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Budget and DIY Weddings

Small Wedding Advice

Hi Everyone am getting married in March  we decide to have a small wedding with family and close friends we having ceremony at a chapel and we not having a reception we taking everyone to dinner at private dining restaurant. Have any one did this before, Any ideas or 
tips like do i still buy wedding dress and how i can 
make it beautiful. Our guest list is 25-30 people 
AschiveEvansWells

Re: Small Wedding Advice

  • Hi Everyone am getting married in March  we decide to have a small wedding with family and close friends we having ceremony at a chapel and we not having a reception we taking everyone to dinner at private dining restaurant. Have any one did this before, Any ideas or 
    tips like do i still buy wedding dress and how i can 
    make it beautiful. Our guest list is 25-30 people 
    You are still having a reception by taking your guests to dinner and properly hosting them! Good job! Absolutely get a dress if you'd like. Tips on affordable options would be to buy a sample dress if possible, go to sample sales, look at bridesmaids dresses that come in white or ivory, and check out department stores for formal dresses that won't have the wedding markup.

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    doeydoprettybrown27lomo4lyfe
  • Hi Everyone am getting married in March  we decide to have a small wedding with family and close friends we having ceremony at a chapel and we not having a reception we taking everyone to dinner at private dining restaurant. Have any one did this before, Any ideas or 
    tips like do i still buy wedding dress and how i can 
    make it beautiful. Our guest list is 25-30 people 

    You can wear a wedding dress if you'd like.

    It's unlikely the restaurant will let you decorate, but certainly get flowers for your ceremony and a bouquet if you want to.

    So long as you're properly hosting your guests (paying for the meals and drinks at the restaurant), I'm sure everyone will have a great time.

    doeydolomo4lyfe
  • That's similar to what my fiance and I are doing. A small wedding with about 10 guests and then he's paying for a meal afterward. I am still buying my dream dress. I personally am skipping flowers but get them if you want. Going to have my sister do my hair.
    Make sure you get pictures! I still have to book our photographer yet.

    Enjoy your small wedding!

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    lomo4lyfe
  • Absolutely get whatever dress you would like! You are still getting married, be happy, just figure out a budget :)
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  • My sister did this exact thing in November 2012. She got married in downtown Cincinnati, she had reserved a room at a downtown restaurant. She wore a wedding dress, had a bouquet and the works. We all wore our wedding best clothes and walked to the reception 2 blocks away from the park where the wedding was held. Had dinner, drinks and cake. After dinner, most of us were staying at the same hotel 1 block away and they have a band in the bar on weekends. We all met at the bar for drinks and dancing. The drinks in the bar other than the first two rounds weren't hosted as this was just a hey we are staying here tonight, lets meet up.
    Widonomo
  • I had a friend/church member who did the exact same thing.  She still bought a wedding dress and we all went out for dinner afterward.  Depending on where you host your dinner, find out if they have a space(like a party room) that you can reserve and decorate the tables with flowers or sparkly gems.  Congrats and I hope you have an awesome wedding!

  • A lot of restaurants allow you to order flowers to the table for people on dates, so I don't see why you couldn't ask if you could have flowers for your group for your wedding!  Worth asking, at least.  You could maybe also give them a fancy table cloth (I saw these gold sequined ones on stylemepretty.com that I LOVED!) and have them dress the table in that.  If you're having bridesmaids or anything you could still get them all bouquets and then set them out down the center of the table at dinner.

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  • Congrats!!!   That is exactly what I want to do.... Please tell me how it goes....  Anyone has any advice for something similar in VA or DC?

    Thanks
  • I had a very small (12 people) wedding with a reception at a restaurant afterwards.  We had no budget at all.  Here's my advice.....

    1.  You can get a dress, but think non-traditional sources for it - used (or brand new not used) dresses on Craigslist or consignments, off the rack dresses (mine was a Sue Wong that I bought at Nordstrom - about $500 - check her out online), or perhaps you could rent the runway....

    2.  Bouquet - think simple and seasonal.  I had hydrangeas.  Or unique.  Check this one out!  It was made out of yarn -- too funky for me but worth a look.

    3.  Decor - our restaurant was unique enough that we didn't need too much decoration, but we did have a table where we displayed my bouquet and a guest book. 

    4.  We asked, and ended up bringing in a one layer wedding cake (chocolate) from our favorite bakery.  I think my sister-in-law also asked the restaurant if they could bring in champagne themselves.

    5.  To cut down on transportation costs, we asked my Mom, who doesn't drink, if she could drive us home afterwards.

    6.  Ask friends for help!  My friend made a "just married" sign similar to this one for us, and my cousin, who is a professional photographer, took our pictures for a "family discount" rate.

    Best of luck to you and all those small wedding brides out there!




    shaquita329
  • I love this idea and we are doing the same thing on Nov. 16!  My advice - pick a restaurant that you both like and/or ties into your theme (he's italian and we opted for an Italian restaurant and we will be honeymooning in Italy).  The restaurant is letting us do a select coursed menu (2 salad options, 3 entre selections, and 2 dessert choices) and allowing us to do a pasta course add on and a champagne toast.  The venue is also allowing us to bring in a wedding cake, decorate the tables, and set out favors.  We have had a very positive experience and have found the restaurant that we chose to be very open to our ideas and has provided us with a lot of options.  Side note - - I was initially a little surprised by the per person cost, but once you consider the fact that it's a 3-4 course meal, comes with linens and doesn't require any venue fees it's a lot more reasonable.  Good luck and enjoy your day!  I'm sure it will be fabulous!
    shaquita329
  • Thanks everyone for your advice.
  • This is exactly like what I am thinking for my wedding! These are all wonderful ideas! If anyone is planning a wedding like this please post about how it went! Also, even if it isn't a big wedding you should still buy a dress if you want to! That way you can still have the moment of awe when you walk in. :) You will have to post how everything goes.
  • I'm getting married in 4 days and that's exactly what we're doing.  We're having a small ceremony about 40 people and we're having a nice dinner at Johnny's Steakhouse. 

  • Hey, Ashes--I'm getting married in Cincy, too.  What restaurant did you use?  This sounds fabulous! 
  • We had to change our ceremony to 9/22 (from 11/16), and also the location. (My FH lost his job last week so we're making some changes!) - We are going to have the ceremony in our backyard, have about 50ish people coming, and we'll be providing some cake, drinks, and some appetizers. The wedding will be at 2PM. It will be super small, super simple, and super cheap. :0)

    Good luck to you ladies. <3
    shaquita329
  • The mother of my step niece & nephew did exactley that. She got a nice wedding dress. Approriate for her age & situation (meaning being a late 40's bride, second wedding & private, she went for a more form fitting dress instead of a big ball gown). They then took everyone out for a dinner, their treat and they were done.

    To be honest, it's what hubby and I wanted to do at a destination about 2 hours away from our home. But my father threatened not to come since he wanted to see his youngest child get married in a church. So dad won & we had a big traditional local wedding.

    shaquita329
  • Emmy1493Emmy1493
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    edited August 2013
    I think a small wedding is great if that's what makes you happy! I think the idea you have in mind is right for the amount of guest you intend to have present. As far as your dress goes, if you are not looking to spend a lot on it, I agree with PP's on sample dress shopping. Lots of bridal stores do them and have lots of them on clearance that can be very budget friendly. Make sure though if you are on a budget, to add in cleaning and any alterations needed, veil if having one, etc. Most sample sale dresses come as is, and often don't include cleaning, etc. Congrats, and good luck on your wedding planning! :)
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    shaquita329
  • We are doing this exact thing in mid-October. I bought the wedding gown I wanted plus the tiara - no veil. Doing the ceremony in my parents backyard under my favorite old oak tree with my sister as the officiant and 20 guests and some hopefully elegant decorations. Then after a few pictures, a old Rolls Royce is coming to pick us up and drive us to dinner with our guests meeting us there. It's an excellent restaurant with a small private room.  We will have 3 courses and maybe some cake. We'll pay for all the drinks during dinner, but if anyone chooses to hang out in their cocktail lounge after that, it's on them. Just because it's a small wedding in the backyard and a restaurant, doesn't mean it can't be elegant or expensive.  This is a second wedding for me. I had the really big blowout wedding in my 20's and I always said if I ever had to do it over again, this would be my ideal - except for eloping on a beautiful beach somewhere.
    I say decide on your budget and treat it like any other wedding. When it isn't about the dj/band , dancing, and open bar, it does become more about the quality of food and being able to give more time to each guest, in my opinion anyway.

    shaquita329
  • Get your dream dress and keep it simple

     
  • I'm doing something similar for our Las Vegas wedding coming up in November. We're getting married on a Friday morning in a small wedding chapel with 30 - 50 guests in attendance. I still bought a wedding dress and my fiance is buying a suit. We're going out to a nice steakhouse later in the evening with our guests for the reception. Since it's Vegas I'm not too worried about decorating the restaurant. I don't know what venue you're using for your reception but if you want to dress up the place a bit (if it needs it) you can always see about bringing in a few flower arrangements for the tables or something else that can incorporate your wedding colors into the room for a cohesive feel. Simple touches are probably best, and easiest so you don't have a lot to worry about on your day. Congrats and best wishes!
    shaquita329
  • Was very happy to read this post and see that other Bride's have done, are doing or considering doing what I am thinking about.  I am considering doing a ceremony at our favorite State Park (had first date and got engaged their). Followed by dinner at our favorite restaurant with 20-30 people and a brunch the next morning.  The factor that keeps me from choosing is a local tree farm that has a great rustic barn and gorgeous view, plus more privacy.       
    shaquita329
  • I am having the same size wedding.  It is my second.  It is being held early in the day, then  doing a luncheon.  I ordered exactly the dress that I want.  We are getting married in a church, having photos done in a park just around the corner from it.  Then we have booked a room at a restaurant, where you don't have to pay the room, just have to meet a minimum requirement to spend for the meal, which is not difficult at all.  The restaurant will decorate the table for me with  my own supplies and make cake pops to my specifications!  Then we are leaving town from there.  Just because it's small doesn't mean it shouldn't be what you want it to be!  Good luck and have fun!
    shaquita329
  • Thanks everyone i loved all the ideas and advice.
      
  • We did something similar. We rented out a small restaurant for our reception (which was "just" dinner), but you could also do a room in a larger restaurant. Wear whatever dress you'd like. It will be beautiful because it's your wedding. You could see what the restaurant has for table decorations. Most restaurants look nice as is. We decided that we didn't need to bring any decor to our reception. If you want to add something, perhaps bring something small like candles or flowers as PPs have suggested.

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    shaquita329
  • The good information about the small wedding advice and I hope, the useful advice will helpful for many wedding couples. The wedding budget is an important base for the event planning.
    shaquita329
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