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How to Make Your Small Wedding Spectacular

2020 is all about the small wedding. Whether it's due to COVID-19 restrictions, dealing with a change of financial situation, or a simple desire to be surrounded by only your nearest and dearest, we're seeing a huge increase in the micro wedding. But small doesn't equal less important; an intimate affair begs for you to put your personal stamp on your wedding. Here are some of our favorite ideas. 

By: Kristen Klein

Enter Slideshow
  • Ceremony Spot

    Ceremony Spot

    One of the greatest perks of a small wedding is that it can take you to unexpected places that wouldn't work with a larger guest list, like this breathtaking helipad overlooking the Malibu mountains.

  • Ceremony Spot

    Ceremony Spot

    There isn't much space inside a clock tower — which makes it perfect for an intimate affair. 

  • Ceremony Spot

    Ceremony Spot

    Set by the shore and surrounded by mountains, Glacier National Park is an ethereal setting for a small gathering.

    Photo: Birdsong Photography

  • Ceremony Spot

    Ceremony Spot

    A beautiful pier over the ocean provides a gorgeous backdrop.

  • Ceremony Setup

    Ceremony Setup

    Having to seat fewer guests gives you more flexibility with your seating plan. This spiral setup gives each and every one of your loved ones a front row seat during your walk down the aisle.

  • Ceremony Ideas

    Ceremony Ideas

    With a smaller guest list, you can splurge on what really matters to you. This couple chose to prioritize comfort and upgraded the traditional ceremony seats, renting mix-and-match pieces. 

    Photo: Ryan Ray

  • Family Tree

    Family Tree

    Intimacy is key at a small wedding. Highlight the wedding photos of your ancestors, as well as all of the married couples included in your wedding, with a memorable family tree display. Your guests will love seeing their own photos and those who came before them!

  • Escort Cards

    Escort Cards

    Your small guest list will undoubtedly feature your favorite people — make them feel even more special with a personalized note inside each escort card envelope. 

  • Escort Cards

    Escort Cards

    Suspending your escort cards from a tree makes a spectacular first impression. It can be a logistical nightmare at a large wedding, but with your smaller guest list, your guests won’t have any trouble spotting their names.

    Photo: Maya Myers

  • Special Touches

    Special Touches

    Celebrate your loved ones near and far with a directional sign showcasing where everyone is from. Take it up a notch by adding photos of your guests on the opposite side of each sign.

  • Special Touches

    Special Touches

    Even though everyone has a smartphone these days, disposable cameras add a fun retro touch and are a great way to see the wedding from your guests' perspectives. But developing dozens of cameras (especially when you have no idea whether the photos are any good) can make this a costly choice for a large wedding. At a small wedding, you can simply place one or two cameras on your tables. 

  • Reception Ideas

    Reception Ideas

    Expand the guest experience with oversized yard games that'll entertain and delight your guests. 

    Photo: Lawson Photography

  • Reception Ideas

    Reception Ideas

    If you’re getting married this summer and want to encourage social distancing, set up a variety of picnic blankets and lounge areas, where you can keep members of the same household together.

    Photo: Honeylane

  • Reception Décor

    Reception Décor

    A larger venue can feel sparse with your small guest list. But if you have your heart set on a venue that far exceeds your guest list, take advantage of the opportunity to add a flexible seating plan. Use fewer seats per table to spread out your guests, and add comfortable lounge furniture to encourage guests to mix and mingle beyond their own tables.

  • Reception Décor

    Reception Décor

    By surrounding your dance floor with long rectangular tables, all of your guests will feel a part of the action all night long. This lends an inclusive vibe — no one is stuck in a back corner without a view of your first dance.

  • Reception Décor

    Reception Décor

    A strong theme ties together your whole event. This couple embraced a Moroccan vibe, including sitting on floor cushions rather than chairs.

    Photo: Ellie Koleen

  • Reception Venue

    Reception Venue

    With a large guest list, an alfresco reception on the beach is a huge challenge, if not completely impossible. But with just a few tables to worry about, it’s a cinch to set up (and break down if the weather doesn’t cooperate).

  • Table Décor

    Table Décor

    Long tables enhance the intimacy of your reception, especially with a small guest list. Having all of your guests sit together breaks down barriors between individuals. 

  • Table Décor

    Table Décor

    If you only have one or two tables to decorate, take advantage of the opportunity to truly go all out on the décor. Cover the table in an opulent floral runner, candles, and top it off with a bevy of unique chandeliers overhead.

  • Table Décor

    Table Décor

    Having a smaller space to decorate allows you to up the ante. Draped fabric, modern chandeliers, and a chic color palette elevate this patio into a truly romantic reception space.  

  • Reception Venue

    Reception Venue

    One of the greatest perks of a small wedding is that you can pop up in unexpected places, like on a small patio overlooking the ocean.

    Photo: Ana & Jerome

  • Desserts

    Desserts

    Put extra effort into your dessert display. With a smaller guest list, you can shrink down the wedding cake and have room for extra sweet treats, like doughnuts and custard cups.

    Photo: Lillian Hope Designs

  • Thank You

    Thank You

    Anyone who made the cut for your small wedding is likely someone you know on a very personal level and who holds special meaning in your life. Let your guests feel that connection by writing a personalized thank you to go along with their wedding favors.

    Photo: Bobbi+Mike

  • Special Touches

    Special Touches

    End your night on a truly spectacular note with a splurge-worthy fireworks display.

    Photo: Paris Photographer Pierre

How to Make Your Small Wedding Spectacular

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