8 Clever Ideas for Small, Intimate Wedding Receptions

8 Clever Ideas for Small, Intimate Wedding Receptions

For some, hosting a wedding is the biggest and most lavish party of the year. For others, hosting a wedding means hosting a small, intimate reception with their closest family and friends. Hosting a smaller wedding reception leaves room for splurging on details, food, decorations, and your honeymoon. A small reception can be just as beautiful, unique, and personal as the large weddings you see in magazines and on social media.

Here are eight clever ideas for a small, intimate wedding reception.

How Can I Make a Small Reception Fun?

You don’t have to host a large, elaborate wedding reception for it to be memorable. Your big day is all about celebrating love and spending time with the ones who mean the world to you. Small receptions can be as fun, luxurious, relaxing, or chill as you want them to be!

Venue Ideas for Small Receptions

Backyard Bash

Return to your roots and host the wedding reception in your backyard. Perfect for fall and summer weddings, backyard receptions are affordable, intimate, and convenient. You can have your favorite food trucks cater, set up the lawn and board games, and end the night gathering around the firepits reminiscing and embarking on future manifestations. This is one of the best ways to spend intimate time with the ones you and your partner love the most.

Celebrate Over Brunch

If you have an early morning wedding, a brunch bash is the best way to celebrate. You can’t go wrong with delicious foods and never-ending mimosas. Add some great tunes to get the party started! Host brunch at your home or head to your favorite restaurant to celebrate over waffles, quiche, and candied bacon. Having a small reception means you can create a brunch party as unique as you.

Have a Family-Style Dinner

A great way to host a small intimate wedding reception is by having a family-style dinner. You can share one large meal or enjoy individual dishes with a shorter guest list. Sitting at a long table with your loved ones allows you to socialize and cherish these special moments.

Use a Small Space at a Larger Venue

Who says you can’t use a larger venue if you have a smaller wedding reception? Traditional venues are full of smaller spaces that are perfect for intimate receptions. You can find a small space, from gardens to libraries, to celebrate with your family and friends. Check out smaller galleries, theaters, and courtyards for a traditional flair that won’t blow your budget.

With a Smaller Guest List, You Can:

Play Around With Seating Arrangements

Traditional weddings with a larger guest list typically have stricter seating arrangements. However, you can play around with seating in a more intimate setting. Take this opportunity to create a lounge area with sofas, low coffee tables, and chaises, or provide a small private space for groups to mingle.

Welcome Your Guests With Gift Baskets

A welcome basket is a special touch for your wedding guests, and with a smaller guest list, you can create bigger and better baskets. We’re not suggesting you blow your budget on expensive basket fillers, but a bottle of wine, specialty cheese, cured meats, and crackers are some good items to include. You can also add small, personalized items to make the basket feel even more special. Your guests will appreciate your effort to ensure they feel appreciated on your day.

Take Your Wedding Decor Up a Notch

It’s easy to flip through numerous wedding magazines to find the most elaborate and detailed wedding decorations, but creating the same look with a larger guest list can be crazy expensive. However, you can elevate your space on a larger budget with a more intimate guest list.

When decorating your venue, remember to design the entire space, not just the tables! Add lighting, lively plants, decorative tables, and more textures. This is your chance to let your creativity shine.

Spoil Your Guests With a Better Menu

By now, you know you can get much more with a smaller guest list, including a better menu. People with a larger guest list have to downsize their menus or strategically choose items to stay within budget. You can splurge on more or better food choices with a smaller guest list. From top-of-the-line steaks to hibachi to seafood towers, you can spoil your guests with delicious foods that they typically wouldn’t receive at a larger wedding.

A small wedding reception is a great way to spend your special day with the ones who mean the most to you and your partner. Your intimate reception is the perfect opportunity to get creative and spoil your loved one with delicious food, beautiful decorations, gifts, and more!

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
January 27, 2023

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