I found this article about intimate weddings last month and loved it – so much, that I wanted to share with you all on the English Wedding Blog. Lots of you will know I’d go for an intimate wedding like a shot – an elopement if I could! – and I’m a huge believer in keeping weddings small, cosy and magical. Those three go hand in hand.
Linda Grace Weddings knows what she’s talking about. She’s trained with the UKAWP and now specialises in intimate weddings across Somerset and Devon. Linda makes intimate weddings sound like the best thing ever… and I’m with her all the way! Here are 9 of Linda’s top reasons for choosing an intimate wedding – I agree with Every. Single. One. Do you?
“There are many reasons why couples decide they would love an intimate wedding. The style can take various forms – from destination weddings, to quirky themed events, or purely a smaller gathering of around 50 guests or far fewer. One size doesn’t fit all of course, but there’s an intimate solution to fit all couples’ ideas and budgets.
Based on personal experience and from speaking to couples who have selected the intimate option, there’s a definite pattern of deciding factors and benefits.
1. An intimate wedding will make your budget go further
The number one way to save money on your wedding is to have a shorter guest list. Fewer guests means fewer everything – and it’s frightening how quickly the price per person adds up! Alternatively, you might decide to spend the same amount as you would have for a larger number of guests. In this case, you can really pull out all the stops for a top-of-the-range luxurious day, which you might not have been able to even dream of with larger numbers.
2. It’s easier to have everything just as you imagine it
A smaller number of guests certainly assists in designing your day the way you want it. When you’re not trying to keep hoards of people happy, or adhere to the traditions of larger events, you can choose which elements of your day to spend the highest proportions of your budget on. You might drop favours, a gourmet menu or a champagne toast in favour of the dress you really adore, the harpist you’d love at your ceremony, or the funky décor and props which initially seemed out of reach. You might even choose to splash out on the honeymoon of your dreams.
3. You’ll have the option to select a more unusual venue
With an intimate wedding you have more options in terms of your venue. A destination wedding is one option, but if you’d like to stay closer to home you won’t have to automatically choose a large ‘standard’ wedding venue, which might not be your first choice. You may still choose to hold your special day at one of these larger venues, but select one of their smaller suites, which you can personalise beautifully to make your own. Other options are endless – cosy barns, restaurants, various outside locations, farms, pastures, even caves! Whichever you select, the smaller venue will create a magical intimate feel, and allow you to really make your décor work for you, ensuring the end result is extra special.
4. Skip the wedding politics!
It’s sad but true that a lot of weddings are engulfed by politics. With a smaller event it’s so much easier to avoid this. Whilst you might struggle at first – for example, not inviting anyone from your places of work (which you might only be doing because you feel your ought to, not because you’re close to these people) – once you decide you’re just going to invite those who are really close to you (and stick to it!) things can become much easier. Quite often, the more people you invite, the more people you feel you ought to invite! You find yourself battling with “if I invite him, that means I have to invite her” scenarios. And “if her children are coming, we should invite his children, although we’ve never met them” challenges. People tend to be very understanding if you choose to have a smaller event. If you’re only inviting your nearest and dearest, the people who fall outside of this category will generally respect and accept your decision.
5. Minimise wedding planning stress and relax on the day
Smaller events tend to be less stressful. If you’re surrounded by only those who really know you well, you feel more relaxed, the conversation flows easily, it’s generally just easier to manage. You’re not worrying about whether numerous guests are all enjoying themselves, whether all tastes are being catered for, or trying to remember the name of your second cousin’s new girlfriend who you’ve never met before! You can be yourselves and relax and enjoy your day. What a very appealing way to spend your wedding!
6. Intimate weddings can be so much quicker and easier to arrange
It’s not always the case, depending on what you choose, but smaller weddings can often be quicker to arrange. There are fewer invitations to create, fewer responses to wait for (and if you’re only inviting those you’re really close to, it’s very easy to give a gentle poke to any stragglers, which you might not feel comfortable doing with those you don’t know so well) and fewer logistics to arrange. You might find yourself completely removing certain elements you would have felt obliged to include had you chosen a larger event. All these things help to shorten the length of time required to organise your day. A key point is that it’s also easier to make special requests or last minute changes with suppliers when you’re dealing with smaller numbers.
7. Spend more quality time with your guests
The fewer guests you have, the less thinly you have to spread yourselves! You won’t spend your day worrying that you’ve not had a chance to speak to everyone, or spending just a few fleeting moments with guests you’d like to spend more time with. As well as being able to spend quality time with all your guests – which will enhance the day immeasurably for both yourselves and them – you also afford yourselves the opportunity to make things even more special with little extras. I know one couple who had just 12 guests at their wedding breakfast, and each one of them was mentioned personally with an affectionate story during the speeches, which meant so much to everyone.
You could personalise things, rather than having standard items, choose personal gifts for your guests, create special personalised messages, any little touches which really show that you appreciate them being there. This will of course be very enjoyable and satisfying for you too – and can be great fun to organise!
Whether you choose to just spend more time with your special people, or provide personalised touches, the result will be a beautiful, memorable day for everyone.
8. Enjoy each other’s company
At smaller weddings, the bride and groom suddenly find they have much more time to spend together. After all, this is your wedding day, so isn’t that what it’s all about? You’d be surprised how many couples who opt for larger events reach the end of their special day only to realise they’ve hardly seen each other! By the time you’ve dashed around trying to speak to everyone, and completed things such as the traditional ‘greeting line’ (which takes so long with a larger party!), you might just have time to bump into each other for your first dance before whizzing off to speak to the people you missed earlier. Spending time together as the happy couple is so much easier at an intimate wedding.
9. Don’t miss a thing!
When the numbers are smaller, the bride and groom find they’re more involved. I’ve lost count of the number of couples who say they missed something on the day that they wish they’d been a part of. At an intimate event you are able to be at the heart of things all day and not miss a moment. You’ll appreciate this forever, being able to look back on every detail of your special day.
An intimate wedding can really be the perfect occasion. Whether it’s the fact that the bride and groom spend more time together, have quality time with all their guests, relax more and feel comfortable – or that the level of detail and personalisation is so high and enjoyed by everyone, there’s no doubt that it all results in an extra special day which everyone will enjoy and look back on with fond memories.
Every couple I know who opted for a smaller, more intimate event haven’t regretted it for a moment – the special feeling on the day is truly magical.”
Linda trained with the United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Wedding Planners (UKAWP).
Linda works with couples in Somerset and Devon and is always happy to consider weddings further afield, so do get in touch if you’re interested in her services. She specialises in smaller intimate weddings, but has experience in organising large events too. She offers a variety of services to match the level of assistance each couple requires.
“No two weddings are the same and I am passionate about listening, understanding exactly how you want your day to be, and working with you to achieve this – down to the very last detail. No wedding is too small, no theme too quirky, and I will work alongside you to tailor your perfect day exactly as you imagine it to be …. and let’s have some fun along the way!” www.lindagraceweddings.co.uk