small intimate wedding

Planning A Small Wedding: Tips For A Small Intimate Wedding

Many women dream of having huge wedding ceremonies and receptions, surrounded by an entourage of friends, co-workers, and their plentiful and somewhat-overwhelming families (not forgetting their seventh cousin twice removed on their great-grandmother’s side, of course.) However, some betrothed couples prefer to keep it simple on their big day and opt for the perfect small wedding instead.


  • Benefits of Planning a Small Wedding
  • Tips for Planning a Small Wedding
  • How do you Organise a Small Wedding?
  • What is Considered Small for a Wedding?
  • Is it a Good Idea to have a Small Wedding?

Benefits of Planning a Small Wedding

There has never been a better time to think about planning a small wedding and there are plenty of positives to having a small wedding, such as:

They’re More Cost-Effective

With a little bit of a smaller guest list, there’s bound to be a lot less money being spent. On food? Check. On drinks? Double-check. On space? Check check check! This means you can afford to spend a smidge more on your biggest priorities: it’s your special day, after all!

An Intimate and Personal Atmosphere

What can be more intimate and personal than spending one of the most important days of your life with a handful of the most important people in it? Plus: you can guarantee you won’t be looking back on your wedding photos one day, wondering who on Earth half of your guests were…

Spend Time With Those Most Important To You

‘Doing The Rounds’ seems to almost be an unspoken tradition at every wedding: rushing from guest to guest, exchanging small talk, and thanking them for coming. But who said every dream wedding needed a rule book? With a small wedding, you can spend your time with the people you love – not just the people you know.

More Opportunities 

What with the way the world is currently functioning, chances and opportunities for travel are slim to none (and for good reason!). But choosing to have a smaller wedding, despite the current circumstances, is great for those couples who perhaps want a destination wedding and want to treat their wedding party to share in the entire adventure.

Less Stress

This one really goes without saying especially when compared to planning a big wedding: the fewer people you have to organise, the more relaxed you’re going to be. You’re more than likely juggling a billion and one things already, so by dwindling down the number of people you need to worry about, you’ll be able to focus on the things that really matter.

Before you get to say “I do”, it’s important to understand why you might want to have your own small wedding. What’s the appeal and draw of a wedding, perhaps without the fanfare, whistles, and bells of a traditional one?

Once you’ve decided that this is definitely the kind of wedding you want, however, you’re going to want to know how to plan one. That’s where we step in! Read on to find out our best tips for planning a small wedding!

planning a small wedding

5 Tips for Planning a Small Wedding

Weddings are a special day that people look forward to for a long time. They bring family and friends together to celebrate the love and commitment between two people. 

However, not everyone wants a big, extravagant wedding. Some couples prefer a smaller, more intimate wedding ceremony. Planning a small wedding can be just as exciting and fulfilling as planning a larger one. Here are some tips for planning a small wedding:

1. Think About The Little Things

When it comes to smaller wedding planning, details mean everything. Or, at least, a lot more than they would’ve if your guest list consisted of over 200 friends, family members and close acquaintances.

A wedding with fewer guests means you can put that little bit of extra effort into making sure that every guest feels valued, with a little personalized touch: think unique, hand-crafted wedding favours, or delicate and personalised table decor. It’s the little things that guests will look back on fondly years after that will really set your wedding apart. 

It’s also crucial to remember the space in which you’re working: is the venue itself decorated exactly the way you’d like it to be? Just adding a few fairy lights, bunting, a variety of fabrics, and a few plants might be key to creating an intimate and cosy ambience. 

planning a small wedding

2. Only Invite Your ‘Very Important People’

Many venues countrywide are incredibly strict when it comes to their maximum wedding guest capacity, especially so when it comes to small weddings. Either way, you’re going to have to prepare yourself: you might have to be very picky, and somewhat brutal with your guest list choices. 

Once again, it’s your big day. That being said, having to decide who or who you don’t want at your wedding is a difficult task indeed. Remember, you are well within your rights to say “no plus-ones” and “no children”, as long as you also remember that things might get a little messy if you start picking, choosing, or bending your initial rules. Stay vigilant! 

Lastly, one more little reminder: if a venue says that it accepts a maximum number of guests, this also usually includes your photographer and your officiant. Of course, it’s always worth reading the small print, or simply asking a potential venue what their policies are before booking.

planning a small wedding

3. Breaking Tradition Isn’t A Bad Thing

By opting for a small wedding, you have the opportunity for your individual personalities to really shine through. Whether you decide to express yourself through your decor choices, or your style of wedding cake (or whether it’s wedding cake at all, for that matter!), with a limited guest list, you can plan your day to go exactly how you want it. 

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t be afraid of when it comes to getting married, it’s breaking tradition. Planning a small wedding means that you can afford to throw out the rule book, and potentially create some of your own traditions. Besides, how do you think traditions got started in the first place?

So, whether you never really felt like white was your colour, or you’d rather keep your bouquet to yourself thank you very much: it’s your day, and having a small wedding with just a few loved ones really solidifies that.

planning a small wedding

4. Consider A Weekday Wedding

Weekday weddings are a possibility that the majority of people overlook, solely on the basis that many people aren’t able to get weekdays off of work in order to attend. However, by having a limited guest list, booking a weekday wedding may actually work in your favour.   

Weekday last minute wedding venues such as Alexandra House are a cheaper alternative to booking far in advance and on the weekend. If you are looking to cut costs and are open to mid-week wedding dates, then it is worth looking into a last minute wedding venue!

Not only are weddings during the week often work out better for the wedding budget, but it also means that once again you’ll be able to treat your guests to something extra special with the money you save. Or, if you’re the jet setting type, you could even put that extra cash towards your honeymoon. 

Last but not least, any services you’re interested in hiring for your wedding (bands, caterers, a dance floor, food trucks, decorators etc.) might be more available time-wise if your wedding takes place during the week. By throwing a small wedding, you’re likely to be saving yourself lots of hassle in the long run. 

planning a small wedding

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative

Finally, we suggest getting a little bit creative when it comes to your small wedding ideas. It often surprises brides to hear that half of brides in the UK are planning on having a smaller wedding reception, this gives you a lot of free reigns to be as creative as possible when it comes to your guest list, your themes, and your decor. 

No matter when you’re planning to get married, finding a suitable venue can often be a lot more challenging than you might’ve originally thought. Being open-minded during this time is bound to set you on the right track, as it’s a crucial process to go through.

Here at Alexandra House, we’re offering an exclusive all-inclusive wedding deal which includes private venue hire, discounted room prices for your guests, and the whole red-carpet treatment. At a price of only £2020, this package is perfect for the couple who are trying to stick to their budget and rest assured that they’ll still have the wedding day of their dreams. 

We recommend searching for venues with exclusive function rooms or areas secluded from the public eye, which could easily be transformed into the celebration space of your dreams. With enough lights and plants, any atmosphere can be curated.

planning a small wedding

How do you Organise a Small Wedding?

To organise a small wedding, start by creating a guest list and determining your budget. Choose a venue that fits the size of your wedding party, whether it’s a traditional venue or a more unique location. 

Keep things simple by focusing on the details, such as personalised decorations, wedding favours, DIY touches, and meaningful music. Plan your menu based on your preferences and the size of your party, and don’t forget to hire a professional photographer to capture your special day. 

Lastly, remember to have fun and enjoy your intimate celebration with your closest family and friends!

What is Considered Small for a Wedding?

The definition of a small wedding can vary depending on cultural and personal preferences. In general, small weddings typically includes fewer than 50 guests. However, some couples may consider a wedding with 100 guests or fewer to be small, while others may opt for an ultra-intimate wedding with just a handful of guests. Ultimately, the size of a small wedding is determined by the couple’s desires, budget, and chosen wedding venue.

Is it a Good Idea to have a Small Wedding?

Whether a small wedding is a good idea depends on the couple’s preferences and priorities. Small weddings offer many benefits, such as the ability to focus on personalised details, spend quality time with guests, and reduce stress and expenses. 

Intimate weddings can be more romantic, allowing the couple to truly connect with each other and their loved ones. However, some couples may prefer a larger celebration to include more family and friends or to adhere to cultural or religious traditions

Ultimately, the decision to have a small wedding should be based on what is most important to the couple and what will make their wedding day most meaningful and memorable.

Planning A Small Wedding Conclusion

Every betrothed couple has their reasons and motivations behind planning a small wedding. But whatever they might be, it’s crucial to prioritise these and use them as inspiration for your wedding day. At the end of the day: it’s your wedding, and you should choose to spend it with who (and how!) you want. 

So, just as a little reminder, here are our top 5 tips for planning a small wedding:

  1. Think About The Little Things
  2. Only Invite Your ‘Very Important People’
  3. Breaking Tradition Isn’t A Bad Thing
  4. Consider A Weekday Wedding
  5. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative

If you’re looking at a small wedding venue and are looking to get married surrounded by your nearest and dearest, you should consider our stunning and stylish wedding venue Alexandra House in Swindon.  Alternatively, check out our blog post on how to pick your dream wedding venue for more tips

At Alexandra House, we have to offer a countryside outdoor wedding venue in Swindon as well as boasting a range of private rooms, wedding planners and wedding packages, which can be adapted to your needs. Our Wroughton Suite comes with its own private bar and a lounge with courtyard access, or our modern Alexandra Suite, which is light, airy, and spacious. 

Looking to take the stress away from planning your big day? Find out here whether wedding planners are really worth it!

Go back to other articles