Bride Hacks

Top 10 Small Wedding Ideas

If you're planning to have an intimate wedding then there are definitely some advantages. You may be doing it because you don't have a big family, you're trying to keep costs down or just because you'd rather keep proceedings small - either way here are some small wedding ideas...

There are lots of ways to make your day awesome, regardless of the size of the guest list. Here are some of our favourite small wedding ideas…

1. Hire a unique venue

Get married in a lighthouse? Photo: Andy Hudson

If you’re going small there are some really unique venues you could go for. Ever dreamed of getting married in a non-traditional venue? If you don’t have hundreds of guests then you can really let your imagination run wild. If the venue you go for isn’t licensed to carry out wedding ceremonies then you can always….

2. Book a wedding celebrant

Zena Birch, a recommended wedding celebrant. Photo: The Shannons

Wedding celebrants can marry you anywhere – on a beach, on a boat, under a waterfall, on top of a tower…. the only limit is your imagination! The ceremony itself will be completely tailored to you and your fiancé, so if you want to write your own vows or include funny anecdotes you can. The paperwork will need to be done at registry office but the ceremony can be anywhere.

3. Quirky catering

Mmm sausage rolls… Photo: Laura Babb

Not catering for the masses means that you can get creative with the food you serve too. If you have friends and family that are great at cooking certain dishes you could ask them to bring those as their wedding gift and include them in the buffet (you’ll save a fortune as an added bonus). Alternatively they could just supply the canapés/snacks after the ceremony and in the evening you could…

4. Hire a food truck

Biddulph’s Pizza, a recommended supplier. Photo: Chris Terry

Alternatively why not ask your fave street food van if they cater weddings? They lend themselves well to small, informal weddings as you can all help yourselves from the van and then sit where you like. If you’re having an outside wedding then hay bales make great seats, and why not get a fire going in the evening with some marshmallows to toast?

Wellbeing Farm is one of our recommended venues.

5. Get married abroad

A small wedding lends itself well to a destination wedding – you could get married outside in the sunshine on Mallorca like Roben and Craig did, with just your nearest and dearest there to witness it.

Roben & Craig’s Real Wedding on Mallorca. Photo: Made in Video

6. DIY wedding favours

With just a small number to make, you can get really creative with your wedding favours. It’s easy to infuse your own gin and put it in little bottles with name tags which double as place cards. You could do the same with homemade jam, or little fabric bags of flower seeds.

7. Shake up your table plan

Another small wedding idea is to seat everyone together, either on a long table or a horse shoe table. This will make it more intimate and cosy, rather than seating people separately on round tables.

wedding breakfast
Communal dining. Photo: Chelsea Cannar

8. Fun & games

Your wedding is likely to be a relaxed affair but make sure you have some activities to keep young & old entertained. Lawn games are great for keeping people interacting, laughing and having fun. Board games or a quiz are a good indoor option.

Amy & Craig’s Real Wedding. Photo: Andy Hudson

9. Good Music

Just because your wedding is small, don’t overlook this important part of the day. Live music is always a great way to create a good vibe, if you can’t afford a band consider asking friends who can play instruments to cover sections of the day. A great DJ will be able to match the relaxed vibe of the day, alternatively. If you’re going down the phone playlist route make sure someone is in charge of it and you’ve got a good speaker system.

Catrin & Chris‘ Real Wedding. Photo: Ally M Photos

10. Don’t skimp on photography

A small wedding calls for a great photographer, who is unobtrusive and can blend in. You don’t want someone barking orders at your guests (regardless of the size of your wedding!) Some people try to save money on their small wedding by relying on guests to take photos, and end up disappointed with the results. Photography is one of the most important element of your wedding as you’ll be looking back on the photos for years to come. Luckily we have the best documentary wedding photographers (the ones who keep it REAL!) in our Directory.

Photo: Tom Beynon

Hopefully these small wedding ideas have given you some inspiration for your big day. Remember it’s all about doing things your way, so just stick to what’s important to you. If you want more inspiration be sure to check out our Real Weddings.

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Photo: Jim Ross


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.