Tips for making your day feel intimate…even with a large number of guests.
Tips for making your day feel intimate…even with a large number of guests.
Tips for making your day feel intimate…even with a large number of guests.
Tips for making your day feel intimate…even with a large number of guests.

Tips for making your day feel intimate…even with a large number of guests.

Photo: Aleksandar Jason


There’s nothing quite like an intimate wedding celebration, that feeling of being close and connected with your partner and those loved ones who have been invited to share in your most special moments. Often, this also comes with the overall feeling of warmth and personalisation.

Rightly or wrongly, the word ‘intimate’ in the wedding sphere, normally refers to weddings that have small guest numbers. But we are here to let you know that this does not have to be the case.

Your wedding, even with a large number of guests can have that cosy, warm and personal feel, especially with these helpful hints.


Venue choice.

If you have a large number of guests, don’t feel compelled to book one huge space. When doing your research, seek out venues that may have multiple areas that your guests can flow through on the day. Think ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing being held in different spaces. If you’re set on a space that is in one area, create cosy lounge areas or breakout nooks where guests can mingle, or even get creative and add in sheer curtains or false walls to create alternative spaces.


Photo: Merve Togan


Get your guests involved. 

Weddings feel far more personal when you have your guests involved in various aspects of your day and it also allows people to know who is who in the zoo. Consider inviting your dearest friend to read a poem in your ceremony, but before they do, have your celebrant announce who they are to you and why your relationship to them is so special. You could also introduce your wedding party during the ceremony, and opt to have your emcee share some kind words about your A-team upon reception entry. Wherever you use family or friends in your ceremony or reception, share some words about them so your guests can get a sense of who they are.


Photo: Ed Sloane



When it comes to your ceremony, consider the way your seating is laid out. Rather than having a gaggle of guests standing at the very back, seat everyone so they have a great vantage point and can feel comfortable throughout. Also look at the way your seats are placed, a semi-circle surrounding you as you say your I Do’s gives that perfectly intimate feel you might be after.

When it comes to reception you might be tempted to have long tables and seat as many guests as you can. However, when it comes to enjoying the food and drinks, smaller tables with a smaller number of guests will give it a dinner-party feel and encourages talk.


Mood lighting and candles.

Setting the mood with ambient lighting can go such a long way to creating an intimate setting. Low lighting and the use of candles can bring about a cosy feeling that eliminates the feeling of a large, empty space or overwhelming crowd. It tends to also help guests feel relaxed and at ease in their surroundings while soaking up the romance of the day.


Photo: Aleksandar Jason


Personal touch.

Putting personal touches on your day that acknowledge your guests is a beautiful way to make your day more intimate. Writing a handwritten note to place on their table when they are seated that shares your gratitude for them goes a long way in making them feel welcome, special and gives all the warm fuzzies.

Other ideas might include a photo of you and your guests that acts as a place card at their seat, or carefully considered table ‘names’ that relate to the time, or place in your lives they can relate to. This can spark conversation among guests and serve as a reminder as to why they’re so special to you both.


Go your own way. 

What guests love about a wedding is when it absolutely reflects the style and personalities of the couple who are being wed, going a long way to creating that loving and intimate feeling. Make sure every aspect of your day reflects you and your partner which will serve to make your guests feel comfortable in the space because your day is filled with touches that reminds them of you.


Photo: Kyra Boyer


Split your celebrations.

If time and budget allows it, consider hosting a welcome get together, or recovery party to keep the celebrations ongoing. These often more relaxed settings encourage guests to mingle, but also allow you to engage with those present away from the often busier and more overwhelming wedding day itself.


Make your guests feel welcome.

You don’t want your guests feeling like they’re just another face in the crowd, so making them feel welcome and acknowledged is a wonderful touch. Try to greet each of your guests at some point during the day, be it after your ceremony (allow enough time for this), or alternatively have your meal served first and once finished make your way around your guests as they finish theirs. Also acknowledge those closest to you that deserve a special mention in your speeches and it’s always common courtesy to shout out those who have traveled some distance to share in your day.


Photo: Ed Sloane


Consider staffing.

If you have a large number of guests to cater for, and you don’t want them to feel like they’re continually having to go to the bar for a drink or hunt down canapés, consider enlisting extra waiters and bar staff to alleviate this. It not only makes guests feel special and attended to, but allows for people to engage in conversations with one another without having to take a break, giving an intimate and atmospheric vibe.


Another great way to ensure your day goes off with all the feels, is considering the ways the you can plan to set the mood. We have a blog post with our top tips for creating the ultimate wedding ambience here.

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