2021 Small & Intimate Wedding Guide for Couples

tips & advice

January 2021

Kaitlyn Neeley

bride and groom posing in front of golden wheat field in Omaha Nebraska bridal session

With everything going on in the world with global pandemics, and endless fighting, more and more couples are turning to intimate weddings. This intimate wedding guide is going to go through how to plan and why you should plan a smaller scale wedding. Rather than a 300+ people wedding, intimate weddings are so popular, and I am loving it. There are so many benefits to having a small wedding so here are some of my favorite wedding ideas and planning tips to help you get started!

Intimate Wedding Guide

Guest List

First up, the guest list. Small weddings are so wonderful because you can have a more personalized experience with your closest friends and family there celebrating. Bigger isn’t always better! A small guest list is a great way to minimize your budget, but also create a more intimate atmosphere with the focus more on you and your lover rather than a big party celebration.

bride and groom standing on a rug in omaha field during bridals session after using the intimate wedding guide to plan their big day

Venue Options

Next up in the intimate wedding guide, venues. When planning a small wedding you have more venue options! You might have a beautiful backyard and want to have your ceremony there. Or maybe there are amazing botanical gardens nearby. Maybe there is a gorgeous airbnb in the area that you rent out for the day.

One of my couples last year rented a beautiful mid century modern/spanish looking airbnb in the area and it made for a perfect venue. The backyard had a wooden arbor with vines along it. With a stunning forest in the background and a little pond and bridge it was something out of a story book. So beautiful.It couldn’t have been a better place and it was just as gorgeous as the grand venues in the area!

Or maybe since you are saving money in areas that you would have spent on a bigger wedding, you want to make it a destination wedding. Find the most perfect beach in Florida, or somewhere warm and sunny you both love. Getting married on the beach at the resort there, or even just a sunset intimate elopement with close family friends. It’s also a bonus because you can stay there and honeymoon afterwards or plan an entire wedding weekend for your guests! Small weddings open up so many options for you and the possibilities are endless.

bride and groom sitting at sweetheart table celebrating recent marriage

Skip the Wedding Party

Even though having a wedding party is a tradition, you don’t have to have one. Especially with smaller weddings, it’s not totally necessary. Bring your tight group of besties and only your closest family to celebrate with you. If you still want a maid of honor and best man then definitely do that, but skipping the wedding party helps to keep the guest list small.

Skipping the wedding party can also eliminate any hurt feelings, and stress with finding outfits as well. Putting the focus back on your big day with your lover and enjoying the time with family and friends.


Decorating a venue with a 200+ capacity is way more expensive than it is for 20. Now that you have a smaller space, you can be mindful with your decor and splurge on high quality items that can be reused after the wedding is over.

I loved choosing the decor for my wedding and imagining some of the things in my own home! Those pieces help me reminisce. Table pieces, flowers, and lighting are the main things you can focus on. Everything else can just be extra!

Benefits of Having an Intimate Wedding:

You can have a more intimate and atmosphere with your most loved ones.

bride and groom walking through grove of trees before wedding ceremony in nebraska city

Save tons of money, planning your wedding at a fraction of the price.

You can go all out or keep it casual.

bride and groom kissing during golden hour bridals session in Louisville

Choice of location opens up so many new doors.

You can splurge on the things that are most important to you like a photographer/videographer, or food and decor.

bride and groom walking out during sparkler exit after wedding ceremony

A small intimate wedding or a big wedding with all the bells and whistles, whatever it may be will be perfect and beautiful, because it’s YOURS. It’s no one else’s, it’s about you and your lover and that’s it. Focus on what’s important and the rest will fall into place. Hopefully this intimate wedding guide helped make your big day planning a little less stressful.

Looking for a photographer for your dream day? I am a wedding photographer from Omaha that would love to capture your precious memories! Let’s chat!

bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their intimate wedding day
bride and groom in grove of sunflowers during Louisville bridals session
bride and groom walking through idaho field during outdoor bridals session

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kaitlyn Neeley Photography

other places