Whether it’s your first time down the aisle, or you’ve done it all before, marrying a bit later in life can make the wedding experience a bit different. There’s nothing to say you can’t have a big wedding and party into the early hours. If that’s what you want to do, you should absolutely go for it. But for most, something a bit more intimate with your closest friends and family is a more favourable option.
Don’t worry, an intimate ceremony is easy to do.
To help you out, here are a few tips to help you along the way to creating your perfect intimate wedding day:
1. Find The Right Venue
If you’re having a more intimate ceremony, you won’t want the space to feel void or empty. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t still choose a grand wedding venue like a castle or stately home, but it’s worth speaking to the planners at the venue about catering for a smaller ceremony size.
This can be anything from using a smaller room at the venue to creating a smart layout that makes a big room not feel empty. Most wedding venues will offer wedding packages, one of which is usually catered for more intimate ceremonies.
2. The Guest List
A smaller wedding means a smaller guest list. It’s good to get a provisional guest list put together before booking your wedding venue, as the guest numbers impact where you can get marries and the cost. Do you have a set guest list number in your head? Or perhaps you just know who you want to invite but don’t have a definite number?
Put together a quick list of everyone you want to invite to make venue hunting and budgeting that bit easier. It’s always a good idea to add a couple of ‘spare’ guest spaces in case you forget someone or meet someone new in the lead up to your wedding day.
3. The Wedding Date
If you have a special date in mind for your intimate wedding ceremony, this one might not apply to you. If you are flexible with when you want to get married, there are a couple of factors you might want to consider.
In the height of wedding season (typically the summer months) weddings are in higher demand, so venues might have a minimum spend to make the most of them. This can be an issue for smaller weddings where the required spend is a lot higher than initially planned.
A great way to get around this is to marry out of the busiest times. The day is also something to think about, with mid-week weddings costing less than Fridays and weekends.
4. The Wedding Breakfast
Your first meal as a newly wed couple is special, so you want it to be a tasty feast for you and your guests. With a smaller guest list, you have more options when it comes to what you want to eat. There is, of course, the option of a sit down, three-course meal – a more traditional option for your wedding breakfast.
However, more unique options like theatre cooking, food stations, or even a barbecue are on the table. Have fun with your food and choose something that represents you as a couple. After all, everyone should enjoy their wedding breakfast!
With less people enjoying the day with you, accommodation is something you might want to consider. Of course, with a huge wedding with hundreds of guests, there is no way any wedding venue would be able to accommodate everybody, and neither should the couple be expected to pay for it.
However, with a smaller wedding party, your wedding venue (if it has on-site accommodation) is more likely to have enough space for everybody to stay. This definitely doesn’t mean you should have to pay for everybody to stay (unless you really want to) but giving your guests the option to stay and enjoy a hearty breakfast with you the next morning is a rare choice for most wedding couples, but a lovely option you should really consider!
Remember, it is your wedding. Do it your way! Personally, I chose a very intimate wedding for my second time around. We went to Cape Cod and got married on the beach! The possibilities are endless. Make it fun and personable and it is sure to be a day you cherish forever.