by Kacey Bradley May 19, 2020 3 min read

After you get engaged, it's fun to daydream about your wedding with all your loved ones. They'll ask what dress you want, where you'll hold the ceremony and if you've picked the date. Every bride should feel special and loved while she plans her big day, but all the little details can become expensive pretty quickly.

Many brides now look for ways to have a simplified wedding. It cuts down costs, reduces how long you have to plan and makes things easier for those who would be uncomfortable with all the attention. You may be curious about having a smaller celebration, but you're not sure where to start.

Read on for a few tips for planning a low-key wedding. You'll get a better idea of what you want on your big day and look forward to the perfect small ceremony and reception.

1. Narrow Down Your Guest List

The guest list affects almost every part of your celebration, making it bigger and more expensive with every addition. Weddings can have anywhere from 50 to 200 guests or more, depending on how many friends and family members you have. Although your loved ones all want to be there, you don't have to send an invite to everyone you've ever met.

Write down a guest list featuring everyone that must be there. This list will likely include immediate family members and your best friends. Adding other guests, like a bridal party and extended family, will force you to have a bigger venue, more catering and additional drinks at your reception.

2. Find a Great Venue
low-key wedding

Typical wedding venues, like historic houses or country clubs, often charge thousands of dollars to use their space for a few hours. You can find a great affordable venue without depending on one of these expensive options.

Ask your friends and family if they have a backyard you can borrow for your ceremony or contact a local public park. Public venues are much more budget-friendly and allow you to rent per hour, which makes your day more flexible.

3. Review Wedding Traditions

After you read about wedding traditions, it's time to decide which ones you'll keep. For instance, maybe you want to make a grand exit with tin cans dangling behind your car. Perhaps you want to have a groom's cake as well as a wedding cake.

No one's going to force you to include every single tradition, which helps with smaller weddings. Skip lengthy vows, toasts or the garter toss if you don't feel like it matches the vision you have for your big day.

4. Use Simple and Delicious Appetizers
low-key wedding

It's easier to order a small catering delivery or make the food for your wedding if you have a simplified guest list. While you flip through menu options, remember that your revelers will want appetizers while you take pictures after your ceremony. You could serve things like veggie trays or create healthy cracker snacks with avocado, tuna or even a fruit spread. Make your dishes the day before your wedding for fresh finger foods your guests will love.

5. Make Your Invitations

It's fun to browse invitation options online, but they can take up a good portion of your budget, even if you choose discounted designs. It's easier to make your wedding invitations with free online templates or inspirational pictures. Try out design software like Canva, Photoshop or InDesign to play around with your options. 

Do What Feels Right With Your Wedding

Sometimes you may feel pressured to include something in your wedding just because it's what people expect. Follow your heart and do what feels right to host a low-key celebration and have the best day ever.