SMALL WEDDING, BIG TOUCHES: 11 WAYS TO GO ALL OUT
As more and more couples embrace intimate ceremonies and satellite events, it seems the micro-wedding is well and truly here to stay (and it’s not because covid is leaving us with no other option). It turns out this non-traditional format is actually pretty great.
Many brides we’ve spoken to have told us that a smaller guest list means they can go all out, be more creative, and make their budget travel much further. So while lots of couples are understandably waiting for big weddings to be back on the agenda, some are actively choosing to go micro. We love this idea of a small wedding with big touches, so here’s 11 ways to go big (while staying small)…
Start by treating yourself (of course). Whether it’s the clothes, shoes or accessories (or all three) - go all out. We love these 3 micro wedding outfits which can be reworn long after the wedding.
LOOK ONE - THE SUIT
STYLE 004 & 005 Tux Jacket and Trousers, The OWN Studio; Crystal Hair Slides, Lelet NY; Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum, BYREDO; Gold PVD Grip Watch, Gucci; Suede Sandals, Prada
LOOK TWO - THE SATIN HALTER
STYLE 017 Satin Halter, The OWN Studio; Gold Plated Bracelet, Laura Lombardi; Suede Sandals, Jimmy Choo; Faux Black Clutch, Bottega Veneta; Oli Hoops, Daphine
LOOK THREE - THE SILK WRAP DRESS
STYLE 021 Silk Wrap Dress, The OWN Studio; Body Illuminator; Kevyn Aucoin; Crystal Embellished Satin Mules, Manolo Blahnik; Christie Hoops, Daphine; Posh Lipstick, Victoria Beckham
2. THE NIGHT BEFORE
Clockwise from top: Espa at The Corinthia, Soho House Dean Street, The Mayfair Suite at Claridges
Indulge in an overnight stay and spa visit at a top hotel the night before the wedding. If your wedding is in London try Claridges or The Corinthia for old-school luxury or Soho House for a more contemporary vibe. Treat yourself to one of our oversized monogrammed luxury shirts for your ‘getting ready’ outfit the next morning.
3. KEEP IT PERSONAL
We love this idea seen at a wedding a few years ago - ask an illustrator to sketch their impression of your 15 nearest and dearest and use them as place settings at the wedding breakfast. These beautiful illustrations were created by Clym Draws; we also love Chiara Perano and Romeo and Jules Studio.
(L-R) Benjamin Wheeler, Joanna Brown, Lucy Birkhead
While booking a photographer is a no-brainer, (we love Benjamin Wheeler, Joanna Brown, Emilie White and Lucy Birkhead for their fashion forward approach to photography), why not also invest in an amazing film camera, asking one of your guests to take pictures throughout the day? Best of all you’ll have an incredible camera to keep. Try a Polaroid SX or a Pentax film camera if you’re really looking to splurge.
5. AN EXTRAVAGANT MENU
(images via Pinterest and Laila Gohar @lailacooks)
Food at a normal size wedding (100+ people) is an expensive outlay, so the menu can often be more simple than you might otherwise have liked. However the possibilities are endless when it comes to lunch or dinner for 15 - create your own bespoke cocktails (could you gift the guests miniature alcohol and mixers and a printed menu to recreate it at home?) or how about treating your guests to a tasting menu across 5 courses? It will 100% be the best food anyone has ever had at a wedding!
6. DETAIL, DETAIL , DETAIL
All stationery by Ruth Kaye Design
Stationery and all things printed have become a real focal point for the tablescape at micro weddings, with a huge rise in an obsessive attention to detail and extensive creativity. We spoke to Sophie Lewis, Creative Director at luxe stationers Ruth Kaye Design who said: “We have found that hosts are determined to ensure that every guest feels warmly welcomed and looked after throughout using personal touches. The guests position on the table and having beautiful items surrounding them is something that involves much discussion at all of our 2020/1 client meetings. Place cards are no longer being printed, always hand written or creatively displayed through gifting. We recently used glass domed Victorian paperweights with the guest name engraved into the base as place settings and also delicately monogrammed napkins with personalised motifs relevant to each guest have been popular.
"Thank you 'cards' have also become elevated beyond all recognition! After a wedding we worked on in August, all guests received a knock on the door from a driver who handed over a linen box filled with a diptyque candle, a bottle of ice cold pink champagne and an envelope with a thank you note and a nights stay at the hotel in the Cotswolds where the wedding took place. I mean, who wouldn’t want to receive that in the post!"
7. FLORAL INSTALLATIONS
(Top L-R) Raf Simons for Dior, Lavender Green Flowers, installation by Alexis Christodoulou Studio.
(Bottom L-R) Simon Lycett, an installation at Jil Sanders Milanese HQ, a floral canopy by Figa and Co
Flowers are an area that you can really go all out. Think beyond the standard table arrangement and bouquet and look to creative installations for the wow factor - we’re talking flower floor runners, ceilings, canopy’s and chandeliers. Florist Rob Van Helden, who created Princess Beatrice’s stunning flowers at her micro wedding last year told us, “The size of the wedding hasn’t put people off expressing their creativity. We’re getting requests for all types of creative installations.” Look to the runway for inspiration and cool references - we're still obsessed with the floral festooned set of Raf Simons' debut at Dior in 2012.
8. LET THEM EAT CAKE
Top: we are obsessed with the stunning cakes created by Jasmine Rea
Bottom: gorgeous vintage inspired creations by the talent that is Lily Vanili
At larger weddings sometimes the cake moment can be a little lost when people are gathering on the dance floor. But at a small intimate gathering, surely a cake cutting moment is the perfect finale to your sit down dinner?
9. A WORLD-CLASS WINE LIST
New York Times
Red or white is usually the choice you get at weddings when it comes to wine, but with a more curated guest list, you can afford to do something a little more impressive. Why not create a wine list of special vintages that have either a date or origin of meaning to you (you could include cocktails here too)? Or pair each course to a different wine?
10. PERSONAL (AND VERY CHIC) PARTY FAVOURS
Cressida Jamieson (L&R) By Eleanora (C)
Smaller events give you time and budget to add personal touches that extend beyond stationery. We love the idea of hand embroidering linen napkins with the name of each guest for them to use and take home as a party favour, you could even include a little motif that reminds you of them. Our go to embroiderers are Cressida Jamieson and By Eleanora.
11. DREAMY TABLESCAPES
La Double J homeware; The Table Edit vintage glassware
If interiors are your thing why not hire in some beautiful dinnerware pieces to create a show-stopping tablescape. Think vintage vases and glassware and beautiful hand-made crockery. Head to La Double J’s instagram and Maison Margaux for maximallist inspiration and The Table Edit to hire unique one-off pieces.
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