Micro guest lists might be all the rage, but in between extended family, friends, colleagues, their partners and children, you might find that filling a ballroom with 300+ people isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Big weddings can be a lot of fun and are a wonderful opportunity to gather everyone you love in one place. Unfortunately, they can suffer from a lack of intimacy. The good news is that with a bit of thought and effort you can still make your big wedding feel warm and personal. Here’s how!
Choose a cozy venue. Just because it’s a big wedding doesn’t mean it has to take place in a giant, sterile space. One trick is to look for a venue that has multiple, smaller rooms. This way, you can host the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and dance party in different areas. Or, if you’re set on a venue with one huge room, get creative about ways to make it feel more intimate. For example, create smaller lounge areas where people can sit and chat, that break up the space a little.
Use soft lighting to set the mood. Lighting is another smart way to make a giant space feel more inviting. Create a romantic glow with candles and use warm uplighting. You’ll want to avoid harsh or fluorescent lighting as well as mirrors, which make a room feel bigger.
Encourage your guests to interact. One of the best ways to make a big wedding feel intimate is to encourage guests to mingle and get to know one another. Offer interactive activities or food stations at cocktail hour to get things started. Or at dinner, how about table icebreakers like trivia that encourage conversation? Be sure to keep centerpieces low enough for guests to talk to one another too!
Make guests feel welcome. There’s nothing worse than feeling like just another face in the crowd at a big wedding, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make them feel welcome from minute one with a welcome drink and follow it up by greeting all your guests personally through the evening. Then be sure to have enough staff on hand so that guests are well attended to. You could even make the effort to write each of them an individual note in their welcome bag – people really appreciate this kind of personal touch.
Add personal touches. There are many ways to customize your décor so it feels authentically you. Adopt a theme, color or style that reflects what you genuinely love. Include photographs and even small items from home in your décor. Serve food that tells a story about your families’ history or your relationship. And don’t forget the music! Beyond the first dance, there are many other musical opportunities in a wedding day. From walking down the aisle to the couple’s entrance at the reception – this is an easy way to make it your own.
Make a weekend of it. Another good way to make sure your guests feel like they’ve had one-on-one time with you is to make your wedding a multi-day event. This gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your guests both before and after the big day (like at a destination wedding).
Are you dreaming of a big wedding or a smaller affair?