Planning a wedding — big or small — can sometimes seem like a stressful experience. Even just writing the to-do list can make it feel overwhelming, let alone trying to remember all of those picture-perfect small wedding ideas you have entire Pinterest boards dedicated to. That may seem trivial in the wake of the commitment you’re making, but those details matter so much — both to you and your loved ones. But when you're simply planning a small wedding, there are still plenty of ways to add personal touches that you’ll always remember. Whether it's remembering to take a moment to celebrate yourself on your big day, or doing something to make your family feel included in your joy, these five small wedding ideas can make a big impact.
Bring Post-Ceremony Treats
After you say your I-do’s, reward yourself with something special that you and your partner can enjoy. Purchase donuts from your favorite shop, bring some bubbly and plastic champagne glasses, or toast with a beer from your favorite brewery - bring anything that feels authentic to your relationship (and don’t forget to have your photographer snap a few shots of you chowing down or clinking glasses!).
Take Polaroids of your Day
Polaroids are a wonderful and relatively inexpensive art piece. They are great for displays or scrapbooks, but you could also use them as center pieces or if you have a celebration with family and friends! Plus, a Polaroid camera is small enough to pack if you’re traveling for your ceremony, and it will offer a unique perspective from your small wedding or elopement.
Bring your Pet Along for the Ride
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see a couple’s cherished pet at a wedding. Some couples even incorporate their animal into the ceremony, having a dog act as a ring bearer or accessorizing a flower crown to match the bride’s bouquet. And why not? If your pup means that much to you and your partner, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t join in on the celebration.
Host a Potluck Reception
No matter what kind of celebration you want for your small wedding, there’s one thing love always pairs well with: food. Having your loved ones cook for you on such a special day can make a big impact. Everyone has an aunt that makes the best mac and cheese, or a cousin who bakes sublime cupcakes — why not indulge in some homemade cooking for a small wedding celebration? Not only can you save money on food or catering, but you'll also be assured that there are a variety of options, especially for those with various diet restrictions.
Make a Time Capsule
This is something that happens after your big day is over, but it might be one of the best ideas you’ll appreciate doing as the years go on. After your wedding day is over, put some things that represent your wedding or marriage together in a safe box that you can hide. These things could be things to reminisce on — like some of your Polaroids or flowers pressed from your bouquet— or things that you’ll appreciate down the road, like letters to your future selves. Each year on your anniversary, you can open up the box and look back on the beautiful mementos of the best day ever. Short of perishables, this idea has no cap on what you could do with it, so get creative!
Whether you’re having a large ceremony and reception, a small wedding with an after-party, or anything in between, everyone wants their big day to feel like it represents who they are as a couple. Remembering to invest just as much time and love into the small things you cherish, and not just the things that are necessary to cross the marriage finish line, can make all the difference in your enjoyment of your ceremony.