It’s sometimes presumed that every little girl dreams of a huge, show-stopper wedding. But some girls (and boys) dream of a wedding that is just big enough to host their closest friends and family members, the people who know their love story, have been there to watch it unfold, and have shown their support in real, meaningful ways.

Don’t get us wrong, we think inviting old college friends or second cousins is a sweet gesture, but it certainly isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with. There’s a wedding style (and venue) that’s perfect for everyone.

Small Wedding Venues Can Still Be Grand

If you’ve decided on a smaller, more intimate wedding, you might feel your venue options are limited. However, you don’t have to get pigeonholed into the restaurant party room or church basement. We encourage you to think beyond the traditional choices and consider more unique, charming options.

There are a lot of myths out there about choosing a wedding venue for a small guest list. We are sharing five that we hear all the time, and the reasons we think they’re just not true.

Myth #1 – Small Wedding Venues Are Cheesy

People seem to think that a wedding can only be classy if it’s big. Not the case! We have hosted small weddings at our venue that are so stunning, you would think they came out of the latest high-end bridal magazine.

Sophistication has nothing to do with size. When you choose a small wedding venue, you’re choosing the backdrop for your entire evening. You want to choose something that’s beautiful all on its own, and that gets even more beautiful once you add your own personality and style to it.

Myth #2 – Small Venues Are Just for Budget-Conscious Brides

Choosing to have a small wedding often has absolutely nothing to do with the wedding budget. While it’s true that a small wedding venue usually costs less than a larger one, this isn’t why couples choose to go this route.

Weddings should fit the personality of the bride and groom and stay true to their values. Some couples prefer small groups of close friends and don’t like big celebrations. One of the biggest wedding regrets newlyweds grapple with is getting talked into something they didn’t want. So, if you feel called to have a smaller wedding, please go for it!

Myth #3 – You Can’t Find Small Venues That Are Also Unique

It seems like couples who want a large wedding at a big venue have all the options in the world, but so do couples who want a small wedding! On top of finding a venue that will “wow” your guests and give them something to remember, it’s also never been easier to find a small wedding venue that offers all the conveniences of a larger one.

Smaller venues are now coming with packages that include photography, decor, even an ordained officiant! Don’t assume your small venue is going to require a lot of logistical work on your part. Ask what they include or can add to your contract.

Myth #4 – You’re Better Off Utilizing Your Family Home

You might think that with such a small guest list, you’re better off just having a nice backyard wedding at your home or your parent’s home. Don’t sell yourself short on your big day. Your backyard might be adequate, but adequate isn’t good enough for such an important occasion.

Instead, choose a location that offers a little something extra. For an indoor venue, that might mean modern decor or a photo-worthy view, and for an outdoor venue, it might mean a beautiful shimmering waterfall and Historic Grist Mill (just saying).

Myth #5 – It’s Going to Feel Empty with So Few Guests

If your guest list is on the small side, you might be worried that it will feel empty no matter which location you choose. Don’t worry. The people that operate the venue will know exactly how to optimize the space to make the event feel intimate and cozy. Having a smaller wedding isn’t about taking all of the “traditional” options and shrinking them down. It’s about re-imagining each detail to fit your vision of a perfect day.

Instead of individual tables, you may want to consider one long, family-style table. This will allow everyone to engage with each other and feel included. Instead of a traditional after-dinner dance, you may want to do a bonfire with music, blankets, and s’mores. It’s all about creating a comfortable space where everyone feels relaxed and welcome.

If you’ve never connected to the idea of a big, traditional wedding, look for a small wedding venue that understands you and your vision. You don’t have to compromise on anything. You can have a beautiful celebration surrounded by the people that mean the most to you, and still have a memorable experience that will sweep you off your feet.