The past year has taught us the joy of intimate, small gatherings. As a result, many couples are moving ahead with wedding plans and embracing the romance of the short and sweet guest list. Small weddings allow you to choose the best of everything, share your special day with the people closest to you, and save money to go towards a home or your dream honeymoon.

If you are thinking small for your wedding day, here are 10 tips to help you plan the intimate wedding you have always dreamt about.

1. Tackle the guest list

The intimate wedding is based on a pared-down guest list with the people you love most. This in itself tends to send a message to those not included that they don’t count. However, the need for smaller weddings today can help explain away your reduced guest list which hopefully can soothe hurt feelings. Your goal is to consider the people you absolutely could not imagine not being there and base your list on those special few.

2. Splurge on your venue

Smaller weddings open up a whole new world of wedding venues brides might otherwise have not been able to afford. You can increase your budget on every detail, including the menu, so a good idea is to think of your venue in terms of what they offer for small groups. A small wedding venue should offer as many services as possible to make your planning easier.

However, the two most important things are ambience and food. Does the space bring you joy and help you imagine your special day here? Do the staff seem willing to bend over backwards to provide everything you need to create a unique and meaningful experience? Can they accommodate your idea of a sumptuous meal with flawless service?

3. Go all out on your meal

Since you have a smaller list of guests to feed you can go all out on your meal. You won’t be stuck with the chicken or fish menu. Instead, you can work with your venue to come up with a truly spectacular meal that indulges your taste for the best of everything. Some enticing menu ideas might include:

  • Beef Wellington
  • Stuffed quail
  • Cornish hens
  • Tournedos Rossini beef tenderloin
  • Filet mignon
  • French cut veal chop
  • Roast leg of lamb

You can also have a well-planned meal offering several courses starting with antipasto and ending with a selection of delicious desserts. Plan a trip around the world, a selection of comfort foods, or even consider having a buffet where people can choose from a selection of tempting dishes.

4. Consider a family-style meal

The more intimate your guest list, the more intimate your meal. For the micro wedding consider having a single long elegantly dressed table and a meal served family-style. Appetizing dishes can be set along the table with people helping themselves to the foods they love. Attentive servers can stand off to the side ready to assist with pouring wine and taking away dishes as you move on to the next course.

5. Choose high-end wines

With small weddings, you never have to settle. You can choose fine wines to serve with dinner and even have your venue pair the wines to suit each course. This creates an elegant meal with sophisticated, thoughtfully planned pairings that indulge the senses and take your dining experience to the next level. And don’t forget the champagne toast with a sparkling glass of first glass bubbly.

6. Bespoke décor

Make every detail count with completely bespoke décor that creates the ideal setting for your day. With fewer guests, you can spend more on the fine details that allow you to introduce unexpected special touches. From unique floral choices such as birch trees in lovely urns to a complete trellis of live flowers to stunning crystal chandeliers or candelabras, and from elegant drapes hung on an interior pagoda to an eclectic selection of hand-chosen antique dishes at the dinner table – there is no end to the personalized touches you can add. This applies both to your reception and ceremony backdrop, creating truly magical moments to share with your most cherished friends and family members.

7. Intimate music

With more money to spend on details, you can consider having live music of a more intimate nature – a jazz trio, a harpist, a string quartet, a jazz or classical guitarist, a tinkling piano. Live musicians set the mood, playing quietly in the background while you get swept away in the romance and excitement of the day.

8. Tastings

Spirit or wine tastings are all the rage and offer a perfect way to transition from your ceremony to your reception. Whether it’s bourbon, whiskey or gin, or a selection of fine wines, having a tasting before dinner with a selection of yummy appetizers is a wonderful way to kick off the festivities.

9. Group photos

With a smaller guest list, you can consider involving everyone in the photos. You can create fun group shots to help show off your beautiful venue and create fun, candid photos that can make your wedding album really stand out.

10. The dress

Of course, let’s not forget the dress. Just because your wedding is small doesn’t mean you can’t go all out on your wedding gown. With more money available, you can indulge your fairy-tale bride fantasy and choose the dress you’ve always wanted. However, you can also go the less conventional route whether it’s a retro look, a more edgy outfit or something fun and whimsical. Every detail of what you wear can be all the more elegant, sophisticated, fun, or quirky from your dress to your shoes and your veil/headwear to your accessories.

The beauty of the small wedding is you can really choose any wedding theme you desire. You have the budget to go uber-sophisticated or lean more towards casual elegance. Intimate weddings are all about connecting with the ones you love and your new partner, allowing you to take a distinctly personal approach to your wedding plans.

For information about planning your dream wedding at a wedding venue in Vaughan, call Chateau le Jardin at (905) 851-2200 or contact us here.