15 Swoon-worthy Small Wedding Ideas

Because bigger isn't always better.

Small Wedding Ideas | Intimate cliffside ceremony at Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Hyatt Carmel Highlands | Carol Oliva Photography

Small weddings are trending—and it's not just because they're easier on the wallet. Couples are opting for a more intimate celebration to get quality face time with each attendee as well as create a more relaxed, casual vibe. But casual doesn't have to mean simple—there are so many ways to craft a bite-sized event that's brimming with custom-curated details!

Small weddings provide a bit more wiggle room with the budget, which allows ample opportunity to get creative. To prove it, here's a compilation of swoon-worthy ideas for a small wedding that you'll no doubt want to steal.

Keep it tight.

Ditch the giant bridal party in favor of just a couple siblings or BFFs.

Small Wedding Ideas | Intimate wedding party at Gather in Downtown McKinney, Texas

Gather in Downtown McKinney | Blue Elephant Photography

Opt for standing room only.

Have everyone stand for a short-but-sweet ceremony. (Unless someone needs a chair, of course!)

Small Wedding Ideas | Standing-room only ceremony at The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard, VA

The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard | Lisa Boggs Photography

Surround yourself with love.

Take advantage of the small number of attendees by giving everyone the best seat in the house!

Small Wedding Ideas | Circular wedding ceremony setup at Seven4One in Laguna Beach, CA

Seven4One | Nicolette Moku Photography

Get cozy.

Squeeze everyone into one tight-knit photo. If this isn't frame-worthy, we don't know what is. #throwingupapeacesign

Small Wedding Photos | Intimate barn wedding at Cedarwood Weddings in Tennessee

Cedarwood Weddings | Aesthetiica Photography

Dine family style.

Seat your nearest and dearest at a long table and enjoy a family-style meal together.

Small Wedding Ideas | S-curve reception table at Deepwood Museum & Gardens in Oregon

Deepwood Museum & Gardens | Alexis Arnold Photography

Open up the mic.

Instead of having just the traditional speeches, make your reception an "open mic night" for anyone who'd like to say a few words. (Just prepare yourselves for the uncensored inside jokes!)

Small Wedding Ideas | Reception toasts poke fun at the bride and groom

Carmel Valley Ranch | The de Jaureguis

Do a liquor store run.

Skip the pricey bar tab and pick up a couple 24-packs. Don't forget the custom koozy wedding favors!

Small Wedding Ideas | A casual 24-pack of Budweiser with custom koozy wedding favors

Herrington on the Bay | Landrum Photography

Hire a food truck.

What's more fun than getting a food truck for late-night snacks? We can't think of much, tbh.

Small Wedding Ideas | Adorable newlyweds smile in front of a food truck

Chelsey Boatwright Photography | Curbside Gourmet

Go all out.

When the wedding is small, you can splurge a bit. Seafood tower on an ice sculpture? Yes, please.

Small Wedding Ideas | Splurge on food, like this fancy seafood tower ice sculpture

Lakewold Gardens | Sarah Anne Photography | Cameron Catering

Or keep it casual.

But there's absolutely nothing wrong with ordering a few artisan pizzas and calling it a night!

Small Wedding Ideas | Couple elopes in Chicago and celebrates with pizza!

Ryan Greenleaf Photography

Make things interactive.

With a smaller group, you can encourage interaction with lawn games, board games, or a "build-your-own" station—like this ice cream sundae bar!

Small Wedding Ideas | Interactive food stations like this build-your-own ice cream sundae bar

Paige Jones | Simply Charming Socials

Kick up your feet.

Set up a comfy lounge area to make ALL of your guests feel right at home.

Small Wedding Ideas | Plush lounge area setup at Harmony Chapel and Garden in Harmony, CA

Harmony Chapel and Garden | Kiel Rucker Photography

Gather everyone 'round.

Set up a fire pit for guests to sit around. Bonus points for s'mores, obvi.

Small Wedding Ideas | Firepit with s'mores station at Deer Park Villa in Fairfax, CA

Deer Park Villa | Manali Anne Photography

Keep the party going.

Take the entire guest list to the local dive bar for an epic after party. Give them hangover kits to ensure they'll still like you in the morning.

Small Wedding Ideas | Hangover kit wedding favors

Jessa Schifilliti Photographer

Brunch it up.

And speaking of morning, extend the festivities to include a day-after brunch! Waffle wedding "cake", anyone? #wheresmymimosa

Small Wedding Ideas | Day-after brunch with waffle wedding cake

Jadie Jo Photography | Waffle Love

Are we friends yet? Join MyGuide for more goodness!

Some clients may have paid to be placed in our editorial and some of these links may be affiliate; however, we never include a venue, vendor, or product unless they have a proper place here. This is part of our Core Values. We create our website first and foremost to be good for the couples using it to plan their Big Day. We won't stray from that for a few advertising dollars. #scoutshonor

Find More Articles About...

All-Inclusive | Art Gallery | Ballroom | Barn | Beach / Ocean | Beach Wedding Ceremony | Brewery / Distillery | Bridal Fairs | Brides Want to Know | Budget Wedding Ideas | Business Functions / Meetings | Cakes | Ceremony | Chapel / Church / Temple | Checklists | City / Urban | Cityscape | Colorful | Covid | Creek / River | Cultural | Destination | DIY Wedding Ideas | DJ / Entertainment / Music | Dog | Elegant | Elopement Packages | Engagement / Proposal | Expert Advice | Fall | Flowers | Food | Forest / Woods | Fun | Garden | Give Back | Glam | Glossaries of Wedding Terms | Golf / Country Club | Great View | Green Weddings | Grooms / Groomsmen | Hills | Historic | Historic / Landmark Building | Honeymoons / Travel | Hotel | Indian | Inspiration Board | Invitations | Lake | Landscaped Grounds | Large Wedding | Late Night | LGBTQ+ Friendly | Local Weddings | Loft / Warehouse / Industrial | Makeup / Hair | Mansion | Modern | Moss | Mountain | Museum | Nightclub | Non-Profit | Ocean / Bay | Offbeat | On-Site Accommodations | Outdoor | Outdoor Ceremony | Outdoor Reception | Panoramic | Park | Penthouse / Rooftop | Photography | Printable | Private Estate | Private Home | Questions To Ask Your... | Ranch / Farm | Reception | Rehearsal Dinner | Resort / Spa | Restaurant | Retreat | Romantic | Rustic | Shabby Chic | Ski Resort | Small Wedding | Special Events / Parties | Summer | Theater District | Unique | Unique | Valley | Vintage | Wedding Dresses / Accessories | Wedding Insurance | Wedding Registry | Wedding Vendors | Wedding Venues / Locations | Weddings by Season | Wineries | Winery / Vineyard | Winter | Zoo / Aquarium