Planning Tips

Planning a Small Intimate Wedding

Now that the COVID-19 Government guidelines are beginning to ease, from 4th July 2020 weddings have been permitted to go ahead. There are restrictions though, and they will be much smaller weddings than we’re often used to. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t still be beautiful, intimate and romantic. I’ve put together some facts, guidance and top tips to help you if you’re planning a smaller intimate wedding in the UK now that you’re able to.


So what are the new government guidelines for weddings?

You can read the official government guidelines here for more detailed information, but I’ve outlined the main points below:


Maximum of 30 people for a Ceremony, including the couple, celebrant and suppliers

Ceremonies should take the shortest time possible

No food or drink should be consumed during the Ceremony

Hands should be washed before and after the exchanging of rings

Singing and loud music should be avoided

Social distancing should be observed at all times


Find the right venue for you

Having a small intimate wedding allows you much more choice when choosing the right venue for you. Research online and choose a size appropriate space for your venue. There are some gorgeous venues with intimate Ceremony or dining areas to choose from. Think outside the box as they may not be traditional wedding venues – some private homes, garden settings or restaurants may be offering availability for smaller celebrations, and be the perfect setting for your celebration.


Think carefully about your guest list

This could be a difficult decision to make for you, depending on how large your family is, or how many friends you’d really love to be there. Think carefully about who is most important to you and who you simply couldn’t imagine getting married without. Remember to keep within the guidelines. At the time of writing, for both your Ceremony and Reception this is currently 30 guests. That includes yourselves, the Officiant and any suppliers such as your Photographer, Venue Manager or Wedding Planner.

Having a maximum of 30 guests for your Ceremony allows every single one of them feel truly included, involved and emotionally connected in your nuptial exchange. Within an intimate setting, with those guests you love so dearly, your Ceremony will feel even more special and meaningful.

Photography: Helen Warner & Julie Michaelsen

What’s your budget?

With a smaller celebration, it’s likely you’ll be able to reduce the budget from what you might have had available for a much larger wedding. Your money 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 really special touches may now be achievable!


Uplevel your menu offering!

With a fewer number of guests, you can really afford to indulge your loved ones in a carefully considered menu to excite their senses! Serve your favourite fine wines and luxury champagne that you might ordinarily not be able to offer if you had many more guests. Your choices for a dinner menu are much wider as you’re not catering for a large number so dishes can be served much quicker. Cheese soufflé anyone?!


Go wild with your floral design

Consider where styling and flowers would be the most impactful. For your Ceremony this might be just focusing on the aisle and the Bridal bouquet, and for your Reception this may be just one incredible arrangement for the table centre. As you don’t need a huge quantity to make an impact in a smaller space, you can really be creative with your designs and go big! I love nothing more than statement pieces that really WOW. Think differently about how you could make the best use of your smaller intimate space. Could this be something like an incredibly hanging installation over your dining table, or a dramatic backdrop to your Ceremony?

Photography: Anna Fowler


Go bespoke with your stationery designs

Think about the ways you could invite your guests to your smaller intimate wedding celebration. Could you create more elaborate invite designs, or bespoke options for each guest? Make everyone feel special, and think about the smaller details 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, and let them know just how much it means to you both for them to be there with you on the day.


Things to remember

Having an intimate celebration can be really something quite special, and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate with those closest to you. However, it’s important to prioritise keeping yourselves and your guests safe throughout the day and keeping within those government guidelines. Make sure everyone attending feels comfortable with the plans. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your special day!

Photography: White Stag Weddings


Are you thinking of planning a small, intimate wedding?

Would you love to plan a smaller wedding celebration, but feel completely overwhelmed with the prospect of going through the planning on your own? Not sure how to keep within the new government guidelines for smaller weddings?

Some of my favourite weddings I have planned over the years have been small intimate weddings, with a select number of guests. Hosting your wedding within your private home, on a private estate, or in a smaller wedding venue? Discover my services below, and get in touch to chat about your initial inspirations, ideas and plans. I’d love to help turn your dreams into reality.

Discover my Services


To read more of my expert wedding tips and advice on planning a small intimate wedding within the new government guidelines, head to the latest blog post with Camilla Arnhold Photography. I’ve also recently shared some top tips with Sheerluxe, featured here.

Or if you’re struggling with whether to postpone your larger celebration, and you’d like some professional advice on where to go from here, you may find my post on Rachel Simpson Shoes’ blog helpful here.


Jeni x