Planning a minimalist wedding

We had a minimalist wedding; twice actually. The truth is that weddings don’t have to be as complicated as some people try to make them. Today I am sharing a little bit of our wedding story, as well as 5 tips on how to simplify your big day. These tips are great not only for those interested in minimalism, but for wedding planners on a budget too!


Now although I consider myself a minimalist now, at the time I got married four years ago the word wasn’t even in my vocabulary. My main inspiration for having more minimal wedding actually came from a scene in a movie. The movie was called The Vow and it shows a seemingly spontaneous and simple ceremony. However, it was still incredibly beautiful because of the location they were in and the people who attended. Everyone was still dressed nicely though, as you would for any celebration. Something about it resonated with me and I’ll include the clip below:


Small. Unconventional. “Intimate.” Call it what you like, our wedding was not typical by any means. Our main ceremony was held at a public park in Coral Gables, near Miami, Florida. There were no decorations, no bridesmaid dresses,  and no flower girls or ring bearers. There weren’t even any chairs! Our 15 guests stood around as we made our traditional vows. The ceremony was officiated by our friend who had “no powers vested within him.” In fact, the only thing we had was a photographer and two people we hired to play violin. After the ceremony, there was a short intermission where my husband and I went to the courthouse to sign the papers and everyone else went back to the house we rented for showers or rest. Then shortly after, we all met for lunch at a Spanish gastrobar. It was casual and relaxed.

Since we were living in Seoul at the time, we had another smallish ceremony upon returning with our church family. This time it was on the side of a mountain. Our friends played guitar and a saxophone. Another friend took pictures. However, everything you would normally see at a wedding was missing. We all went out for Korean BBQ afterwards.

So after having thought about this a lot, I thought it would be fun to share some tips and ideas related to planning a minimalist wedding!


The average wedding costs in the United States costs between $26,000-36,000 depending on what statistics you are looking at. There are plenty of budgets you can find online which break the costs down item by item. Find the most detailed list you can and cross off anything you can live without. Then take your remaining items and rank them in order of importance. This will give you a good idea of what is most important to you. If budget is an issue, you can look towards the bottom of your new list and see if there is anything else you can live without.


There are two opinions that matter and that is yours and your future spouse’s. Not you mother’s, not your sister’s, nor anyone else’s. Don’t let someone else, or even society, pressure you into thinking that you have to get married in a certain fashion. A lot of people thought it was crazy that we didn’t want to have chairs at our wedding, but we didn’t have them (and it worked out just fine).


I often wonder whether the divorce rate would still be so high if people put as much time and effort into their marriage as they do into planning their wedding. It is wise to spend less money on your ceremony and put aside the extra cash so you can afford marital counseling later if you need it. For us, this day was about saying our vows before God. It wasn’t about throwing the party of a lifetime (although those are fun too). We knew that the more people who were involved, the more the focus would shift to hosting a party. We wanted to be fully relaxed, fully comfortable and fully present.


The day will be appreciated more by everyone if they are able to each contribute in some small but meaningful way. Yes that means letting go of some of the control, but it also means less planning and stress for you. Not just in the months leading up to your wedding, but on the day itself.

In our case the tasks of baking a cake, assembling a bouquet, doing hair / makeup, officiating the ceremony, coordinating the ceremony, driving, hen-do planning, stag-do planning, non-ceremony photos, video, honeymoon planning, and music playing were all lovingly taken care of by our friends and family. One of my friends even found my dress online and another recommended the restaurant for lunch. If I had tried to do everything myself, it would have taken much longer and been much more stressful than it needed to be. I actually think it turned out a lot better this way too!


Don’t over complicate it, sometimes the simplest way may be the best way. For example, paper invitations are either costs or time consuming. You can find online e-vite websites where the whole RSVP process can be handled by email for free. When you are booking a place to eat or party, don’t mention it is a wedding and you’ll save tons. Also, your wedding dress doesn’t technically have to be from a wedding line or shop. A beautiful dress is a beautiful dress. Nobody will be able to tell.


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