How to plan for a really great small wedding January 10, 2022 22:39

I should perhaps start with a confession. I am a big fan of small weddings. Our own wedding was a small, intimate affair. Just 32 people during the day. The evening was bigger - with 100 or so guests in total. But by a lot of people's standards, that is still a small wedding. For us, it was perfect. I'm a bit of an introvert and didn't want a huge 'audience' on the big day. My husband is from a large family - much more comfortable with large numbers of people around so we found a middle ground. 

Small Wedding Suppliers 

From a work perspective, we've been supplying deckchair hire to small, intimate weddings for over five years now and this year, are extending our hire services to include a whole host of other options that are ideal accessories for smaller weddings

How to plan a small wedding

Planning for a small wedding

Combining our own personal and professional experience, here are ten ideas to have a really great small wedding: 

    1. Make it personal.., but not overwhelming. Personal touches feel easier to make when you are dealing with fewer numbers. You could host your wedding breakfast in your garden; opt for DIY flowers or make your own favours but if all that sounds a bit much, don't! There are plenty of ways to make it personal without you having to do everything.  Including one or two flowers that mean something special to you and your partner, a friend or family member makes it personal. The speeches make it personal. Your choice of colours, cake, the people around you, all make it personal. So, don't stress!
    2. Plan and Prep... That said, if you do decide to DIY the flowers, decorate a marquee in the garden or make your own favours, draw up a spreadsheet of the jobs and share the love! Chances are your nearest and dearest would LOVE to get involved and contribute time and effort to your big day - even if it's a case of putting out the tables and chairs in your venue earlier in the day while you are busy getting yourself ready.
    3. Get really detailed: A list and an actual timetable written in advance for the day really can help if you don't have a wedding planner and want to keep things relaxed. If you are not used to organising or running events, just run through the wedding in your mind - both yourself (e.g. the bride, the groom etc...) and as a guest. If you can, also do it for each of your suppliers - Step in their shoes. What needs to be where as you run visualise the day? For example, if you need access to a church or building, who will have the keys? When will you have access? Who needs access first? Who will be in charge of the keys? Who is taking them back? Write it down, organise your thoughts and then draw up your timetable. Share it with others - so they can add any ideas you may have missed and voila! You have a plan. 
    4. Budget: The planning you do in steps 1 - 3 will really help you determine a budget. A plan and a budget go hand in hand. By breaking down your wedding day, you will naturally get a handle on where you are potentially spending your money. This enables you to prioritise - cutting back in some areas, adding on in others.  
    5. Size & Space: A small wedding means you don't need a huge venue. But you may want it to yourself to make it feel a little more intimate. If you are holding a wedding reception at home in the garden, it might be worth thinking about how to 'dress' your space - festoon lighting, plants in repeating patterns or formations, seating areas and signposting can all help create a gorgeous, intimate atmosphere. Go back to that plan of the day you had running through your head in point 2 - what are the gorgeous added extras you'd love to see? 
    6. Time & Days: Does the idea of a small wedding conjure up a cosy feel with twinkly lights and soft candles? If so, you may want to start your wedding later in the day to enjoy more of the evening. If you are all about bright, light and airy, the opposite may be right for you. A smaller wedding with less people to organise can (although not always!) mean more flexibility on when you hold your wedding day. You could opt for a Friday and enjoy a long weekend altogether. Which brings us onto point number 5...  
    7. Friends & Strangers: Do the majority of your guests know each other? Or will it be a roomful of strangers? This is worth thinking about, not just in terms of who you sit where, but also in terms of 'ice breakers' you may need to get that sense of intimacy and connectedness that is so special about a small wedding. A few games here and there are great. A really easy ice breaker is to get someone to run a sweepstake ahead of the speeches to guess the length - the winner gets an extra slice of cake or a little prize! 
    8. Hire or borrow what you don't need to buy: Hiring and/or borrowing items for your wedding day is practical, sustainable and in our experience is part and parcel of the creativity and flair that so many small weddings have.  From decorative hire through to borrowing that special piece of jewellery for your big day, consider how hiring one or two key items might help create a memorable event. 
    9. Keep it comfortable: Small weddings tend to have that really lovely, intimate feeling which only really comes when people are comfortable. Which is perhaps one reason why our deckchair hire service is so popular for small weddings. Deckchairs are smart but comfortable. They look elegant, classy and have a slightly nostalgic feel that young and old people just love. But equally they are just fab to sink into when you've been back dancing in heels for the first time since lockdown. When it comes to having a really great small wedding, comfort isn't often talked about, but I think it's a bit of a secret sauce. That little extra something that goes along way. 
    10. Keepsakes & Treasures: Photos, guest books, signed thumb prints of your guests made into a picture - there are so many ways to capture the special memories that are made on a wedding day. Whether you create an online collage of images from everyone's photo's, make a video or simply an album, make time to include this in your preparations. After all the planning, your wedding day can go past in a flash! So it's really special to have something to keep afterwards.