What defines a small wedding? The average number of guests at a wedding tends to be around 125 but I think that’s changed post-covid and there definitely seems to be a trend for smaller weddings nowadays. That’s great, as far as I’m concerned. Mini weddings tend to be more intimate, relaxed and are much easier to budget and cater for.
I find anything around the 50 mark doesn’t actually feel ‘small’ at all and even 30 people is still enough for a great party! Once you get down to about 10 or so guests then it tends to be a calmer affair. Perhaps at number of people you’d better opting for meals or camping, rather than a full blown party but who knows, if you were raucous enough it could still work!! I’ve photographed lots of mini weddings in Essex and these are some of my favourite small wedding venues.
My top Essex venues for a small wedding
- Old Parish Rooms – a stylish space which can be used in a few different ways. For a smaller guest list the ceremony can take place on the beautiful mezzanine and the space downstairs never feels too big, even with a handful of guests. This light venue has oodles of style and the team running it are super lovely. This is a really popular choice for a small wedding with just a handful of close family and friends and I can totally see why!
- Hare’s Field – a small barn venue in the countryside, on the edge of the village of Wethersfield. It has a small maximum capacity of just 60 and with it’s little ceremony space and on site accommodation it makes a really lovely place to get away from everything.
- Rayleigh Windmill – a quirky mini ceremony space, if you’re looking for somewhere a bit different to hold your legal ceremony in this makes a great spot. It’s teeny-tiny inside but perfect for a small guestlist.
- Colchester Castle – at the top of the building is a venue space which is ideal for a smaller guest list, it’s really fun going into the castle too and will make a ceremony to remember.
- Tymperleys – great for a chilled, small wedding, you can make use of the gardens and restaurant after
- Little Tey Barn -another small barn venue, this one has onsite accommodation and can do an all inclusive package
- Wivenhoe Sailing Club – the upstairs space is a lovely spot to host a smaller wedding and you can make the most of the location on the water
- Eaton House Studio – not actually a wedding venue but you may be able to hire it if you meet their criteria
One of my favourite things about a small wedding is that you can think outside the box too, don’t be afraid to approach pubs, restuarants, campsites etc as often it’s much easier to accomodate a wedding when it’s a smaller guest list. And of course a backgarden wedding can be perfect for a smaller wedding too!
If you’re looking for an Essex Wedding Photographer who loves smaller weddings I’d love to hear from you!
And hop over to this post if you’d like list of small wedding venues in Suffolk