It’s no surprise that weddings come in all shapes and sizes and while I love them all, there’s something utterly romantic and personal about a small affair. With more and more couples making their wedding more initimate and adopting a low key approach, I share my top tips for planning a small wedding.
Invite current friends
When it comes to inviting friends, it can get a little tricky. If you’re planning a small wedding, it’s a good idea to adopt a rule to only invite those people who you are currently friends with. We all have those friends who have drifted so if you haven’t seen or spoken to them in over a year, not inviting them is a good way to keep numbers down.
Stick to your guns on plus ones
When it comes to plus ones, reserve them for people who are in long-term relationships. Weddings aren’t the time for meeting new people, particularly if it’s a smaller affair. In most instances, you shouldn’t have to write “and guest” at all, on the basis that you will probably know the names of all the plus ones. This will also limit the chance of any guests swapping a partner they’ve recently split up with for a random date you didn’t even know about.
If you’re really set on having a low-key affair, make the decision on your guest list a little easier by having a wedding abroad. While it’s a process that requires careful consideration, having a destination wedding means that the people most important to you will travel for it and the less important people may not, which immediately lowers your numbers.
Many couples now opt to have a post-wedding celebration so why adopt this approach by making your post-wedding party a bigger affair than your actual wedding? Hire a beautiful venue and give guests the chance to celebrate your nuptials.
Another option is to have a small, intimate ceremony with just your nearest and dearest, followed by a larger guest list for the evening reception.
Another method which brides and grooms often follow when working out a smaller guest list is to make rules and stick to them. Whether that’s ‘No children’ or ‘No invites to people we haven’t both met’, creating rules you both adhere to gives you the chance to keep numbers small from the outset.
Find an intimate venue you love
Choosing a small venue that you both love is the easiest way to stick to a small guest list. If your venue only holds, say, 70 people, you have no option but to stick to that number. This will also ensure you don’t feel the need to expand numbers out of guilt or family pressure.
Tell everyone it’s a small wedding
Make sure everyone is aware that it’s an intimate affair by planting the seed early! This will help ensure that you cause the least amount of offence for those who didn’t make the cut. While you’re not actually saying “Immediate family and close friends only”, the implication is that the guest list won’t stray very far beyond these boundaries.
Treat your guests well
Having a small wedding really gives you the chance to go all out and wow your guests. Just because it’s a small affair doesn’t mean it can’t be the luxurious day you’ve always envisioned! Keeping numbers low means you can really go all out on the finer details, like luxe favours, wine pairing with each course and not forgetting the dress of your dreams!
Don’t neglect details
A smaller wedding doesn’t mean simple! In fact, the fewer the numbers, the more will be picked up on. While something neglected might be easily hidden among a crowd of 200, it won’t go unnoticed in a crowd of 50 so don’t be tempted to cut corners and give your day the attention it deserves.
Get guests involved
Having smaller numbers gives you the perfect chance to really make every single guest feel like they’re a part of your special day. Whether that’s seating everyone at one big table, or spending at least 10 minutes with each guest asking them to share a favourite memory of the bride and groom, a small wedding really gives you the chance to make it a personal affair.