Beat planning pressure: 5 tips for an intimate wedding

The terms wedding and money go hand in hand. The average wedding cost is now up to $31,213 according to theknot.com, and that’s not even including the honeymoon.

Because of increasing costs, more and more couples are looking to plan a smaller, more intimate ceremony.

While there?s no universal way to define a small wedding, it typically involves a limited gathering of family and close friends.

No matter the size of your guest list, you’re bound to feel the stress of planning as you want your day to be perfect. But opting for a modest-sized wedding opens the door to endless options and possibilities.

Here are some tips for making your small-scale wedding the event of the year:

? Whittle down your guest list. If you can keep your guest count low, the cost for just about everything you need for your wedding will significantly decrease. There’s always going to be more guests you could invite, but if you’re making a point to have a small wedding, people will be understanding. Set limits and stick to them.

? Rent what you can. Rental stores offer a wide range of products to fit weddings of any size or theme. A smaller wedding opens up your options when it comes to venue and personalization.

You’ll likely need tables and chairs, tents, a dance floor and maybe even china, tableware and linens. Start by searching on RentalHQ.com to find a store for all your decorating and setup needs.

? Keep the menu simple. One of the biggest costs of a wedding is the food, so try to shy away from extravagant and fancy menu items. All you need are a few key dishes and one or two desserts to keep everyone satisfied.

Your guests aren’t coming to ogle over a lavish spread, they simply want to be there to celebrate with the happy couple.

? Stick to your budget. Create a budget using money you already have in the bank. There’s no need to go into debt when planning an intimate wedding. If you have $1,000 to spend, then plan a $1,000 wedding. If you stick to a moderate budget, you’re more likely to keep the planning and actual event in control.

? Think outside the box. A small wedding may require a bit of strategic thinking and DIY projects. For example, you can make your own invitations and party favors to not only save money, but to reflect your unique personality as a couple.

You can also get creative with the venue, like a small bed and breakfast, restaurant or historic home. There’s no need to book an entire banquet hall.

Let these straightforward ideas take some of the stress out of your wedding planning. After all, your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest occasions.