Inexpensive Wedding Ideas for a Small Family


One of the advantages of having small, family wedding ceremony is the certainty that guests in attendance are there solely to witness your big day. Accordingly, you can more easily avoid the trap many couples fall into of trying to create the biggest, most expensive ceremony in the hopes of impressing others. Instead, capitalize on the intimacy of your event by making your own favors, selecting a simple venue, and involving family members in preparations.

Do It Yourself

  • A small, family ceremony makes it easier to create a lot of the wedding preparations yourself instead of spending money to have others prepare them. Type up your own wedding invitations and programs using your computer and take them to a printer to have them placed on decorative paper.

    Create your own wedding favors by buying materials from your local craft store and recruiting the help of one or two people. Or forgo favors and instead write a personalized card to each of your guests expressing your love and appreciation and how he or she has contributed to this moment. Guests will appreciate this individualized attention more than any wedding favor.


  • For a small, intimate wedding, consider having the ceremony at a naturally beautiful, outdoor venue such as a beach, lake, or park. These sites do not necessarily need additional floral arrangements or decorations to create a beautiful wedding atmosphere, so you will save money in this area. However, make sure to check guidelines for any permits or special authorizations you may need for your event.

    If you live in a house with a backyard, purchase some perennials and plant them in your yard about a week or two before your ceremony. Perennials typically cost $1 to $2 per plant at your local garden supply store. You can use them to create a line for the aisle you plan to walk down or encircle the area where you will exchange vows.


  • Instead of spending money on catering services, ask a family member or friend if he or she will cook for your event. Offer to purchase all the food and materials and recruit additional help if needed and ask this person to prepare the reception meal.

    This idea works especially well where only a few, select friends and family are attending the event. The person does not have to prepare a lot of food and you can use a large table covered with beautiful linens to arrange the food buffet style so that guests can serve themselves. Give the generous family member a small gift to show your appreciation.

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  • Photo Credit wedding image by Mat Hayward from
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