Weddings Are Back on the Agenda – 10 Ways to Make a Small Wedding Feel Spectacular
Yippeeee! Oh, it must have been a difficult few months for any of you out there planning weddings. But finally, weddings are back on the agenda. Covid-19 has… messed things up a bit, if you want to put it politely. And there are still many more restrictions in place than a lot of brides and grooms will want to deal with. But the good news is that Weddings. Are. Back. And you can even have up to 30 guests to help you celebrate! So, it’s maybe not ideal, but small can be mighty, beautiful, and incredible! You just need to change your mindset.
10 Ways to Make a Small Wedding Feel Spectacular
1. Do something completely different. OK, so you can’t have the wedding of your dreams with 400 guests and a small army of table service staff. Don’t try to downsize your dreams. Do something completely different. Completely. Find an officiant who’ll marry you on a beach, in a forest, at the top of a small mountain. Instead of silver service, break out the barbeque, have an ice cream party, hire a food truck. Just because something is different, doesn’t mean that it can be incredibly special.
2. Choose a venue that shines. The best thing about having a smaller wedding is that a whole world of venue possibilities opens. You’re not paying for vast numbers. You don’t need a vast amount of space. So, book somewhere that makes you happy. Be that a boutique hotel and restaurant. Or, as someone we know did, a well-known pie and mash shop, where the bride shovelled up the gravy in full wedding regalia and had the best day of her life!
3. Crush that guestlist. The incredible thing about a Covid-19 wedding is that no one will expect to be invited. So, if you don’t like your boss, forget about the invite. That friend who only turns up when there’s free food on the table? Forget about them, too! And relatives you never see outside of Christmas probably won’t care anyway. As a couple, go through your phones. For most people, close family members are a must. But if someone isn’t on your regular call list, they don’t make the guest list.
4. Use your extra budget wisely. For many, a smaller wedding will mean extra cash left in the kitty. And that’s great – keep it. Save it for a house deposit or use it to help clear your debts. But do also use some of it for something special that you will love. Something that you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford for your big day. That might be a spectacular pair of shoes, bespoke wedding rings, a take-your-breath-away cake, or a menu that will leave your guests first speechless, then talking about it forever.
5. Focus on the details. When you’re dealing with smaller numbers, it’s possible to really personalise a wedding. So, have fun with your table settings. Create floral arrangements that really reflect your personality, rather than reflect the occasion. Make your guests feel special with fun place settings, like personalised giant Love Hearts. Create hand-written menus. Go to town on your wedding favours with something different for each guest (Swizzels personalised mini Love Hearts work well here too!). Include everyone in your speeches.
6. Consider the layout of your reception. Put 30 people in a room and they’ll soon fill up the space. But sticking to a traditional table plan could drain the atmosphere when social distancing rules are applied. So, consider alternatives. A couple of massive round tables where seating can be spaced but everyone can still chat. A single, U-shaped table. An outdoor venue with socially spaced beanbags or comfy chairs. Anything that stops the gaps being too noticeable and stalls natural conversation.
7. Aim for ambience. Lighting and music can make a massive difference to the feel of any event, regardless of size. So, hire a harpist or acoustic performer and think about how you can use lighting to create that intimate vibe.
8. Get your friends and family involved. If you want to limit the entertainment budget, why not stage an open mic night instead of the traditional speeches. If alcohol is flowing, the jokes will too. If it’s not, with smaller numbers of special people, your friends will want to join in anyway.
9. Give yourself time to prepare. Smaller weddings kind of lend themselves to later ceremonies. And this gives you more time to make a real day of it. So, book yourselves in for a massage first thing. Brides, take time over your makeup with your BFF and a bottle of bubbly. Grooms, book yourself in for a professional shave. Do whatever you need to do to make the day feel special.
10. Plan for better times. Smaller weddings can be perfection. But if you’re still yearning for that one ‘big day’, there’s no harm in postponing the festivities. No one will think any the less of you for it. So, if you’ve already started booking venues and suppliers, ask if there’s any way that you could push things back. You could either postpone the whole shebang, or go for the best of both worlds – the intimate wedding now and the big party later. Whatever you decide, you need to do the best thing for you.
While large weddings have all the kudos, smaller weddings can be incredibly special. They give you the chance to really share the day with the people who matter to you most. And that’s no small thing. They can be romantic, beautiful, unforgettable. But more importantly than anything else, it’s the chance for you to say, ‘I do’. And just a few months ago, none of us knew when that was likely to happen again.