How to plan an intimate wedding

April 9, 2021

With limitations on large group gatherings in place for more than a year now, many betrothed couples are pivoting their original wedding plans and choosing to say ‘I do’ with an intimate micro-wedding. Scaling down and simplifying your marriage celebrations can help save time and money and will allow you to focus on your priorities.

Whether you’re having an intimate wedding out of necessity or by choice, here are some key things to keep in mind when planning your small-scale big day.

How to plan an intimate wedding

[Photo Credit: Halfpoint]

The guest list

Intimate weddings typically have a guest count of fewer than 50 people, though regional COVID-19 restrictions could require you to plan an event for a group of five or less. With that in mind, it’s best to downsize your bridal party to just one or two bridesmaids and groomsmen (or none at all) and focus on who you really want to be there when you exchange your vows. Perhaps that’s just your parents, your immediate family, or your most cherished friends. Don’t worry about offending distant relatives, coworkers, and other acquaintances. If you want to share your special day with a larger audience, set up a live-stream video and invite friends and family to join in virtually.


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The venue

A professional wedding planner can help couples navigate the ever-changing pandemic guidelines by sourcing intimate wedding venue options and collaborating with vendors to design a micro wedding of your dreams. Small wedding venues are an unexpected and stylish alternative to traditional hotel ballrooms and large-scale event venues and can be personalized with bespoke decor.

Toronto’s multi-functional Belamy Loft offers all-inclusive packages for couples who want a short-and-sweet ceremony in an airy setting. The Polygon Gallery on Vancouver’s North Shore is a contemporary waterfront venue with hourly rental options and stunning views overlooking the Burrard Inlet. In Montreal, the white-washed photography studios at Studio L’Éloi are an industrial-chic backdrop for minimalist ceremonies; as a bonus, this intimate wedding venue also has a rooftop terrace for open-air celebrations.

The food

Serving a small party of 10 is a lot easier than feeding a hungry crowd of 200, which means an intimate wedding gives you a chance to get creative with your food and drink choices while maximizing your wedding budget. Skip the appetizer platters and dinner buffet and design a menu befitting a fabulous dinner party. By saving money on food quantities, you can focus on the quality of your wedding meal – whether that means selecting high-end wine pairings, serving an artisanal cheese course, or allowing guests to customize their own single-serving gourmet desserts.

The entertainment

Even though you can’t throw a raging dance party at a small wedding venue, that doesn’t mean you can’t show your guests a good time. Keep your post-ceremony soundtrack upbeat and lively but be sure to encourage wedding guests to spread out and maintain their distance. Instead of a dance floor, set up interactive tabletop activities or lawn games that will keep friends and family engaged and entertained. As an alternative to a crowded photo booth, ask your photographer to capture intimate portraits of your guests throughout the event.

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