Planning a Simple Wedding

Simple can be beautiful.

Planning a simple wedding is about more than just saving money. Simple weddings focus on what matters in the ceremony: the couple who are committing their lives to one another and their guests who are witnessing it. A simple wedding typically refers to a wedding where there are fewer than 20 guests and the pomp and circumstance are kept to a minimum.

Five Reasons for Planning a Simple Wedding

Need a reason for planning a simple wedding? There are five great reasons to go simple rather than extravagant and the best reasons may not be what you think about first.

Flexible Location

When you plan for a simple wedding, you are no longer bound by a specific location. Simple weddings are simply more flexible. You can plan the wedding in the garden, in the chapel, in the living room or in Las Vegas or on a beach.

Destination Weddings

Want to travel to Disney World for your wedding? Would you prefer to get married on a beach in Bora Bora? A simple wedding lets you spend the money on travel plans rather than just on caterers, location, and all the costs that go into planning a wedding. Destination weddings don't preclude guests, but instead of gifts, just ask the guests to pay their own way. This way they can share the special day in the best location.

Flexible Ceremony

Traditional ceremonies involve a bride's side and a groom's side. But a simple wedding can allow for a more intimate and involved ceremony. The couple can stand in the center of their friends and loved ones, their guests can actively participate in the wedding. For example, one couple who were married in Stafford, England took advantage of the fact that the groom was in a band. His band played all the music and the groom even took up the guitar to sing his vows to the bride. Another wedding may involve each guest participating in the vows with a piece of marital advice for the happy couple.

Skip the Formal Reception

A simple wedding lets you throw out the place cards and formal reception. Guests can offer up thoughtful wedding toasts and the typical speeches can be dodged. The gathering can share favorite foods, fun music, and a feeling that is more informal party than the traditional chicken or fish dinner spread. Photography, which can be a huge expense, can be handled by passing out disposable wedding cameras to the guests and let them go nuts with their candid camera angles.

Save Your Money

Weddings traditionally cost around $30,000 U.S. for an average wedding with 100 guests, but that amount can be reduced drastically with a simpler wedding. When you plan a simple wedding you reduce the overhead and unnecessary costs from the wedding budget. Travel is always an option and the best part of the simple wedding is that the focus is on the couple and the marriage, not the pomp and circumstance.

Simple Wedding Checklist

When you start to plan your wedding, begin with a checklist to keep organized and to keep it simple.

Be sweetly simple with cupcakes.
  • Set the budget. If your budget is $1,000 then use $1,000 to plan the wedding. Do not go into debt; do not make 'payment' arrangements that will have you writing monthly installment checks for the next three years.
  • Decide on a color for bridesmaids and let them choose the dresses. Remember, the dresses are likely only to be worn for 1 day, so consider their budgets before asking them to spend hundreds of dollars. Allow them to choose more flexible dresses at lower prices and you'll still have a coordinated, classy look.
  • Skip the professional photographer and hire a student photographer or get a friend to do it. Go digital to skip the 'proof' costs.
  • Check out the wedding locations and if you choose a venue that may be hosting multiple marriages, consider contacting the other couples to split the costs of flower arrangements and decorations.
  • Skip out of season flowers. Flowers that are produced locally and in season are relatively inexpensive.
  • Consider a homemade cake or simple wedding cupcakes. The marriage is important, not the cake - no matter how beautiful it is, it's still going to be eaten.

At the end of the day, the wedding is the first page of the first chapter of the rest of your life. By planning a simple wedding you can plan to enjoy it and not let all the 'expectations' or 'details' detract from that.

Planning a Simple Wedding