When you picture an “intimate wedding”, you might think of celebrations with under thirty guests or so. And, of course, the shorter the guest list, the easier it is for a wedding to feel intimate – but that doesn’t mean big weddings can’t too! With a bit of forward planning, any wedding can. Read on to find out our top tips for making a big wedding feel intimate and personal.
If you’ve got a long guest list, it’s likely that there are discrete groups within it. So why not host a “get to know you dinner” a few days or weeks before your wedding? It’ll give your guests a chance to mingle and get to know each other in advance.
Divide your venue into smaller spaces so your guests never feel lost in the crowd. Floral installations, drapes and decorations can all be used to create alcoves and hideaways where smaller groups can mingle and chat.
It might sound counterintuitive but consider opting for fewer, long, rectangular tables instead of lots of smaller round ones. It creates a more relaxed atmosphere and people will be able to chat more easily with a wider range of people.
Soft, subtle lighting creates a cosy atmosphere that instantly makes any location feel more intimate. Think flickering candles and romantic fairylights.
Choosing a wedding theme based around darker colours is an easy way to make a large space feel cosy and intimate.
Even if you have a truly astronomical number of guests, arranging them in a circle will make the back row feel much less far back.
Great all your guests personally and make it a priority to speak with as many people as possible over the course of the day. Even if it’s only a few minutes, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to make them feel welcome.
If you have a particularly extensive guest list, talking to everyone might not be possible – and that’s when adding personal touches really comes into its own. Consider writing each guest a handwritten note or gifting them a handmade wedding favour. That way, even if you haven’t managed to speak to them, they’ll still know you cared they came.
If you have plenty of guests, make sure you have plenty of staff to match! If you can’t make it round everybody, you can at least know they’re being attended to and feeling well looked after.
So there you have it: nine ways to make a big wedding feel intimate. Now, with all those guests to look after, why not add them to your Bridebook’s Guest List? Or if you’re still on the hunt for your dream venue, check out our Venue Search Tool to browse the UK’s biggest (and best!) wedding venue directory.