I love that more people are understanding how an intimate wedding can still be as much fun as a bigger one.

Sarah Carroll


Location: New York

Over the years I’ve worked in industries including hospitality, the arts, and tech. While the types of events have varied, the common thread has always been the people. Small Shindigs was created out of a desire to bring people together and I believe that intimate gatherings foster the best connections. After years of doing events for up to 1,800 people, I’ve realized that big moments happen in small spaces.

When planning my own wedding, my husband and I decided a super small ceremony at home would be special for us, before we threw our *big shindig* with our whole crew. So, I know from first-hand experience how impactful tiny celebrations can be.

I love working with the “in-between” couple—those who may want more than a courthouse style elopement but less than a 100+ person extravaganza. Above all else, I enjoy supporting those who are truly invested in the whole “marriage” part of the wedding.

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

Smaller weddings are becoming much more popular! I love that more people are understanding how an intimate wedding can still be as much fun as a bigger one. There are so many benefits to a smaller affair, a major one being that you can actually talk to all of your guests.

I’ve also been seeing bright colors become much more popular and I think it’s so refreshing. There are less pale palettes of white and light pink.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

There are so many ways to get creative with your budget when it comes to wedding planning. My first piece of advice for couples working with a tighter budget is to make a list of your priorities for your wedding. Rank those that are “non-negotiable” and those that are “nice to have”.

One area that varies greatly and is an easy place to cut back costs is flowers. From doing super small arrangements with bud vases to using less expensive flowers like carnations, you can still have an absolutely beautiful tablescape without breaking the bank.

Another area you can easily save is on food and beverage. Speak with your caterer about the different service options for your size group. Perhaps a heavy passed hors d’oeuvres party would be better suited to your budget, rather than a full coursed seated dinner.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

Vendor relationships are the most important! I make sure I’m really taking the time to get to know what makes a vendor’s offerings unique and what their work style is. Not everyone prefers to communicate the same way, so I try to learn early on what works best for them.

I also feel it’s important to let vendors do their jobs. As a planner, I’m there to keep everything on track and make sure the client’s needs are met, but I do my best to let the experts execute their responsibilities.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

I just launched a new offering for those looking for a super intimate celebration. Tiny Weddings are all-inclusive and are designed for under 20 people. I work with couples on planning leading up to their wedding and am there with them the day-of as well.

What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?

I worked with a couple who wanted to have a lightsaber fight in the middle of their ceremony. I love that they were doing something so unique and original! We practiced during their ceremony rehearsal and made sure the DJ and officiant knew the right cues. It went off without a hitch.

Sarah Carroll
Author: Sarah Carroll

Share on Twitter: