Planning a Very Small Wedding

I have a friend who is having a private wedding with only 6 guests. She has asked me to assist her but neither she nor I know where to start planning. We have already chosen a gown to wear. She will be getting married while on vacation at a wedding chapel. She wants it small but memorable. Any suggestions or do we need to hire a wedding planner?


By Onesummer

June 29, 20100 found this helpful

You don't need a wedding planner, in fact I am a firm believer that they add unnecessary expense to a wedding. I think a person has to do the things that they like. To my way of thinking, the fact that it isn't going to be a huge affair makes it special. I assume the guests are people that are special to the couple. The wedding day itself should make it a special event. I don't know if wedding chapels let a person bring in decorations or not. One thing that would make it special is for you to make sure the bride has something blue, something borrowed, something new and a penny in her shoe. It is just kind of an old tradition, that might help make it special for her.

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

There are a lot of websites that are free and will help you to plan a wedding, large or small. Memorable....will be in the pictures you take and probably the activity after the ceremony. If you are talking just ceremony planning? You will need; a licensed official, a marriage certificate, 2 witnesses, and about 10 minutes!

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

As a wedding planner and silk floral designer of over 10 years, I agree that a wedding planner can add unnecessary expenses to your wedding budget, if you don't understand how to properly use their services. There are many circumstances where a planner is an invaluable resource (such as having a very short time-line or getting married in an unknown area).

However, keep in mind that many planners offer hourly rates and can be hired to assist at various parts of your event. (i.e. day of, budgets, vendor research, etc.) In your case you may want have a planner help your friend create the overall theme of the event and a budget. This will ensure she will be able to create the "memorable" feeling she is really looking for, on her budget, and minimize the confusion, frustration, and overwhelming feeling of all the options that can conflict with her theme.

Then reference the websites for time lines, checklists, additional ideas, and vendors. I hope this helps. You can always contact me with additional questions. I wish her (and you for helping) all the best.

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June 30, 20100 found this helpful

At my second marriage ten years ago, we were maybe a total of 10 people.

I wanted to keep it simple. we got married in a 'portion' of our church. We were not even allowed to bring in music, a candle, a flower, that was the bad part, but we managed because we felt the ceremony was more important. Disappointing? Oh Yes, but i got over it.

I went to Costco, like a Sam's Club, and bought beautiful frozen fancy canapes. Heat and eat, everybody loved them. I used, hear me out, it didn't look tacky, plastic doilies I got from the dollar store to line some silver, glass platters and trays. The great thing is, the doilies don't get great marks on them like the paper doilies do.

I also bought from Costco; pastries, vegetable plates, breakfast items, sodas, everything we needed for a party. Also lunch meat, eggs, bacon, etc b/c I had everyone but one couple staying at our tiny house. Different kinds of bread, etc. Special napkins and plates.

We got married 12.18 and everybody pretty much left 12.26, so we had everyone there for Christmas too!

I made three kinds of chicken; barbeque; plain with salt, pepper, italian seasonings; and one tray with enchilada sauce on them. I cooked them on a low 325 deg. oven for about 3 hours and the chicken fell off the bone.

It was a short weekend so I didn't need much.

the wedding cake was an issue though. I live in Houston, Tx and the smallest 'real' wedding cake was like 200-300. one of my friends found a little bakery in the town she lived in and we got it for around 150.

this same friend was from S. Africa and she made a traditional wedding cake that was something like a fruitcake with fondant icing. Here's another funny thing, she and her husband were so late for the church that the pastor said he was going to leave; he had another wedding. they got there and then she told me they left the wedding cake at their house! which was about an hour away!

I had flowers for every one, men and women. I sprinkled rose petals on the tables; had little bowls of nuts, candy all over the place. My cousin's husband took a video of everything. After the ceremony we had dinner at a restaurant.

It was Christmas so I had the tree and the house was decorated. I bought a simple, perfect dress at a local resale shop and the men wore suits and ties. My sister made me put some flowers in my hair, but the florist, please do yourself a favor and quadruple check with florist, etc. about everything.

Two days before the wedding something told me to call the florist. the guy who took our order had quit one day out of the blue b/c he was a drug user. so he never put in my order for my gardenias!! two days before the wedding and the owner of the florist shop tells me that the guy quoted me numbers much too low for gardenias, but I could get lilies. ok I was disappointed, but the lilies for my hair were so heavy and so big they kept sliding off my head! it really was a scream.

I guess the biggest thing i could tell you is to relax and have fun. nothing ever goes perfectly and I wasn't willing to give up my peaceful feelings when the crazy things started happening. it wasn't worth it. I wanted simple, but abundant food; the house was decorated; the house was constantly a mess because it was simply too small for everyone-we all had a blast even on Christmas Eve when the tub in the main bathroom filled with backed up sewer. Too many people bathing and too much laundry being done. Luckily I 'disobeyed' my husband to be and ordered special insurance for appliances, plumbing, etc. and a plumber showed up Christmas Eve for $75 and fixed the problem.

We had simple gold rings, i had no engagement ring because I couldn't find one I liked, so what? It was a warm gathering of people I loved and love me. It sounds like you have that too!

It was special. It may not sound like that, but it was. I chose, it was my clear decision not to make a circus out of it; i kept it simple on purpose and it was great.

I had something blue, etc., a sort of a wedding shower where everyone - my Dad, niece and nephew, my husband's children, saw the scanty lingerie my sister gave me! Yes I was a little embarrassed, but I survived. I told everyone she had jet lag from flying from California. It got really quiet as I opened nightie after nightie. Thank God there were no thongs!

Things go wrong even when we try our best. But all we can do is try our best! Your wedding will be perfect.

Don't sweat the small stuff, remember? And it's all small stuff.

I didn't consider a wedding planner and I couldn't afford one. And you know, a wedding planner would have made it un-simple. Our wedding was beautiful, peaceful, a little chaotic but lots of fun and we wanted to have fun too.

Enjoy yourself. You're lucky to have your sister to help you.

God bless both of you in a wonderful marriage. You'll see; all the work you put into the wedding will work out the way it's supposed to be!

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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

Sounds like the whole thing will happen in a town neither of you may be familiar with. You have the dress and the facility taken care of so you need flowers and a reception. Contact a florist in the town where the wedding will take place (you can google to find one) to order a bride's bouquet at a minimum, flowers for the church, and a buttonier for the groom. If there will be bridesmaids and groomsmen order bouquets and bouttoniers for them. However, it doesn't sound like there will be a wedding party. The last thing to attend to is the reception. For this small party, contact a local restaurant with a small party room. The wedding chapel may have recommendations. Preorder the wedding luncheon/dinner meal and a cake from the restaurant. If money is an issue you can inform the guests that liquor drinks will be available at a cash bar. If you want to have a champagne toast, order enough champagne for one drink per person. The best thing about having the reception at a restaurant is they do all the cleanup!

If the reception will be after the bride and groom return from vacation, you can still do what I outlined above or you can go with the Costco goods as someone else already mentioned. You can get everything there or at Sam's Club. I've hosted some really great parties with everything from drinks and hors 'd oeuvres to a complete dinner with dessert and I didn't cook a thing from scratch. I oven heated or microwaved food and put it in my pretty serving dishes. Or I ordered their party platters. The Costco or Sam's florist can do some pretty amazing things with flowers, but you need to schedule a visit with her to make sure all your wishes are fulfilled.

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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

Oh yeah, one other thing. You need pictures. Either hire a professional photographer, or find a friend who will take pictures or buy a bunch of disposable cameras and let the guests take pictures.

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