We've got a whole big archive of money-saving advice for wedding budgets. Cutting costs, steering clear of the WIC bloat… it's all in there for weddings of all sizes. The biggest wedding budget advice we've heard? Cutting that guest list. It's not always feasible, but when it is, you'll see that budget plummet. Here are our small wedding budget tips specifically for your tiny wedding.
If you're having a “yuge” wedding, worry not, we've got tips for you here. But let's move on to the tiny wedding budget tips…
Skip the extra wedding party and family gifts
When it comes to small guests lists, you'll be able to spend more time with each guest, thank them profusely for their attendance and help, and generally be able to thank them in non-monetary ways. If your wedding party and guest list are big, it's easy for gratitude to get lost in the sheer amount of people. If it's smaller, you can find other ways to thank those you love instead of spending cash on gifts for everyone.
Skip the favors
Similarly, you can opt to skip the wedding favors entirely. Since the wedding itself with skew from the usual, it doesn't have to focus on that “favor at every place setting” standard. Focus your budget priorities on something else, like delicious food. Guests will be happy with a fuller belly.
Skip the formal decor
When the guest list is smaller, the venue options can get wider (most of the time). This means funkier decor, restaurant spaces that are already full of whimsy, and generally less need to make it a big, formal, decorated party. An intimate space can provide all of the atmosphere you need, allowing you to forgo heavy decor and centerpieces. This also means a whole lot less hassle setting up!
Skip the ultra-pricey gown
With less guests around in general, nobody will have any trouble seeing who the bride is among the rabble. You can opt for a less formal gown, a fun, short dress, a rockin' pantsuit, or any outfit that makes you feel awesome. You'll likely just have less pressure to buy a super expensive, formal gown. At least that's the theory.
Skip the wedding program
It's a small amount of people, you shouldn't have to do too much explaining of who's who. Skipping a printed program in favor of a big sign, chalkboard sign, or nothing at all, should totally suffice for a smaller wedding. Plus, you won't have to see a ton of expensive printed programs left during clean-up — always a plus.
Downsize your catering needs
A small guest list opens up tons of opportunities for a cake and punch reception, a food truck feast, and generally less per-head costs. Instead of a formal plated dinner or buffet, you could consider a small plate dining experience, a coffee bar & pastry reception, or ask a foodie friend to help cater it (if the guest list is small enough).
When you keep things small, guests are usually less likely to expect the normal food experience. Just make sure to explain the food sitch in your invitation or on your wedding website.
Are YOU having a small wedding? How is it helping your budget?
Comments on Does size matter? Small wedding budget tips for your micro-wedding
In lieu of wedding party and family gifts, I wrote a personalized letter to each person who helped make our wedding happen. It took some added time and effort, but the recipients really appreciated the recognition (and it had the added benefit of saving us money that would have been spent on gifts).
LOVE this idea! I hate giving people cheap things that just hang around until the guilt of throwing away the [x] [y] gave to me finally fades. I know our friends would prefer something more personal like that anyways! Besides, how often does one get to write a heartfelt letter anymore?
We’ve got a pretty small guest list (about 65 people if we’re *really* trying) and we’re hoping it gives us more scope for venues within our price range.
We are having a tiny wedding with only 14 guests (immediate family and their partners and two of our best friends). It is saving us so much money, not to mention anxiety. We are so happy with our decision and can’t wait for our wedding day!
Great ideas. Such a simple way for the bride to save money is on the dress. Who says a wedding dress has to be so expensive? I just dont get it. Save the money for something else.
Unfortunately, we can’t have a small wedding, but we’re cutting costs by doing an adventure-themed snack bar instead of catering, and skipping the alcohol. Now our biggest hurdle is finding a photographer for less than $4K. :/
(current idea: hire a photographer just for first look and ceremony, have our guests photo-document and social-media-share pics of the reception)
We skipped a photographer entirely. We had a friend who is a wiz at taking pictures doing a few group shots and pictures of ceremony and couple picture afterwards. During our welcome speech we asked guests to send us their five best pictures from the wedding. We also requested this wish in the thank-you cards which we sent out quickly after the wedding.
Our biggest small-wedding cost-savings came from getting married at a restaurant, because we didn’t have to rent anything! Their beautiful banquet room cost $160 to rent, and it came with everything we needed, from furniture to serving dishes to linens, etc. It was even decorated with lovely fairy lights, so I only had to decorate my tables. 🙂
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