Hot Tips to Make Your Small Wedding Awesome

Words by Tom
October 6, 2020

Whether you’re navigating restrictions on gatherings or reluctantly crossing off far-flung friends, COVID’s got everyone rethinking the size of their wedding guest list this year. But if there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that silver linings can be found in even the crappiest of situations. Melbourne celebrant Nat Sproal subscribes wholeheartedly to this notion and reckons the best weddings are often the smallest. A small wedding has a different vibe and Nat tells us there are a few things to consider to ensure you nail it.

The right celebrant

Engage an experienced, charismatic celebrant. Small intimate weddings tend to be quieter and guests are extremely engaged. There’s nowhere to hide so you need the right celebrant for the job. Someone who knows how to hold this space and present to a smaller guest list. There’s a real knack to including them and speaking with the right tone.

Industrial urban wedding in Brunswick, Melbourne

The lady herself, celebrant Nat Sproal getting the laughs at Jillian and Pete’s Brunswick wedding at Noisy Ritual. Image by Georgia Verrells.

Give guests a welcome drink

A drink on arrival is always a nice touch. It creates a welcoming space and this gesture is just good sense and good manners in my opinion. If you want them to relax and be really invested in the ceremony- pass them a glass of bubbles when they turn up.

Live music

Live music is essential. I’m always an advocate for it, but especially so for smaller weddings where you’re not deriving as much energy off the crowd due to sheer numbers. It’s totally worth it. A live acoustic duo or DJ works perfectly. Even a talented mate who can play. Tap into all those resources.

chilled paddock wedding in the Byron Bay hinterland

Live music was a big part of Kiana and Danny’s paddock wedding, and Cheeky Chalk Music hit just the right note. Image by Milina Opsenica.

Consider videography now more than ever

Video is amazing for capturing all the moving moments. There’s just nothing like it. A good videographer will present you with a priceless clutch of memories that you will value forever.
There is also the option to have a live stream set up of just your ceremony. This is a great way to involve people who’ve had to be culled from your guest list or are overseas or interstate. If you want it done properly- get a professional. It costs about $600 and we guarantee they’ll do a better job than Uncle Pat with his 2012 iPhone.

Involve your guests

Really focus on the little details. Nostalgic nods are awesome. They make people feel part of your life and story and that creates a really warm ambience. Include your guests in your ceremony. Seat them in the round. Get them to ask lighthearted ‘I Do’ questions or offer up funny marital advice. Do a singalong. Add fun novelty items to the day – a photobooth, a game, a photo wall that showcases things you’ve shared together as well as with your guests.

Modern backyard wedding with a gorgeous pregnant bride / photography by Jimmy Raper

Sophie and Baden’s intimate backyard wedding was all about celebrating with their inner circle. Image by Jimmy Raper.

Charlie and Hugo were guests of honour for Levi and Lauren’s beach elopement. Image by Janneke Storm.

Candace and Hayden held a small, family-centric wedding at home with Wollongong celebrant Mitch. Image by Mitch Pohl.

Pivoting might just be awesome

If you are forging ahead with a small wedding you have to accept that it’s going to look different- which may not be a bad thing. I have two couples who’ve pivoted beautifully and I’m so excited for their weddings. Both were having big indoor weddings. For one we’re now embracing outdoor festival vibes so we moved the kick off time earlier. Guests will sit on picnic rugs on the hills overlooking the Yarra Valley with live music, gelato and gin cocktails. The other has moved to a local bar, having reduced their guest list by four fifths. We’re focusing on what really matters to them and the entire style of their wedding has shifted in the best possible way. Now they’re having burgers and craft beers with a local band playing which is so them!

Outback festival wedding in Bright, Victoria - Photography by Oli Sansom

Matylda and Shane’s festival wedding embraced the relaxed vibes of the great outdoors. Image by Briars Atlas.

relaxed pub party wedding at The Standard, Perth

Jimmy and MJ kept things super simple and totally ‘them’ with a shindig at their local. Image by We Are All Stardust.

The Covid effect

I’m focusing on our new business Kickstart My Heart – a small to mid sized wedding biz partnership with Noisy Ritual. Stress free all-inclusive small wedding packages with top quality vendors on weekdays.

Covid 19 is forcing us to be openminded. We may just find that small weddings really take off! Fewer guests mean fewer people to have the obligatory conversation with – and less cash outlaid means more budget for things that really make a difference.

At the end of the day, so long as you leave with a full heart, a full tummy, a little tipsy maybe and MARRIED – that’s a triumph.

Modern Melbourne wedding at The Craft & Co in Collingwood / Photography by Tanya Voltchanskaya

Details like Tash and Pete’s neon backdrop have even more punch in a smaller wedding setting. Image by Tanya Voltchanskaya.


Header image Janneke Storm |

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