The Benefits of Hiring a Smaller Venue
I’m not sure when the trend for giant weddings kicked off but now it seems like there’s no way to get out of throwing a massive do. Food vans, sweet tables, even carnival rides; it seems like the only way to fit everything in is to hire out a football field.
Despite our obsession with ‘bigger being better’ there are a lot of perks to refrain from hiring carnival dancers and instead dialling back the festivities. While of course it is your BIG day not everything in it has to be huge. Here are some of The Wedding Secret’s top benefits to hiring a smaller venue:

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Counting Cash
Okay, weddings aren’t the easiest things to save money on, between booking the venue, sorting the meal and buying the booze, it’s surprisingly easy for the cost to slip into five figures. But there are ways to cut some of the wedding costs – ways that don’t involve a skimping on the décor, recycling the booze or cutting the canapes in half – and one of those ways is by opting for a smaller, budget wedding. There are dozens of incredible budget venues that can serve as an incredible location for a wedding – without making you break the bank.

One such venue is The Little Theatre , in Bath. The lovely little picture house boasts a charming 1930s inspired interior, while its external architecture fits seamlessly into the grand classical Georgian style of Bath. The smaller venue provides a great place for a smaller ceremony and lets you put a little cash aside for the future (or the honeymoon).

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Ignore the Budget
Ironically, considering this option comes right on the heels of our saving tips, a smaller venue doesn’t have to mean obsessively checking the budget. You might have always dreamed of a luxurious wedding venue, resplendent in gold detailing, antiquated tapestries and sparkling chandeliers but can’t quite afford to book out Buckingham Palace for the day. A smaller option is a great alternative.
Mansion House Cardiff , for example, is a century old manor house with luxurious suites and many of its original features and furnishings, preserved in the décor. It is also just one of the many small manors and castles that you find across England. By choosing one of these slightly smaller venues you get all the benefits of a castle wedding without having to get a second mortgage to pay for it.
If you aren’t a fan of the British weather and want to go all out, why not use the money you’d save on a larger venue to spice up the location? Instead of a wedding in a large manor in England why not a small pavilion on an Ibizan beach?
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Cut down the guest list
Another reason that you might choose a smaller venue is to cut down the guest list. Weddings are a massive event in your life and naturally everyone wants to be there. Relatives that you’ve never even heard of are popping out of the woodwork for an invitation, friends from primary school are suddenly lobbying for a position in the bridal party and that’s not even getting into the complexities of ‘who gets a plus one?’.
Having a smaller venue can help you cut down on the numbers. Venues like St Anne’s Chapel can host a maximum of 60 guests for a reception and, as a 14th century Chantry chapel, is still impressive enough that your guests won’t be questioning your choice.
Having such strict restrictions on the guest list gives you a great excuse to be unable to invite people and is a great way to stop your mum insisting that you invite a few of those relatives you would rather avoid..
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Keep it comfortable
A smaller venue also gives you a chance for a more intimate reception. How many weddings have you been to where it feels like you’ve spent the whole reception an entire dance floor away from the happy couple? And, of course, for the more introverted bride and groom it can’t be fun to have to be the centre of so many people’s attention.
One great way for a more intimate wedding reception is to book out a smaller, cosier venue and a pub reception is a great way to do this. Venues like The Coopers Arms  in London or Bournemouth’s The Greyhound Inn that are small enough to create a warm, intimate atmosphere but are still more luxurious than just nipping round to your local pub.
They give you a chance to enjoy yourself in a relaxed and comfortable setting with the important people in your life without having to do the rounds of the room – far less exhausting as well!
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Amp up the décor
Smaller venues are also far easier to adapt to your theme. You might want to turn your wedding into a winter wonderland, a vintage paradise or a steampunk ball. This can be slightly hard to do in larger venues where you may be trying to decorate a ginormous hall or massive marquee.
With a smaller venue you can make your décor stretch further and turn your picture into reality. You can hang tapestries and ribbons across the walls or engage in creating some DIY origami and bunting without having to spend weeks trying desperately to make enough to fill the room.
You could even use some of the money you save on the smaller location and splash out a little for the reception – maybe have a mini cocktail bar with personalised drinks named after you and your partner, or get in a photobooth to give your guests a little extra entertainment.
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Much more choice
Of course the biggest reason to make the decision to go for a smaller venue is that there are simply more small venues than there are large ones. Smaller venues also offer a much larger choice. The SS Great Britain  and St Mawes Castle can both host the same number of guests but they are very, very different. One is a coastal castle built by Henry VIII with a bizarre design and wide halls. The other is a (now permanently docked) luxury historical cruise liner.
Overall there are lots of benefits to hiring a smaller venue, whether it’s cost saving or whether you just fell in love with it at first sight. If we’ve managed to convince you on the perks of a small venue, why not head over to The Wedding Secret and check out our wide range of other small venues available across Britain?