Because less guests doesn't have to mean less fun...
Once upon a time, everyone's dream wedding looked different. Some couples dreamed of having a big white wedding and others couldn't wait to walk into an intimate space filled with their favourite people -- and one day soon we'll get back to this freedom. But for the moment, that option isn't available. Instead, brides and grooms to be have been celebrating the gorgeous world of smaller weddings; personal and unforgettable; their guest list narrowed down so that the happy couples are surrounded by just their closest loved ones.
We know this may not be the wedding you envisaged when the question was popped and your brain flooded with big wedding ideas, but micro-weddings create a special atmosphere you won't believe and won't ever want to forget.
Hopefully this will help put a bit of smile on your face as you try to plan your dream wedding even with the current Government guidelines limiting wedding ceremonies and wedding so just 15 people,
Of course, a bit of a smile isn't enough for us, which is why our Thursford Garden Pavilion wedding planners have pulled together a list of amazing small wedding ideas to help you have the best day of your life from the second you put your gown on to the moment you drive away, the sound of cans clattering behind you.
So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to help you plan the best 15-person wedding ever:
Invite Your VIP Tribe
When you're only allowed to invite 15 people to your wedding, you need to be incredibly selective, which can be hard, but your guests will totally understand. That said, that official number of 15 includes you, your officiant and the wedding photographer, so your real number is actually 11. That is going to be hard, so as a rule, make sure every single person you invite to your wedding is someone you absolutely cannot imagine being absent the day you get married. People that make you feel warm and fuzzy, people that make you laugh, people that have been by your side when you've needed them most, people that you love and trust. And don't feel like you have to invite plus-ones, children or even your extended family. This is your day and the circumstances dictate that more than ever.
Make The Most Of What You Do Have
Chances are, the current limitations mean you won't be getting the wedding you once hoped you would. But just because your wedding is smaller doesn't mean the feelings or atmosphere or good time vibes need to be any smaller too. You just need to grab what you do have with both hands and dance, dance, dance the night away. Lean into your wedding day with a huge smile and make the most of it -- and when you do that, your guests will follow your lead. Ask your venue if they have a smaller space you can use to create that fun and intimate atmosphere (like our Old Farm Barn) and maximise your budget in ways you only dreamed of doing, such as serving up a feast fit for Disney royalty, a live band that will guarantee dancing, champagne on ice and games galore.
Get Transported In A Fun Wagon
Getting from the ceremony to the reception venue is a puzzle every couple needs to solve, but with a smaller guest list, you may have more funds and way more freedom to give your guests the kind of fun experience you always wanted to. Forget miles per gallon, this trip is all about smiles per gallon. You could here a couple of old school VW camper vans, a vintage school bus, London taxis, on our vintage bicycles (yeah, we have vintage bicycles) or even something way out there like tuk tuks. What a way to enter the party.
Pets Make Weddings Even Prettier
The current Government guidelines may have said only 15 people are allowed at your wedding, but they haven't said anything about bring your pet to your big day, so why wouldn't you have your pet walk down the aisle with you? Dress them up in their a gorgeous collar, tie the ring to it and have them appear in your official wedding portraits. Whether you have a dog, a cat, rabbits, lamas, horses or anything else, they're family too and you can guarantee they'll add an extra dollop of cuteness and adventure. And because there will only be a handful of your nearest and dearest celebrating with you, you won't have to worry about a couple of extra pets milling around.
Group Games Are Always Great
With a big wedding, organising games or planning some fun entertainment can be more stress than its worth. But with just 15 people, getting your group of absolute favourites to play games and get involved with the good times is a surefire way to bring a bunch of laughs to your wedding day. They could be outdoor games like giant Jenga, sack races, the welly toss, a game of rounders or anything else you fancy, or you could bring the fun indoors with a table tennis table, a limbo bar or even Cards Against Humanity. Sorry grandma.
A Send-Off To Remember
Every stunning wedding needs a forget-me-not finale, so make sure you plan the kind of send off fit for a life of adventure. We're talking about something wow that will look incredible in your photos --and there's loads of ways you can do that. Have your guests blue bubbles as you leave, go for a sparkler exit, throw down some smoke bombs or leave with your hands raised and flares going off. Or you can step aside the box even more and leave to a whirlwind of ribbon streamers, glow sticks, paper aeroplanes or silly string. Whatever will make you smile most.
Like Cocktails But Creative
With a large wedding, a cocktail bar can really slow down the party. But with a much smaller guest list, you have the chance to serve up some seriously special cocktails, the kind that will make taste buds trip and people dance. You could even make it part of the wow-factor and have a flair barman or woman leave your guests staring in disbelief as they whip up something awesome. Whatever your tipple of choice, find an elaborate way to make it standout and run with that.
The Ultimate Snack Station
You may have thought a formal sit-down meal was your vibe before all this uncertainty entered the world, but that might have changed with the guest list limitations and the idea of sitting around a single table (which could be a really fun and intimate time). But even if that's the case with you, food is super-important to your wedding, which is why a really cool food truck might be the perfect answer, especially as you can get almost any kind of food via a truck these days. Fish and chips, tacos, hog roasts, wood-fired pizzas, BBQ'd this n' that, pie and mash and all the puddings imaginable. Did someone say churros?
A Super-Special Sit Down Meal
Most wedding s opt to have little round tables full of guests chatting and laughing and mingling and bringing the party to life. But that might not be possible with a guest list of 15. So what we recommend instead is hiring a huge round table to fit all of your guests on and keeping the good times right there, in the middle of your venue, like an elaborate dinner party set in the heart of a special place. All you have to do then is setup a banquet table full of feasting boards nearby and revel in the hand-on, intimate, loud and lovely atmosphere you'e created, made even more magical by the way you've decorated around and above it.
Always Host An After-Party
More often than not, your guests will be staying in the same place as each other and, who knows, with the current restrictions, maybe even the same accommodation as you, which lends itself to an amazing after party scenario. Whether you've booked a boutique hotel nearby or our simply stunning Holly Lodge B&B, throw a reception after-party for your guests back there and keep the night going, the drinks flowing and your favourite people dancing.