SMALL WEDDING IDEAS: A GUIDE TO CREATING THE PERFECT LOW-KEY WEDDING

Posted by Annie Lu on

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Covid has forcibly altered our lives from how we work to how we live and, of course, to how we wedding. Many weddings are on pause with pandemic restrictions, and those saying "I do" in these unique times have had wedding plans changed repeatedly. But like with everything else, there is also a silver lining and solution to celebrating your new chapter as a couple within the strict rules on gathering. Say hello to small, intimate weddings!

Think of the saying, "good things come in small packages". A small wedding does not mean less effort, curation or wow-factor. Small weddings mean you will be able to spend more of your budget tailoring and personalising little things for you and your guests, as well as get even more creative in your wedding plans and decor. A smaller and more compact guest list will give you and your significant other the chance and time to create unique, meaningful memories with every guest.

Here are some small wedding ideas from the experts to make your now intimate sized wedding as memorable (if not even better) as the larger wedding you've planned.

 Eternal-bridal-small-wedding-ideas-venuesImages Sources: Carlie Statsky (Samantha + Mitchell's wedding), Sasa Adamović Photography (Michelle + Marc's wedding), Gary Nunn Photography (Carolina + Koichi's wedding)

SELECT A VENUE MEANINGFUL TO YOU

With a downsized number of guests, you will now have a whole new world of venues opening up to you. From Airbnbs to the family farm/home to that smaller garden space in the historic estate that you've always love, the world is your oyster. If a particular place has significance to you and your partner, look into it now to see if it will fit your new number of guests. There's nothing more personalised and romantic than saying celebrating the beginning of a lifetime together than a place that contributed to you both getting together in the first place.

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EXPLORE MORE WITH YOUR FASHION AND BE DARING

One huge perk of having a downsized guest list is having a bigger budget to spend on your wedding day look! With a bigger budget, you can now explore a more extensive range of designers and styles. A smaller wedding does not mean it has to be casual; in fact, you can wear two (or even more) outfits for your special day. It's your special day; your bridal outfit should reflect your style as a couple.

On the other hand, if you wanted something more casual, but a large wedding and guest list meant you had to go with something formal, now is your perfect opportunity to make your wedding dreams come true. You can now explore wearing that bridal tea/cocktail/red-carpet dress you've always wanted. Many bridal designers like Galia Lahav have now created capsule collections catering primarily for brides planning intimate weddings. You can see their latest pre-a-porter by Galia Lahav collection here and their more whimsical Gala by Galia Lahav collection here

 Eternal-bridal-small-wedding-ideas-persoanlised-giftsImages Sources: Maxtu Photography (Annie + Will's wedding), Kat Rollings (Von + Kiel's wedding), Studio Something Ceremony (Penelope + Tim's wedding

PERSONALISE AND CURATE THINGS BIG AND SMALL

With a capped small guest list, you and your partner will have selected only the closest and dearest friends and family for your day. With your newly freed-up budget, you can have fun creating unique touches for each guest that they will cherish forever. Here are some of our favourites: 

  • Handwrite the wedding invitations and call them each personally.
  • Give each guest a monogrammed glass or napkin as their keepsake name card.
  • Customise each welcome bag with amenities tailored to your guests' dietary needs or items with their names and handwritten welcome notes that are relevant to them. 
  • Keep guests comfortable with a pair of personalised slippers for dancing or a rug for the cold night chills. 

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Images Sources: Erin and Tara
 Photography (Germaine + Sam's wedding), Kat Rollings (Von + Kiel's wedding), Leia Fae photography

GET FUN AND FANCY WITH FOOD

Food options may be limited when you had 200-300 people to feed, but now with 20-50 people, you will find you can fully customise your menu to suit everyone's diets and tastes. You can even get extravagant and indulge in fine dining. Here are some of our editor's choices: 

  • Introduce self serve carts and bars catering to your guest's choice. Think outside of your standard cocktail and drinks carts/bars. You can now have carts serving fancy cheese and charcuterie boards. For fellow seafood and sushi lovers, you can have an assortment of raw bars. A cart bar with quirky and classic flavoured gelato is perfect for cold snack enthusiasts. If festive and carnivals are your wedding vibe, why not go with a hot dog and burger bar. 
  • Follow the 'small' theme and get bite-sized or mini everything. Imagine small burgers and hot dogs, bite-sized sliders, mini soups served in shot glasses, and cupcake-sized fries. It will make eating everything a little less messy and a lot more fun. 
  • Have a large feast with personalised food. Now that you are only catering for a small number of people, you can easily have a six-course meal with matching wine and drinks. You can now even sort out all the array of dietary requirements that your guests have. 
  • Bring in specialised food trucks. These caterers on wheels are not only fun and delicious, but they also make a great photography backdrop and conversation starter. They come in various sizes and styles and provide anything from drinks to entrees to main meals and even desserts and snacks. If you want to offer a little midnight-after-party-post-drinking snack, why not have one drop by for your guest later in the night? 

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Images Sources: Alex Warschauer Photography, Janneke Storm

    THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX FOR ACTIVITIES 

    When we talk about big weddings, the image of a massive moshpit of dancing people will, at some point, pop up in our minds. But for many couples, dancing may not be their thing. With small weddings, many couples will often replace the generic dancing with activities everyone will enjoy. When choosing the activities, keep your guest's hobbies in mind. You can also opt for a couple of activities and set them up in different stations, so your guests have choices and things don't get overcrowded. Here are some fun wedding activities: 

    • Jenga. This game is simple to set up, and who doesn't love a good round of this block stacking game? You can either choose to go with a standard set or get creative and upsize your set of blocks. If you are after an alternative to a standard guest book, why not have your guest sign a block each?
    • Oversized connect four. This one will keep both adults and kids entertained. 
    • Croquet. If you have a nice piece of lawn at your venue, why not set a round of croquet. 
    • Set up a themed photo booth. This snap-happy station is a fun way for you and your guests to create memorable snapshots of your special day. 
    • Board Games. Set up a board game station or create gigantic life-sized board games in your yard. Offering a selection of quick multi-player board games is a great way to keep your introverted guests entertained. It also makes for great icebreakers. 
    • Pinata. If you and your partner are not cake lovers, why not replace it with a giant wedding cake pinata and more miniature pinatas around it. This way, everyone can join in. You can even get creative with what you place inside each pinata for a fun surprise!