Every couple wants their wedding to be a special event shared with their nearest and dearest. However, the tone often shifts once you start planning the big day (“big” being the operative word). After you’ve accounted for all your friends and two sets of extended families, that guest list can be a mile long! How can you host all those people and still have your intimate wedding? Here are a few tips.
Choose a Venue That’s “So You”
When you’re hosting a large group, it makes sense to look for big ballrooms and banquet halls for your wedding venue. However, these vast, open rooms don’t always facilitate a sense of intimacy.
Instead, consider using a smaller wedding reception space that better suits your personal style — or fill up a larger room with furniture and decorative accents you love. This will make the venue feel more like “you” and will make your wedding feel more personal and familiar.
Limit Your Table Sizes
Dinnertime is always an opportunity to chat with others, and dinner at a wedding is no exception. Whether your table is made up of old high school pals, cousins from out of town, or friends of yours who are strangers to each other, you can make sure they mingle by limiting the number of seats at their table.
Generally, your seating chart should allow for no more than 8-10 people at a table, as this will give the whole group a chance to interact. And while this might mean you have more tables to visit throughout the reception, you’ll be able to have more meaningful encounters with each group.
Keep The Lighting Low
Whether you’re celebrating your “I do’s” outside or indoors, you can use lighting to create a more intimate atmosphere. Warm, low lighting (such as Christmas lights or candlelight) make a space seem much homier and inviting than brightly lit fluorescents. They also create a romantic ambiance — and isn’t that exactly what you want on your wedding day? By dimming the lights and sticking with warm tones, you can create a cozy space from the largest ballrooms out there.
Personalize The Guest Experience
Your wedding day is one of the happiest days of your life… but it’s also one of the busiest. From the moment you wake up, it’s go-go-go: get ready, take photos, talk with guests, cut the cake, and — oh yeah — get married. With so much going on, it’s only natural that some guests won’t get much face time with you and your new spouse.
Adding some personalized touches for your guests will make them feel more connected to your special day. Provide out-of-town guests with a personalized welcome bag, giving them small gifts and tips to help them enjoy the city. Include handwritten notes with your guests’ place cards, sharing a favorite memory you have with them. These little extras will show just how special you think they are and will make them love your wedding even more.
With these simple suggestions, you can turn even the largest wedding ceremonies into an intimate, personal, and memorable experience for everyone.