When it comes to your wedding day you generally assume "bigger is better, right?", bigger florals, a bigger cake and (if you have a traditionally huge Irish family) a bigger guest list. You may, however, find yourself in the predicament of a small guest list and a big venue space; whether you picked the list or space first doesn't really matter if you're willing to make it work. Fear not, however, here are a few tips and tricks to make a big space feel as intimate as your guest list!

Play With Table Arrangments

Romana Lilic

Depending on the size and layout of your venue space you may be able to play around with the setup, layout and overall style of your dining tables during the meal, speeches and dancing. Banquet tables are a beautiful way to fill the space and give the feeling of home and comfort, with the added benefit of encouraging conversation between guests. Your venue might be used to having a large volume of guests at any given event so don't just settle for their usual layout, personal problems often have bespoke solutions.

Set Up Specific Zones

Nicola Dixon Photography

One of the best ways to make a large space feel filled regardless of the volume of guests is to fill the space! Set up specific zones for specific activities and needs as a way to not only take up a barren corner, but to make your space feel purposeful and intentionally designed. Give your guest book its own table, have a refreshment station set out for your thirsty partiers, layout a snacking table for breaks in the entertainment. Details like this won't cost a huge amount but they'll certainly make a big impact.

Create A Lounging Space

Marcella Laine

When planning your venue space consider creating a lounging space for your guests to hang out in before and after the meals, not only will this make it much easier for the venue wait staff to clear away tableware from dinner, but the use of space for a more relaxed and comfortable area is a fantastic way to not only encourage your guests to mingle, but it can turn a large chunk of empty space into a valuable and memorable area with just a few soft chairs and short tables!

Close In The Area

Dallin and Cienna Hassard Photography

One of the easiest ways to make a big space fit a small party is to reduce the amount of space you have to work with. Ceiling hanging floral displays, drapery walls and large, extravagant displays bordering the space you want to fill is an easy and effective way to stop your large space from being overwhelming to you and your guests.

Pull The Focus Into The Centre

Brittney Raine Photography

By pulling the attention to the centre of the room your guests are less likely to focus on the empty bordering space. Things like tall centrepieces, clustered tables and a sweetheart table at the head of the inner circle will not only draw the focus, but will also help to create intimate and engaging energy for the overall party.


- Grainne