Small Wedding

Definition of Small Wedding

A “small” wedding is based on cutting out a number of guests or money spent. Remember, the less people the less money you spend.

Consider Your Budget
With small wedding planning, the first thing you need to do is sitting down and making up your guest list. Decide what number is small for your budget, remember the guests you invite; you may need to plan for food, dessert and drinks. Also, each guest will require a chair to sit in that may or may not be rental fee.

Intimate Venue Ideas for Small Weddings
Small weddings actually give you so many more choices, because you can include smaller and more budget friendly places.

Here are some ideas for a small intimate wedding and some of my favorites:

Churches with Halls
Look into a church that has a separate hall for wedding receptions. Many of the older churches in the City of St Louis have large Fellowship Halls that they can rent to you. The fee usually includes tables and chairs and trash receptacles. My favorite is First Unitarian Church of St Louis.

A Local Restaurant
You may have a local restaurant with a banquet room large enough for a ceremony and reception all in the same place. A good local resource to check on party rooms in the St Louis Metro Area is the Sauce Magazine website.  My favorite is Sunset 44 Restaurant.

Inns or Bed and Breakfasts
These can be very intimate settings with historic appeal, gardens, and rooms for your guests.
My favorite is the Lodge at Grant's Trail.

Art Galleries
Some art galleries are willing to rent the facility for weddings. You will most likely need to provide your own tables, chairs, and catering. My favorite is The Luminary.

Someone’s Home/ Backyard
Home weddings can be very comfortable and intimate, however you will need to find all of your own rentals and services.

Resource: Ever After Guide
Carolyn Burke | Officiant | Coordinator 314.821.4844

Should the Groom See the Bride Before the Ceremony?

The practice of not seeing each other before the ceremony was supposedly derived hundreds of years ago while marriages were still arranged by the parents. The father of the bride was reportedly afraid the groom might flee if his fiancĂ©e wasn't to his liking.  So they postponed the "unveiling" until the actual ceremony.

The bride and groom may wish to see each other before the ceremony. My experience is most couples (90%) steer away from breaking this tradition, there is a solid reason to follow a more modern trend - taking pictures before the ceremony.

You might be getting married in a popular location that only allows 2-3 hours at the site. Once you separate a large group of people (specifically family) - that makes it hard to re-group for certain
formal portraits of the wedding party and family members.

Think about your time-line carefully. If photographs of you as a COUPLE are important, then you need to consider how you are going to spend time with your photographer. An experienced
photographer will be able to decide with you - listen to their ideas and learn their time-line style.

Here are some resources on the topic.
Wedding Photojournalist Association

The Man Registry

Wedding Liaison Blog

Carolyn Burke | Officiant | Coordinator
(314) 821-4844
Main Website :