Why Couples Are Choosing More Intimate Spaces for Their Weddings

The inside of the ballroom at Bykenhulle House set up for an intimate wedding of 16 guests.
The inside of the ballroom at Bykenhulle House set up for an intimate wedding of 16 guests. Photography by White Poppy Weddings

We’re seeing more and more couples choose to have a more intimate gathering of close friends and family for their wedding days. They’re steering clear of the big events with a large guest count and the big number that is attached to it. There’s more reasons than just the cost as to why couples are falling in love with the idea of a more intimate setting, especially in the Hudson Valley.


Weddings have always been very traditional until more recently. Although some still follow traditional suit, we are seeing a more modern approach. One way we’re seeing this is in the venue choice couples are making. Gone are the days of all-inclusive venues that are dripping in crystal chandeliers, overly carpeted or marbled floors, and lackluster food with water downed drinks under drop ceilings. Couples want something unique, an experience for themselves and their guests. If they’re going to spend good money on this day, they want everyone to have a great time, great food, and an unforgettable experience. You see barns, private properties, renovated industrial spaces and bed & breakfasts becoming more and more popular. They provide a backdrop unlike any other venue, the ability to customize the space to your liking, and at some, you can bring in your own caterer, which is a big plus for many couples. These spaces provide the tranquility and uniqueness that makes any event feel more intimate and purposeful.


A couple dances in the ballroom of the Bykenhulle House
A couple dances in the ballroom of the Bykenhulle House. Photography by Alex Tumbarello.

While some couples enjoy the idea of an all-inclusive venue so they don’t have to do anymore planning than necessary, a lot of couples want to choose how they spend their money. They want to choose the venue, the caterer, the planner, amongst many other vendors, but these mentioned tend to come in a package deal with some spaces. A big chunk of the money spent is on the food so it better be great! Now, more than ever, food has become a big focal point for a lot of people. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, gluten-free, organic and locally sourced, are just some concentrations that have a large focus group of followers and many venues can’t accommodate all of these accommodations, while most caterers can. There’s also specialty caterers that focus on particular styles of food. So if you’re looking to have a completely Italian, Indian, BBQ or Korean focused style of food, outside caterers can give you exactly what you’re looking for. This leads to the couples feeling listened to, feeling like their money is being spent on exactly what they want, and their guests don’t have to worry about what to expect. This puts everyone at ease and in turn, gives the ambiance a stress-free vibe where guests can feel at home and comfortable.


A 60 person wedding on the dance floor during the reception at Bykenhulle House.
A 60 person wedding on the dance floor during the reception at Bykenhulle House. Photography by 2hit Photography.

Of course cost is a main component of any event, wedding or private party. But as we all know, the second you tack on the word “wedding” to anything, the cost skyrockets. Couples don’t want to sacrifice quality due to cost, so most choose to cut their guest list in order to still have the unique venue. This leads to a beautifully intimate and personal wedding with close friends and family. Couples want to feel like their money is being well spent and that their guests will have a unique experience that wont feel like “every other wedding they’ve ever been too.” It’s about the experience more than anything else. And we’ve all done the typical wedding venue event, now it’s time to experience a modern take on weddings and really enjoy the experience as a whole.


The Hudson Valley is more cost efficient than NYC or Westchester and offers a more relaxing environment, wooded properties, farm venues, or private property, all places you can’t get in southern NY. Guests can enjoy the weekend upstate and make it a trip rather than just traveling in for the wedding and then leaving. So if you’re thinking about hosting an intimate wedding, we urge you to take a look up in the mid Hudson Valley area to see what awaits you!