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wedding ceremony at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester Michigan

The Perfect Small Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit

Small wedding venues offer an intimate setting that resonates with couples seeking a personal atmosphere for their special day. These venues are often nestled in charming locations like chapels, historic estates, or picturesque gardens. They cater to the desire for a more focused celebration, where every detail can be carefully crafted.

With their limited capacity, small wedding venues create an ambiance of warmth and closeness. Couples can exchange vows surrounded by their closest loved ones in an environment that feels reflective of their story.

Why Choose Small Wedding Venues

Couples may choose a small wedding for many reasons. Some of the top factors include budget, details, timeframe, and guest list. 

Ceremonies can be costly, but receptions are often the most costly in the wedding planning process. Wedding receptions involve all the food, drinks, decor, and activities. While vendors don’t necessarily lower their prices just because there will be less people in attendance, a smaller event does mean less of your dollars that have to go toward the reception. This gives you more range to pick and choose the things you really want to spend money on, and the things you don’t. 

In the same respect, smaller wedding venues allow you to pick and choose different elements and details that you may want to include. A larger crowd tends to expect a typical format of events, but with a smaller entourage, there are less people to make sure know what’s happening next. If you throw a couple non-traditional things in the mix, there is less confusion all around. This also means you may have less details to consider as far as decor is concerned. With less space to fill, that is just more time you can spend decorating the cozy space you do have to make the specific elements you want shining to be at their brightest. 

In addition, your big day can be a little bit shorter. Any wedding day can have an early start, but with a closer crowd, everyone can enjoy an event that isn’t a whole 7 hours long. Intimate weddings tend to be more relaxing! This also means if you’re not a morning person, you might not have to get up at an obscene hour of the morning to get hair and makeup started!

And finally, the day is about you as a couple and who you’re celebrating with. A smaller venue keeps those who are most involved in your lives closest to you during the entire day. As a bonus, you won’t be worn out from hellos since you’ll already know most everyone. (Even if your face is tired from all the smiling you’re doing). 

A small wedding may not be for every couple. But if you’re hoping for an intimate wedding where you can focus more on your unique personalities, this may be the route for you! To help get your search started, here is a list of our favorite restaurants and small wedding venues perfect to host your intimate Metro Detroit wedding.

Wine glasses at bar at Cafe Cortina wedding in Farmington Michigan
Outside Patio at Cafe Cortina

Cafe Cortina in Farmington Hills  

This venue is perfect to host both a small wedding ceremony and reception. Here, you get the countryside feel of a Traverse City vineyard without traveling that far up north. You can have your ceremony on the quaint outdoor patio amongst the lush greenery, trees, and stone accents, and then easily turn the same space into a cocktail hour while the inside room is set up for your dining experience. There is an on-site parking lot for guests, and accommodations for any shuttle services needed as well, if you’re coming from a separate ceremony spot. And for an extra bonus, this venue is all-inclusive as well! For more info on Cafe Cortina, check out our May 2024 blog post!

The Meeting House in Downtown Rochester   

If you’re looking for a great space to host your reception meal, The Meeting House (TMH) has space for 20-70 guests. The lower level is a restaurant, but the second floor would be completely yours to transform into your space to enjoy the good food, downtown views, and urban setting. While the space setting may be smaller just like you want, the menu choices are not! You get to choose from brunch, lunch, dinner, or a combination of menus. The event coordinator will help you plan your day and answer any questions you may have while planning. Bonuses of this venue is a bar for your space, separate from the downstairs, to accommodate your party; the room is accessible by elevator; and TMH provides linens, silver, and glassware. In order to book and hold a date, the deposit is $350. As a side note, there is no parking lot for the restaurant, however there are nearby parking lots, and scenic walks for your way over to the venue. 

Cake cutting at The Meeting House during wedding reception in Rochester Hills, MI

The Monarch Club in Detroit

Rooftop views and the Detroit skyline? Upscale, luxury vibes? Say less! At The Monarch Club, you and your guests can enjoy a nightlife feel for your big day’s celebration, with both inside and outside options. The venue can accommodate up to 50 guests (don’t forget to count you and your future spouse in that!) and you’ll get to choose options from a traditional dinner menu as well as customize your bar menu. This location has great photography opportunities to get shots on grand staircases, in modern window ledges, in front of the venue’s full bar, and of course, the Detroit backdrop. Convenient valet parking is available for any and all guests. 

The Whitney in Detroit  

The Whitney is a historic mansion built in the late 1800s by David Whitney Jr. for his wife – everyone say “awww”. Unfortunately, it was not a house for too long before it became what it is now known for today as a Detroit destination for fine dining, and one of the most charming places for small Metro Detroit nuptials. This exquisite venue offers old-timey interior charm, sprawling gardens, and 14 different dining spaces! There are even beautiful stained glass windows, designed by Tiffany’s of New York, which are great for romantic photography shots.

Both ceremonies and receptions can be held here, and there is a wedding coordinator/events team to help you through the planning stages. The venue offers valet parking services, and additional parking across the street on Woodward. 

Chartreuse in Midtown Detroit 

Are you and your soon-to-be spouse foodies to any degree? Chartreuse is a popular venue known for its contemporary space and history of award-winning dining experiences. This makes it a great choice for anyone celebrating with 2-100 guests. If you’re looking to wow your guests with a gourmet dinner, this is the small wedding venue for you!

The entire space is available to rent out for your small wedding, and the space is easily adaptable to many different wedding styles and guest counts. They offer comprehensive wedding packages that include catering, bar service, event coordination, and access to their amenities and preferred vendors. A bonus of this venue is their focus on sustainable and locally-sourced cuisine with menus that can be flexible to any needs or restrictions. In addition, Chartreuse is conveniently situated for both local and out-of-town guests with nearby accommodations and attractions. 

Goldner Walsh in Pontiac 

Goldner Walsh is Planterra-esque without the price tag. It’s one of our favorite small wedding venues with options. With five on-site locations to choose from, both indoor or outdoor, this is sure to fit the magical garden greenhouse vibe you may be looking for. Depending on the location you choose, the venue has space for up to 200 guests, so for a small wedding ceremony and reception, there is plenty of space to fill with your close friends, family, games and more.

This location is pretty much as picturesque as it can get, as there are 12 acres of scenic photo backdrops for you to peruse. Due to the nature of the venue, a bonus of this space is a built-in florist to help you plan this essential part of your big day. Something to keep in mind is that they do not provide catering, so besides the florist, it’s more of a DIY venue, but if you’re ready to jump on all of those details, this is a great ceremony and celebration space. 

Mangiabevi Urban Italian in Sterling Heights

Italian restaurant and wedding banquet hall in one, Mangiabevi is known for its authentic Italian food, and it’s delicious! With a rotating, seasonal menu and a head chef directly from Italy himself, the food is bound to be the highlight of the day – besides you two, of course. There is a charming private room with a bar for events so you can be separated from the restaurant side of the venue.

A bonus of this venue is its central location to surrounding parks for family photos and bridal portraits. Freedom Hill County Park and Dodge Park are both just down the road from this venue, and even Fern Hill Golf Club is not too far away. For more in depth information on party sizes and pricing, it is best to contact the venue directly. 

wedding ceremony at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester Michigan
Royal Park Hotel Conservatory

Royal Park Hotel Belgium Glass Conservatory in Rochester Hills

You might feel like royalty, as you rightfully should, with a wedding and reception in this glass conservatory . This space has tons of natural light from its full glass walls, acting as a built-in shelter from any inclement weather, yet still feeling like you’re outdoors. This is a perfect multi-purpose space where the ceremony can be flipped and readied for the reception while you take your pictures.

This small wedding venue in Metro Detroit holds up to 80 guests and does come with all inclusive features to help your day run with ease. It’s even conveniently located right by the main hotel so that you, and any out of town guests have a close and easy option for lodging. Looking for more info on this venue? Check out our May blog!

Booking Small Wedding Venues in and around Detroit

When it comes to planning a wedding of any size, make sure you focus on solidifying your date with your venue as soon as possible. Many venues and vendors book out 1-1.5 years out! Thankfully, small wedding venues tend to have a little more flexibility, but be sure to contact the venue for openings and black out dates while you’re researching your options. Once you have your date and venue locked in, it’s time to book your remaining vendors, especially your photographers and videographer. If you’re looking for a local wedding photographer in Metro Detroit, contact us today for custom package options!

This blog post was written with the help of Caralyn May, Savvy Shoots Copywriter

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