10 May 2013

Small Wedding Venue Ideas

Getting married soon?  Have a small guest list?  Considering getting married in your back yard?  Unless you already have a picture perfect huge, back yard, including a rain alternative, don’t do it!  It will cost you some bucks and time to get the junk out, get the grass to green-up, and create a ceremony and reception site that gives you the ambience you want.  Oh and décor and tents ARE expensive, so let me advise you to try one of these ideas instead.

Couples often ask me about small venues where they can hold their wedding of less than 50 guests.  This is not an easy venue to find, as many venues require a minimum of 75-100 people.  As a result couples end up getting married in their back yard or that of a friend.

When looking for a small venue, try a restaurant.  Look for restaurants with private dining rooms, outside court yards and lawns that can support the type of wedding you are envisioning.  Many have outside areas where a small ceremony site can be set up, and in case of in climate weather, the ceremony can easily be moved inside.   Restaurants can also take care of your wine and bar needs, table linens, your food choices and everything necessary to care for your guests in style.  Some of them will even provide flowers for the tables, a bakery they work with to get your cake and an in-house dj to cover the music.  If there is a park nearby, you can go there for photos.  You can even use the park for your ceremony and have your guests walk back to the restaurant.  Some of the smaller restaurants will shut down for the evening, if you can provide enough income to cover their typical night, pick their slowest night; you will make them happy and have a private venue!

Another idea is the Bed and Breakfast venues.  These small charming venues have so much of the ambiance and style that many couples are searching for but cannot afford at a big venue.  Besides being able to stay at the place, many B&B’s have great chefs that will jump at the chance to be creative with your food and drink choices.  Look for B&B’s with spacious lawns for the ceremony and reception and lovely gardens for your guests to wander through.  You may want to rent a tent, but you will be able to keep the décor to a minimum, because the view is so great, and that is a real money saver.  Chat with the owner to get ideas to complement and adorn your tables and for ideas for out of town guest to enjoy while there.   Owners of B&B’s typically understand weddings and will want to assist you with all of your wedding planning.

Another option is ask your wedding vendors.  Recently, I met with a networking group at a lovely floral business.  We all started wondering why they didn’t hold ceremonies and receptions at this location. Talk about getting your flowers fresh!  The place was lovely and boasted a brick area for receptions, a lovely field under some trees for the ceremony area, room enough for a tent to be set up to hold a sit down meal and provide coverage incase of rain.  Overall this place is perfect for small weddings of 50 people or less.  This vendor is now considering this idea.

I always suggest parks, historic chapels, public places and last case scenario, of course your home for ceremonies that are small and intimate for weddings with fewer than 10 people.  I don’t think crowding out your home with too many people is a good idea.

If you must use your home, keep it to best friends and immediate family.


Sandra Lynch

Sandra Lynch, a Wedding Officiant who officiates weddings in the Mid-Atlantic region is Owner of Ceremony Alchemy (formerly, Weddings by Sandy), creator of the Perfect Officiant Mentoring an Officiant mentoring service author of, “You CAN have the Perfect Wedding Ceremony,” and the Perfect Officiant Handbook. Ms. Lynch is retired military and lives in Frederick, Maryland with her husband Tim Lynch and their two fur babies Skipper and Ziggy.


  1. Thanks for finally talking about >Small Wedding
    Venue Ideas | Weddings by Sandy <Liked it!

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