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 a small intimate wedding instead.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the rules and regulations surrounding wedding ceremonies in the UK have been less than lenient. According to current government guidelines, the maximum number of wedding guests you’re allowed to invite is 30 in certain areas. In other areas of the UK, a maximum of 6 people is allowed to attend, depending on the severity of the situation in the area.
Looking on the bright side, however, there’s never been a better time to think about planning a small wedding. There are plenty of positives to having a smaller 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 wedding 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 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.
What with the way the world is currently functioning, chances and opportunity 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 perhaps wanting a destination wedding and want to treat their wedding party to share in the entire adventure.
This one really goes without saying: 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, intimate 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!
Tips for Planning a Small Wedding
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, 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.
Only Invite Your ‘Very Important People’
Many venues countrywide are incredibly strict when it comes to their maximum wedding guest capacity, and 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.
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 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. An intimate 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 an intimate wedding with just a few loved ones really solidifies that.
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.
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, food trucks, decorators etc.) might be more available time-wise if your wedding takes place during the week. By throwing a small, intimate wedding, you’re likely to be saving yourself lots of hassle in the long run.
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 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. If anything, however, this gives you a lot of free reign 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 Conclusion
Every betrothed couple has their reasons and motivations behind planning a small, intimate 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:
- Think About The Little Things
- Only Invite Your ‘Very Important People’
- Breaking Tradition Isn’t A Bad Thing
- Consider A Weekday Wedding
- Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative
We boast a range of private rooms which can be adapted to your needs, such as our Wroughton Suite which comes with its own private bar and a lounge with courtyard access, or our modern Alexandra Suite, which is light, airy, and spacious.