Wedding Planning 101

Tips for Creating a Guest List for Your Intimate Wedding

Intimate weddings have a charm and warmth that larger affairs often can’t replicate. Defined by their smaller guest lists and cozy settings, intimate weddings offer couples the opportunity to focus on what truly matters: their closest relationships and the love they share. Crafting the perfect guest list for an intimate wedding requires careful consideration and thoughtfulness. Here are some tips to help you create an intimate and meaningful celebration with the people who matter most.

Courtesy of Canmore Helicopter Elopement

What Defines an Intimate Wedding?
An intimate wedding is typically characterized by a small guest list, typically ranging from 20 to 50 guests, although the exact number can vary depending on personal preferences and cultural traditions. These weddings are often held in smaller venues such as private homes, gardens, or intimate event spaces, creating a cozy and personal atmosphere. The focus of an intimate wedding is on creating meaningful connections and sharing special moments with close family and friends.

How to Make Your Guest Lists
When deciding who to invite to your small wedding, it’s essential to prioritize those who hold the closest connections to you. Here are some good rules-of-thumb to follow when choosing who gets an invitation.

Immediate Family: Begin by listing your parents, grandparents, siblings, and children. These are the closest relationships in your life and typically form the core of any intimate celebration.

Extend to Immediate Family Members’ Families: Consider including step-parents, siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, and other close relatives who are an integral part of your family dynamic.

Invite Close Friends: Who are your ride-or-die friends; the ones who have stood by you through thick and thin? These individuals hold a special place in your heart and are essential additions to your intimate gathering. Feel free to extend plus-ones to long-term partners of these close friends, further enriching the celebration.

Extended Family: Who are your closest aunts, uncles, and cousins? Focus on those with whom you share meaningful connections with. While it may be tempting to invite distant relatives, prioritize those who play significant roles in your life.

Close Friends from Different Circles: This is the perfect opportunity to invite old school friends with whom you share deep bonds or recent friends who have become an important part of your life. While you may not talk as often, these friendships hold sentimental value and deserve a place at your wedding.

Work Relationships: While it’s natural to feel obliged to invite colleagues, remember that your wedding is a personal celebration. Reserve invitations for those with whom you share genuine friendships outside of the workplace. Keep in mind that work acquaintances, even if friendly, may not necessarily warrant an invitation.

Small Wedding Guest List Sizes:
When it comes to small weddings, there are various tiers, each with its own unique guest list considerations.

Courtesy of Intimate Backyard Elopement

Elopements: 2-15 guests. Elopements have evolved beyond the traditional “just the two of us” affair. Many couples now opt for intimate elopements where they invite only their parents or immediate families. Typically, elopements involve no more than 15 guests, creating an intimate and personal atmosphere.

Micro-Weddings: Up to 30 guests. Micro-weddings offer a slightly larger guest list, accommodating close friends and perhaps a few extended relatives. Depending on your family size, you may find that your siblings and their families fill up a significant portion of your guest count. With up to 30 guests, micro-weddings strike a balance between intimacy and inclusivity.

Small Weddings: Up to 50 guests. Small weddings encompass a broader range of guests, from immediate family members to close friends and even friendly acquaintances. Despite their classification as “small,” weddings with up to 50 guests still offer a considerable gathering. It’s not uncommon for small weddings to include a wedding party, distinguishing them from elopements and micro-weddings.