20 Stunning Small Wedding Ideas on a Budget for 2023 Trends

Small and intimate weddings are trending now for 2023, and it’s not just because they’re very budget friendly. More and more couples are more likely to opt for a more intimate celebration to get quality face time with each guest, as well as create a more relaxed, casual vibe, especially in this special year. However, small doesn’t have to mean boring and there are so many ways to add a personal touch to your big day. Check out these amazing small wedding ideas I’ve rounded up and get inspired.

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Image Via: Durand Studios Photography

Small Wedding Ceremony on a Budget

There are some people who do not want or even have the choice to have a lavish, white wedding. As a result, smaller weddings are becoming more common as couples want to celebrate with only their closest friends and family members.. Having a smaller guest list allows you to put more emphasis on creating a unique and memorable event for you and your guests alike.

A wedding with a guest list of fewer than 50 individuals is regarded to be a small wedding because the average wedding has about 100 guests. It’s totally up to you how big your small wedding will be; just bear in mind that deciding on a guest list can be challenging. Due to social constraints, a guest list of 50 might soon extend to 60 or 70 with plus ones or additional visitors.

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The unity ceremony is one of the most beautiful parts of the overall ceremony because it is a visual symbol of two lives coming together as one.

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What’s considered a small wedding on a budget?

1. A Non-traditional Venue Is a Good Choice

You can be more imaginative with your venue because you don’t have to accommodate hundreds of people under one roof. A coffee shop or library can be a good place to tie the knot if that’s where you and your fiancé first met. This will enhance the sentimental value of your special day.

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Image Via: Heather sham Photography

2. Get Married At City Hall

You can save money by getting married in City Hall instead of a traditional wedding venue. When choosing your day, be sure to check the maximum number of guests so you can decide who to invite, including your photographer!

A City Hall wedding is also advantageous because you can celebrate in whatever way you choose! To commemorate the occasion, a small dinner for close friends and family or a larger party can be planned.

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Image Via: Emilia Jane Photography

3. Destination Wedding at the Location of Your Choice

A destination wedding can be costly, particularly if you intend to travel out and host a large number of guests. However, a destination wedding is a fantastic way to keep your wedding small. Because many guests will be unable to travel to a wedding that is far away, destination weddings tend to be smaller in size. Perhaps you and your significant other have a dream vacation destination in mind. If this is the case, now is the time to check it off your to-do lists. Plus, your honeymoon won’t require you to travel far.

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Image Via: Beaches Resorts

4. Small Wedding Reception In A Backyard

The backyard is a great location for a small wedding because it’s so near to home. When planning your wedding, consider having the ceremony at your own home or the home of a close family member.

It’s easy to honor the love between you and your partner in the privacy of your own backyard with a wedding. If you’re going for a rustic look, be sure to use lots of greenery and wildflowers, as well as string lights. If you’re having a small gathering, consider renting a long table and a few couches to create a creative hangout area for your guests. Another great idea is to play activities like corn hole or badminton in the backyard! Take a look at some of our favorite Pinterest rustic ideas! Wood pallets can even be used to create a dance floor on your lawn.

5. Consider tying the knot on a boat

Consider getting married on a small yacht or a boat for a more seafaring atmosphere. The skyline of the city might be a beautiful backdrop for your wedding photos. Jet ski exits are a great way to end your wedding reception, and your guests may join in the fun.

6. Get Married in the Family House

One of our favorite and most cost-effective options for a small wedding is an in-home ceremony. Consider getting married in a family house if you want to get married at home but prefer to keep it inside because of the weather or your own preferences. Any family member or family friend who is willing to host could be the home of the happy couples, their parents, or another kind of family member or family friend.

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7. Employ A Food Truck Rather Than A Caterer

However, food trucks may not be suitable for large weddings because they lack the capacity to accommodate large numbers of guests. When it comes to food, what are your visitors going to rave about? Maybe it’s a truck your partner and you used to see all the time back in college? It’s even better now! You can even collaborate with the food truck owner to develop a customized menu for the night, or even a late-night snack if you so desire. Instead of a food truck, consider an ice cream cart or even a mobile bar where your guests may mix their own cocktails.

8. Consider A Potluck Meal

Consider having a potluck lunch for the reception if you’re planning to invite a small number of relatives and friends who are excellent cooks. Request that each visitor bring their signature dish. This is a wonderful way for guests at your small wedding to get to know one another and perhaps even trade recipes.

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9. Consider A Small Brunch Wedding

It’s a great option if you’re looking to have a small, unique wedding. The most important meal of the day is a great way to show your affection for one another. For brunch, serve Belgian waffles, mimosas, fresh fruit, and muffins to your family and friends. It’s a great way to set your wedding unique from the rest, and everyone loves brunch cuisine!

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Image Via: The Box Street Social

10. Make A Playlist Or Engage A Few Musicians

It’s easy to play the music that all of your guests will enjoy for smaller events. Hire some local talent or create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple to play during the reception. So that everyone may dance the night away to their favorite song, including a message in your RSVPs asking for music recommendations. Wherever your wedding is located, make sure there is a space for guests to dance.

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Image Via: Intimate Wedding at Rosewood Estate

11. A Small Chapel Wedding

A chapel wedding is a great choice for a small wedding! Unless you want a religious ceremony, chapels tend to be smaller and non-denominational than other types of religious buildings.

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Image Via: Love to know

12. Go On A Camping Trip!

How much time do you and your partner like to spend in nature? You and a few close pals can get married in the woods while camping with a few family members and friends. Instead of wedding cake, serve s’mores to your guests at a nearby campsite. There are usually park shelters available for rent in campgrounds. You can go hiking or to the beach the next day and remember the funniest moments from the wedding. If your guests don’t want to camp, look for a campsite that has a nearby hotel.

13. Consider Out-Of-The-Box Innovative Places

Having a smaller wedding gives you more alternatives when it comes to the venue. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you’ve got a smaller group. You don’t have to hold your wedding at a traditional location, so choose any location that you like and can accommodate your guests!

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Image Via: Jimmy Gray Photography

14. Remember To Take A Group Photo

Although taking group photos at a large wedding may seem unfeasible, if your guest list is less than 100, a photographer can easily accommodate all of your guests. A heart-shaped snapshot of you and your guests standing together outside of the venue is a great way to remember the occasion.

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Image Via: Jimmy Gray Photography

15. Family Style Dinner

If you have a small wedding, you can have a family-style dinner no matter where it is held! You might want to pull out a long table so everyone can sit together, whether you’re all having one big lunch or each person is getting their own dish.

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Image Via: The spruce

16. Splurge on Special Elements

When you have a small wedding, you have more money to spend on the things that are truly important to you as a couple. Make a list of the things that are most important to you and your partner, whether it’s the flowers, the food, or the location.

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Image Via: Intimate Wedding at Rosewood Estate

17. Large Reception, Small Ceremony

A small wedding ceremony and a lavish reception are possible if you want them. Having a small ceremony and a large reception are popular choices for many couples.

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Image Via: Jimmy Gray Photography

18. Add Personal Touch To Invitation

A personal phone call to each member of your immediate family and close friends will go a long way toward showing them how much you value their company on such an important day as your wedding. You may add a personal touch to your wedding invitations by giving guests personalized champagne flutes as a save-the-date.

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Image Via: Lauren Carroll Photography

19. Have A Wedding In The Woods

Create an aisle by stringing lights between the trees, setting up a few chairs for guests, and scattering flower petals on the ground. This is an easy way to mark a special occasion with the people you care about most.

20. Reduce The Size Of The Wedding Party

Having a small wedding party or no bridal party at all is a great way to save money and keep everyone on the same page. All of your guests will be treated as VIPs if your guest list is limited enough. Without a formal bridal party and groom’s party, you can save money on your wedding by reducing the number of people in your wedding party.

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Image Via: Jimmy Gray Photography

Small Wedding Reception Ideas

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With all the wedding ceremony details in place and the wedding ceremony script in the works, it’s now time to focus on the wedding reception ideas. Unique wedding ideas are abundant and finding inspiration will be easy and fun. Whether it is the overall décor, an outdoor or inside setting, wedding party ideas can provide special moments for you and your guests.

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Wedding Details
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Photo Credits: Wedding Chicks / Lauren Conrad / Looks Like Film / Boho Weddings / Deer Pearl Flowers / Green Wedding Shoes / Instagram

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