Your wedding is about your personal preferences, your dreams, your family, your friends, and your budget. Couples usually decide to have a small wedding for many different reasons. A small budget is not the only reason for a small wedding. Most of the couples choosing a small wedding choose them because they prefer it.
A small wedding is most often chosen in the case of a second wedding or with an older couple. Sometimes, couples want to keep it small because they have a particular way they want to celebrate and a large guest list just isn’t feasible. Also, some reception and ceremony venues will only accommodate a small guest list. If you are contemplating a faraway destination wedding and there are expensive travel costs, you might find that a closer destination with a small guest list is more conducive to your budget. Some couples from different ethnic cultures or religious backgrounds may decide that certain rituals and customs are easier with a small wedding. If it is very important to you that you involve all of your guests in the wedding, then a smaller group may be more manageable. Also, if there are children involved, it is somewhat easier when including blended family rituals, if you keep the wedding small. It may be very important to you to have the opportunity to meet and talk with each of your guests at your wedding and a small wedding makes that possible. Something else to remember is that if your vision of your wedding is expensive and rich, you can still have that, if you keep the guest list at a minimum. And, as always, if you are working with a small budget, then a small wedding is the best choice.
When you announce your plans for a small wedding or elopement, you should expect some negative feedback. Just be prepared for it by discussing ahead of time how to respond. Most people will be receptive to the idea if they understand why you want a small wedding. The people who truly care about you will want what is best for you as a couple.
You should also be aware that just because you are having a small wedding does not mean that you will not need some of the same services as an average size wedding. It can be just as stressful to plan a small wedding as planning an average size wedding. This is because some of the same elements are needed. i.e. wedding gown, tux, photographer, flowers, venue, music, food, cake, beverages, etc.
Planning a small intimate wedding or elopement means inviting only your closest family and friends….or inviting no one at all. Small intimate weddings may take place in any number of locations, the most common being a home, a club, a park, or the ever popular beach location. An officiant performs the ceremony and sometimes the couple will write their own vows. They may often include traditions such as a sand ceremony or unity candle. Most couples will host a small party afterwards at a restaurant, or home, or any other secluded area.
An intimate elopement with just the two of you is the smallest kind of wedding. If you and your fiancé’ choose to elope, you may not even want a reception. Instead, you may prefer a romantic dinner and afterwards, champagne and strawberries in a bubble bath together. An elopement is not just for people who want to keep their marriage a secret. It is perfect for couples who enjoy spontaneity, or those looking for an inexpensive way to get married.
If your main focus is on your marriage being the most important aspect of your wedding, everything else will fall in place. A small wedding does not mean you have to give up the joy and beauty of your wedding. Small, intimate weddings are the most romantic of all and the focus is primarily on your love for each other.
Think about it:
- Small weddings or elopements usually eliminate the formalities. i.e. formal processional, formal recessional, etc. The casual atmosphere will allow your guests to mix and mingle before the ceremony.
- Why not try new rituals or traditions in your wedding. These can be much easier if you are having a small wedding. i.e. write your own vows, including blessings and thanks to your family.
- The bride and groom can start the reception with the clinking of their glasses and a toast to their guests, rather than a formal introduction by the emcee or DJ.
- If there are no bridesmaid bouquets, groomsmen boots, or floral centerpieces, you may like the idea of giving each female guest a flower.
- You might want your guests to stand, form a circle around you, and hold hands during your ceremony…encompassing all their love and support.
- Go around the room and give each guest an opportunity to give good wishes or a toast to the bride and groom.
- It’s fun to show some personalization at your reception by having a video or slide show of the couple and their family and friends that may be in attendance. This can be a very special time for heartfelt thanks to your guests.
- If you are having a small wedding or elopement, be sure and treat your guests to some special things. i.e. transportation to and from the ceremony and reception, photography including the bride and groom with each guest.
- If you are interested in a fantastic memory for each of your guests, you might even consider a destination or weekend wedding. Everyone travels to the destination and enjoys a full weekend or extended vacation which includes all the before and after wedding festivities.
- With a small wedding or elopement, you might like to provide your guests and close family with spa treatments, tours, or personalized favors.
- Remember that a small wedding is the perfect setting for a solo musician, rather than a band or DJ.
- It can be very special to include every guest in attendance with your wedding theme. i.e. Hawaiian theme, beach theme, nautical theme, pirate theme, fairy tale theme, Victorian theme. The ideas are unlimited!
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