No matter whether you want a larger wedding or a smaller one, you can make it feel as intimate as you really want. The key is to take steps before, during, and after the big day to create that atmosphere in different ways. Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your own wedding.
Reorganize Chairs. Standard wedding ceremony seating is in straight rows with the couple in front. Break up this tradition to make your wedding feel softer and closer. Instead, try placing chairs in a semi-circle around the couple and officiant. Or why not use a spiral shape, perhaps even with the couple in the center of the spiral? Either configuration will boost the unique and romantic feel of any wedding venue.
Include Others. During your ceremony, make a point to include a variety of family and friends in different ways. Have someone read a poem, sing as the bridal party comes down the aisle, or light a candle. In a smaller wedding, pass a special memento around the guests for them to offer their best wishes or a prayer to the new couple. Ask your grandparents to hold the rings. Have all the bride's friends stand up and answer the question of who gives away the bride. There are many ways to include others so everyone is part of the festivities.
Use Cozy Groupings. Intimate seating arrangements extend to the reception venue. Limit table size to 6 or 8 people so that people can actually chat and get caught up with each other. And keep any centerpieces small enough that they won't interfere with conversations. Include lounge furniture — such as love seats, stuffed armchairs, and coffee tables — to encourage guests to sit down together and relax.
Add Other Events. Are you having a large wedding and know you won't be able to chat with everyone attending? Then plan an event or two at other times where you can spend a few moments with them. Invite out-of-town guests and family members to the rehearsal dinner. Organize a lunch one or two days before the wedding for a certain circle of friends. Have friends and family over to open gifts the day after the wedding. Or include a VIP or two to help you do wedding preparation (like a fitting or nail appointment). They'll feel special, and you get to spend time with loved ones.
By including guests and family in your day and making things feel cozier throughout, the event will feel intimate no matter whether you're inviting 30 or 300 guests to a venue like Rainbow Gardens.