You can have a simple wedding yet still enjoy all the celebration and fanfare that rightfully accompanies such a life-altering event. The first step is to identify what you mean when you say, “simple.” Do you want to keep it simple in order to cut costs, or are you striving for elegant and intimate?

Either way, planning a simple wedding is apt to accomplish both of those goals; when you keep it simple, you can achieve elegance, intimacy and lower cost in the process.

How to keep your wedding simple:

Wedding dress

Often the entire wedding is planned around the bride’s dress. If the bride chooses a lavish, formal gown, the wedding plans align, almost taking on a life of their own. An over-the-top gown needs to be balanced with appropriate backdrop, in the form of many attendants, a lavishly decorated church, and the fanciest reception venue that can be obtained. If you want to keep your wedding simple, begin by choosing a dress that feels elegant and glamorous on you, but does not overwhelm your simple plans for the rest of the day.

Wedding party

Instead of including everyone you know in the wedding party, elect to have your sister or your best friend, a best man, flower girl, ring bearer and no more than two bridesmaids and ushers. If you want to keep it really simple, opt to have just the maid of honor and best man.

Guest list

A simple wedding might have a guest list that only includes your closest friends and immediate relatives. The guest list is usually the first thing to sabotage your goal of a simple wedding. Everyone you know may want to have input about whom to invite and your list might become quite out of control.

If you are sincere in your determination to keep it simple, set a number and stick to it. Fifty to a hundred guests might potentially encompass all the people you and your groom interact with regularly. Friends and distant relatives of your parents that you potentially barely know can be apprised of your marriage with an announcement in the newspaper, or printed announcements, if you choose.


Opt for an intimate chapel in lieu of a big church. Another option is to combine your ceremony and reception at the venue where the reception will be held. Most priests and ministers are happy to accommodate a simple wedding.


Forego the lavish sit down dinner and have a buffet style event. Another option is to simply serve champagne and cake, with a few finger food snacks. This is a good choice for a wedding that is held in the late afternoon between mealtimes.

As for the location of the reception, you might use a parent’s home or a wedding venue offering different sized rooms dependent on the number of guests. Sometimes their most intimate settings are for a smaller number of guests. A grand ballroom with a spiral staircase might please some brides, but perhaps you will be happier with the more intimate garden room overlooking a pond full of ducks.

Every wedding has its own charm. Plan your wedding according to your vision, taking into account your budget, and keeping it as simple as you wish, knowing that your special day can be simple and yet be an elegant and memorable occasion.