Some brides subscribe to a”go big or go home” style of wedding planning. While that’s a perfectly acceptable preference, many of us prefer to celebrate with a few close family members and friends only. Even if small and intimate wasn’t your original vision, you may be rethinking your record-breaking invitee list with the global disrupter that is COVID-19. And whether you planned it this way or not, a small guest list is a smart way to keep everyone safe and still proceed with your big day in a fun, exciting and meaningful way. Best of all, narrowing down your guest list means cost savings, a reduction in planning work, zero drama from a frenemy or crazy cousin and time to actually enjoy the day without having to greet scores of guests you’ve only met once. Here are our suggestions for making sure your day is is even better with a micro-sized guest list.
1. Find a venue that works with your reduced crowd
While a lot of larger venues will have a minimum, you also don’t want to be in a big space with an intimate group. It will add distance (this isn’t about safety) among the group and feel awkward. Instead look for a private setting with enough room for a couple tables and a small dance floor. If it’s proving hard to find a pretty, private setting that is willing to host a small group, set up your own. A backyard wedding may feel that much more special to the bride and groom if it’s at a childhood home or the place where you have plans to start a family. You may also want to keep in mind where guests are coming from. Since a lot of people don’t feel comfortable travelling by public transportation during the current situation, it’s nice to pick a spot that’s convenient for all or a majority of your guests.
2. Be Honest About Your Guest List Restrictions
Even if you’ve always had your heart set on nuptials with a few favourite onlookers only, social distancing is the perfect excuse to let people know why they won’t being getting a card in the mail. Truthfully, you never have to apologise for what you want for your own wedding, but that doesn’t may certain people might still be upset. Telling them upfront that you’d love to have them but only feel comfortable including 10 or 20 guests shows that you’re thinking of them, understand their feeling may be hurt, but that there are so many others who couldn’t make the cut. They’ll understand that it’s not personal and even if they are offended, they’ll get over it–and see you we’re kidding when only immediate family show up in your pictures.
3. Forget the Wedding Party
You’re welcome to give your sister or besties a special role at the ceremony…but you certainly don’t have to. At a small wedding, there is no expectation of conventional wedding traditions that might seem fun but end up causing stress. This includes a wedding party, bouquet toss and speeches. That said, if it’s still important for you to include traditions, feel free to keep it as part of the day.
4. Spend Extra on What’s Important
Since you’ll be saving on the sheer number of guests, feel free to indulge by putting a lot more cash into a live band, lavish flowers, a spectacular hair piece or a dinner to remember. Or spend it on special entertainment–fireworks, anyone? You’re probably also delaying any big honeymoon plans which gives you extra time to save up travel-related splurges.
5. Let Your Guests Know They are Special.
Even with a small group only, it might feel daunting for some to attend a wedding during a pandemic. Let your guests know how much you appreciate their attendance (they made with ultra-tight cut in the first place!) by gifting personalised favors or writing heartfelt thank-yous that really show you care.
6. Embrace Unique Catering Options
While a smaller wedding allows you to allocate more money to food and drink, it also means permission to be a little laid-back with the type of fare you serve. If your a talented home chef–or you have a good connection to one, you might want to try homemade apps. Another great option is a food truck–only a dozen guests ensures so no long lines. Of course standard formal sit-downs or buffets work great as well.
7. Keep the Fun Going
If you’re hosting at your own home or somewhere a little more personal, the skies the limit as far as the length of the event. Feel free to tell guests the end time is flexible and they can stay as long as they want–or leave whenever they need to. You can also keep the standard wedding hours and continue the champagne flow with an after party at your house.
It’s your wedding! You’re guaranteed an amazing day–and fewer guests doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of the good parts.