I want to read about other people's tiny weddings
May 14, 2016 5:08 AM   Subscribe

BF and I are going to tie the knot in a civil ceremony later this year with just our parents and siblings (one each) in attendance, but we'd still like to give everyone a traditional wedding-ish experience. However, I'm finding it hard to search for wedding planning advice/inspiration, as apparently anything less than 50 or so guests is a "small" and "intimate" wedding! Where can I find information on how to throw a wedding for less than ten people?

Bonus info: we're getting married in our current city of residence, which is very far from either of our families, and we live in a small flat, so the obvious route of doing the reception in the family backyard reception is ruled out.
posted by aerobic to Society & Culture (32 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My brother recently got married like this - I don't think he and his wife really found much advice either.

What they did that made it feel like a 'proper' wedding:
- Lovely venue (though this was pretty much by accident, as the local registry office is a fabulous Victorian building)
- Wedding photographer, taking all the expected pictures
- Even though there were only the six of us, father of the bride gave a lovely little speech
- Good cake (cupcakes in their case, but very much special for the occasion)

They had intended to follow up the ceremony with a meal for the six of us in a fancy restaurant, which I think would have rounded things off nicely - but unfortunately, they were getting married in the run-up to Christmas and couldn't find anywhere (everywhere being booked up with Christmas parties). So we ended up eating pizza & wedding cupcakes at their flat - not ideal, but still lovely!
posted by Vortisaur at 5:23 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think this is something you're going to have to plan yourself. What parts of a wedding will make it meaningful for you and your BF? THAT'S what's important.

Is the Civil Ceremony going to be held at the courthouse, or will you have an officiant come to your venue?

My father used to do ceremonies for friends and families. So I can give you some ideas from my personal experience:

1. Flowers. You can order your bouquet, a bouquet or corsage for your female relatives and boutonnieres for the guys. If you want to save money a supermarket can do this for you.

2. Photography. Hire someone to capture the day. I did both color and black and white pictures. I like the black and white ones.

3. Video. Skip it. I did and I haven't regretted it for a minute.

4. Venue. Find a restaurant you like and reserve a private room if you'll do the ceremony there, or just a table for a lovely meal after the civil ceremony. If you want something special, tell them it's a wedding party and watch how quickly they turn themselves inside out for you.

5. Lodging. Since folks will travel to be with you, find lodging for them where they'll be comfortable. We put our family up at the Motel 6 Studio. It was a really new property in our suburb so it wasn't skuzzy, and it was affordable.

6. Events. You'll want to schedule some things for both families to get to know each other and to provide a bit of structure. Some ideas:

A. Some activity you think everyone would enjoy. A boat trip (we lived in Florida, my Dad and Uncle went fishing) perhaps a circle line tour or a river cruise.

B. A 'rehearsal dinner' not that you'll be doing a rehearsal, but a meal for all the folks from out of town the night before the wedding. Can be casual but it gives a chance for folks to break bread together.

C. A bus tour of your city.

D. A 'spa day'. Usually the day of the wedding for manicures, coiffures, and makeup. But you can do this the day before too. Husbunny and I got our mani-pedis. He didn't hate it as much as I thought he would.

E. A breakfast the day after the wedding.

7. Limo. I did not think this was important, but if transportation is going to be an issue, why not hire a limo company to drive you and your folks from your apartment, their hotel, to the courthouse, to the restaurant and back again? It doesn't have to be a prom, stretch limo, but perhaps a van. Better than hoping Uber will do a good job of it.

That's it really. Take the elements that will make the day special to you and scale them down to fit your intimate wedding.

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:28 AM on May 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Vortisaur's description is basically how ours went. Nice clothes helped too, and having an officiant who was our good friend but not relly known to the families, so could easily take on a mantle of authority. One thing that surprised me was that, despite there only having been a handful of them, and no chairs, our families very much wanted to group themselves by "side" and have an "aisle" between them. If we had walked up said aisle, it would have punched up the weddingness even more.
posted by teremala at 5:31 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

A good search phrase to turn up inspiration might be "city hall wedding." Back when I was wedding planning, I loved A Practical Wedding and I seem to remember that they featured lots of small civil ceremony weddings with very few attendees - have a browse through their archive.
posted by cpatterson at 5:36 AM on May 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

Ruthless Bunny's advice is perfect, but I would suggest scaling it down even more to start thinking. What are the wedding-y elements of a wedding? At minimum, it's (1) ceremony and (2) celebration, with food. (Logistically, also (3) place for out-of-town people to sleep and (4) transportation.)

Build up from there with whatever wedding-y things you'd like to include: dress? decorations? flowers? pictures? aisle? champagne? etc.
posted by mchorn at 6:07 AM on May 14, 2016

My brother's wedding consisted of 15 people, including two children. It was exactly similar to a "normal" Catholic wedding, except they sent out fewer invitations. They limited it to parents, siblings, one sibling's wife, nieces and nephews, her grandparents, and two of my aunts who were very close to us growing up. The photographer was a good friend of the bride. Everything else was like a bigger wedding: church, flowers, reception at a nice restaurant, etc. They did a more subdued reception, in part because they're more subdued people, so no crazy dancing or DJing. But it worked.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:20 AM on May 14, 2016

I would look for a hotel package. That's what we did for our 50ish people wedding, but I know the hotel had packages for 'just you and him' type of weddings which could accommodate only a few guests. The package included all sorts of tiny details we didn't care about, like flowers and chairs.
posted by JoannaC at 8:21 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

We had a tiny wedding. The minister was UU, and married us on the lawn near his residence (condos by the water).

I wore a pastel suit, my maid of honor wore one of her own. Guys wore what they wanted, my husband a nice sweater vest over a dress shirt, as his one stipulation was "no ties" in his outfit.

Got some small red rosebuds and baby's breath at the local florist, and made my own bouquet using matching ribbon. Think I did carnations for the guys' lapels, hubby and best man.

We had about 10 people, including ourselves. The dinner was at a local Thai restaurant, where we had arranged a pre-planned menu and we were seated at a long table in a back room. They even had a young woman playing music for us at one point. The Thai place was chosen because some guests were vegetarian and the restaurant offered a wide selection of veggie-based foods. It wasn't just a local take-out place, but one that had won awards, but neither was it an expensive hall with a catered menu and open bar.

I had a crafty friend who offered to make wedding favors using traditional Jordan almonds, from items purchased at a craft store. One of the female relatives help me put flowers in my hair, which I tied back because it happened to be pretty windy that day. Oh! And since we were getting married on a lawn, I wore chunky-heeled open toed sandals, no spikes. Later on, when my feet were hurting, I was able to scoot back to our apartment and grab some flats, which I'd forgotten about.

It was all very low key, and pleasant. No one opted to stay overnight, tho' I did look up local hotel info for those who may have wanted to stay over.

A relative took photos, and wish I'd hired someone, not that they took bad photos, but due to the wind, no one wanted to stick around and do after shots. So nthing advice to hire someone for photos, even if it's a limited amount of money, as opposed to the traditional high-end photography packages.

Good luck and best wishes!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:23 AM on May 14, 2016

I am enjoying the other comments. These seem like happy weddings.

Ours had:

What we did that was "wedding-y":
- professional photographer (who was also a friend of ours)
- all the typical photos (all the family ones, a nice set of just us in a flower garden after the ceremony, the rings, my hair)
- bubbles (like the rice throwing)
- I got my hair and nails done
- we wore nice clothes (some guests did, some didn't, whatever)
- we went out for a nice lunch within walking distance of the ceremony
- my sister arranged a fancy wedding cake
- flower girl
- we had rings, wrote our own vows, that stuff

It was awesome. Completely perfect.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had a larger wedding - 30 people - and we did get married at an outdoor venue - but we had the dinner in a small space and hired caterers who specialized in doing dinners in private homes (I later hired them on our fifth anniversary to cook for my husband and me). I don't know how small your flat is or if you have home chefs/ caterers in your location but it was fun and allowed us to make toasts, be loud, play guitar...in a private space without worrying about cleaning up etc. We also had a florist come in and deliver centerpieces etc.
posted by biggreenplant at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2016

I had a friend who had a civil ceremony and wasn't planning a reception at all, so I offered to have a reception in my living room (not a particularly large living room either). The bride wore a cream-colored suit. I made a cake, bought drinks, and took pictures with my camera (I am not a photographer - I do know how to decorate cakes). There were about twenty people. My point is that a wedding with guests is really just a party. Sometimes it's a really fancy party, but it can be whatever you want it to be.
posted by FencingGal at 9:19 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Tiny weddings at Offbeat Bride. Offbeat Bride is a great resource for any and all non-traditional weddings (especially when you want/need to include traditional people).

posted by Beti at 9:23 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

They keyword to search for on the wedding blogs is "elopement". Sites dedicated to unconventional or low-key weddings are more likely to cover this, for example A Practical Wedding or Offbeat Bride, but I've seen them on just about every wedding blog I've looked at.
posted by Sara C. at 9:25 AM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I perform weddings (hit me up if you are in Vermont) and most of the weddings I've done have been for ten people or less. There are some opportunities here....

- You can get a venue for cheap often because you can just be in and out. Think about local historical buildings/libraries/that sort of thing. A lot of smaller libraries don't even really charge.
- Or you could do it at a restaurant that had a function room (or a hotel with a suite) and pack everyone in there. I did this at one small wedding (attendee not solemnizer) and then we all went to Cirque Du Soleil afterwards, so you can also hook people up with something nice (that you all do together) without breaking the bank
- Or you can put everyone up at one B&B (who may have packages) and then everyone can stay in one place. A lot of B&Bs are used to doing this for just the wedding party. This is sort of your routine except there are no more people.
- Everyone can have a role if you'd like! (or not) but you could give people some readings or have them say something short and sweet. Not like "oh wear this outfit" but "Hey you're important to us, would you read this brief poem or tell a story about when we met?"
- I'd also go the normal/traditional photographer route but you can get more pictures of everyone.
- Speeches! I'd sort of think about "Everyone having a job" and a speech or two over dinner does really make the wedding experience come alive.

The good news is that if you have a budget you can really go all out with stuff like flowers and food (wedding favors? I don't know...) and really give people the hook up. Think about how you would make something seem like a "destination wedding" for them even though you're doing it in the town you live in. Congrats, I hope it's lovely.
posted by jessamyn at 9:51 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had a 20 person small wedding. We had a ceremony at a reservable public park of roses, went to a cocktail hour and sit down lunch reception at the private room of a fancy/cute restaurant that needed no decorations, took a nap (amazing!!!) at the hotel suite (ask nicely at check in if there's an upgrade avail because it's your wedding!), and then went out to our favorite beer spot for the after party. The next morning we went to brunch downtown with friends.

Flowers, white dress, photographer, vows, general cadence of events, etc. made it seem wedding like.

Think about what is important to you, and plan around that. For us, it was important to have nice food and a honeymoon, but not a cake, and definitely no dancing and no Pinterest crafts, and it worked out! We researched a lot about the restaurant, but really didn't have to give a darn about a DJ or decorations.

The beauty of a small wedding is that your $ can go much further on amazingness per person. If your food budget is $2k, imagine how amazing of a dinner that could be for a 10 people. That's $200 per person, AND you can book a room at your favorite restaurant. As soon as you get to larger numbers of people to feed, that's why you enter catering category, most restaurants are too small.
posted by ellerhodes at 9:56 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding Ruthless Bunny's and jessamyn's advice, and also checking out "city hall wedding" and A Practical Wedding. We had a very small wedding (though slightly bigger than yours).

You really need to sit down and prioritize what says "wedding" to you and your fiance (and we also took our parents into account); as people above point out, this can be highly personal and vary a lot. So, as an example, we wound up with a nice florist shop bouquet for me, and boutonnieres and corsages, because my mother wanted the bouquet for me (and chipped in the money for it), and Mr. gudrun wanted the boutonnieres, to honor his grandfather who wore one, but I dictated the flower color scheme, which was blue and white. I wanted a wedding dress, but it was tea length and off the rack, and not super formal, per my preference (and I wore flats). I had some flowers for my hair (no hat or veil). I did my own hair (simple, I wore it down) and did no makeup to speak of. My sister, who stood up with me, wore a nice dress, the guys wore dark gray suits they got themselves (not matching), and Mr. gudrun wore one of my father's ties with his (his own "something borrowed). The vows were brief, and we did exchange rings (Mr. gudrun got my grandfather's wedding ring; in addition I was given by his mother and wore his great aunt's necklace, which has a blue stone.)

We got married in my parents tiny back yard, which was too small to be a location for any kind of reception, so we did the restaurant private room thing, and had a sit down meal after, which was really nice. We wanted some flowers for the reception table(s), so we went out and bought them and arranged them ourselves (we put them in baskets with handles, rather than in vases, so they were easy to transport!) No other decorations besides that, and no favors or gifts per se. The reception place arranged for a wedding cake, and we had champagne and ice cream (for Mr. gudrun) with it. Speeches definitely (no dj and dancing). We did no rice/bird seed throwing, no bouquet toss, or any of that kind of stuff, though we did do the cut the cake thing.

My uncle did a short informal wedding video. We had no photographer, though various friends had cameras, one of whom was a retired professional (if we had not had him, we might have hired someone). No limo, we car pooled it, but if people are coming from hotels and such, you may want to arrange some transportation. We had a casual dinner the night before. Friends had arranged for everyone to stay at the same B & B for their wedding, and they said that was fun - kind of a big slumber party.

Oh, one splurge was we wound up with live music for the wedding! My parents went through a local music school and got a couple who teach there who also moonlight and perform to play classical guitar music (Spanish style classical guitar music/traditional songs, a very sentimental thing for my side of the family, and we were happy to have this.)

Good luck and hope you have a wonderful wedding!
posted by gudrun at 10:37 AM on May 14, 2016

We rented out a small bed & breakfast (5 rooms) for the weekend for us and our immediate families. Ceremony was in the B&B's backyard; we hired a guitar player to play for about an hour total before/during/after ceremony. We had champagne and a small cake immediately after the ceremony and went out for a really nice dinner later that night. Everyone just hung out and relaxed all weekend, and the two sets of parents got to know each other. It was really nice.
posted by gatorae at 10:48 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Loving this question as I had pretty much had the same question typed out at 3am last night (worrying about our tiny wedding is keeping me up). If I could piggyback, it would be great to know very roughly how much these tiny weddings cost you.
posted by stray at 10:55 AM on May 14, 2016

They're DC-only, as far as I know, but you might get some inspiration from the "pop-up weddings" (tiny, curated elopements) coordinated by Pop Wed Co.
posted by babelfish at 11:48 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a couple things to add that I forgot earlier.

- You know that "If anybody objects, speak now or forever hold your peace"? Yeah, I hate that. It sounds so negative. So instead we had the officiant ask "Who approves this marriage?" or something like that. And got everybody to cheer for us. It was great.
- Because we wrote our own vows (which I found the other day - mine is on an index card, Mr. Meat's is on the hotel stationery) - I'd recommend actually getting them printed out pretty. We kind of wrote them last minute, but framed personal vows would be nice.
- stray asked how much this cost. I think it was about $5000 all told. This included photographer, lunch for everybody, our transportation (we lived in Chicago at the time; wedding was in Virginia where my family lives), my outfit, my hair/nails/makeup, our car rental and hotel, plane ticket for my brother (who lived in California at the time, was broke, and couldn't have attended otherwise), officiant and license, etc. Everything. Possibly less than $5000, but it was 6 years and I don't remember. I think our costs were about $3000; his parents paid for the photographer and mine paid for lunch. People brought flowers and bubbles.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 12:13 PM on May 14, 2016

I had a 5 person wedding in Dallas. I agree to call it an "elopement!" Once these vendors get wind of a "Wedding" - no matter how small, it's like a cartoon wolf with dollar signs in their eyes.

We had it at a local park, hit the jackpot on weather, and then had a luncheon at a local Brazilian Steakhouse. They agreed to be a backup wedding venue if the weather was bad. We hired out our officiant and photographer on thumbtack.com. All told, we were well within $500 for the entire day - not counting rings or clothes. I'm happy to provide pics or other info to anyone who is interested :)
posted by getawaysticks at 1:05 PM on May 14, 2016

How wonderful!

I also agree that you want to be searching for "elopement" examples on wedding blogs.

Also: this DC-based company does teeny tiny weddings specifically. If you scroll through their blog, you'll see lots of adorable examples of what you could do. I was seriously considering hiring them before our wedding became a three dozen person shindig.
posted by pinetree at 1:22 PM on May 14, 2016

Re cost: our wedding 'package' was $1050 and this fee included the services of the hotel planner, the officiant, the photographer plus a 30-page album, the use of the room and all its amenities, the use of a bridal room, flowers and basic decorations...in short, everything but the per-head cost of food and drinks. The room where the wedding was held could convert to a banquet room. We availed ourselves of this option since we had enough people (and at that point the per-person food fee inc,used the use of wait staff too) but we saw at least two brides with smaller parties than ours who had weddings the day before and simply did the basic package, married and then departed to a restaurant with their smaller party of guests. So, other than the $1050 we paid about a hundred bucks for the legally required wedding license, another hundred or so for my hair, and then the cost for food and drink consumed by our guests. We also treated them to a brunch the next morning. The whole thing came in at about 5k, which I felt was quite reasonable.
posted by JoannaC at 1:23 PM on May 14, 2016

I love all of these responses! We had a tiny wedding, less than ten people, including the officiant (a dear friend) and the happy couple. Think about what's important to YOU and make that happen. I had a very clear idea of what I wasn't important to me at all (music, being walked down an aisle, dancing) and what was (a heartfelt ceremony, vows, the exchange of rings, a beautiful dress, gorgeous locally-grown flowers, a fantastic photographer and a yummy brunch afterwards.)

We spent... I don't know. Maybe $3,000? Money wasn't important to us at that point, since everything on such a small scale was so much cheaper than the bigger wedding we had been considering. I think flowers were $300, photographer was $400 (for one hour, she charges $4,000+ for a full day package!), my dress was $300 at Anthropologie, rings were around $1000 total (I bought his and he bought mine), we ran up a bill of maybe $500 at brunch (bottles of champagne! Oysters! Cake!) and my dad picked up the check for that.

What would I change in retrospect? A limo would have been nice, it was a little stressful getting everyone to the site, and then to brunch (we split into two cars). That's the only thing I can think of, it was perfect for us, and if anyone was pissed to be left out, they were far too polite to say so!

We stood in our favorite park, on the edge of our favorite lake, at 9 am-- said our vows, wiped away a few tears, posed for gorgeous photographs, then headed to our favorite brunch restaurant to eat, drink, and be merry. It was the best wedding I've ever attended by far. Everyone dispersed by 1 pm and we were and are totally married! It's great!
posted by bonheur at 1:28 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

I haven't read all of the above comments, but we had a lovely small wedding (though bigger than yours --about 20 people total, but most of that was immediate family/spouses.) We got married in a small chapel, and then had photos taken on the steps (professional photographer, but very casual). Then we ate at a fancy restaurant in a private room around one big table (which I loved). Some small speeches, excellent food, everyone home by 10. We didn't do dancing, but you know what, I didn't miss that, and I love dancing.

Very little planning -- mostly just finding a restaurant, and booking the chapel. Some basic flowers (bouquet). Think of it more like planning a graduation party or something other than a wedding, because people will think WEDDING!!!!!

Only snafu was dress code. We really weren't sure how to tell people to dress (we didn't really care) but there was a marked difference in fanciness between my family and my husband's family.) I still didn't care, but I think they did. So make that clear!

In total, it just felt like a lovely, magical evening and everyone still tells us how perfect it was. We're very vain about it!
posted by EtTuHealy at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2016

I had a small wedding with many trappings of tradition, sort of by accident -- it was technically a courthouse thing, but our county had a 'celebrator of marriages' who was a county official with a nice condo with a large landscaped lawn and gazebo. I wore an antique victorian wedding dress I found a vintage shop a couple days before, and my husband wore a suit with a frock coat (also from the vintage shop). I stopped at a flower shop on the way to the ceremony and had them make me a bouquet of white lilies and a white rose boutonniere. Our parents came, and we got married there.

We all went out to a fancy dinner afterwards, and had a beautiful cake for dessert that we picked up from my favorite French bakery on the way to dinner. It was wedding-y enough for me :)

I would have hired a professional photographer if I had thought for more than a few hours about any of it, but I really wasn't into the whole idea of a wedding. The only reason we didn't elope was because I knew our parents would be really sad not to be there. It was even my mom's idea to take me to the vintage shop to get a dress, haha.
posted by ananci at 3:04 PM on May 14, 2016

My sister had a tiny wedding (bride, groom, four parents, four siblings and their dates = 14 altogether). The ceremony was on a beach at sunset with one of the family members officiating, another one taking photos, and each person did a reading. The couples who didn't live there got rooms at nearby B&Bs at their own expense. After the ceremony, we all went to a restaurant where we had a big table in a private room. My sister had commissioned a fancy cake and brought it to the restaurant, where they were happy to cut it and serve it to everyone. My sister had bought a bouquet and corsages that we picked up the afternoon of the wedding. I would guess that costs were about $150 x 14 for dinner, plus $200 for cake and $50 for flowers.
posted by xo at 4:52 PM on May 14, 2016

What sort of city do you live in? Can you rent an AirBnB type place that has room for everyone to stay? Would your siblings like to each bring a date/buddy/somewhereinbetween to enhance festive ambiance?

We rented a pre-season beach cottage, and thanks to our lovely friends and their lovely dates, all functions were performed in-house. Those were the two tricks, really.

Bachelor Party: my Best Man and her date and I waited for the sun to rise out of the ocean (caveat: only works if you are on the east coast of something), and then ran into the water naked, and then ran back with hypothermia and wrapped ourselves in blankets and drove fast to a place that sold hot chocolate and bacon.

Wedding: on beach, incoming tide, our feet in surf.

Your city might not have a beach. Amusement park? Botanical garden? Skyscraper observation deck? Tiny groups mean you can do a hit-and-run wedding anywhere you think is pretty. Or rent an AirBnB-type-place with a garden/porch/rooftop.

Reception: buffet, midnight swimming, trip to diner that sells my childhood favorite seaside food that is now expensive (fried clams).

Guest List:
- two Best Men, because we each wanted someone there to hold our hands and our brains. Each of our Best Men brought a long-term date/buddy/somewhereinbetween, and so did the legally-required officiant.
- My Best Man's Date volunteered to be Wedding Photographer. The Other Best Man's Date volunteered to provide the Wedding Music. Electric guitar, battery-powered amp. (Risky, but he was in a band that we liked.)
- Our Legally Required Officiant was a friend with an Internet-ministry card. His date volunteered to pick out the party music (and then everyone else discreetly overrode her choices).

Honeymoon: we didn't do this for logistical reasons, but you could rent the place for an extra night after everyone leaves, and lounge/wander about eating leftover buffet food and um, exploring your rental place's Possibilities.

Ours was a smash hit, for what it's worth. One of the participants still says it's her favorite wedding ever.
posted by feral_goldfish at 6:32 PM on May 14, 2016

My sister's wedding was like this. They had no attendants and the only guests were me, my parents, my grandparents, her husband's parents, sister, and his two nephews - exactly ten people. The wedding was in Seattle, where they live. Our family lives in Illinois and her husband's family lives in Oregon, so everyone was from out-of-state. They got married in the synagogue and had a traditional Jewish wedding - just with a smaller audience. After the wedding we all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant.

That's probably the way I'll go whenever I get married.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:23 PM on May 14, 2016

I just had 12 at mine including us - best friend, husband and children, his parents, brother and wife and children. We got married in the register office, having arrived in a taxi - we put his parents up in a hotel nearby and my bestie and family stayed in an apartment nearby (his brother and family are local).

We went for a nice meal at a reasonable restaurant - just booked a table for the 12. Had maybe told them it was a wedding, can't remember.

Had a friend who was a pro photographer for a photographer - I would have changed that and booked someone we didn't know, to be honest.

Then we had afternoon tea at a nearby hotel for an extra 10 local friends.

Find out what people would like or feel is traditional and work that in by all means, but we didn't have a cake or flowers and they weren't missed.

And enjoy!
posted by LyzzyBee at 6:44 AM on May 15, 2016

We had a 30-ish person wedding. We booked a small restaurant with a courtyard and it went great. There may be similar options where you are. Maybe even smaller. In one of the most expensive cities in my country, the whole thing was probably under $10,000 and everyone got to eat and drink great food and wine. With 10 people you could probably do even better, maybe even half or less the price. If there's a similarly nice and quiet restaurant where you are, it doesn't even have to be particularly small most of the time. Many will have private rooms you can book. You probably wouldn't even have to come up with a set menu for a party that size, you can just talk to the manager about your plans and see what they can do. They will often be fine with you bringing in flowers, decorations, even wedding cake.
posted by Hoopo at 11:34 AM on May 16, 2016

Oh my gosh, we just did this on May 7!!! It was not only tiny, but it was last minute too - we planned it in less than a week. In Alberta you have to book a wedding commissioner to perform the ceremony, so when one had a free spot - we jumped on it.

The wedding commissioner suggested a local park - we had never been there before, but were able to reserve the specific park area with City Hall Park Department. This park does many weddings and it has lots of gazebo's and arches and stuff for photos. It so happened that the plum trees were blooming and there were pink flowers on all the trees. You can't plan for that since they bloom at different times each year, so I think of it as mother nature's wedding present.

We invited about 14 people, and brought half a case of pink champagne and a folding table. It was a really warm day so we had the folding table in the shade. We also brought a portable speaker, and booked a photographer, which I also highly recommend - she was a pro, and the photos look awesome - we just got them back today. A girlfriend ordered a dozen wedding cupcakes to go with champagne.

After the ceremony we did photos for about 30-60 minutes, while the guests lounged in the shade with music and beverages. We then proceeded to a lovely restaurant nearby and even though the private room was booked, we were tucked away in a perfect 'wing' to be semi private anyhow. The dinner was leisurely, and glorious and we stayed there from 7:30 till 11:30.

In summary all you need is some place lovely to have the ceremony, a bouquet, a photographer, champagne and music, and a lovely place for dinner. It was a stunning day and everyone that came said it was their favorite wedding ever.
posted by tatiana131 at 1:08 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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