your fiance to let the personal touches shine through. Sugar cookies decorated to look like your dog, serving your favorite brand of champagne to all your guests … a smaller ceremony means higher levels of personality. 
  • Host a wedding weekend. Since smaller weddings mean more money in the budget, you can instead have a wedding weekend for your guests to enjoy! Play a round of golf, rent out a local restaurant for a private dinner or have a post-wedding brunch the next morning. These intimate events are the perfect way to keep your smaller guest list involved with your wedding. 
  • Don’t have a bridal party. A bridal party is a fun tradition to have, but you don’t need one in a smaller wedding. Instead, you can allow them to attend as guests without the added stress of arriving early to get ready, finding bridal attire or arranging a bachelorette/bachelor party. Then, you can save money because you won’t have to give any bridal party gifts or get them bridal flowers!
  • Host your wedding at a restaurant. For smaller weddings, you can have a more intimate dining experience. Instead of renting a venue that will cost you thousands of dollars, book a restaurant to host your event. You can choose from their many entree options, or you can ask them to create a custom menu just for your event. They typically already have all the rentals you’ll need, too!
  • Seat everyone together. Since the whole point of a small wedding is to keep things intimate, why not seat everyone together? A long rectangular farmhouse table, decorated with simple greenery and some thin candles, can make for a beautiful setup. 

By incorporating these ideas for a smaller ceremony, not only will you save money, but you’ll be following socially acceptable protocols to keep the virus from spreading. Your ceremony and celebration will be more exclusive and meaningful for the most important people in your lives.