A Small Wedding – Big Love: Intimate wedding reception ideas

intimate wedding reception ideas

Intimate wedding reception ideas – it is about you two, everything else is less important.

Bigger isn’t always better. While many envision weddings to be grand, over-the-top affairs, going with a scaled-down approach offers unique benefits and opportunities. Take advantage of all the perks that go along with a more intimate gathering with a few tips for how to have the wedding of your dreams without a Kardashian-sized guest list.

Consider the advantages

A smaller wedding means less stress on you as the wedding host.  Consider the bride with a large guest list who must spend a big part of her night going from table to table, attempting to make sure every last guest feels welcome and special– and exhausting herself in the process.  A shorter guest list can take this stress off of you, promote a more intimate tone, and grant you the ability to spend quality time with those closest to you. The result is not just less stress, but better memories– for both you and your guests. 

Another factor that will lessen the stress of your big day is that a more intimate wedding reception means a more manageable, flexible budget.  This, in turn, will allow you to infuse your big day with more attention to detail and more customizable experience for you and your guests.  

Are you a fan of surprises?  If you’ve always wanted the dramatic reveal of a surprise wedding, having a limited, more manageable guest list will allow you to pull it off, making your big day feel both romantic and spontaneous.  


The search for the right space

The challenge with finding venues that suit a smaller wedding is making them seem full while hosting a smaller number of guests. You can use creative ideas to expand your space with decor and arrangement. Along with huge spaces, many venues also offer unexpected accommodations that are perfect for more intimate celebrations. Consider areas that are often overlooked, like smaller ballrooms. The Lumber Exchange has an abundance of spaces for all wedding sizes, like Sawyers on 5th, Dylan’s, and the River Room. Utilize design to make a large space feel small by getting creative with seating and table layouts, or adding a lounge area. You can still be extravagant with your space for a small wedding, using spaces like the Fountain Room, a stunning, nine-story atrium filled with natural light and rustic grandeur.

Planning a small intimate wedding

intimate wedding

Hosting a smaller wedding will allow you to skip what isn’t important to you, and opt for activities that everyone will enjoy. You can easily remove some of the additional activities that large weddings include from your budget as you will be spending much more one-on-one time with each guest. This will enable you to splurge on things that might not otherwise be an option, such as a more extravagant dinner option, live music throughout the night, or a pristine photographer. With a smaller group, you can truly personalize every aspect of your wedding day. 

Tips for creating your ideal intimate wedding reception

  • Keep your guest list short. Invite your closest friends and family by thinking about your closest relationships and those people who you talk to regularly. Make sure you are comfortable around everyone that attends. 
  • Pay attention to details. With a smaller party, details are much more obvious and noticed by guests. Pay careful attention when planning to make sure everything looks just the way you want it.
  • Skip what isn’t important and splurge on what is. While this may be a no brainer, don’t let wedding planning cloud your judgment and stay true to your style and interests.

small wedding

Small unique wedding ideas

Small and more casual weddings do not necessarily mean simple; there are so many ways to craft a bite-sized event that’s packed with custom-curated details! 

  • Surround yourself with love by giving everyone the best seat in the house, whether it be one large table for dinner or a more close-knit ceremony.
  • Take a group photo by squeezing your loved ones in one large picture that is uniquely frame-worthy.
  • Open up the mic to everyone instead of limiting speeches to the just best man and maid-of-honor.
  • Opt for more interactive activities that will allow all guests to feel involved.


Celebrate at the Lumber Exchange


At the Lumber Exchange, we will ensure that your small and intimate wedding will be the big day you deserve. Our staff will work with you to make sure each detail is exactly how you want it to be, from the food to the decor. We will create a space that fulfills your dream wedding, no matter the size. 


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