Small but Special

Guest blog by Kim at Dreamboats & Carousels

We recently planned and executed an incredible ‘small but special’ styled bridal shoot at the wonderful Thicket Priory Wedding venue in York. With an A-list supplier dream team, this shoot represented just how spectacular a wedding of a smaller guest count can be, without downscaling the beauty or fun of the day.

Here are some of my top 7 tips on harnessing that ‘small but special’ feel, and taking the reduction in numbers as an opportunity to embrace the change and still have the magical day you’ve both always dreamed of:

1. Distribute your budget elsewhere
Perhaps your long guest list before had meant you weren’t able to include an open bar for your guests, or couldn’t have the sparkly diamond-packed wedding bands you’d always wanted?! While the reduction in numbers could be a good opportunity to bank some cash, it also opens up possibilities to be able to get what you wanted originally, or to treat yourself. Upgrade your menu so you wine and dine your guests with true style!

2. Work closely with your wedding venue team
If you’ve booked a grand venue such as Thicket Priory, you may be concerned about the large spaces for a smaller guest count. Quite the opposite; speak to your venue and discuss their recommendations for utilising the spaces in the best way possible to showcase the whole venue for different parts of your day. For this shoot we made use of the gorgeous lower ballroom space for the socially distanced ceremony set up-intimate and full, without feeling too spacious at all.

3. Re-jig your seating plan
-Round tables or multiple long tables may have been your planned dining set up originally, but this U shape dining seating allows for a more intimate feel, while maintaining distance and allowing the guests to interact easier and more freely than before.

4. Go big on the styling
-As a florist I love elaborate floral design and flowers being a key element of any wedding day, but by creating these ceremony pillars bursting with foliage, and adorning the reception space with explosions of greenery and luscious whites, it was a perfect example of showing how you can still make a very WOW floral statement for your intimate wedding day.

5. Keep the cake
-A great idea for friends and family who haven’t been able to attend your wedding, is to maintain your existing cake order and stop off at their houses in the days following the wedding-deliver them a slice of the cake and share that piece from the day. A totally acceptable alternative could be to take it home and freeze it so you can enjoy your cake as newlyweds for the weeks and months to come!

6. Hire a videographer
-This is something I’m a big advocate for regardless of the wedding scenario. It’s a fantastic investment for your wedding and a great way to relive the day following the event. Having some video footage to share post-wedding with friends and family is another great way to keep all of your loved ones involved and experiencing the day if they weren’t able to be there.

7 .Invite the dog-4 paws aren’t included in the head count!
-Thicket Priory is a dog-friendly wedding venue (queue squeals from the animal-lovers like me!) and although your furry friend is your world, perhaps they weren’t going to attend previously due to the venue being too busy, and it being too chaotic to worry about having a pet there too. Little Elsie here shows how comfortable your dog will feel at Thicket, amongst your nearest and dearest-with a small enough crowd to not be too busy or chaotic, but a large enough group to ensure they’ll get lots of fussing and strokes!

And if you haven’t had to already postpone your wedding, cancel and start again, or downsize your existing wedding, but want to get married soon despite the pandemic restrictions, my advice would be to GO FOR IT! We will party together eventually, you can wear your dress again (or hey, buy another even!), and your wedding day will and has always been about your love for each other and spending the rest of your lives with that special person. If you’ve chosen to wait until the dust settles on the current restrictions and obstacles, that’s totally understandable too-each couple will tackle the situation in whatever way is right for them. Just know that with the right suppliers and venue behind you, your day can and will be just as perfect as ever.

Your BIG day may be smaller in guest count, but no smaller in impact, feel, and LOVE.

Kim x
Wedding Planner and Florist behind Dreamboats and Carousels