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Ideas for a Minimalist Wedding

Updated on October 6, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Minimalism is catching on, and I'm excited about streamlining. I'm sharing what I've learned about decluttering and simplifying our lives.

An assortment of thrift store vases in one color decorated the tables.
An assortment of thrift store vases in one color decorated the tables. | Source

Instead of an Elaborate Wedding, Opt for a Minimalist Wedding

It seems like weddings are getting more elaborate and more expensive as bride try to make it the wedding of the year. Now, there's an alternate trend for those who crave a more simple wedding, one that won't put them in debt before the marriage even starts.

The question posed in a minimalist group on Facebook was how to keep a wedding simple. The bride-to-be wanted a wedding to fit a minimalist lifestyle, not an expensive and ornate event. The members of the groups quickly supplied her with examples and tips. I'll share the best ones here. If you're looking for ideas for an inexpensive, yet meaningful wedding, here you go.

Choose a Small Location for a Simple Wedding

This country church only holds a limited number of people, requiring the bride and goom to keep the guest list to the most important people in their lives.
This country church only holds a limited number of people, requiring the bride and goom to keep the guest list to the most important people in their lives. | Source

Choose a small venue

Choose a small venue, like a country church or a historic chapel. This forces you to keep the guest list to just the closest friends and family. Don't invite the whole office, your parents' co-workers, distant cousins.

Other options are an outdoor wedding on a beach or in a garden.

Check the photo below. The couple said their wedding vows on the deck of a ferry. The area at the front was cordoned off for the couple, the minister, and their handful of guests. The backdrop, Maine's Casco Bay, was beautiful.

Source

Ideas from Two Weddings That Will Save Your Budget

Kayla described her wedding saying,"we did a backyard bbq style wedding and I got a $50 summer dress. Paid someone $100, I believe, to do it. It was cheap, relaxing, and intimate with just close family & friends." Check on summer camps as most will rent you space in spring or fall fairly cheaply, and they have all the facilities you could need at your disposal.

Some ideas from Mika on how she kept the costs down, "I borrowed a dress from my friend we got married in my in-laws living room. Our cake and flowers and most of our food came from Costco. We also had a small 2-tier cake from a local grocery store made. Our wedding rings came from Amazon and were very inexpensive. I had my hair done as a gift from a friend and makeup I did myself, which I kept to a minimum.

Our family has a little gathering ahead of time to make mints for the reception. Photo from our family album.
Our family has a little gathering ahead of time to make mints for the reception. Photo from our family album. | Source

Tips from Brides Who Had a Simple Wedding

Get family and friends to help by making the food and arranging the flowers. Keep in mind that, all that is required is a person legally able to perform marriages, the paperwork, two witnesses, and the people getting married. Everything else is optional.

  • Ariel had this recommendation, "Have an outdoors wedding, don't serve a whole dinner but have appetizers, choose a simple elegant affordable gown, forego the music during the ceremony and save it for the reception where you'll be serving drinks and appetizers." A sit-down meal, designer dress, and a reception hall can really complicate things and send the wedding costs sky-high.
  • Jackie said, "we got married in our living room on New Year's Eve with only our parents and siblings. Then, we took everyone out to dinner. Total cost less than $1,000."
  • Sandra had a great suggestion, "We were married at a historic building turned restaurant. The ceremony was on-site in the courtyard and the reception was inside. We were able to reserve the entire building for the afternoon & evening. Staff served drinks & sit down meal, only our cake was outsourced. No flowers on table, just candles


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If you want flowers, daisies are probably about the least expensive. Use simple glasses or canning jars as vases.
If you want flowers, daisies are probably about the least expensive. Use simple glasses or canning jars as vases. | Source

Things You Don't Need

Some things you just don't need at a minimalist wedding. No, you don't need a guest book, no decorating the church, no wedding favors, no save-the-dates, no cocktail hour, and no rehearsal dinner. Specify "cake reception" on the invitation then guests won't expect an extravagant meal (get married at non-meal time).

© 2017 Virginia Allain

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this minimalist wedding. A friend's daughter did her wedding in her parents' home and only for both families and her grandma. It was more meaningful.

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