Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Intimate Weddings: The Advantages of Hosting a Smaller Destination Wedding

As we continue to navigate through this Covid-world, we’re seeing a shift on the wedding scene to intimate weddings. Don’t be sad the gorgeous 200 person bash may not happen, and definitely don’t feel like you’re “settling” for a smaller celebration. Intimate weddings have a huge set of advantages and opportunities to create spectacular memories and in many ways are even better than their larger counterparts.

What Is An Intimate Wedding

Also called “micro wedding,” an intimate wedding is one that has a smaller guest list — usually hovering around 50 people, but can be as a handful of guests or as many as 75. An elopement usually qualifies as the couple themselves or with a small handful of guests (usually 10 people or less), while a larger wedding is usually 75 people or more.  The smaller guest list offers you a variety of huge advantages to create a gorgeous, memorable wedding especially as a destination wedding in Ireland. We’ll explore some here!

The Perfect Location!

A smaller guest list offers you honestly the pick of the litter in terms of locations. Instantly, you have a huge selection of venues to choose from in addition to breathtaking locations to host your ceremony, both indoors and outdoors. Think outside the box here and really take advantage of this huge upper hand! Consider a ceremony at the Cliffs of Moher, monastery ruins in the heart of the Irish countryside, a garden ceremony with Irish castle as your backdrop, coastal gorgeousness near Dublin, or even consider exclusively renting out a country estate or small castle just for yourselves!

With a smaller party, it’s much easier to bring everyone to these more remote and breathtaking locations.

Take advantage of that — the ceremony will be so unique with those backdrops and the photos spectacular! Literally the options are endless. Dream big here and let us put together a list of perfect locations for you.

Amp Up The Details!

Less guests means more budget. Put that money towards the details that mean most to you and splurge. Maybe it’s the dress of your dreams, or jewelry. Maybe is setting a gorgeous environment for the reception with flowers and rentals and lots of incredible details like vintage crystal, exquisite centerpieces, and hand crafted stationary. Consider a whiskey or gin tasting with specialist to walk you and your guests through the amazing offerings. And we’re always a fan of splurging on a great photographer!

A Chance to Personalize!

Having a smaller guest list allows you to work in thoughtful details.  Many of our intimate wedding couples write personal notes for each guest and have them at the table setting for example. Some create a really inviting space using family photos and candid shots from throughout the years as part of the decor. Many couples opt for fantastic welcome bags — these can contain lots of Irish treats and supplies they’ll use on their trip while in Ireland. We can definitely help you put together a perfect bespoke welcome basket for your guests! A smaller guest list also affords you the opportunity to work in more details that are unique to you. Get creative with the menu you’ll be offering for dinner. Work in some custom cocktails into your reception, or favorite drinks to feature that tell your story together. Instead of a huge wedding cake, consider a smaller one with unique flavors or a dessert bar with lots of incredible treats. Think outside the box on music and entertainment too! Consider featuring local musicians, authentic Irish music like Celtic Harps and Uillean Pipes for an unforgettable experience.

Work In A Gorgeous Portrait Session!

A huge advantage of hosting an intimate wedding rather than a larger one is time: you will have more time before and after the wedding day itself to spend on yourself rather than hosting. We extremely highly encourage you to consider working in a portrait session for yourself. We can advise on spectacular locations and amazing photographers to give you the bridal or couple photography session of your dreams.

We’ve gotten such positive feedback on this and it’s often a couple’s favorite moment of the entire wedding: they feel they get some time to focus mentally, they spend time together away from the entertaining aspect once the guests get involved, and truly get to connect with Ireland and each other.

This will be money well spent.

Get Your Guests Involved!

The ceremony is the apex of the entire event. Having a smaller guest list enables you to get creative with the most important part of the day! Depending on the kind of ceremony style you choose, there are many ways we can work in your guests to participate in the ceremony. It’s a wonderful way to honor their presence and personalize your wedding, while underscoring the deeper meaning of the ceremony itself. We have lots of ideas to help get your creative juices flowing!

Kelly Jeff543Make It Fun!

Less people means more flexibility on where you can party too! Host a fabulous dinner after your ceremony then kick off your shoes as you make your way into town to mingle with the locals for some live music and dancing for the after party. Plan your wedding as an extended weekend of exploration, sight-seeing, and events! Instead of a rehearsal dinner, let us help you plan a rehearsal outing instead! Get in on some amazing activities Ireland has to offer: horseback riding in the Irish countryside, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, a picnic and hike through some of the most spectacular scenery and national parks, guided tours, even food and drink tours.

Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Irish culture and use it as a bonding moment between you and your guests to create momentum leading up to your wedding day, or extending the celebratory atmosphere in the days after!


Whatever you choose, know we are there for you and ready to help you plan, design, and style your dream wedding day in Ireland every step of the way!

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