How to have a very small wedding

Small intimate wedding

Unfortunately with COVID-19 restrictions looking to stay as they are for a long time, weddings are going to be small for the foreseeable future. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Small weddings can be intimate, personal and beautiful, a moment shared with your very closest family and selected friends. This is why I thought it would be a good time to write how to organise and host a very small wedding.

Weddings of less than 20 guests is typically called a microwedding, and these are the only kinds of weddings allowed to go ahead in the UK currently. But your microwedding doesn’t have to miss out on atmosphere or sparkle.


Choose a venue based on your numbers

It can be difficult to find a venue that will accept small numbers. This is generally because they don’t make as much money, if any, from weddings with very few guests. The more guests you have, the more you’re likely to spend on food and all the accompaniments, such as centrepieces.

But this means you can think outside of the box. An intimate outdoor wedding might be perfect or maybe you could hire an idyllic cottage. You may choose to have a small, private church wedding and go for a reception elsewhere afterwards. Many restaurants have the option of hiring out a small section, which might be ideal for you.

If you would prefer to have a larger venue, but they’re not allowing you to book because of your small numbers, you could suggest that you don’t have full venue exclusivity. This may mean that you’re sharing the venue with other guests or parties of people. If this doesn’t bother you too much, it could be a great compromise.

A destination wedding is ideal for such a small number of guests, so you could even consider going abroad. This may not be the easiest option at the moment, but definitely one to think about for the near future.


Go for casual, intimate dining

The fewer guests you have, the odder it feels to all sit on separate round tables where three courses are served in a formal setting. Instead, you may prefer to make things a bit more casual. Think good pub food, fresh pizza from a pizza oven or even a small hog roast that’s suited to less people. These things can be eaten both standing or sitting.

Alternatively, if you do want the more formal 3-course meal, you should have everyone sitting around one very large table. The table can be decorated in all sorts of ways (you don’t have to keep everything simple) but sharing a meal together in this way is a lovely idea.


Keep the smaller details

You may think that in having such a small wedding, you can do away with additions like photographers, videographers, flowers, a cake, etc. But these things are still so important. No matter whether you have 5 or 105 guests, it’s still your wedding day and a wedding photographer can still capture some beautiful images that you’ll be able to keep forever.

Cakes and flowers can still be part of your day, just in smaller amounts. No need to get a cake for 50 people, but you could choose little personalised cupcakes or even a very simple two tier. Don’t forget most wedding cake can be frozen and defrosted!


Wedding cake covered in white chocolate and strawberries

This one tier cake surrounded by cupcakes would be ideal for your small wedding


Don’t give up on your dreams

Most people look forward to the glamour of a big wedding (though it certainly isn’t for everyone). But just because your wedding is smaller than you imagined doesn’t mean you can’t have entertainment, a gorgeous venue, hair and makeup, a beautiful dress. You should keep these aspects of your wedding as close to what you would have wanted originally.


A small wedding definitely doesn’t mean that it’s any less of a celebration. Embrace your microwedding and see it for what it is – getting married with your very nearest and dearest alongside you.