The Expert’s Guide to Hosting the Intimate Wedding of Your Dreams

Blog, Wedding Advice

Lately, many people are catching on to the trend of smaller or micro-weddings. Whether it be COVID restrictions, smaller budget or simply wanting to feel less overwhelmed….they’re going for it. And here at Wedfuly, we honestly believe that these types of weddings are here to stay, global pandemic or not. Why? You may ask. Imagine getting to throw the wedding of your dreams at a fraction of the cost and truly get to soak up every moment with your guests. Sounds pretty fab to us!!! Let’s take a look at the top 10 ways to host a small wedding. We will give you intimate wedding ideas that are going to leave all of your guests wishing they had done the same for their own.

But Really, Why Is An Intimate Wedding Worth It?

Maybe you’re at the start of your planning process and you think: why would I ever want to cut my guest list? You might be planning to wait it out until everyone can safely attend your wedding. Or maybe you simply can’t imagine how you could whittle your guest list down anymore. Before you postpone your date any longer, hear us out.

The most common feedback we hear from couples that opted for a smaller wedding is how much less stressed they were. In our hyper stressed out world, who doesn’t love the sound of that?! Instead of having to plan a massive event for 150 people, they described it as planning a fancy dinner party for their nearest + dearest. In addition with us, they described how they got to splurge on speciality items that they really wanted. Instead of serving an average chicken & potatoes dinner, they got to serve a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant. Instead of spending half their budget on a wedding venue, they got to have it in their beautiful backyard and spend more on decor. 

© by Molly Kate Photography 2020

Spend Quality Time With Your Guests At Your Intimate Wedding

The last piece of feedback that we’ve gotten from former couples that hosted smaller weddings is about the actual event. Most people share how incredibly relaxing and life giving the event was. They weren’t rushing around from table to table thanking distant cousins and long lost friends for attending. They were able to have in depth conversations with the ones they love most and truly savor their presence. When you have less people at your wedding, you won’t feel as if it is a big production or you are putting on a performance. It will truly feel as if your closest friends and family are celebrating with you on one of the most important days of your life.

When you opt for a smaller wedding it will feel more like an intimate dinner party with your nearest + dearest.
When you opt for a smaller wedding it will feel more like an intimate dinner party with your nearest + dearest.

How To Keep Your Guest List Small

This is generally one of the trickiest parts of a smaller wedding. You might be the girl that has dozens of friends from every stage of your life. Or maybe you are from a gigantic family with 100 members that are considered a part of your “immediate family”. We hear you, we hear you. If this is the case, the smaller your numbers are, the easier the whole process will be.

According to brides.com, a general rule of thumb when picking which guests to invite is to consider who you regularly keep in contact with. Look back at your phone calls and texts and you will most likely get a clear answer of who your nearest + dearest are. Additionally, another tip their website listed was to consider which guests you would be comfortable taking out to a nice dinner and spending over $100 on. This will help you decide who you invite to the in-person wedding and who you invite to the virtual wedding

A general rule of thumb when selecting your guest list for your intimate wedding is to think through whom you keep in touch with regularly in your life.

Decide Whether You Want to Have a Small Wedding or a Micro Wedding 

According to Hitched, a micro wedding is considered up to 20 guests, whereas a small wedding can be between 30-60 guests. (However…these are just rough estimates, the numbers are ultimately up to you!) Your first step when planning your intimate wedding is to decide on a number that you feel comfortable with. Your venue will most likely be a guiding factor, as you think through how much space will be available to you. Then, the rest of you guests that you want to be a part of your wedding, you can place on your virtual guest list. Lastly, if having a virtual wedding isn’t your thing…there is always another way to keep these people in the loop. Consider sending a wedding announcement (almost the way you would send a birth announcement) and keep those loved ones in the loop!

Having a virtual component to your wedding is a great way to keep your guest list small and still include everyone!
Having a virtual component to your wedding is a great way to keep your guest list small and still include everyone!

Go All Out on the Details For Your Intimate Wedding 

The beautiful thing about an intimate wedding is that you can pay special attention to the smallest of details. You really get a chance to personalize everything and make each guest feel like a million bucks. Write handwritten place cards for each guest, display pictures of your friends + family as decor, even consider writing a handwritten note to each guest upon arrival. This is your chance to say “you matter so much to me, that’s why you’re at my wedding!” Additionally, Hitched even recommends incorporating family heirlooms into different parts of the day. Could you use your grandmother’s china as your place settings for dinner? What about displaying old portraits of loved ones that have passed? Consider ways to make this event as special + sacred as possible.

We are swooning over the beautiful details that Kamillah & Stephan included in their intimate wedding.
We are swooning over the beautiful details that Kamillah & Stephan included in their intimate wedding.

Opt For a Signature Cocktail

Given the fact that your guest list will be much smaller, you can get creative with what you serve. Do you have a favorite drink that you are known for? Is there a delicious cocktail that goes along with the vibe of your wedding? Consider whipping up large batches beforehand or have someone bartending and hand crafting these at the wedding. This will really make it special for your guests and will leave them thinking about your wedding in years to come when they have that drink. If you’re stumped as to what to serve, check out HGTV’s 50 Signature Wedding Cocktails list. Whimsical Gin Fizz or Boozy Bourbon + Peach Smash?? Yes please, bartender!

Set Up Your Venue Space Well for an Intimate Wedding

When you are deciding on a venue space for your wedding, it’s important to think about the number of people that will be attending. If you are opting for a larger venue space, think of how you can enclose a larger space with furniture or decor to make it cozier. Herecomestheguide.com also suggests creating a “lounge space” for your guests. Given the fact that the dancing portion of your wedding might be shorter (or maybe non existent) you will want to set up your space in a way that lends itself to comfort for your guests. Think comfy chairs, pillows, cushions & cozy blankets. Channel your best ‘hygge’ and go for it!

Other Fun Ideas For Your Intimate Wedding

Another thing to think about when planning for your intimate wedding, is how you will set up the ceremony. You don’t have to have the chairs in traditional rows. Consider, opting for a circular or semicircle chair set up. This way you will be surrounded by all of your loved ones as you say “I Do!” When planning for the set up of your dinner, you can be creative with this as well. Picture setting up a long farm table and eating family style under twinkling lights. **And every girl with a Pinterest board just swooned** Or if a long farm table isn’t an option, opt for several round tables with all of your guests at them.