A Step-By-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Intimate Wedding

From cutting down your guest list to planning your decor and invites and capturing the right photographs, our list of experts for the wedding planning industry guide you through the process.

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the big fat Indian wedding has now been reinvented to take on a more modest and intimate avatar. While this might be an important step to curb the spread of infections and ensure the safety of all those present, it in no way takes away from the joy of planning your nuptials. In fact, a more intimate setting allows us to unleash our creativity and truly plan the wedding WE have always wanted, from decor to occasions, invites, food and the ceremony itself. If you are unsure how to scale down your wedding plans, and wondering what exactly goes into planning an intimate celebration, worry not. We have gathered inputs from renowned experts in the wedding industry to help you plan the various aspects of your wedding—decor, invites, photographs, guest lists et all. Read on as we guide you through the process of planning the intimate wedding of your dreams. 

Planning your guest list

To help you organise yourself better, we first put together your A list, which is comprised of immediate family, cousins and best friends (bridesmaids and groomsmen)," shares Vikram Mehta, Founder, Mpire Events. "Once we receive confirmations from them, we help you decide if we need to move to list B and so on. This way, we clearly have a system in place to limit the guest list. Given a case where someone from list A tests positive or cancels last minute, we invite guest B and follow the same procedures of having him or her tested. Although this might sound too stringent for a wedding, almost all guests respect the procedures in place and understand the situation. For those missing out, we always Livestream the Sangeet and wedding on YouTube or Zoom. You will be surprised at how good the turnout is!"


"To announce your wedding with the same grandeur and yet offer a convenient alternative is the need of the hour," says  Dhurvi Doshi Chitalia, Founder, Dhruvi Doshi Designs. "Limited movement has given a boost to the digital medium of communication, which is also working out to be a sustainable choice. Frequent rescheduling and uncertainty demand the hosts have to constantly update the details of the function. Events make this possible and hassle-free!"

Dhruvi suggests a unique way to help your invite stand out." These days, couples are choosing video invites over static invites as this kicks of the festivities with a bang! Now, that weddings are more intimate, which makes it feasible to customise each digital invite with the receiver's name in order to add a personal touch," she explains. "Over the past year, new arenas such as sit down dinners to celebrate the newlyweds have been explored. Wedding collaterals now extend to custom name tags and menus, weaving the couple's story into the finer elements of decor."



"If it’s a home wedding, it is important to create something that complements the interiors perfectly," explains Aashna Saran founder and creative head, Aash Studio. "Given that the wedding is held at home, the mandap becomes one of the most important elements. For a recent home wedding, we created an indoor garden, adding white macrame which stood out against the greens, making it a perfect combination."

"Using wooden cross back chairs that go well with the rest of your furniture, can give the whole event a beautiful bohemian vibe," she adds. "We also include personalised elements to make the wedding feel more intimate and meaningful." 

"We suggest more elegance and less grandeur in these times," adds Vikram."Keep events preceding the wedding fun, light and quirky.  A good way to do this is to play with lighter colours that aren’t usually associated with a typical #BigFatIndianWedding. This also helps set to mood for guests who might be slightly anxious attending a wedding during these times."

"For the wedding, opt for traditional decor. We at Mpire Events still prefer to use whites and greens, but we infuse the decor with florals. Acrylics and mirrors effect or discretely decorating a tree as a backdrop for the Jaimala are things we have experimented with this season, keeping in mind the niche crowd and intimate setting.

Safety Precautions

"The first step is to clearly communicate to everyone that a Covid test result is mandatory to attend the wedding," suggest Vikram. "Next, we suggest that you pay for all the Covid tests and ensure the reports come directly to you or your event team where it's possible, to retain authenticity."

"The standard procedure of sanitisers and masks at every corner of the venue is a given," he adds. For a location wedding, we suggest sealing the rooms of guests after sanitizing them with a seal that states “this room has just been sanitized”. This way you reassure the guest and also pass the mantle onto the hotel and housekeeping to do a responsible job. Surface sanitizations and area fumigation, once the venue is set up, is another standard procedure."

"For an at-home wedding, sanitation stations need to be placed near the house's entrance and near the food stations to ensure complete safety," adds Aashna. 

Wedding Photography

"From shooting 500 person weddings to slowly moving towards 25 to weddings as a norm, a lot has changed," shares Aditya Mahagaonkar, Co-Founder, WhatKnot wedding photography. "At intimate weddings, the celebration is usually amongst the closest of family members and friends. The gathering showcases a lot of involvement from each and every guest who is a part of the wedding. As wedding photographers, it is a win-win situation for us as there are plenty of beautiful moments to be found. Here, the memories hold more importance than the decor and the grandeur of the wedding."

Aditya has some important advice to share. "DO NOT hire an Amateur Photographer because he costs less," he emphasises. "As much as possible, DO NOT ask your relatives or cousins and friends to turn photographers on such an important day. Let them be involved in the wedding as they were meant to be, and let a professional do his job."

Remember to tell your photographer that: 

1. Pictures and films matter and not the setting.

2.  Expressions, emotions, and storytelling matter and not the grandeur.

3. Each smile, moment of laughter and a teardrop tells a story.




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