Emotional bride reading vows to her groom
Jimmy & Kim Photography
Editorial Category: 
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Celebrating Your Way. Smaller Weddings; Bigger Experiences

Smaller Weddings, Big Experiences

We’re always on the lookout for trends in weddings, and we couldn’t be more excited about the movement towards more intimate weddings that’s taking over. While downsizing their guest lists, many couples are opting for more elaborate celebrations, treating a small group of guests to an incredible evening.

Smoky Mountain Wedding from Knoxville Wedding Photographers Jimmy & Kim Photo

Photo from Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Jimmy & Kim Photo

Less guests always equates to a lower cost, and many couples are using those savings to provide exceptional entertainment, extra-special food and desserts and incredibly memorable celebrations for their loved ones.

There are so many benefits to having a small wedding. Your venue options are practically endless: it becomes possible to transform a backyard, restaurant, gallery, or bed and breakfast into a wedding venue.

You’ll also be able to ensure that your guests are experiencing your wedding together. When you’ve got 300 people in a room, it’s safe to assume that not everyone will be a part of your sparkler send-off. When you’re celebrating with only 30 people, it’s easy to wait for everyone before starting something special.

Intimate wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at StarkeyTown Cove

Photo from Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Jimmy & Kim Photo at StarkeyTown Cove 

Many couples look back on their wedding and regret not being able to greet every single guest and thank them for coming. With a small guest list, it becomes a lot more realistic to say hello to everyone.

For some couples, ditching a huge production in favor of an intimate wedding has to do with not having the spare time needed to plan a wedding. Wedding planning can easily become like having a part-time job! If filling your limited spare time with vendor meetings and spreadsheets is not an option for you, one of the best things you can do is dial back your guest list, and use that room in the budget to hire an awesome wedding planner. They can shoulder the burden of planning logistics (it’s not such a burden to them - they love what they do!), and allow you to arrive at your wedding day a lot more easily.

Another benefit of a smaller guest list is that creating DIY touches becomes a whole lot more manageable. Just think - writing a personal handwritten note on every place card for 30 people is totally doable. For 300? A nightmare. Dreaming up a unique centerpiece for every table is a lot easier when you have 6 tables instead of 20. With less to do, creating handmade touches for your wedding will stay enjoyable rather than becoming overwhelming

Along with the intimate wedding trend we’re seeing is the evolution of elopements. Back in the day, if you eloped, it meant that you’d skipped town and came back married, or that on a whim you went to City Hall to tie the knot. At the very least, an elopement usually just included the bride and groom and an officiant.

In the past couple years, elopements have become something that may include many of the typical details of a traditional wedding, like beautiful decor, flowers and a cake, obviously coming together with a lot more planning. Because of the effort put in, couples will sometimes include a handful of guests to celebrate with them. Hey - why not!?

Hand embroidered Handkerchief at wedding in The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

Photo from Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Jimmy & Kim Photo

Eloping can be an awesome option for many couples. For anyone struggling with anxiety about their wedding, it’s an easy way to skip out on being in the spotlight for months of planning. Others may find wedding planning too painful after losing a loved one, and a traditional wedding can highlight that grief; a non-traditional wedding can be a nice alternative. Still, there are some couples that simply haven’t dreamed of their wedding for years like others have, so investing time and money in a giant party isn’t a high priority. Whatever the reason, thinking outside the box and considering an elopement may lead to a wedding that is much more fitting for you.

Surprise weddings have also shown up on wedding blogs in the past few years. Sometimes it’s the guests who are in for a surprise, and other times it’s one half of the engaged couple! Usually it’s a couple who has decided together that a traditional wedding isn’t for them. Often disguised as a styled shoot that the couple has been asked to model as a bride and groom, we’ve seen some stunning surprise weddings that a talented team of vendors has helped create. It’s an awesome way to tie the knot without any outside pressure - no one knows that you’re actively planning a wedding, so you get to miss out on unwanted advice and persistent questions.

We’re loving the intimate wedding trend, and can’t wait to see how Tennessee couples make it their own! 

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