The pros and cons of small wedding venues

The general trend for weddings to become smaller and more intimate continues so many couples are looking for a small wedding venue to accommodate their modest guest list. Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing small wedding venues such as boutique hotels and pubs.

small wedding venues

Here are three great reasons to choose small wedding venues:

Increased flexibility

Bigger venues often come with fixed wedding packages and schedules, and it may be hard to change things to individualise your wedding. Naturally, every venue is different, but typically, the likelihood is that a small wedding venue will be flexible about arrangements for your reception, and to accommodate your vision for your special day. Bigger venues are also likely to provide their own suppliers like wedding caterers, and are typically less willing to allow you to select your own which you may be able to do at a small venue.

Warmer atmosphere

You and your guests might feel more cosy and relaxed in a small, homely venue like a comfortable restaurant, instead of a large impersonal ballroom. If you are hoping for a romantic, cosy atmosphere for your wedding reception, a small venue is often more able to provide it than a bigger hotel or function suite.

Venue exclusivity

Getting exclusive use of the venue means no other functions or guests will end up disturbing your reception, and you won’t need to be considerate of anyone else in return. If you go with a small boutique hotel, or another small venue like a restaurant, a boat, a small vineyard or golf club, or even your garden, you can typically ensure you will be the only people using the venue.

small wedding venues

Here are three reasons to think twice about smaller venues:

Increased cost per head

The cost per head is often higher at small London wedding venues as you must pay for exclusive use of the venue and the facilities, and a small venue won’t be able to manage the economies of scale that bigger venues can. All in all, a wedding at a small venue might work out cheaper than at a bigger venue, but that is typically because you invite fewer guests.

Restricted guest list

The idea of a small intimate wedding reception may appeal to you, but once you begin to jot down that guest list you might be surprised by the number of people you actually wish to invite. Ensure you finalise your list prior to deciding your venue size. Small wedding venues will generally come with a limited capacity, which means you might need to cut down your guest list to fit your venue.

Limited facilities

Small venues tend to have more restricted facilities, for instance, they will come with fewer bathrooms, and there might be less parking available. Ensure you check out the facilities at your wedding venue to guarantee they are suitable before you make a final decision.

small wedding venues



When planning a wedding the budget is the first thing you need to set, weddings can cost a fortune and it is easy to think you have got everything on your list and then you forget something and then budget slowing increases. Some couples choose to have a small wedding because they have a smaller budget, there are plenty of stunning venues across the UK that are perfect for a smaller wedding and at a good price.

DIY wedding

By having a smaller wedding it does mean that you can get a bit more creative and do a lot of the planning and decorations yourself. This is a FAB way of getting as many people involved in your special day and allocate jobs to them. It is always lovely to be able to do a DIY wedding, shopping for your decorations, then creating them exactly how you want them and seeing it all coming together on the day.

Offer better food and extras

If you’re having a smaller guest list and your budget allows, you can then offer better quality food, this could be from just adding canapés as part of your welcome reception or having more expensive food for your sit-down meal. You could also add in a champagne reception, signature cocktails, gin bar and maybe an open bar giving your guests the opportunity to indulge. It is always nice to be able to have better quality food that your guests will be sure to enjoy if you can afford it.

Get to spend more time with your guests

It can be hard on your wedding day to ensure that you have spoken to all your guests throughout the evening and this can mean that you spend most your wedding reception walking around, chatting to your guests briefly and then having to move onto your next guests and you and your partner may only cross paths throughout the evening. By having a smaller guest list it means that you can spend so much more quality time with them and enjoy their company.

Less stressful

Weddings are stressful we all know that! But if you can reduce your stress then take that opportunity, and by having a smaller wedding comes less stress and this can definitely take off some of the pressures of planning a wedding.

The little extras

Having a smaller wedding can mean that you can add some little extras to your wedding to make it exactly as your pictured. With so many different little extras you can add to your day depending on what your budget allows you, you could add small favours for each guest that are more personal to them or if budget allows you could add a photo booth, this always goes down a treat at weddings. The little extras can make such a difference and also makes your wedding unique and memorable.

small wedding venues


Upset family members

Aww yes, the family….. It can be very hard to keep everyone happy when it comes to planning a wedding, I am sure that at some point in the planning process someone in the family will not be happy about something. When it comes to planning a small wedding it may cause a bit of upset amongst the family as you will not be able to invite everyone, your cousin that you haven’t seen in 20 years, I’m sure will not be too disappointed that they haven’t been invited, so please don’t worry and remember it is your day.

More stress

Above we have said that it can be less stressful having a small wedding…. Which is true but, there can be stress with having a smaller wedding too and that is more down to you will probably have to do everything yourself! It does all depend on what venue you have chosen as some smaller more intimate venues still do have an events team on-hand to help but if they don’t, then yes it’s all down to you and your partner to ensure that everything is booked, paid and you have ticked off everything from your wedding list.

Might have regret after the wedding of keeping it small

Your wedding day is supposed to be perfect so make sure that if you’re having a small wedding you’re having it for the right reasons. Don’t have any regrets down the line that you wished you had gone with a larger wedding because not everyone to could make it or that you didn’t include things that you may have wanted too.

Less of a “party” feel

If you are looking for a party feel to your wedding then a smaller wedding may not fully achieve this, with few guests it can end up being a bit more relaxed, and not get that full party atmosphere you may want. People wait for those first few guests to make their way to the dance floor then everyone joins in, but if there is only a small number of guests people might not want to make that first move which could result to no-one hitting the dance floor. Of course, if you are looking for a low –key wedding then this is something you will not worry about, however, if you want to strut yourself on the dance floor then a smaller wedding may not be exactly what you’re looking for.

small wedding venues

As you can see there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages for a smaller wedding and it just takes time weighing it all up and deciding on what style and atmosphere you require for your wedding day. But remember it is YOUR day and that you both agree with what you want for the wedding day, as that is what is important and remember to to stick with your decisions.

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