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How to Have a Small Wedding: An Intimate Celebration

corgi in wedding photos

Having photographed many small weddings in Los Angeles, I can tell you that planning a small wedding leads to an intimate feel. It lets couples celebrate with less than 100 close friends and family. Or they can choose a micro wedding with just 50 or fewer people. The beauty of a small wedding is in its deep connections. It’s all about closeness and the essence of sharing your day with those very dear to you.

With fewer guests, the day becomes more about quality time. This includes special moments in planning and during the ceremony. Small weddings are not just about the number of guests. They’re an opportunity to tell your story in a unique way. They help you focus on what truly makes your day special. Micro weddings and intimate gatherings are about personal choices and meaningful details.

Key Takeaways

  • Small weddings create a close-knit, intimate atmosphere.
  • Micro wedding planning involves 50 or fewer attendees.
  • Choosing small wedding ceremony locations adds personal significance.
  • Intimate wedding focus on deeper connections with each guest.
  • Every detail in a micro wedding is a reflection of personal choices.

Benefits of Having a Small Wedding

A small wedding lets the couple focus on what truly matters. It offers them ways to express their unique style and vision in a more personal setting. This keeps the event memorable and impactful.

micro wedding in los angeles
Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings


Small weddings allow for detailed personalization. You can make every part of this special day represent your love story and choices. Find a micro wedding venue that fits your style, whether it’s a charming garden or a modern city spot. Adding personal DIY decorations makes it all the more unique for the couple and their guests.

Quality Time with Loved Ones

Having fewer guests means more time to connect with each one. This creates a warm atmosphere where everyone feels genuinely involved. It’s easier to have deep talks and cherish moments with your dearest during the celebration.

Budget Flexibility

Small weddings are great for couples looking to be smart with their money. With fewer people to cater to, you can spend wisely. This means you can save on certain areas while still splurging on what’s important to you. Using DIY ideas can also cut down on expenses without sacrificing style.

In sum, a small wedding is a win for those who value personal touches and close connections. It also gives you more freedom with your budget. These benefits combine to make your big day uniquely yours, with memories to last a lifetime.

Choosing the Perfect Small Wedding Venue

Looking for the right place for a small wedding takes special care. It should match the couple’s dreams and the event’s style. Unique small wedding venues are perfect for creating unforgettable memories. They go beyond the usual choices and fit the trend of compact wedding plans.

backyard wedding micro wedding in los angeles
Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings

Non-Traditional Venue Options

Thinking outside the box can lead to beautiful locations. Consider places like quaint inns, art spaces, or high-end diners. They add a unique flair that speaks to the couple’s taste. Outdoor spots, such as gardens or scenic areas, are also great. They offer natural beauty for a special day.

Considering the Vibe and Activities

The celebration’s feel comes from what you do and where you do it. A ski lodge, for example, lets you enjoy sports like biking or skiing. This tailor-made approach makes the day truly special. It’s all about picking a place that matches what the couple loves.

Outdoor vs. Indoor Spaces

The choice between outdoors and indoors is key. Outside, you have nature’s beauty. This makes for stunning photos and a lovely vibe. Yet, indoors with its warmth and decoration options can also be charming. It all depends on what feels right for the wedding’s theme and the couple’s wishes.

Creating an Intentional Guest List

Making a small wedding guest list is about more than picking names. It’s about who will make the day special and intimate. Think early on about who should be there to keep the list short.

Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings

Setting Expectations with Friends and Family

It’s important to talk to friends and family about the wedding. Setting clear expectations helps them understand why it’s a small event. This way, everyone knows what to expect about invitations, which makes the RSVP process smoother.

Evaluating Relationships

Choosing who to invite is a thoughtful task. Look at relationships based on how much they mean to you, not just on who you feel you have to invite. Consider those who have been a big part of your story and will support your future together.

Handling Family Dynamics and Boundaries

Family can make it hard to keep a guest list small. It helps to set rules early, like on kids or inviting extra people. This keeps things personal and intimate, just like you want your day to be.

Key StepsDetails
Set Expectations EarlyCommunicate the exclusivity and significance of the event
Evaluate RelationshipsInvite those with emotional significance and ongoing support
Manage Family DynamicsAddress children and plus-one policies upfront

How to Have a Small Wedding

Planning a small wedding makes it intimate yet unforgettable. It balances closeness with creative joy. We’ll cover key steps, tips, and fresh ideas for a delightful experience.

Initial Planning Steps

Start by figuring out your dream. Think about what matters most to you both. Then, set your budget to match your dreams. Finding inspiration online and through friends sets the stage for a special day.

Tips for Downsizing Your Wedding

Reducing the guest list is key in small wedding planning. Talk openly about who must be there. An intimate wedding checklist keeps everything organized. This list makes sure details are perfect and intimate as you expect.

Unique Ideas for Small Weddings

Small weddings sparkle when you’re creative. Consider unique venues and personalized decor. Keep an intimate wedding checklist for inspiration. For example, a ceremony in a garden or post-reception stargazing adds magic. Add a personal touch with a special cocktail bar or fun photo booths.

Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings

Finally, focus on the essentials. Use smart downsizing tips and new ideas. This approach helps create a special and close celebration.

Micro Wedding Ideas for a Memorable Celebration

Planning a memorable micro wedding means adding unique and dynamic elements. These should wow your guests and leave them with a lasting memory. Smaller celebrations allow for more creativity and personal touches. This makes everything feel truly special.

Interactive Drink Displays

Imagine a custom cocktail bar at your wedding. Guests pick the ingredients, and a mixologist makes their drinks. This not only entertains but also lets each guest enjoy flavors they love. Such an idea smoothly fits into your micro wedding plans.

Statement Installations

Elevating your ceremony or reception with stunning installations can be amazing. Think of big floral arrangements or overhead decor. They become the centerpieces and stunning backdrops for your photos. This reflects you as a couple, filling the space with beauty.

Fireworks and Special Effects

Fireworks or special effects can add a dazzling touch to your special day. They create breathtaking moments. For a grand finale, consider fireworks or sparklers. But, remember to plan these effects carefully to keep everything safe and in line with the venue’s rules.

Combining these elements guarantees your micro wedding stands out. It turns your special day into an unforgettable celebration filled with unique details.

DIY Tips for a Small Wedding

Want your small wedding to feel cozy and personal without spending a ton? Take the DIY route. DIY small wedding tips can make every part of your special day unique and budget-friendly.

Crafting Personal Touches

Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings

By making things yourself, you let your personality light up the day. Think handmade invites, special centerpieces, and signs that are just yours. These crafting personal touches bring beauty and meaning to your wedding.

Involving Friends and Family in Preparations

Getting loved ones to help can make your wedding more special. They can join in by setting up decorations or baking. This adds a big dose of love and makes your day even more heartwarming.

Budget-Friendly DIY Ideas

You can make your wedding look elegant and pretty without breaking the bank. Try simple DIYs like using seasonal flowers for bouquets or setting up your photo booth. These budget-friendly DIY ideas let you save money and keep the charm in your ceremony.

Managing the Wedding Budget

Planning a budget-friendly small wedding requires smart management. You want to make sure every dollar counts. This means using key strategies to save without losing the special feel.

Prioritizing Spending

Start by picking the most important parts. Decide what matters most, like the perfect location, great photos, or delicious food. By spending smartly on your priorities, you can make your wedding truly remarkable, even on a budget.

Negotiating with Vendors

Talking openly with vendors can save you money. Share your budget limits and see if they can offer discounts. Ways to save might include customized deals or better payment options. Working together can lead to a celebration that’s both affordable and high-quality.

Tracking Expenses

It’s crucial to keep track of your spending. Use spreadsheets or apps to monitor costs and payments. This keeps you focused, helps avoid over-spending, and encourages peace of mind while planning.

Making the Most of a Small Wedding Ceremony

An intimate wedding ceremony can be made special by embracing unique elements. Adding personal touches will make the day truly memorable. Focus on small details to enrich the occasion.

Photo By: Huy Nguyen // Heartstring Weddings

Personalizing Vows

Writing personalized vows is a heartfelt part of a small wedding. It lets couples share their true feelings and the journey of their love. These vows can deeply touch everyone, creating lasting memories.

Engaging the Guests

Making sure guests have a great time is crucial at a small wedding. Use interactive ideas like a communal guestbook or fun activities. These custom experiences let guests feel more involved in the celebration.

Creating a Cozy Atmosphere

Setting a cozy tone is essential for a memorable small wedding. Choose warm lighting and seating that brings everyone close. Handmade decorations and intimate spaces add to a charming and cozy feel.

Ways to Include Uninvited Guests

Want to make people feel part of your wedding, even if they can’t be there? It’s all about creativity. Here’s how you can share your joy with everyone.

Hosting Follow-Up Events

After the big day, keep the celebration going with follow-up events. These could be casual or more formal. They include those who missed the wedding but still want to join in.

Sharing Photos and Videos

Don’t just stop at events; keep people in the loop with photos and videos. Share the moments that count, from the ceremony to the smiling faces. This way, everyone can still feel a part of it.

Live Streaming the Ceremony

Take sharing to another level with a live stream of your ceremony. This lets friends and family view the wedding from anywhere. It’s a modern way to make everyone part of your special day.


As we end, it’s clear that small weddings have key interconnected parts. A carefully picked guest list makes it intimate. This leads to memorable intimate wedding moments for all attendees. Choosing unique venues and personal touches reflects the couple’s story, making the event special.

Managing the budget well is crucial for a micro wedding. It lets you focus on important things, which enhances the experience. Including everyone through live streaming or follow-up events makes the celebration more open and joyful for all.

In the end, small weddings are about real, deep connections. They are planned with thought and care. This results in a cherished small celebration. Micro weddings allow pure love to shine, creating memories that last a lifetime for everyone involved.


What defines a small wedding?

A small wedding has no more than 100 guests. A micro wedding is even smaller, with 50 or less attendees. Couples see this as a chance to have a very personal and meaningful day, spending quality time with each guest.

What are some intimate wedding ideas to make our small wedding special?

For a memorable small wedding, you can write your own vows and have unique drink stations. You might also consider big decorations and special effects like fireworks. Adding activities you love can make your day especially unique.

How do I start planning a small wedding?

Start by figuring out your dream day and budget. Decide what’s most important for you. Make a checklist and join online groups for more ideas and help. Be ready to change plans based on your guest size and venue.

How do I choose the perfect small wedding venue?

Think about places most people wouldn’t pick, like cozy inns or stylish eateries. Pick a spot that matches the feel you’re going for, whether that’s indoors or out. Choose a place that fits your style and makes guests feel close.

How can I manage a small wedding guest list?

Tell your guests you’re having an intimate event. Be honest when choosing guests, picking those who truly support you. Deal with any family issues early to keep your day’s spirit right.

What are some tips for crafting DIY wedding details?

Try your hand at making your invitations or decorations. Having loved ones help can build excitement. DIY projects are also an awesome way to save money and make your wedding unique.

How can I effectively manage my wedding budget?

Focus your spending on what really matters to you. Always try to get a good deal and keep track of what you spend. This way, your wedding can stay on budget without losing its charm.

What are some ways to engage guests at a small wedding ceremony?

Make your vows unique to your relationship. Include guests in special activities. Create a warm, communal space to make everyone feel like part of the day.

How can I include uninvited guests in my wedding celebration?

Hold more casual events after the wedding. Share photos and videos, or live stream the event. This lets more friends and family take part in your big day so everyone feels included.

About Author

huy nguyen los angeles wedding photographer

Hi, I’m Huy! I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Los Angeles. I love sharing wedding planning tips inspired by my experiences shooting weddings. Happy to have you here!


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