The rise of intimate wedding dinner parties

A guide to celebrating love with your nearest and dearest

Go big or go home does not apply in the world of intimate wedding dinner parties. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have an extravagantly grandeur wedding. In fact, you should have a wedding that suits you and your partner, rather than conform your relationship and lifestyle to traditional expectations. Enter, the intimate wedding dinner party—a celebration focused on cherished moments shared with a select few.

Stepping away from conventional large-scale affairs, intimate dinner parties are a unique opportunity to create unforgettable memories in a cozy and personal setting. Delve into planning and hosting an intimate wedding celebration with our comprehensive guide as we take you through everything from table settings to toasts.

1. You're invited

Extravagant wedding invitation flat lay featuring ornaments, jewelry and vows

It’s no accident that we’ve put the guest list as the first step in our guide; it’s arguably the most important aspect of your intimate wedding dinner party. Unlike traditional weddings, where the guest count often reaches the hundreds, this occasion calls for a curated selection of your nearest and dearest. We recommend focusing on quality over quantity; consider those you have genuine connections with who have played a significant role in your lives and your relationship. Your guests will bear witness to one of the most intimate and vulnerable moments of your life, so it’s worth putting thought into who you want to let into those moments.

2. A venue with a vision

Intimate outdoor wedding dinner party, guests milling around for cocktail hour draped in shawls and blankets

When it comes to venues, think small and intimate. You want the venue to house everyone without leaving too much empty space, allowing your guests to effortlessly interact. Our suggestion is to opt for a venue that exudes warmth and charm— something like a welcoming inn, a rustic barn, or a serene garden. There are no rules to say you couldn’t host in your own backyard! Remember, the venue sets the stage for your special day, so ensure it aligns not only with the intimate atmosphere you desire but also with your overall aesthetic and vision.

3. Touches of personality

Bouquet of flowers tied with ribbon and family heirloom, custom wedding sign and disco balls under outdoor canopy

In our opinion (as a brand that adores romantic tales and sentimentality) one of the benefits of hosting an intimate wedding dinner party is the ability to add a personal touch to every detail, rather than taking a cookie cutter approach to cater for a multitude of guests. Bespoke invitations featuring handwritten names and artisanal table décor reflecting your shared interests are just some of our favorite ideas. Let your love story be the guiding theme for your celebration, while incorporating aspects of the genuine connections you’ve created with those around you. Consider integrating family heirlooms, handwritten letters to guests, custom wedding favors, or even a slideshow of cherished memories with your loved ones to add depth and sentiment to the occasion.

4. Culinary delights

Pizzas on stand on table and a half full plate of kebabs being passed around a candlelit wedding dinner

As the term ‘dinner party’ suggests, the culinary experience is paramount, and an intimate wedding celebration is no exception. We suggest working closely with a talented chef or caterer to design a menu that not only tantalizes the taste buds but reflects your journey as a couple. And of course, don’t forget drinks! Custom cocktails are perhaps the easiest way to incorporate your love story into the menu in a fun and innovative way. Whether opting for a multi-course gourmet meal or a few self-service stations, as long as it’s authentic to you it will without a doubt create a memorable dining experience for you and your guests.

5. Toasts and tributes

Close up black and white image of a speech being read out from a handwritten letter at a wedding party

As the evening unfolds, take moments to celebrate with your nearest and dearest through heartfelt toasts and tributes. Encourage close friends and family members to share anecdotes, well wishes, and words of wisdom. These intimate gestures not only deepen your emotional connections but also create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. Don’t forget to thank everyone who made the day possible and has positively enhanced your relationship and journey, too!

6. Entertainment and atmosphere

Men dressed in suits playing croquet at a wedding party, guests chatter and look on in the background

While the focus of an intimate wedding dinner party is of course on meaningful connections and heartfelt conversations, entertainment can enhance the overall ambiance. Consider music performances or playlists that have special meaning to you, live artistry to capture memories as they happen, or even a cozy bonfire under the stars. If activities are more your style, consider custom games personalized to your love story, an interactive memory lane display of your relationship’s journey, or a photo booth where guests can bond and snap happy moments. We think the key to beautiful intimate wedding dinner parties is creating an atmosphere that reflects your relationship and allows guests to revel in the magic of your moment.

7. Preserving precious moments

MILK Books wedding guest book with heartfelt messages written on the pages next to engagement shoot photographs

Finally, don't forget to capture the essence of your intimate wedding dinner party through photography and videography. Hire a professional photographer who specializes in candid, documentary-style shots to preserve the fleeting moments and genuine emotions experienced during the celebration. We’d also recommend creating a custom guest book that your friends and family can fill with heartfelt messages and words of advice. On that note, don’t forget to create a photo book or photo album with the photos captured at your intimate wedding dinner party. We may be bias, but we believe they make for the perfect keepsake that you can cherish and look back on for years to come.

In a world filled with grandiose celebrations, the authenticity of intimate wedding dinner parties is the best option for those who prefer the quiet life. It’s a celebration that not only speaks to your relationship and lifestyle but enhances personal connections with your nearest and dearest. Remember, while your love and commitment to your other half is absolutely the focus, the true magic lies in sharing those special moments with your favorite people.

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