Is the Intimate Wedding Still the Way Forward?

As restrictions are lifted again and we shake ourselves down and get ready to live life again, newly engaged couples may start thinking ‘BIG’ for their wedding. The wedding world during Covid had brought about a necessity for an intimate wedding rather than a choice.

However, as we now emerge blinking into the sunlight once again, there is no longer a limit to the number of guests permitted at a wedding. The choice is back in the hands of each couple to decide. Pre-Covid, the trend was to have a big celebration. Guests would come from far and wide to celebrate in large expensive venues.

Working in the Cairngorms in the Highlands of Scotland, the smaller intimate wedding is a great fit. So, I thought I would share with you the benefits, and to demonstrate how planning for a smaller guest list can actually lead to a more joyful, immersive experience for all involved.

Quality Time

Whatever you plan for your wedding day or wedding weekend or even wedding week, it will pass in an absolute flash, guaranteed. If you choose to invite a smaller number of guests to your wedding celebrations, you will be able to spend genuine time with everyone. You will have the chance for some meaningful memory building with them all. These memories of each person will stay with you forever, rather than a memory of a blur of faces smiling at you as you pass between them.

Extend the Festivities

Wedding planning from a distance and bringing a smaller number of friends and loved ones to Scotland with you, makes it easier to turn your wedding into an unforgettable holiday.  You can involve your guests in a range of holiday activities together.  The Cairngorms offers so many activities to enjoy in groups. Skiing, walking, kayaking, gorge walking, loch swimming, mountain biking to name just a few.  It’s all there for the taking. Should you decide to use a wedding planner here, such as me (!) I can help you book these great outdoor pursuits and include them as part of your wedding experience.

Money Goes Further

A smaller guest list means one of two things. Either the opportunity to reduce your expenses, or the chance to really indulge yourself and your guests by creating a truly personal, memorable experience. The same budget for a dinner for 100 guests used on 30 people will go so much further.  New venues are appearing catering only for smaller numbers. Julia Sim from the newly opened Clachan by Ballintaggart says “The various lockdowns and restrictions introduced over the past 18 months have allowed us to re-evaluate our wedding product and develop alternative options for couples seeking a smaller venue with heritage and character, but without being overly traditional.

A beautiful table setting for an intimate wedding in the Cairngorms National Park with Wide Sky Weddings

Suddenly your choices for table décor, ingredients, personalised welcome gifts, and all round luxury have gone through the roof!! Think individual picnic hampers for lunchtime the day after. Personalised table settings unique to you both, gorgeously foiled stationery and menus, the highest quality ingredients and a true fine dining experience, even personalised cocktails instead of wine.  Suddenly the options become so much more exciting and creative.


You can be much more nimble with a smaller number of guests. You can host your ceremony and your reception in a wide variety of amazing spaces. Small lodges, cottages, and private estates and castles can become possible when the number of guests is smaller. Kyla Ball from Hidden Highland Retreats says, “Rothiemurchus is a dream venue for romantic, intimate wedding ceremonies and elopements, with many couples marrying on the shore of beautiful Loch an Eilein itself. Our two-sleeper cottages make the perfect honeymoon destination to celebrate the start of your new life together.”

Loch an Eilein in the Cairngorms National Park is a perfect wedding or elopement venue

Fewer Logistical Headaches

A smaller wedding gives you the chance to take total control of planning, and allows you to invite only those people you truly want to be part of your special day. Forget the family politics. No spending time and money on Uncle Fred who you’ve not spoken to in forever.  Just a curated list of your favourite people from all walks of life, and the opportunity for a truly joyful party together.

I love intimate weddings here in the Cairngorms National Park.  They give me the opportunity to really create something magical for couples and their nearest and dearest. Experiences that they will all hold close in their memories forever.

If you would like some wedding advice or would like to chat to me about your wedding plans please drop me an email at or fill in my contact page. Remember, small can be amazing, intimate, memorable and magical.

If you need help deciding what kind of wedding ceremony is right for you, click here.