From 4th July 2020, small intimate wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships are now allowed to take place in the UK.  30 people are able to be present during the ceremony – this includes the couple and their suppliers (for example their photographer, their officiant, and their two witnesses.)  But only very small receptions will be allowed to take place.  This is part of the day that is after the ceremony, the food, the fun, and the dancing… the part of the day can currently only involve either two households or six people from different households.

So, if you haven’t postponed your wedding date and instead changing your actual wedding, here are a few thoughts on how to plan for a small intimate wedding…

intimate wedding ideas - the oxford wedding blog

An intimate wedding can be deeply personal and special.  It allows you to spend your important day with just those who matter to you the most.  Intimate wedding celebrations mean you get real quality time with your guests, provide a bit more wiggle room with the budget and it also provides opportunities to get creative.  Just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean you need to ditch traditions, unless you want to of course. You can still have speeches, you can still have a cake, you can still have a first dance, and yes, you can still wear a fancy wedding dress / outfit.


Obviously this will have to be limited… to how small is up to you.  It could be just the two of you, or at the moment it could be up to 30 for the ceremony.  At the time of writing this (July 2020) you can only have up to two households or up to six people from different households to attend your reception.


It’s super important to determine your priorities if you have a smaller budget.  But obviously have to mean smaller Smaller weddings can be simple or extravagant.  With a small number of guests you can put your money towards what is important to you.


When your guests find out they are among the select few you have invited to be a part of your day they are going to feel really special.  With a smaller group you can get very creative; you could hire a  tuk tuk to take you to your venue, you could go as formal or as casual as you like, you can easily add your own personal touches, you could send your guests home with unique wedding favours, you could all play a board game, you could go punting, you can all sit around a fire pit at the end of the night toasting marshmallows, you could invest in some amazing entertanmnet, an exeepetional experience, a fantastic top notch meal… the list is endless.

With less guests you can go full on fancy michelin star or you could opt for fish and chips by the river, you could order take away, cook yourself, or have a chef come to your home.


The best bit about having a smaller wedding is that you can get really creative about where you get married.  You could get married in a licensed venue where you don’t need to worry about the numbers, or you could get married in a registry office or town hall and then have your small reception at a more non-traditional venue, such as a quirky restaurant that you love, your home, a campsite, or anywhere your fancy really!  There are so many quirky restaurants in Oxford, you could choose.

Oxford Outdoor Wedding by Philippa James photography

There are many benefits to having a smaller wedding.  They are so much easier to plan.  – don’t get me wrong, they still needs planning, but due to the size it’s so much more manageable meaning you can really focus more on the detail and what’s really important to you. For more ideas on smaller intimate weddings, take a peek at this: A super cute outdoor Oxfordshire wedding 

For full government guidelines take a look here; COVID 19 – GUIDANCE FOR SMALL WEDDINGS AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS

Pin It on Pinterest