Intimate Weddings Should Feel Special

Full of sparkle and excitement engagement season is here! With so much uncertainty around the world, planning your wedding in 2021 probably feels overwhelming – more than it normally does. It can be hard to imagine a wedding next year and muster the motivation to start planning. Since we don’t know what the guidelines will be in 2021, many are moving forward with plans for small, intimate weddings. I know this is not what most originally envisioned and feels like a compromise. But it doesn’t have to. Intimate weddings can still feel special, create an unforgettable guest experience and strengthen bonds with close friends and family. While we may still have to adhere to some guidelines for safety, it doesn’t have to be the “COVID” wedding that has become the norm.

 I know opting for the smaller celebration can be a difficult decision, so I am sharing with you ideas how to plan something special that blends custom details, experiences and moments that live on forever.

1.     How did they know…it’s just what I wanted?

Imagine the guest reactions when welcomed with their favorite beverage or appetizer. It may take some ingenuity but, what better way to show guests you have thought of them when planning all the details. Or when the waitstaff discreetly presents Aunt Margaret with only vegetarian selections because you’ve thoughtfully gathered everyone’s tastes and dietary restrictions. How do you do this? Similar to many luxury properties, ask each guest to fill out a personal profile with their favorite beverages, food and hobbies. You can also use the profile to obtain any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

2.     Plan the Unexpected

If you aren’t able to have dancing, consider a performance or activity that will entertain and delight guests. It could be a fireworks display, interactive tableside desserts or cordials. I personally love the idea of choosing a fun dessert like bananas foster where guests can add their own ingredients and provides an element of fire.

3.     Personal Notes

The intimate weddings I’ve experienced have been inspiring and uplifting. It’s beautiful to see the connections with family and friends strengthened. While it’s almost impossible to talk with everyone at larger events, this is an opportunity to talk with all your guests and have a meaningful conversation. Something guests will cherish (and you will have fun writing) are personalize notes to each guest. Highlight a memory you have with the guest and let them know how much it means to you to have them there. I guarantee you will feel the gratitude and love for years to come.

4.     Rent A House Where Everyone Can Stay

It’s been a growing trend to plan weekend long celebrations with excursions, welcome parties and post-nuptial brunches, but with a smaller affair, you can go even further. We’ve seen the popularity of estate or house rentals for weddings. Imagine everyone under one roof for a weekend or week, planning the ultimate vacation for guests. You can host fabulous meals, a movie night under the stars and let guests explore the destination on their own. It’s always a challenge to get everyone together, so take advantage of this opportunity and hire a photographer to capture the experiences and family photo sessions. If you have a family property that would accommodate everyone, this is another way to add to the experience. I love how special it is for everyone when celebrations take place at a family home and the memories created.

5.     Create Personalized Welcome Gifts

I love a thoughtfully curated welcome gift. They are a great way to show guests how much they are appreciated and help them prepare for the festivities. With a smaller number of gifts to prepare, you can make them custom for each guest. Present Aunt Margaret with the French wine she loves or uncle Joe with tickets to see his favorite sports team play. They will love that you took time to personally think about their hobbies and favorite things.

While it all may feel different and not what you originally planned, finding true love is a miracle which should be shared and celebrated – always. Your love story is an opportunity to create moments and experiences that will stay with you forever. And of course, they say the best things come in petite packages.

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