How to Craft an Intimate Wedding Even With a Large Guest List

August 31, 2021 | Junebug Weddings

Image by Nicola Tonolini. See more of this real wedding here.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! If you’re here, you likely have a lot of family and friends that you want to attend your wedding—which is amazing. It can be incredibly difficult to plan a wedding with a large guest list and still make the day feel intimate. Let us be the first to reassure you that you can create an intimate large wedding, even if your guest list is long. We promise.

From reception decor to the ceremony, we’ve compiled a list of seven ways to craft an intimate wedding with a large guest list. Scroll down and find the ones that best suit you, your partner, and your wedding style.

image by A’Daw Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Add Romantic Lighting

Depending on your venue, adding romantic lights can make your wedding feel more intimate. From string lights to candles, these dimmer light options can make even the largest venue feel cozy. Whether you make a wall of string lights or add fairy lights to the reception table, these cute options are sure to make your reception feel more intimate. 

Shop romantic lighting: Flameless Candle with Embedded String Lights ($26.99); Flameless Flickering Battery Operated Candles ($27.99); 24 Packs Fairy String Lights ($24.99)

image by Arina B Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Mix Up The Tables and Seating Arrangements 

If you’re worried about your guests sparking up conversations, try changing up your seating arrangement. Instead of having a few large family-style tables, try mixing in a few smaller circular or square tables throughout your reception space. This will make space for guests to be able to converse easily with each other and makes the entire space feel more inviting. It’ll also make it easier for you to talk to your guests and have enough space for a hug or two. 

Junebug Tip: 

Seat your guests with people they may not have met. How they know you and your partner is a great conversation starter and a great way for your guests to make new connections.

Make Your Intimate Large Wedding A Multi-Day Event

If it’s within your wedding budget, make your wedding a multi-day celebration. This allows you and your partner to give extra time to your guests so everyone feels like they got to spend time with you on your big day. You can have one day for the ceremony and another day for group activities.

wedding in a round seating arrangement

image by Autumn Nicole Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Involve Guests in Your Intimate Large Wedding

There are so many unity ceremonies that can allow your guests to feel more involved in you and your partners’ marriage vows. One great way to get your guests involved is a ring warming ceremony—both rings are passed around and everyone warms the rings with good wishes. If that doesn’t sound like your vibe, there are many other ways to involve your loved ones, like guest speeches or candle lighting. 

Add Personalized Notes On Escort Cards

There’s something so special about receiving a handwritten note from someone you care for. A personalized note on their escort card is a unique detail that will make your guests feel more included in your intimate large wedding. Even if you already planned to send your guests a thank you note for wedding gifts, use this opportunity to thank them for being there to celebrate your love. 

Shop blank escort cards: 50 Printed Foil Place Card ($103); Printed Place Card ($0.79+); Tented Green Leaf Escort Cards ($8.50+)

photo op or photo booth with a wedding book

image by Teri B Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Make Photo Booth or Photo Op Area

Speaking of photo opportunities, what is a wedding without good photo backdrops or a photo booth? Guests will love being able to take cute pictures with each other at the booth, or at your photo opp spot to share how they are celebrating your love. Plus, it will give you and your partner an excuse to take funny pictures with your guests and with each other. 

Junebug Tip: 

Get a couple of instant print cameras, like a Polaroid, and have guests add to a physical photo book during the reception. It’s a great way for you and your partner to relive the night through your guests’ eyes. Plus, they can take some photos home as a memento.

Shop wedding guest books: Wedding Guest Book Gold Foil ($48); Custom Wood Wedding Guestbook ($45); Velvet Wedding Instax Guest Book ($107)

lounge area for an intimate large wedding

image by Erika Diaz Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Create A Lounge Space

It’s no secret that comfy couches and lounge chairs are a hit at weddings—they’re cute and cozy. Creating a lounge space for your guests encourages mingling, conversations, and the occasional break from the dance floor. Plus, a cozy lounge space can double as a cute photo opp. 

We want to send one more congratulations to you on your upcoming wedding. Large weddings can be so much fun and we hope these ideas will help create that cozy wedding you want. If the idea of having too many guests is starting to stress you out, you can always opt for a micro wedding ceremony and then host a large reception later. It’s your day. There are no rules so you might as well make it your own!

craft an intimate large wedding

image by Arina B Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

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  1. These are indeed some on point tips. Definitely gonna use them at my own wedding (hopefully it’s gonna be soon enough though)

  2. These are some excellent suggestions. I can’t wait to employ them in my own wedding in the near future. I also suggest that anyone planning a wedding who stumbles over this blog gets help from it!

  3. thanks for your all tips
    they are so helpful

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