The Bell’s General Manager, Ashley Beale, explains how the recent rise in intimate weddings has paved the way for a host of interesting trends that are sure to turn smaller events into big memories…

Feeling weary of what I call the ‘identikit wedding’? Hesitant to spend a fortune on a lavish ceremony amid the current economic crunch? Eager for a meaningful celebration with your nearest and dearest, rather than a vast crowd that includes distant acquaintances? It’s a sentiment you share with many. Nowadays, it appears an increasing number of individuals are opting for more intimate gatherings.

When you consider the benefits, intimate weddings truly offer the best of both worlds. They allow you to allocate your time and, importantly, your budget towards the people who are most significant to you. Opting for a smaller guest list doesn’t diminish the value of your wedding. On the contrary, with the right approach, embracing a “less is more” philosophy can enrich your celebration in numerous ways.

Make it a feast

Catering costs per guest are one of the quickest ways to deplete your wedding budget. Which means that with fewer heads to feed, an intimate wedding offers more choice on what you can offer the selective group you’ve invited. Sit down meals can become five course menus, canapes can become more exotic and plentiful, and you can really lavish your loved ones with exciting, unique and plentiful food. At The Bell, our renowned kitchen team can conjure up a variety of banquets.

Turn it into an event

A smaller guest count leads to greater flexibility, which is ideal for an intimate wedding setting. This opens up numerous possibilities to organise special and unique activities that include all guests in the days surrounding the ceremony. Suffolk, with its array of destinations like Aldeburgh, Southwold, and Walberswick, offers plenty of opportunities for memorable visits and experiences.

The personal touch

How often have you attended weddings where you find yourself in a vast hall, placed at a table with people you’ve never met, barely moving past courteous small talk? The beauty of an intimate wedding lies in its ability to foster genuine connections among guests. In the case of very small weddings, with 20 guests or fewer, there’s even the opportunity to eliminate the need for separate tables. Instead, everyone can gather around a single large table, sharing a meal and creating memories together.

Exclusive weddings

Upon request, we offer the exclusive privilege of private use, with an additional surcharge for those seeking an intimate and private wedding experience. The Bell Hotel provides a comprehensive package that includes the ceremony room, reception area, and luxurious accommodation, allowing you to have the entire hotel to yourself for the day/evening’

A perfect wedding venue

Selecting the perfect wedding venue is crucial to creating the ideal atmosphere for your special day. The Bell offers an enchanting setting that combines historic charm with modern amenities, ensuring a memorable experience for you and your guests. The picturesque location and dedicated staff make it an excellent choice for those desiring a beautiful and intimate wedding venue.

And if you still want a big wedding

Well that’s perfectly fine too! At The Bell, we can host up to 26 guests for a cosy wedding ceremony surrounded by your nearest and dearest.  Following your intimate wedding breakfast, your evening guests can enjoy a lively reception at The Market Hall next door. With space for up to 150 guests, we offer a range of services including a bar, buffet options or preferred caterers for the partygoers!

If boosting your budget and focussing on your nearest and dearest appeals, then get in touch. Email or call 01728 602331 and we can discuss what you want from your dream wedding.