With small weddings, microweddings and minimonies on the rise this year (as well as at-home entertaining), a few of my consultations recently have been centred around how to still plan for a wedding during these odd and guideline ruled times, but also how to still make a small wedding feel special. I feel like 2020 couples have been robbed this year, so I’ve got ways to make a small wedding feel every bit as special as a larger celebration or party.
The short answer is, to personalise it. But if you are stuck for ideas, I’ve got summary below on things to include to make your day feel super special – engineered around having a small wedding. (That said, most of the same rules still apply to larger celebrations though!)
Flowers elevate any wedding or event and really add to the elegance of it – I personally wouldn’t scrimp here to ensure your wedding is beautiful and feels super special. Firstly, ensure you still have a bouquet and buttonholes, but also perhaps add some girl gang corsages, and perhaps some hair combs or a crown. If you are doing your own hair and makeup, something special and custom made by your florist for your hair will really add to your whole look.
Then, budget permitting, I would definitely also add in some flowers in bud vases for your dining table(s) to tie in. You could even go one further by asking your florist to create something more meadow-like as a feature for your dining table(s), and even dress your table plan or dining room entrance way.
Once you have your venues and vibe sorted, a stationer can work with you to create something truly memorable incorporating details from your history together as a couple, and your wedding day. Think menus, place cards, and a table plan (at least), all of which will be bespoke and will help make your guests feel truly part of something momentous. Not to mention that these sorts of things make the most lovely keepsakes – for couples and family alike.
An Order of the Day
Having this alone will give structure to your day and make your guests, and you, feel more hosted. This can be as a standalone board/sign, or incorporated in your stationery, e.g. on the back of your menus.
Also be sure to personalise and tweak your OOTD to make it every bit as special as a larger scale celebration, and still include all those special moments like confetti, the toasts etc.
- 3pm – Ceremony
- 3.30pm – Confetti exit at Town Hall
- 4pm – Arrival of Guests at PDR (private dining room), Cocktail Reception (while couple get photos)
- 5pm – Arrival of Couple at PDR, bubble entrance (like confetti exit, but with bubbles), Cocktails
- 5.30pm – Toasts and Start of Meal
- 7pm – Speeches (with champagne)
- 7.30pm – Cutting of the Cake
- 7.35pm – Cocktail Hour with Cake
- 8.30pm – Golden Hour Couple Photos
A Cake – of sorts!
Make sure you have some sort of wedding cake, even if you weren’t going to have one for your larger celebration! Just something specific to make a memorable photo opportunity out of. Whether you do an actual cake cutting (lots you can do here too btw, from fancy knives with ribbon tails, to swords), a confetti pop moment with the cake, or just a pose beside it with a cocktail!
It could take any shape or form; a donut tower, a homemade cake, a tiered cake – don’t pigeonhole what it is, just savour the moment and enjoy making memories.
Appoint a Host
Ask a friend to MC your day and announce each part of your OOTD; this can help to make it more fun and feel like a more special, more hosted event.
For example, a ‘cutting of the cake’ moment can often feel a bit anticlimactic if it is not properly introduced or guests are not invited to help the couple do a countdown to cut it – this is also the same for large weddings too though!
(I can help with all of this too of course – please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help with any small wedding planning, styling or coordination services!)
Document Every Moment
An on that note… ensure you hire a decent photographer! To ensure all those special intimate moments are captured. Many photographers are doing special small wedding packages for shorter coverage at the moment, too. And ensure you book them from your ceremony right through to your cake cutting. Don’t scrimp here either, the day will fade but your photos will last a lifetime. And use every moment of the day as photo opportunity. A decent photographer has the skill, professionalism, and photo editing talent to ensure your wedding is captured to its full potential, too.
(I have seen A LOT of good and bad photos from the weddings I’ve worked at, and a good photographer is the difference between you looking as radiant in your photos as you did on the day, and not being happy with the way you look in your photos and sadly not wanting to treasure them.)
Take these ideas and adapt them into and around your day as you see fit, for how to make a small wedding feel special. Hopefully they help give you some structure for a small and intimate, but amazing and special wedding day. The main thing to remember however, is that you are marrying the one you love, and there is nothing more special than that.
If you need any help, support, planning, supplier recs, example budget sheets or quotes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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