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  • Jesse Ayers

How to Make a Large Wedding Seem Intimate

As I'm typing this blog post out, reiterating what I've read off The Knot, I'm remembering the weddings I've filmed and photographed where I've seen an incredible amount of guests and throughout the evening, the newlyweds either didn't or couldn't spend much time with everyone merely for the fact of the size of the guest list.


Some studies have shown the average number of guests nowadays are averaging over 200. Logically speaking with that many guests, a couple won't be able to make the time to spend those precious moments with the guests on their big day, WHILE enjoying the day themselves. You could just IMAGINE moments after the ceremony, being rushed to take bridal photos, then an hour or 2 later make the grand entrance. First dances, cake cutting, toasts, dinner, garter toss, etc. The only time to actually mingle could be during the open dancing part of the reception!


So here is a short list of ways to make a large wedding seem a bit more intimate for everyone.


1. Pre Parties- To ensure you and your spouse can balance between having fun AND visiting with guests, perhaps spreading out smaller get togethers would be beneficial. Bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.


2. Welcome Welcome!!!!- nothing makes guests feel more welcome at a wedding like having drinks and finger foods waiting for them as they wait your arrival during cocktail hour.


3. Intimate Areas- Merely arranging the ceremony chairs and the location of the "altar" (in the middle of the room as opposed to the front of the room) can make the largest of rooms seem smaller and inviting.


4. Lighting- Even in Hollywood movies. the use of perfect lighting can make or break an important scene. Why not during a ceremony, or reception? Candles, lanterns, string lights are a good start.


5. Change up dinner- Get rid of the round tables and bring out the long rectangular ones. Guests will then be reminding of that "family feel".


6. Centerpieces- ditch the large centerpieces, rather keep the short and low. Let your guests be able to see each other.


7. The Food- Rather than traditionally having people sit at the table for an entire meal, having food stations or buffets spread around will allow and encourage guests to walk around and mingle with each other.


8. Greet Greet!!!- Obviously take the time to greet everyone!


9. Hangout Lounge- Designate an area where people can mingle that is not on the dance floor.


10. Invite Everyone!- I've seen weddings where everyone was encouraged to gather around the bride and groom and witness the first dance that way. To which they were welcomed to dance immediately following.

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