Small weddings mean different things to different people. A guest list of 150 may be considered as an exercise in restraint by one couple, whilst another couple’s perception of an intimate affair may be to limit the number of invitees to 40 of their closest friends and family.
Whatever your vision is for your special celebration, you may be interested in these 5 tips for planning a small wedding:
1. Be prepared for reactions
If you’re planning a small wedding, you’re likely to have had to make some tough decisions about your invite list. Not everyone perceives friendships and relationships, in the same way, so you may get some strong and unexpected reactions to your plans if people feel they have been unfairly excluded. There may be negative responses, some people may be upset or even angry, but it’s important to remember that this is your day.
2. Focus on the things that you will remember most
Many married couples will admit to having some things at their wedding that really didn’t matter at all. The choice of flowers may have stressed them out for ages or the colour of the serviettes may have caused sleepless nights. It may have been the selection of wines or the bride’s shoes that caused months of angst – yet in hindsight, none of these things really mattered all that much.
Remember, the occasion is about your experience as well as sharing your special day, so you need to find a balance between these two things. Focus on the things that the two of you will remember and cherish and try not to worry too much about the things you think other people want.
Think of it this way – your guests probably won’t remember what they ate at your wedding, but you will definitely want to remember your special day with quality photographs and videos, so prioritise where you invest your time and effort.
3. Pay attention to the details
Small does not necessarily mean simple, but it does mean that every little detail counts. It can actually be harder to successfully host an intimate gathering than a bigger event where little glitches or oversights can go unnoticed amongst the masses, so go through every little thing in detail.
A smaller wedding also creates opportunities to involve your guests a bit more, so you may want to consider things like getting everyone to write a comment on a tablecloth as a fun memento for the future or record a video message. It’s virtually impossible to do intimate things like this when you have hundreds of guests as they take too much time and effort to organise and manage.
4. Spoil your guests
A smaller wedding may provide opportunities to spoil your guests with some special ‘extras’ which could be anything from personalised ‘thank you’ gifts, unique transport options, a live band or some other form of entertainment. You may even want a wedding ‘weekend’ with just a few guests where you get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest.
5. Choose your venue carefully
It can be a bit of a challenge to find a wedding venue that complements and enhances the intimacy of a smaller gathering. Some of the traditional venues like hotels, conference centres, community or sports halls and wineries may be more suitable to larger, lavish affairs and you may want to consider some of the more unusual places to hold your nuptials.
Some ideas include someone’s beautiful garden, a restaurant, historic inn, heritage building, a boat or barge or even an art gallery. Iconic landmarks are best
Others’ opinions should be valued and considered, but don’t let negative feedback cloud your event or bring you down. Rather approach things in a mature, honest way and be upfront to everyone about your desire to have a small event and how difficult it was to keep numbers down. True friends will stay loyal and those on the fringe will drift away.