Small Wedding Ideas on a Budget

5 Small Wedding Ideas on a Budget


  • Small Wedding Ideas on a Budget
  • How to Make a Low-Budget Wedding
  • What’s Considered a Small Budget for a Wedding
  • How to Make a Cheap Wedding Look Expensive

Do you have a small wedding budget? You’ve come to the right place! An extravagant wedding worth thousands and thousands of pounds, surrounded by large groups of friends and extended family who you haven’t seen in ages might not be for everyone. It’s a given. And that’s completely okay! But for those looking for some small inexpensive wedding ideas, we’ve got you covered. 

For those couples who would prefer to not be completely overwhelmed by an onslaught of people they barely know, there are still many avenues to consider taking. For some, getting hitched quickly, quietly, and inexpensively might go hand in hand with getting eloped. However, some couples might still want to experience many of the traditional wedding aspects but might be searching for budget wedding ideas.

If that sounds like you, you might be considering a small, intimate-style wedding with just a few of your nearest and dearest in tow. Planning a wedding reception on a budget is, of course, going to be stressful. But planning one with a significantly smaller amount of guests is bound to make the process slightly easier. Throwing a small wedding has so many benefits to it, with just a few being: 

Quality Time

When planning a small wedding and searching for small inexpensive wedding ideas, you have the opportunity to spend your time wisely; and with the people you love. Weddings are often overwhelming, with the happy couple often being rushed from guest to guest, and ushered from room to room. By planning a small wedding, you have the ability to prioritise exactly who you want to talk to on your big day. 

Minimal Stress

The fewer people you have to worry about for your wedding party, the more fun you’re going to have. It is your big day, after all! By dwindling down the number of wedding guests, you’ll be able to focus more on the parts of your wedding reception that you really care about. It’s self-explanatory, to say the least! 

A Close-Knit Atmosphere

A small wedding usually means that your guest list is between 10 and 20 people long. That handful of people should be the ones who are the most important to you and your partner, and that you couldn’t possibly imagine your wedding without. What’s more close-knit and special than that?

intimate wedding on a budget bride groom

By shrinking the size of your wedding to just your closest friends and family members, not only can you save an awful lot of money, but you can put all of your efforts into the aspects of your wedding you really care about. Here are some of our small wedding ideas on a budget, and our top tips for cinching those purse strings just a little tighter!

Small Wedding Ideas on a Budget

small wedding on a budget bridesmaids

1. DIY Wedding Invitations

With a smaller guest list, you’re already going to have a huge saving when it comes to invitations. Designing them, getting them created, posting them off to every corner of the planet: each step is bound to add up. But with an intimate wedding, you’re not having to produce as many, meaning you can put that money towards something you both real value. 

Besides, when it comes to searching for wedding ideas on a budget by making your own invitations, you’re given the opportunity to be extra creative when it comes to adding certain personal touches here and there. By using online tools such as Canva, all you’ll need is an internet connection and a printer, and you’ll have perfect invitations that will be ready to go in no time! 

By throwing a smaller wedding, you’re almost guaranteed to save money. However, if you’re afraid of planning a ‘cheap wedding’, at the risk of affecting your guests’ experience: worry not! The small group of guests you choose to invite to your wedding are going to love and accept your choices, all the way from your wedding dress to your wedding cake!

small wedding signpost budget

2. Wedding Day Timeline

No matter how big or small you want your wedding to be, creating a “Wedding Day Timeline” is essential. Having the day explained clearly, from start to finish, in a place that’s available for every guest to see is an important part of any wedding. What’s great about these, however, is that more often than not: the more home-made your schedule looks, the more romantic it feels. 

Creating a decorative timeline for your small wedding can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like it to be. Depending on the style of your wedding, simply combining pieces of wood and your above-average painting talents, you could create a stunning and simplistic signpost. With a large mirror and a white marker pen at the ready, you also have the potential to stun guests left, right, and centre.

For more budget wedding ideas, keeping your ear to the ground is absolutely essential. Looking locally online is a fantastic way to potentially save a buck or two: keep an eye out for people simply wanting to get rid of materials, like wood or metal. One man’s trash will always be another man’s treasure! Thrifting, yard sales, and vintage/antique shops are also ample with the opportunity to bag a bargain or two. 

small wedding budget venue intimate

3. An Airbnb Venue

An Airbnb might just be the perfect fit for a couple searching for small wedding ideas on a budget. By hiring a beautiful private home for a few days, perhaps with enough bedrooms and general space to host your entire wedding party, you can avoid a lot of costs that might usually be tied more directly to a specific wedding venue. 

This small inexpensive wedding idea also offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to when it is that you want to get married, as well as what you can do decor-wise, and really making your wedding day unique. Of course, during the current global pandemic, traveling abroad is discouraged generally. However, in the future, those couples looking at having a destination wedding might be wise to look into booking an Airbnb instead.

small wedding on a budget reception

4. A Long Reception Table

Implementing a long table at your wedding reception is such a fun way to make every one of your guests feel like a family member (even if they’re not!).

Having a limited number of wedding guests can sometimes make large spaces seem a lot more empty than they really are, so by ditching the spread-out seating and circular tabletops, you’re going to make whatever space you’re in appear to be a lot cosier than originally imagined. This is one of the best small wedding ceremony ideas on a budget!

small wedding on a budget groom

5. Ask For Help

This one really goes without saying: do NOT be afraid to ask for help if you are looking to save money for your wedding! What are friends for if not for completing a somewhat absurd amount of favours for the bride-to-be? Although throwing an intimate wedding will admittedly be a tad less stressful than throwing a part for 200-odd guests, it is still going to be incredibly stressful no matter what. 

Being able to rely on a handful of people who you know definitely won’t let you down on your wedding is guaranteed to be a huge relief. If organisational skills aren’t exactly your strong suit, and you’re still feeling a little snowed-under: don’t panic! There are plenty of online resources you can use to your advantage. 

Zola is a website/app that makes the entire wedding planning process a proverbial walk in the park. From guest lists to registries, from wedding dresses to decorations: your ‘stressing-about-wedding-planning’ days are very numbered indeed! Wedding Wire, however, acts as a gigantic database that allows you to quickly search anything you could possibly want to, with responses from thousands of newlyweds to assist you in your big wedding decisions.

How do I make a Low Budget Wedding?

To make a low-budget wedding, there are several things you can do. Firstly, consider having the wedding during the off-season, choosing a last-minute wedding or on a weekday, as a wedding venue often offers lower prices. Opt for DIY decorations by using items that you already have or purchasing them second-hand. 

You can also consider baking your own wedding cake, and reducing the size of your guest list to save on expenses such as invitations and catering. With some creativity and flexibility, it is possible to have a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank.

What is considered a Small Budget for a Wedding?

The definition of a small budget for a wedding can vary depending on factors such as location, guest count, and personal financial circumstances. 

A small budget for a wedding is considered to be around £100 per guest or less. However, with careful planning and prioritisation, it is possible to have a beautiful wedding with a budget of even less than that. 

How can I make my Cheap Wedding Look Expensive?

To make a cheap wedding look expensive, focus on creating an elegant colour scheme, using luxurious textures, investing in statement pieces, paying attention to lighting, and hiring a professional photographer. These small touches can elevate the overall look and feel of the wedding, creating a more sophisticated and upscale atmosphere.

  • Create an elegant colour scheme
  • Use luxurious textures
  • Invest in statement pieces
  • Pay attention to the lighting
  • Hire a professional photographer

Budget Wedding Ideas, Concluded

Whatever your motivations might be for planning a small, intimate wedding on a budget, it’s crucial to remember that it’s your wedding. Prioritise yourself and your partner, and remember that you get to choose who (and how!) you spend your day with. 

So, just as a little reminder, here are our top 5 budget wedding ideas:

  1. DIY Invitations
  2. A Wedding Day Timeline 
  3. An Airbnb Venue
  4. A Long Reception Table 
  5. Ask For Help

If you’re looking at throwing a small wedding, surrounded by your closest family and friends, you should consider our stunning wedding venue Milton Hill House in Oxfordshire.  Milton Hill House is a beautiful Georgian manor house and is placed in the middle of twenty-two acres of peaceful parkland. It is also conveniently placed only thirteen miles away from the bustling Oxford City centre, whilst still effortlessly blending into its tranquil surroundings.

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