How to Plan the Perfect Intimate Wedding

Planning a smaller wedding? A limited number of guests doesn’t mean you have to do things small; you can go big on everything else, from your dress to wedding décor. Here’s how to plan the perfect intimate wedding.
Everyone’s wedding is different, some want grand, lavish, larger than life affairs whilst others have always dreamed of an intimate ceremony with only their nearest and dearest in attendance. Now, it seems (thanks to our dear friend Corona) that not only have small weddings become somewhat of a necessity, but they are now becoming a trend.
With restrictions being in place on weddings in the UK for the best part of a year, and will continue until June 2021 at the earliest, many couples are opting to go ahead with their “I do’s” and planning their special day with only 15-30 guests in attendance, choosing to surround themselves with their closest friends and family.
Why choose a Small Wedding?
An intimate guestlist is the perfect opportunity for you to create a personal, memorable day for both you and your guests. With a few clever tweaks, you’ll be able to create the day you dreamed of, even if it is with fewer guests. From creative seating, personalised notes and intimate entertainment, we’ll help you see how an intimate wedding is the perfect choice for you.
  1. You don’t want to move your wedding date (for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time)
  2. The total cost of your wedding is likely to be cheaper
  3. You can spend more quality time with your guests
  4. You can splurge on things you may have previously cut back on
  5. Fewer guests will create a more relaxed atmosphere
  6. You can create personal gifts for each guest without breaking the bank
9 Tips for a Planning the Perfect Intimate Wedding
1. Find the Perfect Venue
This would be the case for any size wedding, however, it’s particularly important when planning for a wedding of 30 people or less. With a smaller guestlist your options open up considerably. We recommend considering a restaurant venue, a family home, private gardens or even an Airbnb where you’ll be able to share a full weekend with your closest loved ones.
If you’ve already got a venue, find a space within that is perfect for a smaller ceremony. Wherever you choose, we suggest ensuring that it’s exclusive-use, this will make the day feel even more private, plus it’s lots of fun having an entire venue just for you and your guests.
2. Perfect your Guestlist
With a limit of 30 people or less at your wedding, that includes you as a couple, officiant and photographer, it’s so important to know who to invite. Having only your nearest and dearest should make this a little easier, and splitting the number of guests down the middle (say 12 from each side) will make this a painless task.
With an intimate wedding, it is perfectly acceptable to lay down some ground rules, and say no to children, plus ones, extended family and work friends. If your reason for a small wedding is due to government guidelines, everyone not invited will understand this and respect your decision with no hard feelings. For those you do invite, ensure they are people that are close to you, who you speak to often and you couldn’t possibly imagine having your special day without.
3. Enhance the Guest Experience
With fewer guests, comes the wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with all your loved ones. This in turn means the experience that they have needs to be high on your list of priorities.
Plan how the day will unfold, and all the little touches that will add to the overall experience. This might be creating cosy lounging areas or telling stories around a fire pit in the evening, allowing guests to create their own cocktails, roaming magicians and personal waiters or sing a longs and family games night.
4. Get Personal
Having fewer than 30 guests at your wedding means you can really break from tradition and bring some personality and personal touches to the day.
With fewer guests to think about (and more budget to spend) you’ll be able to splurge on the finer details to really make your guests feel like a huge part of your day. This could include handwritten menus and name cards, include personalised napkins or provide each guest with their favourite drink. You may choose to ditch the name cards and have pictures of each guest at their designated seat instead, create each guest a welcome box or a thank you gift!
Whatever you decide, it’s a sure-fire way of making sure your guests feel how much you wanted them to be a part of your special day and will remember it with love.
5. Skip the Wedding party
With such a limited number of guests, you may not want to segregate those you do have by having bridesmaids and ushers. You may just want to use your siblings instead or keep it inclusive and not define any set roles, whatever you decide, there are no rules here!
6. Ditch the Round Tables
Traditional round table seating isn’t really at home at an intimate wedding. You’ll be breaking up the guests you do have and likely no utilising your space very well.
Instead, we suggest opting for a long reception table, or if you have the space a stunning U-shaped layout. This is a great way to work within your space, whilst making your guests feel included and encouraging conversation, think of it like a big family dinner. And to really bring everyone together, ditch the traditional top table or sweetheart table, and sit with your guests. Making it a wedding breakfast to remember!
7. Consider a Weekday Wedding
Weekday weddings are already becoming increasingly popular, however, a smaller guestlist creates an even better reason to forego wedding nuptials.
Weekday weddings tend be significantly cheaper than weekend and bank holiday weddings, with venues and vendors dropping their prices, meaning you’ll have more in your budget to spend on other things. With less guests, it’s more likely that all those you do invite will be able to take the time off work and your preferred vendors are also more likely to have availability.
8. Splurge Where you Want to
A huge perk of having an intimate wedding, is that you’ll notice your budget will stretch a lot further. From saving on the venue, cost per head, accommodation, invites and décor, you’ll have plenty left over to splurge on things you may otherwise not have.
It’s a great opportunity to go all out with your wedding décor, choosing the lavish centrepieces and customised backdrop, personalise as much as you can to make your guests feel included and cherished. Always dreamed of the perfect fairy-tale dress, but couldn’t justify the price? Well now you can. An intimate wedding is all about you and your guests, so spend on the things that will make it unforgettable, that you might not have the luxury of with a much larger guestlist.
9. Get Live Streaming
Just because you’re having less people in attendance, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many more people you want to share your day with. And with today’s technology this is so easy to do, you can live stream your ceremony (and the rest of the day should you wish) and send the link to as many people as you want, anywhere in the world.
All they have to do is click the link and watch live as you say “I do”, this is such a great way to ensure that everyone you cherish gets to be a part of your special day, especially if your decision for a smaller wedding is down to Covid restrictions.
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