Making the Most of an Intimate Wedding

Making the decision to postpone a Wedding in light of the current pandemic is testing, but will become that bit more difficult when we reach a stage where weddings are allowed again, but with limited numbers. However limited numbers doesn’t mean you cant have a dream wedding. Understandably it means there may be less of your family & friends there than you would like, but here are a few tips to help you find the positive side to your more intimate wedding.

The Ceremony

Just because you may have less guests than originally planned, don’t compromise on the dream location. Whether in a church or a venue, or outdoors, your ceremony is one of the most special moments of your day. You can adjust your styling, flowers or decor to suit a smaller ceremony. You will still walk up the aisle so don’t lose the magic here, but if in a bigger church, create more focus at the front of the aisle where all your guests sit, rather than the end as you wont have guests sitting for over an hour looking at the pew ends at the back. Marie & Darren had an intimate ceremony with just twenty or so of their closest family, so we kept fresh flowers towards the front of the church only.

I love the feeling of anticipation in this photo by Angela Farragher photography. St Muredachs Cathedral, Ballina, Mayo

Any of our venue ceremony couples will have heard me talk about creating an aisle (which already exists in a church) and a focal point where the ceremony is. If having a smaller wedding, I recommend not to compromise on this area. While you may have a smaller number of people in the room with you on the day, there are a lot of people who will want to see your photos / video afterwards. Make it magical. Photo: Fokiss photography

Choosing a Venue

Smaller, more intimate Weddings allows for more choice of venues as there is a range of venues that can cater for smaller numbers that you may not have considered before, including restaurants, independent halls, marquees etc.

If you have already chosen your venue for a bigger guest list, there are still lots of ways to adapt to a smaller wedding reception. Many hotels have a smaller more intimate room or separate restaurant which they can use, which can be easily styled to create a magical wedding atmosphere. For bigger rooms, we can divide it or section it using our blackout draping to close in spaces.

Create amazing detail

Having fewer guests presents lots of opportunities to create amazing styling details, that you otherwise may not be able to do for larger numbers. Fewer tables, or one large table can allow for much more lavish and detailed table styling.

Intimate Wedding Table Setting at Belleek Castle, Ballina-Picture: Fokiss Photography

Smaller guest numbers also allows for more creative and unusual seating plan options which are logistically more difficult for bigger weddings. They also allow for the use of an Escort Seating Plans where each guest has an individual name card or tagged object with their table number inside/on the back, as opposed to the usual table listing style.

Make a weekend of it

One of the most difficult aspects of choosing a wedding venue is being considerate of guests that will be travelling from all different directions. With smaller numbers having to travel, it can be a perfect opportunity to have a destination wedding in Ireland. I see more and more couples coming not only from abroad, but from larger Irish cities, to the North-West for destination wedding weekends.

Not only is there a range of venues from authentic Castles such as Belleek, country houses such as Mount Falcon Estate and small to large hotel venues, there is so much to see and do. One of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches in Enniscrone, Co Sligo, is home to two fabulous hotels, The Diamond Coast and The Ocean Sands, and there is a long list of heritage sites, scenic drives and lakes, and cultural hot-spots such as museums along the Wild Atlantic way. I can only speak for this area as this is where we are based and see the beauty every day.

Making a weekend or a mini-break of your wedding allows close friends and family to really relax and enjoy each others company (No need for the typically Irish House-revamp before the wedding), and lets face it, we could all do with plenty of that family quality time after this spring.

All styling work pictured is created by VIP Weddings. If you are interested in VIP Weddings helping you to design your Dream Wedding contact us on or fill the enquiry form . Feel free to contact us also if we can be of any help in helping you to organise you North-West destination wedding

Enniscrone Beach, Co Sligo – photo from The Diamond Coast website

Mentioned Venues:

Diamond Coast

Belleek Castle

Mount Falcon Estate

Ocean Sands

Crockets on the Quay –

Jackie Clarke Gardens –

Kennedy Glasgow House – contact


Fokiss Photography –

Angela Farragher –

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