Since mid-March we’ve been cooped up in our homes and I don’t know about you but I’m longing for a time when I can see a wider social circle of friends. And in addition to that start to photograph weddings again!
At the moment if you want to get married you’ll have to wait a little longer.
But when we can get back to celebrating love and marriage the weddings landscape may have changed. And what happens if you want to get married and the thought of a large wedding is just overwhelming?
There’s a solution for both! A trend that started a while ago for smaller more intimate weddings. You can’t completely avoid everyone unless you elope (and if you want to elope check out the elopement ideas – link at the bottom of this page so keep scrolling!).
A small number! Perhaps 10 to 20 guests max.
Your nearest and dearest in the truest sense.
You can still do absolutely all of the things that you would do on a ‘normal’ or larger scale wedding. So you can send out your invitations, have a delicious dinner, wear a stunning dress or a sharp suit, have a 5-tier wedding cake and a first dance and of course all of the photographs you would like. You just do this with fewer people!
What this also means is that you’ll have more time with your guests rather than having to limit time to a few minutes with each. Creating so many memories and saving some money too – all the more to spend on champagne or upgrade your wedding album!
A number of years ago bride Emilija was set to marry Joseph and celebrate their marriage at the Savoy Hotel in London. Em had fallen in love with the ballroom at the Savoy. If you’ve ever been there you’ll know its huge! However Em and Joe were only going to have c.50-60 guests to share their special day with them. And so they got creative with the help of their wedding planner and the team at the Savoy and divided the Savoy Ballroom into three distinct sections: The Wedding Breakfast, Dancing & Cake, Chill Out Area. By rethinking how the space was used it meant that the Ballroom worked perfectly and their small number of guests weren’t lost in this impressive central London space.
When you’re looking for a venue do keep the size of your wedding in mind. Many of the older country house and older hotels considered more traditional venues will have unexpected spaces that will be perfect for a smaller wedding. We’ve photographed wedding celebrations for 12 at Ellenborough Park, an elopement at Lords of the Manor, family only at The Slaughters Manor House, and close family and friends only at Thyme.
I spoke to Abby at The Slaughters Manor House about smaller weddings. She told me “Our “Pink Lounge” is the perfect place for your ceremony, and can be set with lounge furniture for a more relaxed, informal and quirky feel. Served in The Oxford Room, your wedding breakfast crafted by our award-winning chefs celebrating the finest produce the Cotswolds has to offer and matched with specially selected wines. You and your guests can also take advantage of the beautiful grounds and relax in the gardens with a glass of Champagne (perhaps enjoying a game of croquet on the lawns or venturing inside to the billiards room complete with bespoke table!).”
It really is the perfect set up. Check out the wedding of Lucy and James where they did exactly that!
Traditional venues are also full of unexpected spaces that are perfect for a smaller wedding celebration. Look out for libraries, orangeries, historic dining rooms and art galleries.
With fewer guests your budget will go further. Time will also go further!
You could splurge on an engagement photo shoot before the big day, live music, upgrade from prosecco to champagne, the list goes on…!
Or even a post wedding photo shoot…
And of course a great investment is a fantastic photographer! You’ll have fewer people so hire a photographer you trust who will capture all of the moments during the day and mix well/blend in with your guests. These are the moments you will remember and treasure the most.
When I’m photographing smaller weddings if time allows I often take beautiful portraits of guests which is a lovely added bonus for you and your guests.
Fewer tables at dinner means that you can really go to town on the details!
In corporate fresh flowers, bespoke menus and place settings, family heirlooms, and nods to your favourite past times. Luxe items that really compliment your style for the day and make your guests feel wonderful and cherished. And do as the fabulous Angel at Chateau de la Motte Husson does and have bespoke embroidered napkins for every guest.
For bespoke menus and place settings we highly recommend RKM Calligraphy.
And remember to create special moments for your guests too. Make sure there are comfortable sofas and areas where they can relax before and after dinner.
For ideas throughout the seasons check out these seasonal wedding ideas…
You might also like…
Even small weddings will benefit from hiring a wedding planner even if you just want to hand over on the day co-ordination and running of the day. Meaning that you can enjoy the day without having to worry if the champagne is just about to run out! Check out new industry talent Gemma at Eucalyptus Events.
And above all have the most wonderful day! Smaller weddings are just as wonderful as the bigger weddings. For Gloucestershire and Cotswolds wedding photography call me today to chat about your wedding day...