10+1 small wedding ideas

by | Mar 23, 2024 | inspiration

Imagine a wedding as intimate and unique as your love story itself. The allure of smaller weddings and elopements has increasingly captured the hearts of couples eager to celebrate their union with sincerity and distinctive style.

Such celebrations are not just events; they are personal declarations of love set against the backdrop of places that speak to the soul, where every detail reflects the couple’s journey and shared dreams.

What is a small wedding? ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ

At its core, a small wedding strips back the grandeur of traditional nuptials to focus on the people and moments that truly matter. Elopements, once a term for secret unions, now embody the essence of intimate, heartfelt ceremonies, often set against the backdrop of breathtaking destinations.

The benefits of a small wedding ๐Ÿ’–

Choosing a small, low-key wedding means embracing the beauty of simplicity and intimacy. It’s not just about cost savings; it’s a strategic choice to craft a day that intimately reflects your relationship. From selecting a meaningful venue to curating a guest list of your closest loved ones, small weddings allow for personal touches that larger weddings often overlook.

Intimate small wedding ideas ๐ŸŽ‰

For those seeking small wedding ideas for 50 guests or even intimate wedding celebrations for 20, our collection offers versatile concepts tailored to any guest count. For intimate gatherings or serene beachfront vows, our collection shapes unforgettable, personal celebrations, ensuring your wedding feels both grand and uniquely yours.

1. Luxury picnic elegance ๐ŸŒŸ

Elevate your wedding with our luxury picnic setups, which are ideal for those seeking an extraordinary outdoor celebration in LA, OC, or Malibu. Our expertise is crafting high-end, custom picnic experiences that reflect your style and vision.

large picnic

Focusing on providing a lavish experience accessible to all, our team ensures every detail is meticulously planned for an unforgettable event. From seamless booking to trusted partnerships with top brands, we’re dedicated to making your wedding picnic dreams a reality.

Discover the magic of an elevated luxury wedding picnic experience with Picnic Makers.

2. Private vineyard vows ๐Ÿ‡

A private vineyard offers a serene and picturesque setting for your wedding. Surrounded by nature’s beauty and the subtle aroma of grapevines, this venue is perfect for those who dream of a romantic outdoor ceremony.

small wedding at vineyard

Look for vineyards that provide stunning views and event support, like tent setups or indoor options in case of weather changes.

Tip: Arrange a wine-tasting session for your guests as part of the reception, giving them an immersive experience celebrating the vineyard’s offerings.

2. City Hall elegance ๐Ÿ›๏ธ

Begin your journey in the historic corridors of City Hall, offering a blend of simplicity and significance. This setting is ideal for couples seeking a straightforward yet memorable way to say “I do.” While not all City Halls accommodate wedding ceremonies, many feature stunning historical or modernist architecture that can serve as a majestic backdrop for your special day or wedding photos.

elegant music at the wedding

Before planning, research to find a City Hall that allows weddings, as policies and opportunities vary by location. In cities where permitted, these venues offer a unique blend of formality and intimacy, marrying the ease of public service with the splendor of iconic design.

Tip: Enhance the day by hiring a classical musician to play as you enter or exit, adding a touch of grandeur to the ceremony.

4. Historic home charm

Envision your wedding day set against the enchanting backdrop of a historic home, where every corner whispers tales of bygone eras. These distinguished venues offer a marriage of romance and history, perfect for couples seeking a setting as unique and rich in stories as their own love.

Look for a historic home that resonates with your personal story or aesthetic preferences. It could be a Victorian mansion with lush rose gardens, a Georgian-style estate with elegant ballrooms, or a quaint colonial house with a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

Tip: Use the home’s history as a theme for your wedding, perhaps incorporating stories or artifacts into your decor, to create a deeply immersive and engaging experience for your guests.

5. Destination intimacy

Imagine exchanging vows not just anywhere but in a place deeply intertwined with your love story. Destination weddings invite couples and their guests to a setting that magnifies their romance, whether itโ€™s the tranquility of a secluded beach, the rustic charm of a countryside vineyard, or the adventurous spirit of a mountain retreat.

intimate small weddings ideas

Select a location that echoes your shared experiences, dreams, or future aspirations. It’s not just about the beauty of the destination but its significance to your relationshipโ€™s narrative.

Tip: Consider the season and climate of your destination to ensure your day is as comfortable as it is beautiful. Planning activities for guests around the location can make the experience even more memorable.

6. Nautical nuptials

Celebrate your union on the open ocean or along a scenic riverbank with a wedding aboard a yacht or sailboat. The rhythmic waves and expansive horizons offer a sense of adventure and unity.

nautical nuptials

Tip: Check maritime regulations and ensure your vessel can comfortably host your specific number of guests.

7. Glamping adventure

Combine the beauty of the outdoors with the comforts of luxury camping for a unique wedding experience. Nestled in nature, this setting offers both adventure and intimacy.

Interactive and fun

Scout for glamping sites that not only provide breathtaking natural scenery but also boast high-end amenities. From safari tents on the beach to treehouses in the forest, ensure your chosen location offers a seamless blend of wilderness and luxury.

Tip: When planning your glamping wedding, consider the logistics of accessibility for guests, weather contingencies, and on-site facilities. Ensuring comfort while immersed in nature will make your wedding memorable and enjoyable.

8. Botanical garden bliss ๐ŸŒบ

Exchange vows surrounded by the lush, vibrant flora of a botanical garden. This venue offers a natural, serene setting for your ceremony and photos.

weddings in the botanical garden

Tip: Work with the garden’s staff to learn about the blooms and plants that will be in season on your wedding day and incorporate them into your theme.

9. Sunrise beach ceremony ๐ŸŒ…

Imagine greeting the first light of day as a newlywed couple, with the horizon painting a perfect scene of new beginnings. A sunrise beach ceremony offers a moment of pure magic, where the serene sounds of the ocean and the warming colors of the dawn sky form a natural cathedral for your vows.

Choose a beach that faces east for the best views of the sunrise. Check the local sunrise time for your chosen date and plan to start your ceremony slightly beforehand, allowing guests to enjoy the full dawn spectacle.

Tip: Remind guests to dress warmly for the cool morning air and provide blankets for extra comfort.

10. Backyard chic ๐Ÿก

Transform your or a loved one’s backyard into a magical venue with fairy lights, elegant table settings, and cozy lounge areas. It creates an atmosphere of warmth and familiarity.

backyard chic

Tip: Use the natural landscape to inspire your decor theme, and consider a 10×30 party tent to accommodate weather changes.

11. Rooftop reception

Take your wedding celebration to new heights with a rooftop reception that offers an awe-inspiring view of the city skyline. This elevated choice combines urban elegance with a touch of the sublime, making your special day not just an event but an unforgettable experience set against the backdrop of the city’s heartbeat.

wedding on the roof

Look for rooftop venues that provide panoramic views and cater to your event’s logistics, including accessibility, privacy, and space for dining, dancing, and entertainment.

Tip: Ensure the rooftop is equipped for weather contingencies and has the amenities for guest comfort.

After discussing various small wedding ideas, you might wonder, “How do I bring these beautiful visions to life?” Well, we are here to help!

Tips for planning a small wedding ๐ŸŒŸ

A micro wedding isn’t just a trend; it’s a meaningful choice that allows your personal love story to shine on your special day.ย  Hereโ€™s a practical step-by-step guide to planning your intimate celebration, filled with specific tips to ensure every detail is perfect.

small wedding

Step 1: Define Your vision

Start by envisioning what your ideal small wedding looks like. Is it a serene beach ceremony, a cozy backyard gathering, or something entirely different? Jot down what feels most important to you and your partnerโ€”the atmosphere, the location, or specific elements like music or decor.

Step 2: Set a budget

Determine your budget early in the planning process. A smaller guest list generally means lower costs, allowing you to allocate funds to what truly matters to you. Be specific about how much you will spend on venue, attire, catering, and other key categories.

Step 3: Curate your guest list

The charm of a small wedding lies in its intimacy. Carefully select guests who play a significant role in your life. This ensures a cozy, personal celebration with those who matter most.

Step 4: Choose a venue

For micro weddings, think beyond traditional venues. Private gardens, art galleries, or even a loved one’s home can offer a more intimate and personalized setting. Contact potential venues to inquire about their capacity for small events and any special packages they offer.

Step 5: Plan the details

Seating arrangement creativity ๐Ÿช‘ Introduce innovative seating like spirals or circles at your ceremony to foster an inclusive atmosphere. Each arrangement should invite warmth and ensure everyone feels integral to your journey.

Personalized invitations โœ‰๏ธ In a small wedding, every invite counts. Opt for bespoke invitations or personal calls to convey the significance of their presence, adding a touch of anticipation to your celebration.

Splurge wisely ๐Ÿ’Ž Invest in elements that elevate your weddingโ€”decadent cuisine, a spectacular venue, or floral extravagances. Prioritize spending on what will make your day unforgettable.

Entertainment ๐ŸŽต Choose entertainment that complements the intimacy of your setting. Whether it’s a string quartet or a heartfelt playlist, let the music speak to your shared stories and memories.

entertainment at the wedding

Alternatively, create a special playlist filled with songs that have significant meaning to your relationship, ensuring the music resonates with your love story.

Group activities ๐ŸŽ‰ Engage guests with activities that mirror your shared interests, from scavenger hunts exploring your love story to relaxed lawn games encouraging mingling and laughter.

Personalized menu ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Collaborate with your caterer to craft a menu that tells your story, offering dishes that are meaningful to both of you and enjoyed by your guests.

Momentos for guests ๐ŸŽ Express gratitude with bespoke gifts that encapsulate the essence of your celebration, leaving a lasting impression on your loved ones.

momentos for guests

Incorporating these tips into your small wedding planning makes the process enjoyable and ensures your day is filled with moments and details that reflect your love story.

For those embarking on the journey of marital bliss, understanding how to plan a bridal shower is a key step in celebrating your upcoming nuptials with those closest to you.

Final brushstrokes

Small weddings and elopements are the perfect platforms to bring your unique love story to life vividly. They offer a blend of intimacy and personal expression unmatched by larger celebrations. As you plan your special day, let the essence of your bond guide every choice, creating a celebration that resonates with your heart.

Remember, the true enchantment of your wedding day lies within the love you share and the timeless memories you’ll create together.


How can I include family or cultural traditions in a small wedding?

Incorporate family heirlooms, traditional clothing, or customs into your ceremony or reception. Sharing stories or performing a ritual that honors your heritage can add depth and meaning to your celebration.

How do I ensure my outdoor wedding is comfortable for guests in unpredictable weather?

Consider renting climate control options like portable heaters for cooler days or boho parasols for sun protection. Providing blankets or hand fans can also be a thoughtful touch.

How can I personalize a venue with strict decoration policies?

Use lighting, such as fairy lights or projection mapping, to transform the space. Personalized table settings and unique centerpieces can reflect your style without altering the venue.

What are some non-traditional micro-wedding entertainment options?

You can hire a magician, set up a photo booth with props related to your love story, or arrange a surprise flash mob dance to entertain your guests.

Can pets play a role in my wedding ceremony?

Absolutely! Pets can be ring bearers, accompany you down the aisle, or simply be present to celebrate with you. Just ensure they’re comfortable and well-cared for during the event.

How do I manage a wedding without a bridal party?

Consider assigning roles or tasks typically handled by a bridal party to close friends or family members, ensuring you still have support without formal titles.

And for those looking for a touch of creativity and uniqueness in their pre-wedding festivities, exploring a variety of bridal shower ideas and bachelorette party ideas can inspire themes and activities that perfectly match your personality and style.

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Olga and Vlad Picnic Makers

Vlad and Olga

Hello, beautiful souls! ๐ŸŒธ We’re Vlad and Olga, the storytellers behind each journey. Join us on this adventure as we share tales of joy, celebration, and a life well-lived. Thanks for being part of our magical story! ๐ŸŒŸ

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