Small weddings are special because they remove so much of the pressure to follow traditions that don’t work for you. You can hone in on what matters to you and the experience you want to create. The truth of your story – the big moments and all the beautiful in-betweens – takes center stage. These small wedding ideas will help you create an aesthetic and connection-filled celebration.
11 Creative Small Wedding Ideas
1.Find a venue that includes some essentials.
Whether you have 75 guests or five of your closest people with you on your wedding day, you’ll need a few things to make everyone comfortable. You can cut back on the number of rentals by opting for a venue that can provide things like tables and chairs. It’s even better if they can provide linens and glassware. Typically, venues who supply these things use a neutral or similarly easy-to-work-with color palette that shouldn’t get in the way of your wedding styling.
2. Have all your wedding activities in one place.
You have more time to connect with your partner when you’re not running from one location to the next all day. The less time in transit, the better. One of my favorite small wedding ideas is to get ready, hold your ceremony, and have your reception all in one place. It’s so much more relaxing to move from one room to another instead of hiking it across town for cocktail hour.
3. Pick the small wedding venue that’s right for your celebration.
Having a small wedding in a large venue can make it feel cavernous. Look for a venue that’s just the right size for your guest count. If you know what type of ambiance you want to create, also consider how the venue will help you achieve that. A restaurant like Suraya could be perfect for a moody, candlelit dinner, while a more spacious venue like Terrain has space for whimsical decor. If you haven’t picked your venue yet, check out this roundup of small wedding venues in Philadelphia.
4. Opt for sustainable jewelry.
When your guest count is smaller, you have more head space to spare for other details. Why not choose sustainable wedding rings? You could go the vintage route or buy a new piece from one of the dozense of jewelers who specialize in lab-grown and ethically-sourced gems and metals. Alternative stones are always a great way to put a more personal touch on your wedding ring too.
5. Invest in florals that make a statement.
If you love flowers, now is the time to go big. Wedding florals can do so much to set the tone for a wedding. It can help you define your wedding’s style and create a cohesive experience throughout your venue. For ideas on styles of wedding florals, head to this blog post.
6. Treat yourself to some great food.
As small wedding ideas go, this one is pretty universally agreed upon. Nothing makes a gathering feel special like decadent food. The right caterer can provide an elevated dining experience that still feels approachable to all of your guests. Meals are an important part of a wedding reception because it gives people time to be present and enjoy a full sensory experience.
7. Make it easy for your guests to connect.
Seated dinners also give guests time to connect with each other. At a small wedding, they don’t just catch glimpses of each other across the room. They can sit down and catch up over a cocktail. Small weddings give you a chance to do this with your guests as well. You actually get to speak with all of your people on your wedding day and have more meaningful interactions with them.
8. Choose the right entertainment.
If you want to have a dance party with your favorite DJ, that’s great. That’s not the experience everyone wants to curate, though. Small wedding ideas can include more mellow music like an acoustic singer or string quartet. Depending on your venue, you could bring in lawn games, and give your guests another way to connect. Tarot readers have even become more popular at wedding receptions.
9. Don’t overload your timeline.
You might be tempted to put a lot on your wedding timeline. Just because you have fewer guests doesn’t mean you should try to fit a bunch of formal events into your day. The best small wedding ideas are ones that intentionally bring people together and leave breathing room for the in-between moments. After all, those laughs and gestures are the ones that define your relationships long after the wedding is over.
10. Get film wedding photography.
Small weddings create space for intentional styling and emotional moments. Film wedding photography is perfect for capturing those honest exchanges and stunning details with warmth and nostalgia.
11. Choose Super 8 videography.
One of the small wedding ideas that’s gaining more popularity is Super 8. Super 8 is a vintage filmmaking tool that was first developed in the 1960s. Like film photography, it’s nostalgic and moving. It’s also a unique take on wedding videography. Learn more about Super 8 here.
Are you interested in having me photograph your small wedding? I’d love to document your day with creative, modern images. Get in touch!