What Is Considered an Intimate Wedding?

When planning your wedding, it may seem like a good idea to keep things intimate. 

But what does that mean? Is an intimate wedding the same as a small wedding? What are some examples of intimacy in weddings?

The number of “intimate” weddings is rising as couples seek to maximise their budgets without minimising their experiences.

While small in size, intimate weddings need not be short on extravagance, personalisation or unique character. Let Boutique Events Group Wedding Venue help you create the most magical day of your life. 

Fewer guests often mean more resources than today’s to-be-weds are using to make their weddings something special. So could an intimate wedding be suitable for your clients?

What Is an Intimate Wedding?

Weddings with guest counts between 20 and 75 are generally considered “intimate,” although we’ve had them with as few as six guests. 

While elopements are intimate affairs, we tend to use “intimate wedding” to refer to more formalised events with an itinerary and, often, multiple occasions. 

Both local and destination weddings can fall into the category.

Keep the Guest Count Low.

One of the challenges associated with intimate weddings is narrowing the guest list down to ensure that the guest numbers stay low. 

This isn’t for everyone, and some couples aren’t cut out for saying no, whether it’s to their friends and loved ones or their parents. 

To plan an intimate wedding, ensure that your couples are united in their desire to include fewer than 75 guests altogether.

We’re often asked how many people couples should invite to take advantage of the most slots without going over, and it is a difficult question to answer universally. 

Your couple has to know the guests and the likelihood that they will attend.

We can say that for destination weddings, we suggest estimating that 80 per cent of invitees will attend, all things being equal. 

Be very careful not to allow your clients to over-invite, as the numbers can quickly get out of hand, spoiling the benefits of an intimate wedding.

How Are Budgets Different?

For some couples, budget is the main factor influencing the decision to host an intimate wedding. 

Not all clients realise it, but the most significant expense is the food and beverage bill at most weddings. 

When you consider that each person could be worth hundreds of dollars, it makes sense that limiting the number dramatically impacts the bottom line.

Your clients will dictate how “extra” funds are used. For example, they might upgrade their ingredients to premium items and feature a more “palette-wowing” menu. 

Or, they could go over the top with decor and entertainment. The choice is theirs, but with a lower headcount, you have more options available to suggest.

Why an Intimate Wedding Is a Good Idea

The wedding industry is forever changing, with more couples taking the less traditional approach. 

Intimate weddings are becoming more popular and having attended a few me; an intimate wedding is my preference. 

There is a different kind of vibe, and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s the warm fuzzy kind of feeling! 

You can feel the love where everyone is buzzing because they are spending time with their favourite people. 

Because it is a special occasion, that equates to extra love all around.

While planning a wedding, many future brides dream about a huge celebration, hundreds of guests, spacious ballroom; generally, the bigger, the better. 

But it’s no longer a rule. More and more couples decide to abandon this trend and go for romantic, intimate weddings inviting only their closest friends and family. 

Why do these types of weddings become more and more popular? Well, there are several reasons:

An intimate wedding is more than just the number of people but how we reflect on the couple’s personalities and their engagement with their guests. 

It is about creating unforgettable memories. 

More Intimate Atmosphere.

Your marriage should be celebrated with the people that matter to you most. Everyone hates the dreaded guest list!  

Make it easier on yourself and only invite those you want there. 

By surrounding yourself with your loved ones who know you best, you will feel relaxed and be able to enjoy your special day. 

Forget inviting distant relatives that you didn’t even know existed; an intimate wedding is a perfect solution!

An intimate wedding offers you a celebration with close-knit friends and family where you don’t have to worry about putting on a show. 

A good company goes a long way, and it is always the people that make it unique anyway. So to rid yourself of the social obligation and spend time and welcome your guests in an intimate environment, where they will also find mingling a pleasure in smaller crowds.

Cutting the guest list will ensure that the people you will see during your Big Day are your loving ones. 

Why deal with someone you’ve never seen or didn’t stay in contact with? A smaller celebration means a more intimate atmosphere. 

Maybe you don’t see it yet, but it will help a lot with your stress level. 

Many future married people worry a lot about the confrontation with the people they particularly don’t know. Push the pressure away and focus on you and your feelings.

Our advice: Be prepared that you might hurt someone’s feelings. Instead of neglecting this fact, have an honest conversation with the people who were likely to feel invited. 

Tell them the truth about your small and intimate wedding; surely they will understand and support you.

Your Dream Location.

The smaller guest number goes with, the wider choice when it comes to wedding venues. So you don’t have to worry that a large number of guests will not fit your dream location. 

You will have endless opportunities regarding ceremony and reception and arrangement of the tables, dance floor area, and many more. 

It’s widespread for lovely private villas or elegant castles to have a limited number of guests. However, if this restriction does not limit you, you can start searching for something that will get your heart.

Our advice: Choose something cozy and intimate that will emphasise the close relationship with your guests. 

With two spacious venues, your guest might feel lost and not comfortable.

The most incredible attention to detail.


We are all a little bit perfectionists and like to control everything. 

While planning a smaller wedding, you can make sure everything is perfect and buttoned up. Everything can be more elaborate.

Our advice: Small weddings are more transparent, so everything must run like clockwork. “Smaller” doesn’t mean that they are simpler to organise. 

You have more control over every detail, but you must remember that every failure is more visible and harder to turn a blinder eye to with the smaller number of guests.

Smaller Wedding Means a Smaller Budget.

This is the one you were waiting for! But, of course, by cutting down your guest list, you will ultimately save the bank account. 

This is one of the main reasons couples opt for an intimate wedding to stay within their budget. 

Money saved here can go towards treating yourselves to that honeymoon you have always dreamt of. (Says the wanderlust in me!)

This is the one you were waiting for! But, of course, by cutting down your guest list, you will ultimately save the bank account. 

This is one of the main reasons couples opt for an intimate wedding to stay within their budget. 

Money saved here can go towards treating yourselves to that honeymoon you have always dreamt of. 

Yes, it all depends on what you are looking for, but usually smaller weddings are chipper than the big ones. 

The smaller venue, the smaller amount of personalised details and especially the catering prices. 

With the number of guests, the costs usually get higher. When you are on a tight budget, an intimate wedding might be something for you.

Our advice: Sometimes, cutting the guest list is the only way to have everything you envisioned for your wedding day. 

Envision what is more important to you. And remember that no one has the right to call you selfish.

We all deserve to have a perfect wedding, the way we want it to be.

Each of these places is exceptional and has its particular charm. Whichever you chose, you can be sure that this journey will be unforgettable.

Perfect for a Destination Wedding.

What Are the Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding

When you dream about a unique destination wedding, organising an intimate celebration gives you this opportunity.

It opens you the doors to the brand-new dimension of the wedding reception. Regarding transportation and accommodation, it’s way simpler to organise a small, intimate destination wedding than a big one.

It will get you closer to your guests and guarantee you more time spent together.

Our advice: Planning a destination wedding even for a small group of people can be very complicated. 

Knowledge and expertise of the chosen location are indispensable. But don’t take your skills for granted. Professional consultations when planning a destination wedding are a must!

Tips on Planning an Intimate Wedding Weekend.

Some will extend the wedding experience beyond the traditional ceremony and reception. 

Intimate weddings offer the opportunity for your couple to spend more one-on-one time with each of their guests, so suggest that they host a welcome reception or post-wedding brunch. 

They could also schedule activities or excursions between events to allow more enjoyment of the wedding destination and time together.

Intimate weddings can be anything from the ultimate dinner parties to whole weekends full of fun. 

They allow you to take personalising your clients’ special events to a whole new level.

Give Yourself Time to Plan

First and foremost, an intimate wedding doesn’t necessarily mean it can be planned in a day. There are still several decisions to be made and to-dos to check off. 

If you’re booking a venue, calendars will most likely fill up fast in 2021, with lots of 2020 couples re-booking. So put that at the top of your list, then work things out from there.

And if you’re planning to DIY any details (like this groom who built that rad arch) – start early! 

Projects tend to take more time and resources than you think so, it’s best to stay ahead to give yourselves some breathing room as the day approaches.

Edit Down Your Guest List

If you were dreaming of a large wedding, here comes the gut-wrenching part. 

We’d class an intimate wedding at under 75 guests, but there will likely be restrictions in place depending on where you live and your wedding date. 

The good news is that people aren’t as likely to feel left out under the circumstances, so if you’re worried about hurt feelings, you can rest easy there.

Our best advice when it comes to slimming down your guest list is to keep your inner circle of family and friends involved. 

Surround yourselves with people who make you feel loved, comfortable, and supported. And once you’ve made your final list, consider the benefits!

The number one thing that affects your overall budget is your guest count.  Stuck for the perfect gift for your guests? Check out our extensive list of Bomboniere Ideas here

Fewer people means you can spend a little bit more per person and have more excellent food, rentals, favours, premium alcohol and possibly more money to spend on other things that might be more important to you, like an excellent photographer or that designer dress you’ve had your heart set on.

Get Creative and Customise

There are some excellent quirky venue choices you can go for, from small castles to museums and pubs. 

You can choose somewhere that reflects you both and create a genuinely all-encompassing day of your personality. You want your guests to say, “That is so them!”

With a smaller wedding, you can afford to go into detail and personalise, especially when it comes to DIY projects or wedding favours. 

You can spend more money and get a favour that will really wow your guests. 

Go that extra mile and show your token of appreciation with bespoke gifts. Guests will love your creativity. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking bigger is always better–look for opportunities to throw incredible intimate weddings. 

Designing small weddings allows you to enjoy a different kind of challenge with the potential for enormous satisfaction.

Plan Extra Events

If you love your people, you’ll be excited to spend time with them! An intimate wedding is an opportunity to plan events pre and post-wedding. 

Besides the rehearsal dinner, you can consider welcome parties, brunches, spa trips, wine tasting, hikes, games of golf – even a group dip in the ocean! 

(But please remember to check with local authorities regarding openings, closures, and gatherings if you’re planning around COVID-19 restrictions.)

Wear Whatever You Want

Honestly, “do what you want” is our mantra forever, especially when it comes to small weddings. So wear anything that feels true to you – be it a pantsuit, a ballgown, or both! 

You could try blush, something embroidered, or bold in black.

Splurge on Your Must-Haves

When your guest list is smaller, your budget can go further. Chat with your partner to decide where you want to splurge! 

Go big on flowers, or book your photographer crush! Maybe amp up the cocktails or hire live musicians. Treat yourself – and your guests – to something special.

However, you could go the other way and pull out all the stops! 

Because there is a smaller guest list, you can afford to splash out on a destination wedding or weekend wedding, treating your guests to something special. 

Maybe you had your eye on that dream dress or a band you both want. It’s your day, after all! So why not go a little crazy and spend on the things that matter to you.

Hire a Wedding Coordinator

While an intimate wedding means more facetime with people you love, it shouldn’t be your job to wrangle them.

A day-of coordinator is essential if you don’t have a planner (or even if you do). 

They’ll be able to help move people from place to place if need be, and you won’t have to answer texts with last-minute questions while you’re getting your makeup done.

Make it a Meaningful Ceremony.

This one (like everything else) is your call, but a small wedding gives way to lots of meaningful moments. 

The most of which, your actual ceremony. Think about ways to bring personal touches to your vows, or include guests at the moment.

Skip What Doesn’t Matter to You

However, a short + sweet ceremony might be more your thing! If you don’t want to include traditions, nix them. 

If you do, keep them! An intimate wedding is a perfect opportunity to make things very personal, and for you, that could mean changing it all up!

Besides traditions, certain expenses may not make sense. If you see a big chunk of your budget going somewhere that isn’t that exciting to you and your partner, take stock and ask yourself if you really need it or if it’s just something expected of you.

Set a Banquet Family-Style Table

Please do it for the conversations but also do it for the photos.

We won’t lie and say that we don’t stop to ooh and aah with every magical banquet table we come across.

And family-style dining doesn’t make sense for a large gathering. Here’s a place where thoughtful design details win out for an intimate affair!

Make it a Relaxed Atmosphere.

If you’ve been a guest at a large wedding, then you know you’re lucky if you can snag a moment to congratulate the couple. 

Use the time that you have with a smaller crowd to connect and spend time with your guests. 

Organise the day so that there’s breathing room for conversations and meaningful moments. It’s true that the day flies by — and even more so if you’re too busy to take it all in.

Plan an After Party

After the party, it’s the silent disco, late-night snacks, and karaoke! 

We LOVE when couples take the time to surprise guests with a bit of cherry on top of the celebration. 

If you’ve got some room left in the budget, put it toward a s’mores bar, bring in a food truck, order some pizza, or put out some games! 

Make it accurate to you and something your guests will dig — and then keep that party going!

Remember What Matters

Celebrate your love with your people. Not to get too sappy, but we love here, and that’s what it’s ALL about in the end. 

Make the moments count and breathe through it all. A wedding is a celebration of your beautiful relationship. No matter what comes along, you’ll always have each other!


Overall, it’s your wedding day, so why spend it with people you will never see again after your big day, stick to your close circle of friends and family! 

Be comfortable and feel free to party the way you want because you know everyone will love the moment and get it. 

If this sounds more like you than a large lavish wedding, what are you waiting for? Start planning that small perfect wedding you have always dreamed of.  Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here. 

Create a unique and unforgettable intimate wedding that is a reflection of the two of you.

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