Intimate Weddings are in for 2024: Venue expert offers tips

welcome to our wedding sign at a small wedding

Micro weddings are on the rise, with a 100% increase in searches for "intimate wedding venues" recorded in the past 12 months alone worldwide. In the UK specifically, searches for "micro wedding venues near me" have risen by 100% in the past two years, and searches for "intimate wedding venues UK" by 50% in the past 12 months.

Forced small gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have clearly rubbed off as scaled-back nuptials have stuck around, offering couples the opportunity to be in the moment, create memories with their closest loved ones, and eliminate the feeling for couples that they may need to gain approval from or impress guests on their big day.

Typically, micro weddings do not exceed 50 guests, meaning that couples share their special day with only those they hold nearest and dearest to them; and according to Ed Maughan, the Managing Director of GroupAccommodation.com, which specialises in group venues across the country, including intimate wedding venues: "Intimate weddings have certainly been gaining the recognition that they deserve in recent years —we've seen a 16% increase in interest for our intimate wedding venues quarter on quarter this year between.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see more intimate wedding venues being booked in 2024 as this trend continues into 2024 and beyond, especially in light of the cost of living crisis."

It's likely that with the rising cost of living more people will be opting for smaller weddings to cut costs associated with their big day, and this may be fueling the increasing popularity of intimate weddings. In light of this, Ed has shared his top tips for your big day, including how you can cut costs whilst still making your day special, alongside a selection of the most intimate wedding venues across the UK for your celebrations.

wedding table at reception laid out with glasses, plates, flowers etc

Opt for 'no corkage' to save money
'No corkage' venues allow you to bring your own drinks without having to pay any additional fees or corkage charges. At more intimate wedding venues, this can be common if they do not hold a license, and, no-corkage weddings are a great way for you to save money at your intimate wedding.
According to Ed, "some venues can charge anywhere between £10 and £20 for corkage per bottle of wine, meaning that if you have a no corkage intimate wedding, you could be saving hundreds or perhaps thousands of pounds!" Not to mention that it's flexible, meaning that you can tailor the drinks that you offer at your wedding to the tastes and preferences of yourself and your guests. Rather than the standard drinks packages that are offered by the majority of wedding venues like beers, wines, and prosecco, why not opt for a cocktail menu or even raise a glass with your favourite whisky - the choice is yours with a no corkage wedding!

Looking to narrow down your guest list?
Try These Tactics One of the most daunting tasks for your big day, especially if you're a socialite or have a big family, may be narrowing down your guest list so that your wedding can be more intimate. It's a balance between not offending anyone you know and ensuring that everyone who you want to witness your big day is invited.
Ed has a few pointers to help make the decision that little bit easier: "One of the quickest ways to slim out that guest list is by limiting plus ones, or not offering them at all. Chances are that if plus ones are offered, your guests are going to make the most of that. So, make it clear that you're looking to keep things more personal, and establish whether cutting plus ones from the agenda will help you obtain that." Ed also shared that you might want to keep your big day to adults-only, as this could also significantly shave your guest list whilst keeping the atmosphere more mature. "And don't forget to keep your final list of guests private. The last thing you want is to share who's going to be invited to your wedding with family and friends and they start questioning your decision - it's your special day after all!"

white ceremony chairs set up on decking outside looking at a ceremony area

A small wedding means you can rebalance your budget
A small guest list means more budget to play with for your big day, and you'll need to know how to rebalance your budget so that you can spend more on what is important to you. "Having some room to play with your wedding 'pot' means you might spend more on personal touches that you'd otherwise have to eliminate from the budget at a larger wedding. Why not choose to send handwritten invitations to your guest, or have bespoke table settings during your reception, to make your intimate day all the more special?" Not to mention that you may want to opt for some pricier services to make the best day of your life even more memorable. For example, you could invest in a very experienced photographer, or on some wedding favours from a local artisan to really add a personal touch.

A small wedding party means more personalisation - try these tips
At the end of the day, your big day is all about you. But, sometimes, having a larger gathering can make you feel like you have to meet everyone's expectations and appease everyone, meaning that you lose sight of what means the most to you. Whereas, with a smaller wedding size, you can keep your attention and budget focused on your and your partner's wants and needs, as well as those of your guests. You might want to choose to include hobbies or activities that you and your guests know are important to you as the bride and groom, for example. Not to mention that you have full control over your wedding day schedule with a more intimate wedding, unlike the structure that is needed at large weddings to keep all guests informed. If you want to get married at sunset, or sunrise, during your intimate wedding, you can do so, with these smaller gatherings being much more relaxed and flexible.

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

Extend the celebrations across a weekend to make more memories
With a small guest list of your closest family and friends, nothing is stopping you from extending the celebrations to longer than just one special day. In fact, why not extend it to a whole weekend? With many intimate wedding venues, you can get married and stay in the property itself making it all the more simple for you to have a mini wedding getaway with your closest loved ones. You can have the traditional ceremony and reception and a post-wedding holiday in one place, where you and your party can keep the celebrations going with group dinners and outings to explore the surrounding areas. This allows you to fully catch up with those you love - something that you're less able to do with a more extensive guest list.

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall
If you envisage getting married in your very own castle, Pentillie Castle in Cornwall is the intimate wedding venue for you. This licensed luxury country estate can host between six and 22 guests overnight, and will easily be able to host your intimate guest list for dining and entertainment. Set within a 1,500-acre estate drenched in Cornwall's rural natural beauty, this is the tranquil setting you need for your big day. At Pentillie, you can choose to tie the knot at the wisteria-clad Pavilion, in the Victorian riverside bathing hut, or the castle's grand interior or gardens. Pentillie stresses that there is no schedule or formula that you need to prescribe yourself for your wedding, allowing you full freedom to make your intimate day your very own. Further details can be found here.

Delnabo, Scottish Highlands Delnabo, Scottish Highlands

Delnabo, Scottish Highlands
This breathtaking 18th-century Highland lodge in Scotland is the ideal venue for those wanting a low-key and subtle celebration. Surrounded by natural beauty, couples that adore the wilderness will be right at home here as the lodge is nestled at the foot of Ailnack Gorge, is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens, and has a picturesque tree-lined approach. Between 14 and 28 guests can sleep overnight at Delnabo, with a 28-person and 30-person dining and venue capacity respectively. If you wish to extend your celebrations to a couple of nights or longer with your intimate guest list, the Cairngorms National Park is on your doorstep. So, you're spoilt for experiences in nature to kick-start the rest of your lives with the ones you love. You can find more here.

Badgers Holt, Dartmoor
Hosting between 9 and 20 guests overnight, Badgers Holt is a beautiful wedding venue with idyllic surroundings in Dartmoor National Park. The Riverside Garden Room is the perfect intimate area to host your ceremony or a boutique marquee can be set up right beside the River Dart for something more connected to nature. The rugged moorland that surrounds the venue offers a peaceful setting for any small wedding, and its natural surroundings make for the perfect photo backdrop. The facilities at Badgers Holt are also great and include the option of a licensed bar as well as a designated bridal suite with a luxury roll-top bath and ample privacy to get ready and relax before the big day. You can find further details here.

Badgers Holt, Dartmeet, Devon Badgers Holt, Dartmeet, Devon

Great Tangley Manor, Surrey Great Tangley Manor, Surrey

Great Tangley Manor, Surrey
For couples who want to feel as though their big day has been a part of history, why not get married at this historic 11th century moated Manor House in the secluded Surrey Hills? Despite its rural setting in magnificent wooded landscapes, it is within easy reach of London. The property can sleep between 5 and 12 individuals for your intimate ceremony, and dine up to 16. You have the opportunity to craft your own unforgettable Civil Ceremony here, with flexible packages also including canapes and a champagne reception, a wedding breakfast in a local fine dining restaurant, and even photographs for under £2000. Everywhere you turn in great Tangley Manor the period features add an air of opulence and historic beauty to your special day, with panelling refuted to have come from the Spanish Armada, an art deco style drawing room, and even a library. So, there's ample space for you and your small guest list to have intimate gatherings. You can find more information here.

The Curve, Lincolnshire
More for the party lovers, The Curve in Lincolnshire can host upwards of 10 guests for your intimate wedding and blends elegance, luxury, and a party atmosphere effortlessly for your special day. The highlight of this venue is undoubtedly its 26ft atrium party area, with a sensational cinema room, games room, sound system, and an LED light scheme spanning the entire property. This means that, no matter whether your ceremony and reception are over, you can extend the celebrations for as long as you want at this party house. Find further details here.

GroupAccommodation.com specialises in large group properties around the world. If you're planning your special day, you can find more information on the company's designated wedding venues page.

The Curve, Lincolnshire The Curve, Lincolnshire

You may also be interested in

Cave Hotel and Golf Resort has been named a winner at the Kent Wedding Awards

Cave Hotel and Golf Resort has been named a winner at the Kent Wedding Awards

Cave Hotel and Golf Resort has been named the Winner of The Kent...

READ ARTICLE

5 ways to make your bridesmaids feel special

5 ways to make your bridesmaids feel special

On average, it costs a bridesmaid around £408 to have the privilege to stand by their dearest...

READ ARTICLE

Blossoming love on a budget - top tips from YouFloria

Blossoming love on a budget - top tips from YouFloria

Wedding albums can be a garden of memories with the enchanting presence of flowers seen in...

READ ARTICLE

A festival proposal

A festival proposal

Kent-based Lou Lou Event Design, has shared her love of Christmas with this festive proposal collaboration. "We love a Christmas...

READ ARTICLE

Lympne Castle Wedding Show

VISIT SITE

Bradbourne House Wedding Show

VISIT SITE

Penshurst Place Wedding Show

VISIT SITE

Proud Fox Ceremonies

VISIT SITE