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Small Wedding Ideas – A Great Alternative To A Large Wedding Event

Everywhere you look couples are having bigger, grander weddings, and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Small wedding ideas may be the perfect alternative however.

Instead of having a wedding where you feel obligated to invite distant relatives that you have never met, a small wedding allows you to include only the people that are truly important to you.

Small weddings are the perfect alternative to large weddings for a few reasons. If you have a limited wedding budget small weddings allow you to have a beautiful event for less money.

Many couples that have been married previously do not want a large affair the second time around. They have done it once with all the bells and whistles and the second time around they want it to be more intimate and meaningful with close family and friends.

Here are some small wedding ideas to assist with your planning:

The Location

Having a small wedding allows you to have more flexibility in choosing your wedding location. Since you don’t have to worry about having enough room for all of your guests, your options for a wedding location instantly increase.

Popular locations include a favorite restaurant, a bed and breakfast or anywhere you want to get married. Destination weddings are very popular because they allow you to spend a few days with a small group of loved ones before heading off to your honeymoon.

The Ceremony

Small weddings allow you to have your ceremony in unique locations. For example, it may not be feasible to have your ceremony on a small yacht with a large guest list, but with only a few guests this can happen.

You can also incorporate more people into your ceremony by asking them to read passages or poems during the ceremony. Unique ideas like a butterfly release at the end of your ceremony are also easier to pull off with fewer guests.

The Reception

One of the biggest complaints from recent newlyweds is that their reception went by so fast they didn’t have time to thank everyone and enjoy themselves. With a small wedding you will personally get to talk to every one of your guests and enjoy the menu you picked out.

There is less to decorate and coordinate, and you can spend more money and time on the things you think are most important. Wedding themes work very well with small weddings as you have a lot of flexibility and more options.

Wedding Planning Ideas for the New Bride

Once a couple is engaged, the bride starts to look for wedding planning ideas. There are many ways that brides can plan their wedding, such as planning a destination wedding. Today, many couples need to find cheap wedding ideas because of how the economy has been the past few years. Couples can have a beautiful wedding even on a tight budget. There are three popular ways that new brides can plan their weddings.

One of the wedding planning ideas is to have a small formal ceremony with close friends and family members. This will save a lot of money when people are on a budget for their wedding. Having a small wedding party saves couples money, since they do not have to pay for dresses, tuxedos, and additional plates at the reception. Cheap wedding ideas for smaller weddings include a buffet-style dinner, instead of having individual plates for guests, and reserve the reception area for a shorter time to cut down on costs. This will allow more time for the couple to start their honeymoon.

Another way that people can budget for their wedding is to have their wedding during the week. People who want to have their wedding on a weekend will pay at least twice the amount than if they had their wedding during the week. Many couples who need to budget, will plan their wedding on a Thursday or Friday to allow their guests a chance to take a long weekend away from their jobs. In addition, people who book their weddings later in the week will have a larger turnout to their wedding than if they chose a day earlier in the week. This cuts down the amount of people who can attend the wedding anyway, so this is a great option for couples who are on a budget.

Couples who are on a budget, but want to have a formal wedding can ask their bridesmaids and groomsmen to buy their own dresses and tuxedos. This will save thousands of dollars, depending on how big the wedding party is. Bridesmaid dresses can cost several hundred dollars for one dress. Couples who want to go on a nice honeymoon can put their savings towards their vacation. There are also cheap wedding gifts to give to guests, and homemade gifts are the best to give. Friends and family members will walk away with a beautiful memory of the couple’s wedding day.

Music Tips For a Small Wedding

Should you have music at a very small, intimate church wedding ceremony?

Many couples planning a small wedding will choose to have no music at all. I can understand that, but it’s a shame.

Music is such a powerful way of expressing emotion. Your joy is no less just because the ceremony is small. I think you’d be losing something by foregoing music just because of the size of the wedding.

So how to best have music for small weddings?

Two tips

There are two things you need to do to have effective, special and memorable music at a small wedding:

Create a more intimate sound:

Use less music. But use it in the right places!

Tips for a more intimate sound:

There are several ways to create a more intimate sound.

Get close to your musician (or get the musician close to you)
A piano might be just what you need
A piano is a wonderfully intimate instrument. If there’s a piano available (whether in the chapel or in the main part of the church), especially a grand or “baby grand”, consider using it as the primary instrument.

The organ can work too
The organ, whether in the chapel or in the main part of the church, can still be used to great effect. The trick is to use it correctly.

A loudly-played organ may sound irritating with only a few guests present, so the organ’s softer stops must be used. A softly-played organ can sound wonderful!

A skilled organist will be able to use the quieter stops effectively to achieve this wonderful sound. But watch out for less-skilled organists that turn quiet music into something bland and uninteresting.

Don’t shy away from other instruments
Solo instruments, such as flutes, violins, cellos or harps can help achieve intimacy. Such instruments can easily be used as the only instrument or can could be used with a piano (or nearby organ).

Even a singer can work well. Just be sure your singer (particularly amateur singers) are comfortable singing in front of a very small group.

Tips for less music

The second thing you will want in a small wedding is to go easy on the music. That means using it where it will contribute and no more than that. Too much of it for a small ceremony can destroy the intimacy!

Suggestions for getting the right amount of music:

Use very little music before the ceremony.
For a small number of guests, there simply is no reason to have lots of music beforehand. A very intimate performance (for example, a solo piano or violin playing nearby the guests’ seating) could allow you to get away with slightly more music. But do focus on keeping it short.

Avoid a separate bridal processional.
A smaller ceremony usually also means a smaller wedding party. Especially if held in a chapel, there won’t be enough time to get through two pieces of music let alone one. Cutting two pieces short will be more awkward than cutting one piece short.

So keep it simple and just use one piece for the wedding party and the bride’s entrance.

Skip the postlude entirely and perhaps also the recessional.
Your guests will be able to exit very quickly, so a postlude won’t be necessary. It won’t take the wedding party long either, so the guests could start leaving during the recessional (after the wedding party has exited).

A small, intimate wedding can be a lot less stressful and should be every bit as joyful as a larger wedding. Music is one of the best ways to express this emotion and done right, will make a wedding of any size extra special.