How to make a big deal out of a small wedding

For many couples, planning a wedding can be a stressful time. From menus to photographers to cars, wedding planning is a job in itself. Opting for a simpler wedding with fewer guests can help alleviate the stress and allows couples to have more time for one another in the lead up to the big celebration.

A more selective guest list does not mean less fun will be had. Fewer people can mean a more personal celebration. The intimate wedding can also come across as much more romantic and spontaneous! Here are a few ideas on how to make a big deal out of a small wedding...

Decide on décor

When choosing to book a hotel or large venue, there is often a limit to how much you can personalise the space provided. Besides table settings and chair covers, couples sometimes aren’t given much freedom for styling the room the way they envisioned. With a more intimate venue like Dufferin Hall, the décor is left entirely up to the couple, but we can still provide the basics to help cut costs, like tables, chairs, crockery and flatware. Pinterest, Instagram and wedding magazines offer so many stunning suggestions and ideas for décor, however there is no greater style than your own.

A smaller wedding allows the couple more time and freedom to customize the venue to their own tastes. There is a real opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and transform the venue into a reflection of the two of you. We offer the bridal party access to the venue for the week before the wedding, helping the happy couple avoid a stressful all-nighter decorating before the big day.

Be our guest

Having a smaller guest list gives the couple the chance to make each person feel special and more involved with your special day. For a special touch, you could write a personalised handwritten note to each guest to place at their seat. If writing notes for each guest still seems like a daunting task you could buy each attendee a small gift for the table. Anything from candy canes to candles, the mixture of gifts will ignite conversation as guests compare their respective party favours. This special touch can make a lasting impression.

Time is of the essence

‘It will all be over in a flash’ is what we often hear from many couples following their big day. At large weddings, brides and groom spend so much time exchanging pleasantries with each guest, they often forget to make time for one another. Fewer guests means fewer handshakes and smiles with those distant cousins you haven’t seen in over a decade and more time for each other and making memories on your big day.

Smaller venues and guest lists allow couples to be truly in the moment together and share the magical experience. You’ll be able to spend more time with your guests without separating from one another, helping everyone feel more at ease at the wedding. For added inclusivity, try connecting your dining tables into one big table, gives the guests a better opportunity to mingle with one another and building a sense of community.

A wedding for a week

Worried about the post wedding blues? Feel like 24 hours is not long enough to truly celebrate with your loved ones?  More and more couples are hosting events or doing group activities to help keep the celebration going! With a smaller wedding, couples may have more budget to explore the possibility of stretching the fun to last more than a single day. Guests could be treated to a farewell brunch or dinner the next day – a perfect opportunity to discuss the happenings of the day before. You could hire quirky entertainment for the next day, or plan an activity which you and your other half enjoy to share with loved ones.  Those staying at Dufferin could avail of the nearby ClearSky Adventure centre. Imagine the silliness and laughter as you and your guests try your hand at anything from archery to canoeing!

Picture perfect

Smaller weddings mean less pressure on timings so you can take a few extra moments capturing those memories with your photographer,  and even escape to some quirky backdrops you may not have been able to co-ordinate with a larger wedding party.

For more traditional larger weddings, the photography tends to focus mainly on the bride and groom and immediate wedding party. By keeping your numbers small, this creates an exciting opportunity to get all your guests involved in the photos and videos from the day. With drone technology getting more and more advanced, why not get a unique photo from the sky?  You could also create a unique geo-filter for the wedding on SnapChat and encourage your guests to take their best selfies and group photos with the filter. Instagram videos are also an increasingly popular option offered by videographers. These 60 to 90 second films have an intimate look and feel and are wonderful representations of the day. You can even ask your guests to use a specific hashtag with any videos and pictures they upload and you could compile these into a cute collage.

For more wedding planning tips or to book a tour of Dufferin Hall, be sure to look out for Leontine and the Dufferin team at the Curious Wedding Fair on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April at Eikon Exhibition Centre, Lisburn!