Many people dream about their wedding day. The dress, outfits, walking down the aisle, the cake and the reception. 2020 weddings have had to change and adapt unexpectedly so many couples are finding themselves having to re-plan their dream wedding. With weddings in the UK now allowing up to 30 people, many people are now finding themselves planning small, intimate weddings. Amongst all the stress and upset of cancelling and rebooking weddings, we also understand and recognise the importance of being safe and protecting the health of our loved ones. The most important thing to remember is that at the end of all this you will still be married and actually small, intimate weddings can have so many benefits and positives. 

We have looked at some of the positives of a small, intimate wedding and have some top tips to plan your alternative dream wedding. 

1. Positives of a small wedding. 

Even though you many have dreamed of a big wedding, there are many positives to a small and intimate ceremony and reception. 

  • A more personal feel
  • Less guests, which means that you will have more time to spend with the ones that are there.
  • Reduces the cost and overall budget for the wedding (more to spend on a larger reception or honeymoon later on)!
  • Less stress so that you can enjoy every moment
  • More relaxed
  • More food and drink for you and your guests to enjoy or less expensive

2. Guest list

One of the most important parts of the wedding day is the guest list. When you have an intimate wedding, this means your nearest and dearest. With a current limit on 30 guests allowed to the wedding, you and your partner will need to decide on who they must have there on the day. Are there family members or friends that you cannot see your day without? Remember you may be able to have another reception and even a blessing at a later date, where you can invite more people to celebrate with you. You will need to think about whether you allow plus ones, bearing in mind that you are already limited numbers allowed. 

If you had already selected your guest list and have chosen not to postpone your wedding, remember that your guests will completely understand no longer being invited due to the current circumstances. Remember it is YOUR day and you want it to be the best day for you!

3. Venue

Speak to your venue ahead of the date. Find out what restrictions are in place there as each venue seems to be different. How will the ceremony be managed? Are you allowed to hold your reception there? How is food and drink affected and how will this now be served? Are you still allowed to have a DJ or music for a celebration after? 

Having this discussion with your venue ahead of the date will put your mind at ease and will mean that you know what to expect on the day. 

You may decide from this conversation that you would rather postpone the whole wedding in the hope that you will be allowed the wedding that you had originally planned. Ask your venue about their policy of postponement. Are there any fees associated to postponing? Are you able to choose another date?

You may decide (if allowed by the venue) to cancel and change the location of your wedding to a smaller venue. You may choose a small barn, woodland or church setting followed by a reception at the venue or in a back garden. With some decorations and lights, a back garden celebration can be just as magical. 

It is also important to check with your venue about their health and safety regulations that they currently have in place. Some venues require hand sanitizing stations and for guests to wear masks during the ceremony. Some venues also have time limits on the ceremony, which will mean that you need to keep the vows short and sweet.  

4. Budget

A smaller wedding means a smaller budget. With a smaller guest list, less food, drink and entertainment required you will not need to spend as much as you originally had planned. If you decide to have a larger reception later on when larger groups can gather or even a blessing, you may want to save some of your budget for this. 

When planning your wedding day think about what you really want and need to make your dream day happen. Consider your outfits, the design of a cake, the flowers and decoration of the venue, photographer/ videographer and the entertainment. You may decide that you wish to change and cut back on your original plans to save money and have a smaller, intimate feel. With this saving you may then decide to use this for another celebration at a later date or put it towards your honeymoon. Remember the most important part of the day (and the best bit!) is marrying your partner. It may not be the day you imagined but that moment when you are announced as married it will all be worth it!

5. Personalise your day

Remember that your wedding day is all about you and your partner. Having an intimate wedding is the perfect opportunity to completely personalise your day. It will be easier to add bespoke touches, within your budget to add that special, personal touch to your day. These touches may include a photo wall, a personalised cake, a gin or favourite drinks bar, personalised favours, your favourite snacks or sweets for guests to enjoy or centrepieces with a theme that relates to you both (maybe with reference to a favourite holiday, film, music or colours). Use the opportunity to be creative as these personal touches will be noticed and will make your day feel even more special. 

6. Technology 

In a world full of technology and amazing ways of communicating you may opt to live stream your wedding to the guests that are unable to attend. Check with your venue if this can be arranged before the date, to avoid disappointment and allow time to set up the link to be sent to family and friends.