While hosting a big blowout wedding can certainly be a good time, sometimes an intimate wedding is just what the doctor ordered. An intimate wedding can be cozy and special, and is the perfect way to connect more deeply with those around you. They can also be cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than larger-style weddings. But more so, hosting a tiny soiree allows the night to be a more personal one, allowing you to socialize with your guests more and truly leave your mark on a special occasion. If you’re curious on how to plan an intimate wedding that will create long-lasting memories, here are some tips to get you started.

D. Horvath Photography - plan an intimate wedding

Photo Courtesy of D. Horvath Photography

Keep the guest list small

This is an obvious point but it’s worth mentioning since it can be so easy to invite everyone you love, or at least like. Take the time to go through your guest list and ensure that you’re inviting people who you deeply connect with and with whom you want to spend a special evening. You can start at inviting around 15 to 20 people but keeping the upper limit at 40-50 maximum ensures for a small yet cozy night.

keep guest list small - plan an intimate wedding

Send personal invitations

Intimacy is all about connection. Instead of a group email, an event website, or generic invitations, you might want to consider personalizing and/or handwriting each invitation with a unique message to each guest.

personal invites - plan an intimate wedding

Select the perfect venue

Ambiance is everything when it comes to planning an intimate wedding. You want to ensure your wedding venue is equally close and comfy as you want your night and guests to feel. A small and stylish restaurant space is one option as is an intimate gallery space or someone’s backyard.

perfect venue - plan an intimate wedding

Arrange intimate seating

There are two ways you can go when you plan an intimate wedding: either create less seating space, so guests are forced to mingle and interact with each other, or arrange seating that evokes closeness, like a round table or lounge area, or a u-shaped table. You can also incorporate both approaches. The main idea is to help promote more connection between the guests.

Intimate setting - plan an intimate wedding

Treat your guests to personal gifts

It might be your event but everyone deserves to feel a little special. A small yet elegant wedding favour for each guest lets them know just how much you appreciate them and sets the tone for the special night.

personal gifts - plan an intimate wedding

Less formalities

Formal events have a lot of traditions to uphold. If you’re looking to have an intimate night, think more casual and relaxed. This might mean sharing the spotlight with your guests or letting them be involved with the prepping and planning of your intimate wedding. Maybe ask your guests to participate in some of the event’s activities whether it’s through speeches, games or entertainment.

less formalities - plan an intimate wedding

Less noise

An intimate event calls for more conversation and connection, which means you want to dial back on the noise. Not only do you want to ensure your venue is quiet but you also want to reduce as many distractions as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to exclude music like a small band or DJ — just make sure it allows flow and openness to the night.

less noise - plan an intimate wedding

Pay attention to the details

With a smaller group, you can pay more attention to the details and invest more time (and money) in creating the most elegant and memorable ambiance.

pay attention to the details - plan an intimate wedding

Incorporate personalized items into the night

Because you have such an intimate guest list — and most likely know each guest personally — a nice touch would be to include personalized details, like handwritten name tags, or a custom place sitting. Even adding some personal photos to the centerpiece, or throughout the venue, is a fantastic idea that lets people feel part of the festivities.

Personal items - plan an intimate wedding