The Ultimate Guide To Small Weddings

Written by Saliha Seyis.

9:25 minutes


If you're on a budget or have a busy schedule, hosting an intimate celebration in a small wedding venue doesn't mean you have to skimp on the details or keep it modest. Listed below are some of our top tips for planning a small wedding. Check them out!

small wedding

What Is Considered A Small Wedding?

A small or micro wedding is... actually small. It typically includes 50 people or under. There are also tiny weddings or elopements, with as few as 5 to 10 guests. The ideal size of your wedding depends on your finances and the size of your immediate family and friends.

If the number of your closest family members and friends exceeds 50 people, you should think about who you want at your wedding carefully. Take all of these into mind before starting to plan your little big day!


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Want to find out more about elopements? Here's your guide: How to Elope: Step-by-Step Guide

Why Choose A Small Intimate Wedding?

Aside from being budget-friendly, there a many other good reasons to have a small wedding:

  • Small weddings are easier to plan. As you won't have to visit vendors one by one and discuss everything, you'll have more time for fun pre-wedding activities like dress shopping and less drama.
  • You can create an intimate atmosphere where you can have intimate conversations with your loved ones and enjoy every moment.
  • The fewer guests you have, the more wedding venues you can access, including elegant restaurants or wineries. You can also plan a small celebration at home by booking various wedding vendors.
  • You can easily personalize your wedding by applying what you value the most compared to big weddings that can be expensive and feel impersonal.
  • You can pull a destination wedding without much effort since a smaller guest list means less travel coordination you need to attain.
  • You'll have more money for your honeymoon and other important post-wedding expenses.
  • Finally, if you don't want to be the centre of attention or hate large audiences, a small wedding might be just for you.

intimate wedding

Small Wedding Ideas You Wouldn’t Want To Miss

Having an exclusive guest list opens up many possibilities for attaining every little detail and creating the best experience for your loved ones. There are so many ways to personalize or elevate your wedding, and here are some of the best small wedding ideas we love:

Seating Chart for Small Wedding

The flexibility of your ceremony and reception seating arrangements is one of the major perks of a small, intimate wedding. If you have a small party, you don't have to space guests out at different tables all over the place. It's more inclusive and informal.

You can make your small wedding ceremony more intimate by setting up chairs in a circle. Wouldn't it be amazing to feel the love from all sides when you're tying the knot? For receptions, a long banquet table seating is the most popular one. It makes your most special day truly magical with all of your close friends and family sitting together in your honour.

You can use a seating chart painted on a shabby chic door or window, frames or chalkboard. Using twine, clothespin, and cards might be a simple but elegant idea, or you can craft a handmade seating chart from wood.

seating chart for small wedding

Wedding Invitations for a Small Wedding

Not having an extensive guest list comes with many advantages, and having a chance to send elaborate wedding invitations is one of them. You can design handwritten invitations with your partner by using high-end paper, wax seals, and custom watercolour designs. It would make your guests so special and full of love!

small wedding invitations

Welcome Boxes

Wedding favours are nice, but they can't compete with a thoughtful welcome box or a gift box. This is especially great if you have a destination wedding. You can add specific items from your wedding location and personal interests to make it feel more personal.

wedding welcome boxes

Extra-detailed Decor

If you have fewer guests, you'll have more time to go above and beyond with your wedding decor. Small celebrations are a perfect time for incorporating decorations that don't get done much at larger weddings. Your guests will feel so special with personalized escort cards, place cards, thank-you notes, and individual wedding menu cards. Also, you can use antique china sets and vintage stemware!

small wedding decor

Have you seen this year's decoration trends? Check this out: 8 Wedding Decoration Trends That Will Be Huge in 2022!

Fancy Wedding Bar

The bar tends to be the busiest gathering place at weddings, so why not make yours stand out? Throwing a small wedding provides you with a chance to create a custom wedding bar and adding flair to your celebration. You can also surprise your guests with a mobile bar. Finally, you can serve as many types of drinks as you want thanks to the small crowd!

wedding bar

Small Wedding Cake Inspiration

Who says you need to skip the cake if you're planning an intimate celebration? A small ceremony still deserves a sweet ending, right? You can make just as big of an impression in small cakes in all forms, from small one-tiers to Bundts and single-serving minis. As a matter of fact, your guests may remember these items more than the traditional three- or four-tier wedding cake.

As small weddings are more personalized, you can also choose from many wedding cake alternatives as you can go with a single-tier cake. Cheese wedding cakes, macarons, doughnuts, cake pops, cupcakes, pies, croquembouches – the list goes on!

small wedding cake

What To Wear To A Small Wedding?

Small weddings are more informal and laidback, with an effortless atmosphere and cozy ambience. When these characteristics are transferred into a wedding dress, the result is undoubtedly gorgeous.

You might like slip dresses and semi-structured sundresses if you're a modern bride who loves sleek silhouettes. If you're having a small country wedding, a piece of vintage lace is perfect.

small wedding dress

If you plan to throw a destination wedding by the beach, consider airy and breathable fabric like silk or chiffon. Besides providing extra relief from the heat, a spaghetti-strap style, strapless, or halter-neck can also make you look feminine and sexy.

For winter brides, it’s important to select a dress that suits the season. You can add some warmth with long sleeves and a little bit of extra coverage in layers. You can also put on some outwear like capes and coats should the weather be extra chilly.

winter wedding dress

Looking for more info on beach wedding dresses? Read this: Beach Wedding 101: Introduction to the Perfect Wedding

Having a winter wedding? Not sure what to wear? We've got you covered: Say Yes To A Winter Wedding With This Guide

A chic country celebration deserves a pretty dress. Click here for our picks: Country Wedding Ideas: 10 Must-Haves

How Much Will A Small Wedding Cost?

One of the questions we get asked a lot is: How much does a small wedding cost? It's hard to say since there are a lot of factors involved. The venue is the first one. For instance, a restaurant wedding usually costs lower than a wedding in a 5-star luxury hotel.

The second thing is what you want to do for your wedding. Find a small wedding venue with lodging if you're inviting out-of-town guests. Book a top-notch catering company if the food is the most important thing. Likewise, if you want an elegant wedding, you can hire a wedding decorator.

We recommend going with all-inclusive small wedding packages provided by the venues since they save you from lots of legwork and offer fantastic deals and discounts. These packages usually include everything you could possibly need, from wedding photography to decorations. They are customizable so that you can tailor them to your needs.  

small wedding cost

You can learn more about how to have an affordable wedding here: How To Find Cheap and Unique Wedding Venues

Selecting The Perfect Small Wedding Venue

With a small guest list, you can tie the know in any venue you can think of in any part of the world. As you can choose a classical venue like a rooftop bar or a banquet hall, you can also consider unexpected options that wouldn't be able to accommodate a large group of people for an unforgettable experience.

Some unusual places for small weddings might be public landmarks, your favourite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, scenic hilltops, or places that require special transportation. Wine lover? Have a vineyard wedding! Love camping? Maybe you should set up glamping at the venue so everyone can stay together? If you're having a small wedding or reception, the world is your oyster!

small wedding venues

Small Wedding Venues Ontario

Encompassing vast expanses of wilderness, pristine lakes and Canada's most visited natural attractions, Ontario offers the best small wedding venues for every type of couple and budget. Restaurants, country clubs, rooftops, ballrooms, mansions – the list goes on!

Small Wedding Venues Toronto

Not surprisingly, small wedding venues in Toronto are aplenty, considering it's the largest city in Canada and the capital of Ontario. From small park and garden venues to 5-stars hotel ballrooms, you can find everything you're looking for in this metropolis!

Small Wedding Venues Calgary

Calgary offers small wedding venues out of this world with its beautiful mountain views on the horizon, various national parks, and iconic Peace Bridge. Be it a rustic winery, country farm, or spectacular outdoor restaurant, Calgary has it all!

Small Wedding Venues Edmonton

Rich art, culture, beautiful surroundings and leisure activities make Edmonton an excellent choice for a small wedding. The city won’t make you disappointed with an abundance of small venues, from art galleries to zoos!

Small Wedding Venues Ottawa

With its rich cultural life, beautiful river, historic buildings and vibrant laneways, it's no wonder that Ottawa offers the best wedding weekend. From art galleries and museums to golf and country clubs, Ottawa's small wedding venues are one of a kind!

Small Wedding Venues Vancouver

Vancouver has a well-deserved reputation with its pristine beaches and mountain backdrop as one of the most gorgeous cities to celebrate your wedding. From outdoor venues with beautiful foliage throughout all four seasons to old industrial warehouses, small wedding venues in Vancouver are endless!

Small wedding Venues Montreal

The vibrant art scene, old buildings full of history, cute sidewalk cafes, and boutiques are just some of the things that make Montreal a perfect place to have an intimate romantic wedding. This city offers fantastic small wedding venues in every style and budget with amazing deals and discounts!

Small Wedding Venues Winnipeg

Very active cultural life, major attractions, and spectacular rural lands surrounded by rivers are waiting for you if you plan to have a magical small wedding in Winnipeg. From rustic barns to elegant contemporary hotels, small wedding venues in this city have something for everyone! 

Now you have all the information you need to have a small intimate wedding! Start searching for your wedding venue among hundreds of options on WeddingHero right now, and get a price quote from vendors in various categories. We wish you a wedding as beautiful as your love!

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