Having a small wedding in Scotland is frankly, ace. I should know, I had a small wedding myself. Excluding my stepdaughter, husband and myself, we had 26 guests in total and had a fantastic day. Small doesn’t need to be low key. It doesn’t mean underwhelming either. Sure, we didn’t ceilidh into the wee small hours, but we had an amazing time. I’ve pulled together the best reasons for having a small Scottish wedding.
So if you’re worried that a small intimate wedding will be a bit… drab, a bit boring, not the party to wow everyone… here’s a few of my thoughts to try and help you rethink small weddings and embrace how brilliant they really can be. There are some really unique small wedding venues as well. Alternatively you can adapt an unusual location for a small intimate wedding.
1. Chatting with Guests
Have you ever been a guest at a wedding, and felt like you only really spoke to the couple for a few minutes throughout the whole day? Sometimes really big weddings can feel like speed dating your way through the guests. Small intimate weddings don’t have that problem. With fewer guests, you’ll be able to enjoy some quality time mingling with your guests and that will make it so much more enjoyable and memorable for you and for your guests.
2. Guests Get To Know Each Other
While we’re at it, with fewer numbers, your guests are also more likely to know each other already. And if they don’t, it’s easier for them to get to know each other. No more small groups of people huddling together because they don’t know anyone else and feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of strangers around them. Small is intimate, and people really do make more effort to get to know each other when they’re in smaller groups. Wouldn’t it be lovely if after your wedding everyone felt a little bit closer? A small wedding in Scotland is perfect for spending quality time together.
You can have a small Scottish wedding, and reduce the budget, but you can still go all out and have the wedding you want. Instead of trying to make your budget spread over lots of guests, you can really indulge in the things you love that you would otherwise need to compromise on. You could opt for spending more on table centrepieces, or decor. Always wanted a wedding photo album? It’s so much easier to budget for now. Or perhaps blow the budget on a unique Scottish wedding venue?
4. Have Fun with Food
If you’re a bit of a foodie, it’s good news with small weddings. Chances are, you’ll have fewer dietary requirements to cater for. So it’s a great time to indulge in a more interesting menu for your guests rather than sticking to the 100-guest-safe options.
5. Get Creative With Cakes
Ok, you may not need a four-tier cake with twenty guests, but let your cake maker get creative and design a cake that is a real show stopper. Perhaps even discuss alternative flavours to the usual wedding cake option.
5. No Plus Ones
One of the most frequent issues with weddings can be your guest list. You end up adding a plus one for your cousin, or inviting someone you don’t really know very well because they invited you to their wedding when you were small. Or maybe you feel obliged to invite the auntie-who’s-not-really-your-auntie that your mum is friends with to prevent fall outs. The benefit of telling people it’s a small wedding is sticking to your inner circle of friends and family. You can really stick to inviting people you genuinely care about and want to have in attendance. Result? Less stress all round.
6. More Venue Options
If you’ve not booked a venue yet, smaller numbers mean there’s a whole load of amazing small Scottish wedding venues to consider. There are some really unique small Scottish wedding venues, such as this Dunnottar Castle wedding. Alternatively, if you’ve got a big stately home already booked, why not go ahead and indulge in a more spacious opulent setting? Those Victorian aristocrats didn’t squeeze into tiny spaces. Lachlan Castle made a brilliant unique small wedding venue. Alternatively, just head for the great outdoors – much like this Scottish micro wedding in the Pentlands. The Bothy in Glasgow is a very cool and relaxed venue that’s popular with a lot of couples looking for a small intimate wedding in Scotland. Alternatively, if you want a bit more luxury but still want to keep it small, check out this elopement at Glenapp Castle.
7. Ditching the formality
If you’re after a wedding without all the protocol and formality, then small weddings are brilliant. No etiquette over who removes their hat first, no order required for a receiving line. Just a lovely, cosy intimate wedding.
8. Enjoy the Meal
Big weddings usually mean sticking to a pretty strict schedule. Rooms need to be turned around so meals need to be served and finished by a particular time. With a small intimate wedding, you’re unlikely to have evening guests or need a massive space for a dance floor. The plus side is you and your guests can spend a bit more time digesting and eating the food. That was one of the things I loved most about my wedding – a long and indulgent meal that we got to truly savour rather than gobble up. And afterwards, there’s something lovely about just relaxing into your chair and taking time to enjoy that lovely satisfied post-meal feeling, rather than feeling herded into a bar area with limited seating.
9. Saving on the Budget!
Going small doesn’t mean you have to go low-key, but you could save on your wedding budget massively. There’s a big difference between inviting 20 people and inviting 100 people. Chances are you won’t opt for a big dance floor and band with a smaller wedding. However you still may want to book musicians to keep your guests entertained.
Some of my favourite venues for having a small wedding in Scotland I’ve photographed over the years:
- Dunnottar Castle
- Castle Lachlan
- Portencross Castle
- Glencorse Reservoir
- Ross Priory
- The Bothy, Glasgow
- Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire
Thinking about a small wedding? I have a tailormade small wedding photography package for weddings in Scotland.
You can find out more about my alternative wedding photography approach. To arrange a chat and find out my availability get in touch. Can’t wait to hear from you!