Ideas for a (very) small wedding?

(11 Posts)
massofmess Wed 11-Sep-13 20:59:42

DP and I are trying to plan our wedding and we're trying to stick to a budget of £4k. We originally planned to invite about 70-80 people but keep wondering whether we actually want all those people there (mainly extended family). If we trim the guest list we have to REALLY trim it otherwise too many people will feel left out so would invite only close family/extremely close friends and have a total guest list of under 20, which we're starting to like the sound of. It would make life easier and the 4k would go much further!

Trouble is I've seen loads of inspiration for big weddings but very little for small ones, and we'd still like something special but most stuff we were thinking of doesn't apply to a small wedding - no point having a band/photobooth/loads of games/huge decorated hall/big church etc for less than 20 people. So any ideas of what we could do/have/arrange would be gratefully appreciated!

gillyweed Wed 11-Sep-13 23:07:44

registry office then fine dinning in private room - treat everyone to a slap up meal and drink all night, possibly stretch to a night in a hotel. 4k should do it (just!), and it will be a night the whole family will remember.

I was in the same predicament but I've ended up with a massive wedding instead...grin

massofmess Thu 12-Sep-13 08:28:48

Thanks gillyweed, we might end up doing the whole big wedding anyway but a fab night of fine dining sounds good! Gorgeous photos to keep are one of my top priorities though, would having a photographer hovering round seem weird with such a small group? And what would you do in terms of 'fun', ie where a big wedding would have dancing/lawn games/lots of visiting the lost lost relatives etc - don't know what we'd do about that bit as I'd really like to have 'done' something a bit special on our wedding day, something just a bit more than chatting over a meal. Would something like a boat trip/visit to somewhere/cocktail evening work do you think? Maybe something like a murder mystery?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 12-Sep-13 08:38:26

Percect thing about a small wedding is that the world is your oyster.

Take the wedding out of it and what would a great evening with these people involve? Then build in a trip to the reg office beforehand. Champagne outside reg office.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 08:41:36

We had 40 people and had games in the lawn, champagne and relatives from afar. It was fab. It was like a sophisticated garden party, even had a string quartet which was amazing.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 08:42:46

And we had a press photographer who just milled around and took pics of everyone having fun. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

massofmess Thu 12-Sep-13 19:45:13

Thanks for the tips - I was picturing a large wedding and then trying to scale it down but picturing it as an one-off great evening and then building the wedding in makes far more sense. And your wedding sounds gorgeous valium! Love the idea of a string quartet and a garden party feel.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 23:14:38

It was everything we wanted, it was lovely, elegant and dressy but relaxed at the same time if that makes sense? and no kids but don't tell anyonewink

We had immediate family only, 9 plus me and DH in church (4 person choir was a must wink! ) Walked to the church and I love the fact that it is close to home, we can see the spire from our bedroom window. Two pairs of our closest friends stayed outside the church, took care of DS when he started kicking off in church and set up a champagne picnic in the garden. FIL paid an accordion busker he came across on the way to church £50 to play for a couple of hours grin. Then we all wandered to our lovely local pub for drinks and then to dinner (just family again) at a fabulous restaurant. We had a lovely unobtrusive photographer with us taking mostly reportage shots - i think we maybe did 8-10 posed/group ones - up until we sat down for dinner. I loved it, so relaxed and informal (but elegant!) no,pressure to make sure you talk to everyone, no speeches as such, just my dad saying a few words at dinner.

Then a week later we had a massive party for all our good friends, about 70-80 including kids. DH's mates insisted on doing a best man speech then and DH was also prompted to do a,little speech but not lengthy! No first dance, no cake!

MissingGuiltyPleasures Fri 13-Sep-13 23:06:06

You really could do anything with a small wedding - charter a yacht, go abroad, hire a really special intimate venue (think beautiful restaurant, gallery, museum), you could still have a band - just not a big amplified set, but you could ask everyone for their special song in advance and give it to the band as a playlist, you could have an outside but sheltered space lit with lanterns and a bbq, the list goes on depending on what is personal to you.
If you still wanted to include all 80 people you could have separate reception (maybe when you get back of honeymoon) in a village hall type venue where everyone brings a dish and you hire a music system to blast your own playlist.

Hmm, I should be a wedding planner...

BartBaby Sun 15-Sep-13 08:26:26

We had 11 guests at our wedding (inc our 2 kids) plus me and dh. We had the best day. Only very close family and 2 friends. We found a very lovely country style hotel that did small weddings, we stayed there the night before the wedding, and the wedding night aswell, and the guests just joined us for the ceremony. The hotel did the room lovely for the ceremony, and then they changed it round afterwards for our afternoon tea (cakes, sandwiches, scones). A professional photographer was very important to me as there wouldn't be many people there, they weren't obtrusive at all and fitted in perfect. Lots of reportage type pics if things as they were happening, and 5-10 spent doing the usual group shots and with parents etc. we didnt need any games or anything as it was so intimate we were all just having a good batter and a good laugh all together. I still had a proper wedding dress and felt fantastic in it! And still had a lovely cake that was made by a family member.

Everyone went home about 5pm which left me and dh to enjoy the evening together. We had a lovely candlelit meal at the hotel and some time just for us, which lots of couples don't get at big weddings as they are too busy throughout the whole day.

The registrar said I was probably the least stressed bride she had ever seen! Less people definately means less stress. And I was so comfortable with everyone I wasn't nervous, just looking forward to it.

We did look into having a big party a week or so after but it would have taken us over budget so we didnt in the end. But I don't feel as though I've missed out on anything by not doing it (apart from the dreaded hangover!)

I'm definately glad we had a smaller wedding. A big one just wouldn't have been the same. We did it for about 4k or there abouts. So I would think it would be a struggle to have a big wedding on the same.

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