Many of my clients have discovered a new outlook on marking special occasions: the joy of celebrating small. The pandemic may have forced us to minimize group size for the safety of all, but I’m hoping this is an approach we keep.
Following the celebration of their daughter’s bat mitzvah late last summer, one host family told me they were so glad they’d switched to a smaller celebration in their yard that they plan to do the same with their two younger children, even though safety protocols will (hopefully) be long gone. Why? The whole event was just so much easier and more comfortable for them.
Smaller celebrations allow a lot more flexibility for the hosts, letting them focus their time and resources on the things they care most about. First, there’s more time to visit with each guest. And isn’t that what celebrations are really all about — coming together with family and friends to share in a momentous event?
Beyond that, many hosts find they can actually celebrate bigger with a smaller group. My clients splurge on elevated menu choices, increased service, decorations and flowers (or even a full themed event), entertainment or activities, and gifts or treats for guests. One favorite: boxed baked goods for each guest to take home.
Additional services, like setup, design, and decoration, really make the day easier for the host, allowing them to relax and enjoy the festivities. And have you heard: the new trend in weddings is big diamonds and small dresses!
A smaller guest list also allows for a more elegant location or an extended stay. One couple is planning a days-long wedding in upstate New York, hosting all their family and friends on a rented property for the duration. And this has allowed them to host the rehearsal dinner, day-of brunch and snacks, and the wedding dinner, all with individually-designed menus featuring their favorite Haitian and Asian foods, a welcome surprise on their budget.
Finally, smaller celebrations allow planning from the guests’ perspective, designing a celebration that will thrill. The focus moves from problem solving the feeding and moving of a crowd to building a full and beautiful experience for each guest.
Smaller celebrations are all about making the most of every detail. Working with a professional, like an event planner or private chef, can help. Professionals experienced in working closely with their hosts can tailor each element to your tastes and design a truly unique and intimate celebration. We can offer plenty of ideas to include friends and family from afar, too, so that no one feels left out. I’m really enjoying the smaller celebration, and I hope you do, too!
Renée Kashuba is a private chef, baker, and writer in Tarrytown. Find her online at www.foodmadebyrk.com, Instagram/foodmadebyrk, Facebook/MadeByRK, and Twitter/MadeByRK.