Photo courtesy of Hello Penny Bar
Intimate gatherings and grand affairs are both having a moment. “If a couple isn’t asking me to plan something cozy, they’re wanting to go all-out for the people they love. There is no in-between for 2018,” says Kindra Browne, owner of Simple Elegance in Kansas City. The one constant? Make it memorable.
Keeping it Simple: Intimate weddings provide a chance to interact with your loved ones in ways that simply aren’t possible when the guest count tops 100. Plus, smaller gatherings give you more room to show off your personalities. Food is often the focal point of these celebrations, with couples working closely with caterers to put together a menu that’s personal and special. These celebrations lend themselves to tighter table arrangements (think one or two long tables) and warmly lit surroundings so guests feel as if they’re at a fabulous, elegant dinner party. “The look and vibe is down to earth, approachable, but special,” says Alison Laesser-Keck of Alison + Bryan Destination Events in Santa Barbara, California.
Photo Credit: Melanie Julian Photography
Going All Out: At the other end of the spectrum are couples who are fully embracing their role as hosts of the biggest party they’ll ever throw. “Welcome parties, big rehearsal dinners, after parties, next-day brunches... these couples know it’s rare to have all of their loved ones together at the same time, so they are looking for more opportunities to spend time with everyone and celebrate,” says Browne. Dividing grand spaces into cozier vignettes helps create the illusion of intimacy, so here’s where lounge furniture and strategically placed floral arrangements and lighting become important. Interactive food and drink stations and a mix of table shapes (some round, some long, some square) also help break guests into smaller groupings — until you want them all together and going wild on the dance floor! Crowd-pleasing DJs and late-night snacks are must-haves at grand weddings.
Photo Credit: Liz Banfield