Planning a wedding with parents only; help! has anyone here done this?

posted 9 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

We ended up doing a Destination Wedding with parents and siblings, but I did a good amount of research on this type of event. We found a few venues that had on-site ceremony locations, but instead of renting the reception halls, I inquired about just doing private dining in conjunction with the ceremony site. Not all of them were open to it, and the ones that were required us to do it on a weeknight (so we weren’t taking the ceremony site time from someone who was getting the full package). We would have paid the ceremony fee and a food and beverage minimum. 

Post # 3
4964 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

If I was doing a wedding for under 10 people I would just go to a really fancy restaurant in my city for the reception. You can take pictures in the afternoon and then have a private room in a restaurant which can be decorated by a florist.

Post # 4
1782 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

“But the cost of renting the venue is the same regardless of wedding size”

baffledbride :   It might help us to maybe here a ball-park figure here in order to get some perspective.

I think if you parents are gifting the wedding to you should gracefully accept and stop feeling guilty. (unless it is a truly obscene amount to pay or barring you feel your parents can’t really afford the arrangement or some other reason you haven’t mentioned)

The arrangements you mentioned sound really low stress (considering you seem really not into the planning, which is totally okay!) Then you can have the best of all worlds: mini wedding, minimal planning and happy parents. 

My partner and I eloped, so our parents weren’t with us (we told hubby’s parents, actually, only last week that we had eloped, lol) Though we did have a courthouse ceremony we had everything else on one site and it was so nice not to have to go anywhere and be anywhere. Looking back, I should have sprung to have the ceremony there too. oh well. 

Btw your plans sound absolutely lovely.


Post # 5
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I think a destination wedding in your circumstance would be lovely. 

Post # 6
131 posts
Blushing bee


We are planning a tiny wedding too. My daughter and her boyfriend and my fiancé’s bother and sister plus their spouses and one more couple. So eight guests total. I was in the same predicament. Several places are charging the same fee no matter if you have 8 guests or 180 guests. We found a lovely church (we are in the car driving to sing the contract now) that gave us a huge discount. We have the church, gardens and reception cottage for four hours for only $2000.00 instead of $5000. Have you spoken to your venue about a discount rate for a smaller group? Another possibility is if you have your wedding on a weekday they usually charge less. 

I was discouraged to but I keep researching until I found the right venue for the right price. Mu back up plain was city hall for a $1000 and having dinner at a restaurant after. I live in San Francisco and the city hall is one of the most beautiful in the country.

good luck


Post # 7
4236 posts
Honey bee

For that size, I would  probably look beyond “wedding venues”.  Rent any place that tickles your fancy and then have dinner at one of the ritziest places you would ordinarily never go (either a private room or just main dining).

Post # 8
711 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Have you looked into elopement packages at places. They typically accommodate weddings with guests under 20 people.

Post # 9
1435 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

There are bed and breakfast places that specialize in small weddings. If you are by mountains, there are cabins you can rent, make a weekend of it. Get a local restaurant to cater to the house. Make sure it’s okay with the owner to have the party. If you are by a lake, same thing. go to those vacation house rental places and take a look. Make sure of the requirements to get married in that county.

Try a state park if you like the outdoors. Some have group rental spaces indoors that look really good, depending on your state.

If you have anyone you know with a nice backyard, it could work. Look on google for backyard weddings. 

To get ideas, I go to photographers’ websites and look at their work. They usually tell you where the wedding was that they photographed in their portfolios.

As others said, you’d be surprised by the number of restaurants who will rent the place out for a wedding. Additionally, if you are by a river, there are usually rental halls for that, too. 


These options, except the B&B’s will probably be DIY. If you want, you can hire a coordinator to take the DIY sting out of it.

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