Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Surprising Benefits of Small and Intimate Weddings

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Are you dreaming of a small and intimate wedding? Dream no more! Small weddings can be beautiful, intimate and oh-so-cozy.

Having fewer people invited to your wedding can not only save you on cost, but also help you make for a more exclusive, personal celebration. No need to remember your dad's cousin's stepson's girlfriend's name.

As the bride and groom, you will have the opportunity to spend more quality time with your guests and increase the likelihood that your friends and family will get to know each other better and enjoy unforgettable experiences.

Event planner and CEO of The EnVISION Firm, Raven White, offered us some of her tips on how to really take advantage of a small and intimate wedding celebration. I interviewed her to learn about designing exceptional intimate wedding ceremonies.

Raven fell in love with creating exclusive events when she had to plan her own wedding. She knows about planning real weddings from both a professional and personal standpoint. She enjoys putting together every detail, like unique decor designs, delicious menus, and making each guest feel like they are part of a very special day.

Having been a bride, Raven understands how overwhelming selecting the perfect vendor and coordinating each detail can be, and she knows that having a certified specialist is invaluable.

For example, I ddidn'tquite understand the difference between a small wedding vs. intimate wedding. There is a difference and Raven summed it up for me perfectly:
"I think you can delineate between the words small and intimate. When I say someone is having a small wedding, I'm often referring to the size of the guest count or budget. However, when I mention the intimacy of a wedding, I'm thinking in terms of ambiance, style, and feeling of the wedding or reception.”

Choosing between a "small" or an "intimate" wedding really comes down to your preference.

Raven gave us her top five tips for planning your small or intimate wedding:
  1. No matter how small or intimate you want your wedding to be, there are always multiple components involved to create a well-organized event. Raven suggests getting a wedding planning workbook or creating a spreadsheet that lists all the details of your wedding. Include things like flowers, caterers, lighting, and invitations. Having a detailed list will help limit stress and keep you organized throughout the planning process. If your goal is to keep costs down, listing everything out in the beginning will allow you to focus on your priorities and not overspend.
  2. Try to limit your guest list to fewer than 50 guests. Consider only inviting immediate family members and close friends, or only having 1-2 bridesmaids and/or groomsmen. When you keep your guest list low, it helps to create an intimate, exclusive feel to your wedding.
  3. For decor, try floating candles. Raven absolutely loves using floating candles throughout the ceremony and reception for evening affairs. She told me floating candles can be put in different sized cylinder vases with submerged dendrobium orchids or colored stones to get different effects. Lighting is one of the best ways to create the right mood for your wedding. In addition to creating an intimate feel, it’s a cost effective centerpiece. Who doesn’t love a little romantic candlelight?
  4. Pay attention to details! When you have a small wedding, every detail can be seen by guests. If you have a guest count of 200 people, it’s easy to have guests miss errors during the event. However, smaller numbers mean fewer people mingling around, making it easier for them to notice glitches.
  5. Make your guests feel exclusive. With a smaller guest count, you may be able to splurge more on the wedding. Try sending them a customized invitation such as a silk invitation box or having a fantastic 5-course meal. For favors, instead of providing one piece of chocolate per guests, why not send them home with individual chocolate sets from Godiva? These are great ways to let your guests know you appreciate them.

I have learned from Raven that you must always look at the big picture by blending floral design, lighting, delectable cuisine, perfectly timed music. By stimulating all of the five senses, you can transport your guests to another world the moment they enter your venue.

Small weddings have a stigma for not being the norm. However, when planned well and executed properly, a small wedding can, in fact, be even more amazing than a 400-person extravaganza. It's all about planning your dream -- whatever that may be!

Thank you so much to Raven White for offering us her tips for planning the perfect small or intimate wedding. Find out more about The EnVISION Firm and her wedding planning packages at You can also connect with Raven on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Guess what readers, Raven is hosting a Google On Air Hangout January 17th Saturday . 1pm- 2pm EST called, “ Omg! I’m getting engaged. Now what?" 

Click here to view the Hangout:

Photos courtesy of Raven White

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