The Ultimate Guide to Intimate Weddings
Even without coronavirus restrictions, not everyone dreams of a big, white wedding. For those who simply value quality time with close family and friends, now is the perfect opportunity for a smaller wedding. No expectation to entertain 250 people, no pressure to invite all your extended family, no flapping over complex table arrangements. This is just about you and your partner gathering your very nearest and dearest together for a celebration of your love.
So, as government guidelines currently limit weddings across the UK, many couples will need to adjust their plans. However, having an intimate wedding doesn’t have to be a negative compromise. Fewer people can mean a more personal celebration. So, there’s more time for the bride and groom to spend with their guests. Also, there are more ways the couple can create a truly unique, personal day. So, an intimate wedding is fantastic, here we have everything you need to know about planning an intimate wedding.
Why Should I Consider an Intimate Wedding?
Due to the current coronavirus restrictions, an intimate wedding is necessary if you want to go ahead with your plans (when restrictions allow)! However, there are many reasons why an intimate wedding is a wonderful choice. For example, your wedding is likely to be cheaper, but also the money you do spend can go further. Also, you can spend more individual time with loved ones and fewer guests can create a less stressful and more relaxed atmosphere for you as a couple. So, overall you can create a more intimate and personal wedding day. If you have to choose an intimate wedding due to coronavirus restrictions, it’s important to remember that your guest list size doesn’t dictate how you celebrate your special day. An intimate wedding can still be extravagant and lavish!
What are the Different Types of Intimate Weddings?
An intimate wedding doesn’t have an exact size limit but it is usually considered to be less than 50 guests. Obviously, the fewer the guests, the more intimate your wedding will become! There are several different types of intimate weddings which range in size. Those discussed here are in line with current coronavirus restrictions.
- Micro Wedding: A micro wedding is typically a very small wedding of fewer than 20 guests.
- Elopement: An elopement is traditionally just the couple, officiants, and 2 witnesses. However, in modern times, this can also be read as a handful of witnesses.
- Sequel Wedding: A sequel wedding is the chance to have a small, intimate wedding first, with a large celebration later with friends and family. The first event could be a micro wedding or an elopement. It is usually when the couple is lawfully married. The second wedding is usually a much bigger affair. The couple will usually invite many more friends and family to this event. This can take place when coronavirus restrictions have lifted.
How Do I Decide the Guest List for an Intimate Wedding?
If you are altering your wedding plans to an intimate wedding due to coronavirus restrictions, it is likely you will have to downsize your guest list. Downsizing your wedding guest list can be a difficult task as you identify which of your loved ones, unfortunately, can no longer be included. However, it is currently a necessity and those guests will understand that it was your only option.
You likely already have a fixed limit, depending on restrictions, so this can actually help you make the tough decisions. For example, if you are limited to 15, you’ll need to be very selective with a 15 person guest list and your guests will understand this. Previously in England (before lockdown), that 15 person limit includes you, your partner, your witnesses and any other attending guests. Those considered as working at the event were not included in this number.
You are perfectly entitled to say no plus ones, no children, and no extended family. Every single person you invite to a wedding this size should be someone that is close to you and that you can’t imagine not being present when you get married. If you are planning a sequel wedding, you can always reassure those who cannot be there, that they will be invited to the eventual, second celebration.
How Do You Budget for an Intimate Wedding?
When you reduce the number of guests at your wedding, the cost naturally goes down. An intimate wedding definitely takes off some pressure to cater for 100 or so guests – in all aspects, from food and drink to wedding favours. On the other hand, having fewer people on your guest list may allow you to stretch your budget further. Minimising on guests also gives you an extra excuse to splurge on exciting extras as you spend less on catering and venue space. So, it’s a fantastic idea if you want to create an unforgettable guest experience.
For those looking for a small legal ceremony followed by a larger celebration, a sequel wedding will not cost very much more or less than the traditional one-day event. On the other hand, those wanting more than one large-scale event may need to consider whether your budget will stretch. You’ll need to be realistic and determine how much of your budget you are willing to spend on each event.
How Do You Choose a Venue for an Intimate Wedding?
One of the key elements of an intimate wedding is ensuring that your wedding venue complements your guest list size. The key to this is researching venues online and in-person in advance, to ensure they work for your party size.
However, this is far from a constraint! You are less restricted with smaller groups – the only venues it may rule out are large ballrooms and venues accommodating bigger groups. However, many wedding venues are currently adjusting their set up to accommodate micro-weddings where restrictions allow. So, don’t feel you have to discover a brand new, smaller venue. This is especially important if you already have one you’ve fallen in love with!
Of course, there are intimate wedding venues that specialise in only holding very small weddings so they’ll know exactly how to make the most of your limit.
Hosting an intimate wedding is all about finding the right space. Even with only a handful of guests, you want your wedding to feel full. To achieve this, you can choose cosy, unique spaces or decorate a larger space to feel exclusive and lavish. It entirely depends on the atmosphere you wish to create on your wedding day.
Ideas and Inspiration for an Intimate Wedding
One big advantage of an intimate wedding is that it gives couples the option to break away from tradition and to add some personality to proceedings. Think about how the day will unfold, and all the touches that can be added to make it feel exclusive and special, that a bigger wedding party might not be able to achieve. The beauty of an intimate wedding means that anything goes.
Your wedding attire is one place where having no social pressures of a traditional wedding is great! Because you’re not having a traditional wedding, you don’t need to go for the customary formal suits or a white dress. Of course, if you want the princess ball gown, go for it! But you could always wear something unique and fun, like this jumpsuit by Sassi Holford, for your intimate wedding, then keep your original wedding dress for a sequel wedding celebration. It’s whatever you feel would be comfortable and suitable for your adjusted day.
A big part of planning an intimate wedding is paying attention to the details. Because you’re inviting only your closest friends and family and not attending to the masses, you can spend extra time finding a unique venue, creating elaborate decor and treating your guests to welcome gifts and party favours.
The guest experience is also often richer with smaller parties, as the couple is able to spend quality time with everyone. When your guests realise they were the “chosen few,” they’ll feel extra special and honoured to attend your wedding. Guests will also take their cue from you so focus on all the good things and spend your budget on making those amazing. A small, intimate wedding gives you the chance to really go all out. That could be a designer wedding cake, your own gin club bar, incredible food, or champagne for everyone!
Whatever your wedding ends up looking like, lean into it. You can’t think about what you had planned; you need to take advantage of what you’ve got. An intimate wedding can be as beautiful and romantic as any other wedding and yours is sure to be wonderful!
Please remember to check the local restrictions in your area and where your venue is located to inform your planning.
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