The Ultimate Small Wedding Checklist for an Intimate Ceremony

Planning your wedding ensures you get the wedding of your dream. But what about a small wedding? Here's your ultimate small wedding checklist.

Did he finally pop the big question? Congratulations! Planning a wedding is an exciting (and stressful) time.

With the average wedding costing over $31,000, many couples are feeling the financial stress more than ever before. Of course, the more people you invite, the higher those costs will be.

That's why many people are gravitating towards a small, intimate wedding. But, don't be fooled - there's still tons of planning to be done, and a small wedding checklist can help keep you on track.

Do you want to know what we're talking about? Keep reading to discover our ultimate small wedding checklist for an intimate ceremony.

Limited Guest List

So, you've officially posted your engagement on social media, and you have tons of people congratulating you. People you haven't spoken to in years start filling your inbox with thoughtful messages.

When it comes time to create your guest list, you may wonder just how many of those people should get an invite. But an intimate wedding revolves around an intimate guest list. If you invite all those people who you aren't close to or haven't spoken to in years, you'll end up with a huge wedding bash.

Stick to only inviting those people who you care about - most likely your immediate family and close friends. If you have a whole list of people that you aren't sure about, create a separate section on your guest list for them. As you look at venues and get a better idea of exactly how many people you can invite, you can cross some out and move others to the final list.

Small Bridal Party

Choosing your bridal party is an important step in planning any size wedding. You want to include the right people to make your special day (and the events leading up to it) is special. After all, they'll be the ones planning your bridal shower and bachelorette party, as well as helping you get ready the day of.

But your small wedding checklist should include choosing a small bridal party. A large bridal party can look out of place at an intimate ceremony. Imagine you invite 30 people to your wedding, but 14 of them are either bridesmaids or groomsmen - that's half your guest list standing next to you during the ceremony!

Instead, try to limit your bridesmaids and groomsmen to 4-6 people total. You can always invite those who didn't make the cut to the bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner to show how important they are to you.

Special Venue

The venue is one of the most important things needed for a wedding. You'll want to find one that's the right size and look for your special day.

Having a small, intimate wedding means you can broaden your horizons when choosing the right location. You don't have to be limited to ballrooms and resorts that can fit hundreds of people.

Look for non-traditional or affordable locations. You could have a small beach wedding, an exotic destination wedding, a cozy backyard wedding, or even a mystic garden wedding. With a smaller guest list, there are a lot more possibilities out there, so explore them all!

Wedding Planner

"A wedding planner? I thought those were only for huge weddings." The truth is, no matter how small your wedding is, they'll be tons of details to coordinate.

You'll still need to pick your invitations, centerpieces, linens, caterer, baker, DJ, and so much more. A wedding planner can help you find the best vendors and offer helpful advice on coordinating all the decorative aspects.

When it comes to the day of, you can feel free to relax and enjoy your day. A wedding planner will be responsible for making sure the ceremony and reception run smoothly, so you don't have to.

Encompassing Decorations

Decorations should definitely make their way onto your small wedding checklist. With a larger wedding, you may just decorate the tables and add a few extra touches sporadically throughout the venue. But with a small wedding venue, you can decorate the entire space to complete the ambiance.

Things like string lights or tulle draperies can be hung around a room (or even across one wall) to create a more romantic feel. You'll have the ability to decorate the entire space, so you should take advantage of it!

Professional Photographer

When you're planning a budget wedding, you may feel tempted to cut a lot of things out. But a photographer shouldn't be one of them.

If you mention to your friends and family that you aren't hiring a photographer, they may feel responsible for picking up the slack (even if they don't tell you directly). This means your loved ones will be more likely to focus on taking pictures rather than enjoying the moment. Not only will hiring a photographer allows your guests to relax, but you'll get better quality photos that will last a lifetime.

A Personal Touch

Alright, so everything on your wedding day checklist has your personal touch. After all, you chose everything from the decorations down to your first dance song. But a smaller wedding gives you the chance to do something special that showcases you and your partner as a couple.

Did you meet at a trivia night? Play a trivia game at the reception. Are you both huge soccer fans? Invite your guests outside for a quick game. Things like this can be impossible to organize with a large guest list but can be a highlight at a smaller wedding.

The Ultimate Small Wedding Checklist

If you're feeling stressed about planning your wedding, you may be considering doing something small and intimate. Not only will you save tons of money, but you'll get the hassle-free wedding you've always dreamed of. Just follow our small wedding checklist to make sure you have everything you need for the big day.

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Photo: Katie Martin Photography