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December 13, 2018

On Weddings

Wedding Planning 101: On Intimate Weddings

You’ve discussed with your partner and your families — and you’ve decided on a small wedding. Hooray! You’re in luck – intimate weddings are some of our favorites. They are usually very personal, detailed and inclusive; just the kind of things weddings should be.

What makes it an ‘intimate wedding’? I personally think in this day and age anything with a guest count under 75 fits this classification. I myself had a wedding with 74 attendees, and it was just the right amount of people to be able to talk to everyone a little bit, include everyone we wanted and still felt like it was a party. However, intimate can also mean 30 people, or 12 people, or 5 people. Anything more than an elopement (being the ultimate in intimate, but really a whole thing altogether – more on that in another post!), but still feels small – you get the point.

Here are a few of our favorite things about intimate weddings:

You can have nicer things when you have fewer guests.We’ve covered this before, but the number one thing that affects your overall budget is your guest count. Less people means you can spend a little bit more per person and have nicer food, rentals, favors, premium alcohol and possibly more $$ to spend on other things that might be more important to you like an awesome photographer or that Vera Wang dress you’ve had your heart set on. Lower guest counts also mean you might be able to hold your event at an alternative venue at a possible lower price, like your favorite restaurant or small art space.

Not everyone loves the spotlight. Over the years, we’ve planned weddings for many self-proclaimed introverts. People who didn’t want quite that much attention only on them, even for their wedding day. That’s fine – and a smaller wedding is a perfect way to achieve that feeling. Sitting amongst your guests as opposed to at a sweetheart table or head table, no bridal party, more intimate venues and more relaxed affairs all naturally lend themselves to taking the spotlight off you personally and on the event itself, if that’s what you’d like.

It tends to feel just a little more special to your guests. Getting an invite to a wedding with only 25 guests rather than 250 is bound to make anyone feel very special. With less people, they’re also more likely to get quality face time with the couple, and that makes everyone feel like someone to have the guests of honor pay attention to them on their big day.

Mo’ people, mo’ problems. Truer words have never been spoken with regards to weddings. The more people you invite, the more possible drama you invite as well. Sadly, some people are still thinking only about themselves, even on your wedding day. So the more selective you are with your invitations, and the fewer people involved with both planning and attending the wedding – the fewer opinions you’ll have to entertain both figuratively and literally.

Really connect with your nearest and dearest on your wedding day. For my sisters 35 person wedding last year, we were able to have the dinner in one smaller room. Everyone felt not only spatially closer together but more connected to the people who gave the toasts, and closer to the couple as well. It also helps the people in your life become closer to each other: it’s easier to talk to 20 other people at a wedding than over 200, for your guests and for you.

However, here are some possible downsides to consider:

Some people may feel left out. You can’t invite everyone you know – and it might be the case that some people in your life who thought they would be invited just weren’t for whatever reason. We suggest some in person or direct pre-damage control. Not inviting work friends? Only inviting your immediate family? Start spreading the word now and if people feel slighted – be sure to let them know it’s not about them, it’s about your budget or your venue or your desire to only have it be 20 people, etc. People usually understand if they know the reasoning behind your decision and aren’t just left out in the cold.

It’s most likely not going to be a rager. Small weddings have many things going for them, but typically a crowded dance floor and all night party are not on the menu. Less people, more older people or family, and smaller venues tend to equate to a more relaxed vibe. If you’re looking for the party of the year – you might want to reconsider having a larger event.

In the end it’s up to you what’s going to work best for your situation, budget and wants. And before you say it: we’ll have another post next week about large weddings, because they’re great in their own way also.

Photo Credits: All photos by Caca Santoro