The solution is a destination wedding at a bed and breakfast or small inn, something I spoke about recently with innkeeper/wedding planner Judy Hotchkiss of the Propsect Hill B&B in Mountain City, TN. Because most inns have limited capacity, you'll be able to keep both your guest list and your budget under control without sacrificing the feel of a professional wedding. Plus, if the inn offers wedding planning services you won't have to plan and pull off a full-scale event; they'll do it for you including catering, ceremony space prep, and banquet room setup from tables and chairs to linens, flowers and cakes.
If you want custom touches but not the hassle, consider enlisting the help of your innkeeper. Hotchkiss, for example, will fully customize your wedding weekend at a cost that may be hard to resist. "I've sewed bridal satin table runners in the bride's choice of lilac; hand-tied blue iris bouquets; and bedecked our gazebo with swags of brightly colored fresh flowers and flanked it with urns filled with matching bare twigs, flowers and vines. For that wedding we also served breakfast for the bride and groom's relatives on Sunday morning so they could all meet one more time before the couple returned to their West Coast home.
If you’re thinking of hosting your wedding at a B&B, it’s important to know what kind of bride and groom you are, says Hotchkiss. "A destination wedding is ideal for a couple willing to step back and allow others to do the work,” she says. “They have to trust their facility and their planner. This is why it is important to have a detailed conversion with your planner. Couples should share their must haves and their vision for the special day. This is a form of handing over a bit of control and asking for help. If you can't do this, consider having your wedding in your hometown where you can manage every detail to your satisfaction."