When I was planning my own small wedding, I couldn’t help but take note of all of the different things my clients had chosen to do at theirs. Believe it or not, it’s not easy to pick your must-have elements when you’ve had the chance to work with so many wonderful, creative couples. So, as I was sorting through all of my favourite features (and running them by my husband-to-be!), there was one thing that I kept coming back to. All of the weddings that remained really special to me were where the couple had managed to create a truly personal, intimate setting.
This is partly why my husband and I chose to keep our wedding small—well, small for pre-COVID times. With just 60 guests, we gathered the people that mean the absolute most to us, and that made that much more special when we made our vows to each other.
Since my own wedding day, and now through a pandemic that pushed a lot of people to have smaller celebrations than they planned, I still think that small weddings are a beautiful way for couples to step into their next chapter together. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. Your budget goes further in a small wedding
Having fewer guests means you get to spend less money on space, food, and drinks for your big day. With this added flexibility in your budget, you can focus on personal details that will make your wedding more memorable for the people that attend. At our wedding, for example, we gave handwritten notes to each individual guest, as well as a photo of them with the bride or groom.
With a bit more wiggle room, part of your budget can also go towards a more elaborate menu, special gifts for your wedding party, a statement outfit, or whatever you feel will make your day that much more special.
2. The speeches are so much better
In my experience, toasts and other speeches at small weddings are really special. On the one hand, in a smaller group of familiar people, I find that the person giving the speech typically feels more comfortable being intimate and touching in what they say. On the flipside, some people are a little more daring when they have a small audience, and can say funny things they might have avoided with a bigger group.
Basically, it’s far more likely that I’ll see tears (be they emotional or laughter-induced) when the Maid of Honour stands up to speak at a small wedding.
3. They’re the perfect setting for introverts (like me!)
Another great thing about having a small wedding is that it takes a lot of the pressure off of the couple. You get to be the centre of attention without having hundreds of pairs of eyes on you. I also find that my clients are much more present at a small wedding. They are able to have enough time with each of their guests and still feel like they were able to bask in the day when it’s over.
4. You can host your small wedding at a unique venue
With just a handful of guests, the world really is your oyster when it comes to the venue for your big day. A small wedding can really happen anywhere you want. I’ve seen couples use restaurants, softly lit courtyards, historical buildings, rooftop terraces—and even the top of a mountain—as the setting for their ceremony or reception. Think about it. Where do you want to be when you say “I do”?
5. You can still have a bigger celebration later
In COVID times, we’ve seen so many of our couples cut down their invite list so that they could still celebrate their wedding while abiding by the government’s restrictions. And while this may feel like a compromise, I am so happy to say that each and every one of them still felt like they had a wedding that truly reflected them and their relationship. Now, many of our couples are waiting until they can host bigger gatherings to bring all of their friends together for a big, joyful dance party—and we can’t wait to see them!
Whether you’re planning a small wedding or a large one, we’d love to help. If you’d like to chat through some preliminary ideas, get in touch!