Small Wedding Ideas
The entire style, vibe, and spirit of your wedding changes when you choose to celebrate small. There is a particular magic that comes with an intimate wedding, and an endless amount of opportunities to maximize on quality time and soak up the joy of the day.
Curious how to tap into that small wedding magic? Here’s the key: Where traditional wedding receptions are typically centered on dancing and a party atmosphere, a small wedding reception is centered on quality time and experiences. Get some tips for how to have a sweet and memorable small wedding:
Rehearsal dinners, set up and tear down, getting ready… The wedding weekend is already filled with moments to connect with loved ones. As you come together, consider staying together! Take a look at venues that double as lodging, like private homes, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and even AirBnb’s. The right location can be the perfect backdrop to an amazing weekend as you share late-night talks, afternoon walks, and morning coffee. A more intimate setting facilitates those intangible organic moments that make small weddings so special.
Doing the seating chart for an intimate guest list is faster, less complicated, and less of a headache… but still necessary! You want to make sure parties can sit together, there are no awkward etiquette moments, and each guest was thoughtfully accommodated (a seating chart tells you where to leave a chair out for the wheelchair and where the vegans are sitting, for example). There are no random third cousins or old acquaintances to worry about, just the most essential parts of your tribe. Here is an opportunity to get thoughtful about each one!
Ditch the round tables and play around with a variety of intimate seating arrangements like seating everyone at one long king’s table, together in a U-shape, or even in a circle. If you want to encourage a feeling of togetherness, build it into the seating chart!
A small wedding is a great way to provide and experience a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hiring a private chef, for example, would be prohibitively expensive and complicated for most weddings, but it can be an amazing way to “wow” an intimate guest list. You might even pair them with a professional mixologist to entertain your guests while preparing your signature drinks, a caricature artist to create live favors, or dance lessons.
The opportunity to provide these custom experiences doesn’t stop at a traditional reception. Think outside the box and consider taking your group wine tasting, sight-seeing, horse back riding, or painting! Prioritize the atmosphere you’re looking to create with a pro who can make your offbeat reception an unforgettable experience. You and your guests will be raving about it for years to come.
Large venues can be tricky for small weddings (no one wants to feel like they threw a party that no one showed up to!) but in the right hands it becomes a really cool opportunity. Instead of resenting that extra space, spread out! Create gaming stations, photo booths, and lounge areas so your guests can get out of their seats and into the celebration. Nobody will notice the empty space on the dance floor if you put a piñata in the middle of it. Get creative and do what works best for your party.
Your wedding is an opportunity to create custom and intimate experiences that will stay with you forever. By focusing on quality time and experiences, you are sure to have a celebration that provides the togetherness you're going for. Maximize your time and those intangible moments by staying together. Make the most of your space and connect with all of your guests when you sit together. Add a little lux to your event by going private, and embrace the size of your event space and put all of it to good use. The possibilities are endless for your intimate gathering if you think big while planning small.