Wedding table set up for intimate wedding

Planning An Intimate Wedding

As the landscape of weddings shifts and changes under the current guidelines you may be rethinking your wedding plans. Here, the amazing Jeni from luxury wedding planners Vanilla Rose Weddings gives her advice on planning an intimate wedding.


Planning an intimate wedding, tablescapes

What are the benefits of an intimate wedding?

Having a much smaller number of guests (than is typical) for your Ceremony allows every single one of them feel truly included, involved and emotionally connected in your nuptial exchange. Within an intimate setting and with guests you love so dearly, your Ceremony will feel even more special and meaningful. Being able to spend the day speaking with each and every one of your guests with the luxury of more time is truly precious. This something many couples struggle with when hosting a much larger number of guests. It’s often very difficult to spend much time talking to everyone when you have 100+ guests.

At your Reception, you can really indulge your loved ones. For example, a carefully considered menu to excite their senses is much more manageable when catering for a smaller number. Your choices for a seated meal are much more diverse as dishes can be served much quicker. Cheese soufflé anyone?!
Serve your favourite fine wines and luxury champagne that you might ordinarily not be able to offer if you had many more guests. Definitely a perk of allowing the budget to stretch that bit further and enjoying those luxury items that you would really love.


How do we go about downsizing our wedding?

The current Government guidelines allow for a maximum of 30 people for your Ceremony and Reception. This includes yourselves, the Officiant(s) and any suppliers such as your Photographer or Wedding Planner. If you decide to host a smaller celebration, this may be a difficult decision to make. Think carefully about who is most important to you and who you couldn’t imagine getting married without.

If you have a venue already booked, consider whether the spaces available to you would still work for smaller numbers. Perhaps you need to find an alternative venue which would be better suited for a smaller wedding.



delicate photograph of cherry blossom

What sorts of venues are best for intimate weddings?

This is really exciting, as there are so many gorgeous venues with intimate Ceremony or dining areas to choose from. Think outside the box, as they may not be traditional wedding venues that you might have looked at previously. Some private homes, walled garden settings or even restaurants are offering availability for smaller celebrations.

I cannot think of anything dreamier than having a private secluded dinner set under the trees or a pergola in a private walled garden. Imagine a warm evening, beautiful scented herbaceous flower beds, a table scape filled with candlelight and twinkling fairy lights above.

How can we give our guests an amazing experience?

Think about the ways you could make your guests experience truly special, starting with your invite designs. Could you create something bespoke, which sets the tone for your intimate celebration? Consider the smaller details throughout your day which will be much easier to co-ordinate with a smaller guest list. You could write a personal note for each of your loved ones. Let them know just how much it means to you both for them to be there with you on the day. Investing in those touches that will really make all the difference to your day.  Focus on making them truly incredible.



Couple cuddling on bench at Somerley House wedding venue

What should we budget for an intimate wedding?

If you decide to have a smaller celebration, you would be able to reduce the budget that you may have had in mind for a larger wedding. It will go a lot further too. Think about which elements are the most important to you, and invest in those additional details, or the luxury items you would really love. As your quantities are lower, those special touches may now be achievable! Each budget is entirely personal, and still spend what you feel comfortable with.


Jeni of Vanilla Rose Weddings


How would a wedding planner help us with our intimate wedding?


Having a Wedding Planner work alongside you to plan your intimate wedding will allow you to get the most from your budget. We know the best intimate venues, and the perfect locations within those to host your smaller celebrations. We build your dream team of suppliers to create something truly incredible. Designing an intimate wedding that still fulfils all of your dreams and doesn’t miss any of those special touches is a task that takes time, research and care. Having an expert Wedding Planner by your side will ensure every detail has been carefully considered, and you can enjoy your celebrations knowing that it will run seamlessly.

Thank you Jeni for taking the time to answer these questions. If you have any further queries about wedding planning you can contact Vanilla Rose Weddings here

If you are planning an intimate wedding please do get in touch to discuss your photography.