Our Guide to Planning a Small Intimate Wedding

I’m going to tell you a story.

Once upon a time a small, intimate wedding was code for ‘budget’.

And then in 2020 the world encountered Covid-19 and couples who really wanted to get married and didn’t want to wait, chose to plan smaller weddings because they had to.

And as more and more of these intimate weddings occurred, something magical happened.

Small weddings blossomed into something more than a cheap alternative, or the only option during the long hard months of social distancing.

Engaged couples swooned over images of these teeny tiny weddings that were big on style.

Others shared stories of being an intimate wedding guest where they sipped cocktails and enjoyed fine food and wine in stunning settings dripping with décor. And where they actually got to spend more than five minutes talking to the couple. Some even got invited to stay overnight in luxury accommodation and enjoy brunch with the newlyweds the next day!

And in the end small intimate weddings became a perfectly acceptable (if not preferable) option for many couples when planning their wedding.

Is a small intimate wedding right for the two of you?

First let’s be clear about what a small intimate wedding is.

A small intimate wedding is one where the guest list is smaller than your average wedding. You might have heard these types of weddings referred to as small, micro or mini. We also put eloping into the category of an intimate wedding.

In terms of how many guests this means, anything from the two of you, up to about 50 people.

A small wedding doesn’t mean budget or cheap

Interestingly, the word budget is rarely used when talking about small intimate weddings in Melbourne anymore. Now that doesn’t mean intimate weddings need to be expensive. A small guest list is a great way to make your dollar go further. But not everyone choosing a small wedding is doing so to save money.

For some people it’s about getting more bang for their buck and investing in quality over quantity.

But there’s another reason for a small wedding that might be even more important to you.

Small weddings mean more time to enjoy the day

More time with each other and your guests enjoying the experience you’ve created whilst making memories you’ll remember long past the morning after, is one of the main reasons couples are opting for smaller guest lists. 

With less people around you, you’ll be able to be completely present throughout all the special moments of your day. Rather than getting dragged away by Aunty Jan every five minutes because she needs you to talk to another cousin you haven’t seen since you were five.

Top tips for making an intimate wedding work

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of advantages to planning a small intimate wedding, but there are also some things you need to consider to make sure your wedding turns out as the day you’ve been dreaming of.

  1. Get clear about what small means to you both. Just like planning any wedding, you want to take some time to talk to each other about what’s important to you. What are your non-negotiables and what traditions can you happily leave behind?
  2. Have the budget conversation. Will you spend what you were going to spend on a larger wedding and go all out, or are you going to reign it in a little and put a portion of your budget towards something else. As part of this conversation talk about what you want to invest in. What quality will you bring into your wedding in the absence of quantity?
  3. One of the hardest things about a small wedding is knowing who to invite and who not to invite. I recommend drawing up your guest list very early on so you’re not tempted to add to it later. You don’t want to grow your small wedding and blow your budget in the process.
  4. Decide on an explanation for why you’re having a small wedding if you’re afraid of offending friends and family members. And perhaps come up with a line that helps them to feel ok about not being on your small wedding guest list. Something like ‘Aunty Jan, I’m really looking forward to toasting our wedding with you at Christmas lunch later this year’.
  5. Consider engaging a wedding planner like me to help you find the perfect venue and make it feel more intimate. Less people, furniture and décor won’t work in all spaces. And fewer guests also means more opportunities for really awkward silences if the experience and timeline of the wedding have not been carefully considered. In fact there is an art to creating an intimate wedding that works. 

At Evenio we’ve welcomed what we consider the evolution of the small wedding and are looking forward to working with more couples to bring these beautiful and intimate events to life. And there are so many wedding venues in Melbourne and beyond that are perfect for this style of celebration.

If you’re considering a wedding that’s more focused on quality than quantity I’d love to help you make it happen. Let’s chat so I can find out more about your big day and help you bring your small intimate wedding day vision to life.

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