A smaller wedding need not mean low key, there is still plenty of drama and dazzle to be had when planning a wedding for fewer guests. From the decor to the dress and everything in between, an intimate affair often opens up many avenues that simply aren’t an option when hundreds of people are in question. Compromise need not come into consideration…
Finding just the perfect place to host your intimate wedding day will be key to ensuring the whole day has the feel you want it to.
Not having hundreds of guests under one roof means you are free to be as creative as you like when it comes to your venue. Without the restraints, and costs, that often come with higher numbers in place many alternative venues can become a real possibility.
That said, there are still a few key things to consider if a traditional country house setting is what you’re dreaming of. When you think of a country house wedding budget often comes into question, so make sure to look for somewhere that has a private dining room.
Not only will hiring just a private dining room afford you to really create a truly intimate atmosphere but it will also give you a desirable country house backdrop with a much smaller price tag.
“Here at Healing Manor we do not just cater to larger wedding parties. Our Cure-All Lounge is the ideal space for a smaller affair,” says Kirsty, wedding coordinator at Healing Manor. “Cosy yet luxurious all the details in this private dining room have been curated to offer a sense of drama and intimacy.”
Another aspect to consider when looking for a venue is somewhere with private grounds. Having your own space both inside and out on the big, even when catering to smaller numbers, will ensure you feel special and provide your photographer with some picture-perfect moments. No matter what time of the year, choosing a venue with private grounds will give you somewhere alternative to host post-ceremony drinks for example, before heading inside for your first meal as a married couple.
Styling & Food
With fewer guests to cater for, when it comes to budget you really can spend in the areas that will make your wedding unforgettable and that means food and styling.
As you can see from this gorgeous editorial shoot we were thrilled to host – concept and coordination by Faye at Wild Calligraphy – you can really achieve a high-end look that is both delicate and dramatic when creating an intimate setting.
“To me, weddings are about you as a couple, a celebration of how lucky you are to have found someone you not only love but want to spend your life with,” says Faye.
“Unfortunately, over time traditions have seen weddings transcend into multi-faceted events with lots of pressure to look a certain way, with a certain number of guests and generally a sense that everything is bigger and better than the last wedding you attended.
“This year we’ve seen a huge surge in the ‘unwedding’ trend which encourages couples to plan the wedding you want rather than the one you think you should be having. For a lot of people this means cutting the guest list down to a handful of their favourite people.
“An intimate wedding, to me, doesn’t mean a wedding party of less than ten. To me it’s about only having the people you want there. More time to spend with the people you really care about.
“The inspiration for the delicately wild shoot at Healing Manor was ‘details’. The photography is really romantic and you can see the gorgeous Bex and Ryan getting lost in the moment so often together which translates beautifully to camera.
“The mood was electric all day and all the dreamy details added up to an overall look which really suited the couple. The less money you spend on big guest numbers the more you can spend on all the details which come together to form the vibe and ambience of the whole day.
“I would encourage couples to make a list of priorities – one for each partner. Once you have that list you can review what’s a joint priority and what extras you could get should the budget allow. At my own wedding I was desperate for a harpist. I’d heard ‘Halo’ by Beyonce on the harp on YouTube and had been dreaming about it for years.
“Choosing the harp meant we couldn’t afford a videographer but we were happy with the compromise. Weddings can get very silly in terms of budgets so anything you can do to cut costs really does help. What you don’t want to do is skimp on suppliers and have details embedded into the day that you don’t love.”
In this editorial shoot, pinks and neutrals were given an edge with black accents – a scheme which is particularly effective in The Cure-All Lounge because of the interior décor. Darker walls and the golden touches in the room already offer a dramatic backdrop, and a blank canvas which will accentuate any chosen colour scheme. Bolder hues such as teal and ruby red work wonderfully in the setting as does a paler palette, the level of contrast making colours pop.
Whichever colour scheme you opt for further drama and warmth can be created easily with low lighting, especially at this time of year. Not only will the addition of candles in their droves add even more romance to the room on your big day but it will also add warmth to the colour of your choice.
When it comes to food, you really can be as adventurous, decadent or easy-going as you like – as is the beauty of smaller guest numbers.
Sharing platters are a fantastic option to keep the intimate theme going, with each and every guest picking and choosing what they fancy from a bountiful spread in the centre of the table. That said, if you’re hoping to achieve a level of opulence and indulgence with your smaller wedding then a seven-course tasting menu with wine paired to each course is a wonderful way to really surprise and delight your guests.
Whatever meal choice you decide on though your centrepiece will require some thought. With perhaps just one table to think about they ought to have an impact and wow your guests but without compromising on your intimate feel. With that in mind, we’d always go for low sitting flowers when it comes to an intimate wedding. You can still go big and beautiful but low sitting flowers will enable you to make eye contact with your friends and family. They will also feel more a part of the room and its styling rather than high level vases which take the floral display out of direct eyeline.
The cake, very much like the other aspects of your day, shouldn’t be any less showstopping. Fake cake layers are a clever way to add drama without the added cost of additional baked layers. Dessert cakes decorated with flowers can also add to the wow factor.
Elizabeth Rose Photography | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07590228012
Coco in the Country | email@example.com | 01522 850474
Confetti Cakery | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruby J Beauty | www.rubyjbeauty.com
Oh Hello | www.en-gb.facebook.com/OH.HelloUnity/
Sass Weddings | www.sassweddings.com
Wild Calligraphy | www.wildcalligraphygb.com
Susanna Greening Designs | www.susannagreening.com