May 7, 2020

How to Create an Intimate Atmosphere for Large Weddings

Some couples desire a large guest list for their weddings but worry that it won’t feel intimate. I’d consider anything over 150/175 guests to be a large wedding in America, and especially so for 200+. It can be hard to make your big wedding feel small, but if you’re looking to achieve that, here’s how to create an intimate atmosphere for large weddings.

How to Create an Intimate Atmosphere for Large Weddings. Make your big/large wedding feel small. 

1. Make Your Venue Feel Cozy

In large venues, sometimes guests can feel neglected or the space can feel empty and sparse.

  • To combat this, first create a warm, soft lighted ambiance. Plan for a cohesive color palette and linens, along with countless candles. By eliminating bright lights, stark colors, and mirrors, the room will feel smaller and create a cozier setting.
  • Intentionally incorporate smaller seating areas or lounge atmospheres. Guests will be able to relax in a more placid environment and feel more comfortable socializing by sharing conversion or drinks; it also allows guest to explore the venue.

Wedding lounge with blush sofa and mauve, ivory, and emerald green pillows. Grey side chairs and a large rug with gold and glass table. Full Belly Farm reception by film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

2. Personalize the Experience and Decor

Guests feel more connected when they not only are able to witness your celebration, but also when they are surrounded by personalized touches.

  • Sharing your personal brand and wedding story brings guests closer to you and your love. By creating and highlighting you and your fiancé’s personal style, guests will feel comfortable in an atmosphere reminding them of you.  
  • Guests love to hear about relationship milestones and stories of how you both met (maybe from both perspectives)! You can add this to programs, on tables, signs, as hashtags, or into a signature cocktail.
  • Honor your loved ones by displaying sentimental heirlooms or playing your parents first dance song, as well as any decor that speaks to your hobbies, interests, and personality as a couple.

Teal green velvet cocktail table linen with signature cocktails and watercolor sign. Punny drink names. Full Belly Farm reception by film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

3. Make Your Wedding Guest-Centric

With a larger guest list, create a guest centered environment. By increasing guest interaction between other guests and with you and your fiancé, guests will feel included and valued.

  • You could include a handwritten, personalized letter for each guest, greet each guest, or plan games to connect your friends and family to yourself and new spouse.
  • To allow guests to socializer easier with each other, limit table sizes allowing for only 8-10 guests per table; by using only smaller tables or lines of long tables it creates a more casual environment. You’ll want guests to feel like they are at a dinner party rather than a big banquet hall.
  • Rather than placing dramatic, tall centerpieces on each table, aim for all or a mix of low and lush centerpieces to allow guests to see one another and maintain conversation.

Long table with wooden and black dinnerware, orange napkin, soap favor with greenery sprig, black and gold flatware, and a runner of pumpkins and organic flower arrangements. Fall themed holiday dinner party, Rancho Valencia Sunrise Patio Reception by Cavin Elizabeth