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Today’s planing tips post comes from wedding planners extraordinaire, Valley & Co.  If anyone knows how to throw a fab wedding it is them, so these tips are ones to really take to heart!

While many intimate weddings for our clients are destination weddings, we’re seeing a shift towards under-100 guest local weddings where the focus is on the conversation and true guest experience. There’s something well, so perfectly intimate about intimate weddings for a number of reasons. When couples come to us dreaming up a celebration with 50 or less guests we are giddy with the excitement of maximizing the impact of the ambiance and entertainment, the thoughtful details and delicious food to truly appease the senses of their guests. Whatever the reason for the lure of an utterly intimate wedding, they can be a wonderful way for a couple to enjoy close family and friends in a more relaxed setting. Often times our biggest concern from our clients when plotting the framework of their intimate bash is ensuring that their wedding truly feels like a wedding. You know – dancing into the wee hours, hamming it up for photos, toasting and all of the trimmings that may come along with a larger bash. Rest assured, if you’r envisioning an intimate wedding needn’t get caught up on guests leaving early or a space feeling too large. With a few notes to remember you can plan an intimate wedding with total panache.

Find the one. First and foremost, the venue is key to ensure you keep your guests list capped but, most importantly, find the perfect venue that won’t swallow up your guests. There’s nothing worse than renting out a huge space that fills with crickets and echos. Smaller dining rooms at amazing restaurants, boat houses, lofts and winery cellars can be the perfect fits.
Let them eat cake {and more}! Don’t think you need to forgo traditions given a smaller guest roster. Instead, have a baker create an amazing smaller two- or three-tiered cake that won’t be too much. Then offer up petite desserts for late-night snacking. While we all love cupcakes, think a scoch more creatively here. Decadent sea salted truffles, locally made caramels and fruits or cheeses should do the trick. Pair with a stellar European-style coffee cart and your guests will eat up the experience.
Get creative and map out activities that you may not have offered for a larger number of guests. There are so many fun and memorable possibilities: think about creating wine flights during cocktail hour, a rum or whiskey tasting {with all of the accoutrements, of course}, have a sommelier come out during dinner and chat with each table about the wine selection, or wheel a French pastry cart out for dessert and let guests pick and choose!
Create an experience with a different type of wedding dining experience. We love unusual configurations of tables that have a French bistro-style feeling by mixing and matching a 4-top with a table of 10 or one long family-style table. Especially for an intimate wedding, a funky layout will do the trick of allowing for conversation. Think about providing a tasting-style menu where guests get to nosh on a few smaller portions of entrees on one plate {it’s one of our favorite ways to dine!}. Yum!
Provide fun! Mapping out a few activities for guests that aren’t mandatory over the weekend will be welcomed. Consider a fun trip to the beach, an optional hike or a visit to your favorite market. Whether your guests are local or not, giving more opportunities to visit and enjoy the celebrations can be so special.

Naturally, you can apply these tips and tricks to an over-50 soiree, too! Are you envisioning a more intimate wedding? Do share!
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