How to get everyone involved in a small wedding

A small wedding is a much more personal affair - here's how to pull it off like a pro!

An intimate wedding is the ideal way to make sure all of your nearest and dearest feel as involved in your big day as you’d like them to be, and many couples are downsizing their plans for a wedding day that is personal and authentic rather than formal and showy.

If you want to make sure your family feels as much a part of this special event as they are in your everyday life, take a look at the top tips below.

Choose an intimate venue

A small wedding celebration calls for an equally personal venue, and you’ll find a wide range of venue types that cater for small groups. Manor houses, stately homes, barns and hunting lodges are all ideal for an intimate ceremony and reception, with venues either hiring out specific rooms or entire buildings for wedding parties. Click here for an example of styles of small venues available for weddings.

Having a small wedding party may open your options up in terms of what you can do as part of the celebration – for example, you might be able to request a marquee outdoors for a champagne reception if you don’t have too many guests, while you may also be able to use special areas when you say your vows, such as glasshouses, which can only hold limited numbers of people.

Involve everyone

Weddings often feel impersonal but you can make your guests feel valued in a number of ways, such as by personally greeting them after the ceremony and making sure the photographer takes pictures of individual family units.

You could also write personal notes to each guest and leave them at their seats for them to read when they take their places for the ceremony or reception.

A candle ceremony is also a great way to make everyone feel involved in the event, as well as making the celebration feel more romantic; each guest has an unlit candle that, at a specific time, is lit, starting with the bride and groom, who pass the flame along the front row of the congregation and so it spreads throughout the crowd.

Get personal

If you’re comfortable enough to trust everyone at your wedding to be appropriate, why not hold an open mic toast? This allows well-wishing relatives to express their joy at your nuptials and deliver personal wishes for your happiness.

At the reception, meanwhile, you could have an anniversary dance, during which all the couples dance and, at increments, are told to sit down based on how many years they’ve been married. The last people standing are those whom have been married for the longest.

Make it special

When you involve your family in your big day, you can make it all the more memorable with interactive exercises, such as by leaving scraps of fabric out on a table that guests can draw pictures or write well wishes on.

The pieces of fabric can be sewn together at a later date to create a personal and meaningful keepsake of your wedding.

You could also create personalised favours for your guests, choosing something small that you’ve handpicked for each individual rather than buying things in bulk and giving every guest the same gift.

There’s no need to break the bank doing this – have a look round charity shops, craft supply stores and auction websites for inspiration and bargain buys.