Particularly in recent years, small wedding ceremonies have become increasingly popular. Easier to plan, cheaper to afford and less anxiety-inducing generally, it can reduce those big-day nerves massively, and also offer you the opportunity to spend one of your life’s most important moments with those who matter most to you.
On a budget, but still want your day to be as beautiful as possible? No worries – there’s plenty of ways you can dress things up and create the illusion of grandeur without breaking the bank. Here’s plenty for you right here in one handy list!
1. One Long Table
With just a handful of guests, there’s no need for ten different seating arrangements and table plans to stress over – you could even have just one for the ultimate in cozy wedding comfort, whether it’s just a long setup or a U-shaped design.
2. DIY Cocktail Bar
All you need is a couple of glass drinks dispensers, some ready mixed cocktails and recyclable cups for a help yourself open bar that looks adorable and leaves you free to dance, rather than serve drinks!
3. Wildflowers and Jam Jars
No need to dedicate a huge chunk of your budget to floral arrangements that look stunning but wilt in a couple of hours. Ask your friends and family to save their jam jars and offer up vases, then fill them up with wildflowers and foliage you can pick for free. If one of your loved ones has a beautiful garden – even better!
4. Handwritten Invitations
Whether you digitally design and print them yourself, pay a few dollars for a downloadable Etsy version or go totally traditional and handwrite them, this is a quick and easy way to save cash. Plus, ask people to RSVP on social media or to a specially made email address and save on stamps!
5. Bake Your Own Cake
Not bothered about a big white cake? Neither are many engaged couples! Either make your own or pick up a cheap and cheerful traybake from Costco or another bulk-buy store. Most couples don’t even eat a slice of their own cake, so why spend ridiculous money?
6. Make Use Of Palettes
No, not the ones with eyeshadow. The wooden ones! They can be used to DIY anything, from tables and chairs to chalkboards and menus with some simple changes and widely available tools.
7. Forget The DJ – Have A Playlist And Speaker
One of the most expensive parts of getting married is the evening entertainment, and although having a DJ is cool, making your own well-curated playlist on Spotify or another platform and playing it via a couple of Bluetooth speakers is just as good and infinitely cheaper.
8. Thrift Store Table Decor
Don’t spend hundreds on random decorations you’re only going to use once. Head to charity stores and thrift shops and stock up on cute knick knacks.
9. One Large Menu
No need to provide every guest their own menu – just write it up big where everyone can see it – using some of those palletes we talked about earlier!
10. Buffet VS Sit-Down Meal
A barbecue, finger food or a picnic: whatever your favorite kind of shared eating experience, skip the three courses and have something far more intimate and, more importantly, affordable!
11. Fairy Lights
Nuff said – they make everything look adorable, work wonders for lighting in the evening and cost very little to bulk buy. Like fireflies that never go out!
12. Non-Wedding Or Pre-Loved Dress
This is a matter of preference, but if you aren’t bothered about the traditional white dress, go for something that isn’t labelled as bridal and save a fortune – or skip buying new and thrift it!
13. Vintage Rings
Save some serious money by opting for pre-owned rings – they’re just as beautiful, but from a few decades ago.
14. Goodwill Crockery
If you haven’t got enough plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery, don’t buy any new ones! Get them second hand, wash thoroughly and voila!
15. Department Store Makeover
Instead of paying for a professional makeup artist, just book an appointment at your local counter! They’re either super cheap or free – and it’s still going to look amazing!
16. Edible Favors
Provided nobody has any allergies, these are the easiest way to give your guests something to take home with them. Or just skip favors altogether!
17. Disposable Cameras
Photobooths are huge at weddings, but they cost hundreds of dollars. Get some disposable film cameras, pass them around and there you go: instant memories to print.
18. Borrow, Borrow, Borrow!
Don’t be ashamed to lend things from those who are willing, especially if you know someone who recently got married!
Asking guests to bring some booze with them not only cuts down on costs but also means everyone gets to drink what they like!
20. Take Advantage Of Talented Family And Friends
Got a cousin in a band or a pal who takes amazing pictures? Ask them to be a part of your special day, and throw in a big please so they offer you a discount, or even do so for free!