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Planning a Small Wedding

You might think eloping is the only or easiest option, but that is not the only way to avoid the crowd. Instead, you could have all the trimmings of a wedding, but on a much smaller scale. You may be thinking 10 guests, 20 max (your actual nearest and dearest), and all of the things that will make your wedding feel amazing and beautiful in just the way you would like: invitations, dinner, a white dress, cake, and any other detail that’s important to you both.

 How to Shrink the list – Questions to Ask Yourself

A small wedding is only small if the guest list is as small as possible. Not sure how to shrink it down? Try this rule of thumb – look through your text messages and calls, and only invite those you’ve spoken with in the last three months, often we speak to those who matter most—it really is that simple – even if it feels a bit ruthless!

Still struggling to shrink the list?  A few more questions to ask yourselves: Would you take this person out for an expensive high-end dinner? And would you have this person and their guest into your home for an intimate dinner or as a weekend house guest? Thinking about how close your relationships are will help ensure you are comfortable with those you surround yourselves with on your wedding day.

Considering an Alternative Venue

Fewer people on the guest list means you could splash out when it comes to choosing a non-traditional venue.

Of course, restaurants are at the top of the list. And there are some super restaurants at the Town Basin Whangarei. They are great spaces that have everything you need in one place.  Be aware to make sure you love everything (the style, the menu, and the existing décor) as being able to change it is unlikely. Or you could look at hotel suites—many of which have beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces—as well as gardens, wine bars, and nightclubs. My husband and I used a gorgeous Italian restaurant for our small intimate wedding. It was so easy.

Family properties can pose many challenges for events with a large guest list but certainly work well with a smaller gathering. I love the atmosphere of having an intimate affair in an environment that is meaningful to the couple.

Then there are beautiful beaches, especially here in beautiful Whangarei, public spaces that may be meaningful (remember you will need local council permission for public spaces), gorgeous parks with mature trees that set the scene, they are divinely beautiful in the spring and summer months.

When you are looking at venues, keep the size of your celebration in mind. Privacy is of the utmost importance, especially with a small guest list. When making your booking be sure the venue will not have another wedding piggy backing yours. You really want to feel like you have the place to yourselves.

Know What You Need

Every wedding, no matter the size, will need food, a bar, help, maybe accommodation, some décor, and entertainment, so keep those basics in mind as you are making plans.

It’s also a great idea to hire or delegate a wedding planner, even if it’s only for the special day to take care of coordination. You will want someone there to facilitate the flow of the day so you can enjoy it instead of worrying about any of the details.

Speaking of flow, having a timeline/program for your wedding is also something you ought to implement. So much thought goes into the details of a wedding, whether large or small, and a good timeline provides a framework that helps tell your story and creates a wedding of wonderful memories. Service is important, it’s a top priority for any wedding, and with an intimate celebration, the service should be over-the-top excellent.

Skip What’s Not Important

As you are determining the details, decide what is important to you both and skip the things that do not matter.

Many couples opt to forgo some of the traditional dancing at a small wedding. It is suggested you know your crowd and replace it with an activity everyone will enjoy or keep it in the timeline if your loved ones love to dance. Of course, if you do love dancing, keep the band’s size in mind, you don’t want the band overpowering your celebration. And of course, there are alternatives for music, like a premade play list or a DJ even.

Splurge Wisely 

Your budget will go further with fewer guests, so you might use those extra funds to really enhance the evening.

A fantastic photographer is a great investment. With fewer people at the table, your guests will really relax, creating an intimate atmosphere. Hire a trusted photographer who will capture the ceremony, the laughter, the tears, and the clinking glasses, since those are the moments you’ll treasure most.”

And of course, there is the menu. You could upgrade dinner to a more indulgent meal of several courses that are accompanied with expert pairings of fine wines and spirits. With a small group, you can really personalize every detail of the menu.

~ But most importantly, use any extra money in your budget to enhance the details that matter most to you, creating a unique and immersive experience you and your guests will treasure forever ~

I am Whangarei based so call me any time on ph 0275 878 227 or email hello@lisacelebrant.co.nz

When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.