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How to Plan a Small Wedding on a Budget in Indianapolis, Indiana

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Small Wedding Planning in Indianapolis Indiana ; Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Photographer

When the pandemic arrived in March, I thought for sure that the wedding industry was going to be faced with many difficult decisions to be made. And that part was true. However, the scale of devastation was not as extreme, and in fact, many positives came out of the situation.

Ultimately it was in the hands of the couples to decide whether they would proceed with their wedding, cancel their wedding, or postpone their wedding, but the vendors all locked arms and fought for our couples so that we would be able to still celebrate with them on their wedding. Even if it looked slightly different than the original plans.

With 30 weddings scheduled for 2020, I was thrilled to find only 5 of my couples that decided to cancel or postpone their weddings. The remaining 25 managed to adjust, adapt, persevere, move things around a little bit, and manage to still make their day the best day ever!

Which ultimately led me to fall in love with the smaller, more intimate, focus on the details, type of weddings.

Small weddings aren't necessarily a new thing, but they are certainly more favorable in situations where a limited amount of guests are allowed to be at the event, as well as a limited budget to work with.

So how does one plan a small, intimate, beautiful wedding?


1. Find a small venue. It doesn't have to be extravagant, and it certainly doesn't need to be large, but find a place that you plan to {if you even want to do this part}, have dinner. Many restaurants have cute rooms {think white walls, high ceilings} that can be rented out. Of course for me, for the getting married part, I would recommend a beautiful nature setting, in the woods or by the water….. it is free and the beauty cannot be beat. Best of all, you can choose to get married at whatever time you would like {sunset is the best}. Your photographer will have lots of great ideas for you!

2. Get organized. If you aren't sure where to even begin, or what your want your dream wedding to look like, I suggest downloading Pinterest and going from there. They have a hours upon hours of inspiration on there, and a great way to start making boards from dresses, to florals, to photography. Wedding Happy is also a great app for wedding planning that is free. Pantone Studio app allows you to coordinate all your lovely colors {though I believe this costs money and Pinterest solves that problem}.

3. Budget. Sit down with your partner and figure out what your budget is. What is the most important part of your day. Is it photography? Florals? THE FOOD {yum yum!}. Once you figure out your budget, go from there. The best part of having a small intimate wedding, is usually the amount you have to spend is a mere fraction of the cost of a big wedding. Think smaller wedding party = less gifts to buy, less makeup to pay for. Smaller wedding = less hours of coverage for a wedding {you can get away with as little as 2 hours}, and smaller wedding = less mouths to feed! In the end, you are spending money on yourself and your closest family and friends. And you don't have to leave the state to have a beautiful small, intimate, wedding!

If you want to get the most bang for you buck… get married on a Thursday! Or Friday! Most vendors have discounts for M-TH weddings {though I won't speak for all of them!}

4. Spend the money on your bouquet. I am a believe in this, whether large or small wedding, do not skimp out on your bouquet. Go real, and go beautiful! It's the one thing that is in most of the photos, and while I know I mentioned budget in the previous point, I truly believe this is money well spent.

5. Rent an AIRBNB. I have a list of amazing airbnb's that are a fraction of the cost of a hotel and has so much more room. In fact there are a couple that I know of in the Indy area that have a courtyard and you can actually have a ceremony there! And we are talking like $200/night in downtown Indy!

6. Have fun, don't stress! Wedding planning as a whole can be so incredibly stressful. If you are contemplating going the smaller wedding route, I promise it will most likely be 10 times less stressful {but I can't guarantee it will be completely stress free}. But remember, you get to call the shots from start to finish, and as a boss lady myself, I LOVE that. Either way, if you need someone to run ideas off of, I am here for you!

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