19 Aug 16 Small Wedding Ideas for a Low-Key Long Island Affair
Long Island weddings bring to mind huge estates, bubbling with champagne, shoreline sunsets… and exorbitant costs. But with a little creativity, a Long Island wedding on a budget is possible and can be one of the best ways to have an unforgettable wedding.
Here are our 16 ideas for an amazing, small wedding on Long Island.
1. Travel to Long Island’s East End
While close friends and family will be more willing to travel, having your wedding on Long Island will give you and your guests a destination feel minus the long travel times.
2. Get creative with small venues
With a smaller guest list, you’ll have more venues to choose from for your Long Island wedding. You can choose creative venues like a cozy luxury hotel space, North Fork vineyard, beach venue, or reclaimed barn. (Pro tip: Make sure you check with the venue on your exclusivity. Some venues may try to double-book small weddings instead of offering you the run of a larger place.)
3. Or dream big
At the same time, don’t rule out venue options like a ballroom or hotel venue. With a larger space, you can fit in more add-ons, like donut walls, photo booths, or lounge areas for guests to keep the fun going while taking a break from the dance floor.
4. Replace the dance floor
With a smaller group, it can be hard to get the dance party started. If you’re down to nix the dance floor, consider replacing it with a fun activity like giant Jenga or karaoke. If you’re hosting your wedding in a unique space, you could see if horse or pony rides are available. If there will be kids at your wedding (or you just want a really fun spin), you could rent bounce houses and slides.
5. Keep the band small
If you plan to opt for a live band, make sure the number of musicians is on the small side. Otherwise, the band may outnumber people dancing.
6. Fewer invitations mean more creativity
With a smaller guest list, your invitations can be scaled down and less formal. Consider a handwritten note or a personal call in lieu of pricey printed invitations.
7. Send a personalized welcome gift
Make your guests feel welcome with a small gift that includes any necessities or luxuries they may need for your wedding, like champagne, sunscreen, a map, or a personalized note.
8. Skip the programs
A smaller gathering means (hopefully) less confusion on the timing of the event. Losing the wedding program is an easy way to save money.
9. Hire a coordinator
Even though your wedding may be small, it’s important to get the details right. A day-of wedding coordinator can help attend to the needs of your guests and help keep the flow going.
10. Prioritize service
For any wedding, small or large, the service experience is something guests always remember. If you’re having a served dinner, make sure that serving time is prompt — with a smaller guest list, minor challenges become a focus more quickly.
11. Ditch the tall flowers
Soaring flowers can exaggerate the small headcount and get in the way of great conversations. Instead, opt for alternative floral arrangements like low, lush flowers or hanging bouquets.
12. Splurge on photography
Saving money on a guest list opens your budget up for a great photographer. And with fewer guests, you’ll be able to get more shots of your loved ones.
13. Upgrade the food and drink
Favorite vintage? Want a seven-course meal for your foodie family? Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on food and booze, which your guests will be sure to appreciate. If you’re in a creative space, food trucks can be a fun way for guests to mingle and eat. Local Long Island wineries can cater to your whims with a pairing menu.
14. Incorporate more personal details
An intimate affair calls for a personal touch. Add family heirlooms like photographs, tablecloths, and decor to the space.
15. Build a space for conversation
Fewer guests means fewer people to mingle with. Encourage conversation between your friends and family by creating spaces for people to sip drinks and have outside the heart of the party.
16. Consider the pre- and post-wedding celebrations
A small wedding party makes inviting guests to dinners, outings and day-after brunch a breeze. For meals, book ahead and be sure to ask your venue if they can include some meals in your wedding package.
Ready to find your perfect small wedding venue on Long Island?
Indigo East End offers intimate wedding venues with all the trimmings, and we’re ideally located between the North Fork and the Hamptons. Call us at 631.548.1209 to check dates and start planning your perfect Long Island small wedding.