May 4, 2022
When it comes to wedding venues, bigger isn’t always better. Nashville is home to a ton of wonderful spaces, including small wedding venues to host your intimate event. Whether you are eloping or just want to keep the guest list simple, these five Nashville venues will be worth looking at. (Plus, we just really enjoy photographing their spaces.)
Sometimes you just want to keep your guest list small. Small wedding venues can be amazing for a lot of different reasons. When you are getting married at a small venue, you don’t have to worry about travel between ceremony and reception, and it can be much more eco-friendly with less guests. In addition, because the area is smaller, you can spend less on florals, decor, and rentals. It can be less stressful planning for a smaller number of guests as well, whether for you or your coordinator. Finally, and most importantly, small venues allow you to spend more quality time with your guests.
The Cordelle is one of Nashville’s most well-known venues. While the lovely Victorian-era building can accommodate up to 175 seated guests inside, it is also an excellent spot for smaller weddings. The staff at the Cordelle is kind and professional, and we always have a smooth time working there. For a small wedding venue, the Cordelle packs in a lot of options for photography. Some of my favorite photo locations include the front steps, the green space / garden, and the pedestrian bridge in the rear of the venue. There are few other venues in Nashville that offer that sort of variety in such a tight space.
Located in Franklin, CJ’s is a woman-owned venue that boasts a ton of beautiful spaces. They pride themselves on being a small wedding venue and claim that they specialize in intimate weddings of up to 135 guests. The staff at CJ’s is unparalleled and includes a design team to help your wedding day dreams come to life. The venue has indoor and outdoor space including a ceremony garden, a reception pavilion, bride and groom quarters, and a lovely botanical garden. I love taking photos on the cobblestone garden paths, on the lovely front porch, and up and down the quaint main street CJ’s sits on.
Long Hollow Gardens is a small wedding venue located in Gallatin, Tennessee. During regular hours, it is an operational greenhouse and winery. This venue stands out not only because of its unique location but also because of it’s seasonless weddings. Because it is a greenhouse, the roof is translucent and offers stunning natural light during all times of day and seasons. Rain plans at Long Hollow Gardens are easy and will not make you cut corners on visual appeal. My favorite places to take photos at Long Hollow Gardens is in the reception hall among the plants, on the lovely red gravel pathway to and from the bridal cottage, and in the vineyard.
To add to the list of venues, Wilburn Street Studio is a small, minimalist venue with a ton of character. The walls have a worn adobe or stucco feel which are the perfect backdrop for ceremonies or portraits. The venue can host up to 250 guests and has a backyard area that is great for cocktail hours. My favorite places to take photos at Wilburn Street Studio are in the large, warehouse-like area in the back of the building and against the textured walls.
Lastly, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens are a staple in south Nashville. They can host a lot of different sized weddings and often hold more than one wedding across the estate in a single day. There are up to eleven options for ceremony locations across Cheekwood’s 55 acres, but the most intimate is the Wisteria Arbor. The space is an outdoor terrace that overlooks the reflecting pools and the expansive park beyond. It has some of the best views on the property. My favorite places to take photographs at the Wisteria Arbor are by the reflecting pool and in the surrounding gardens.
When planning an intimate wedding, you have a lot of benefits working for you. You can spend less money and have the amazing opportunity to socialize more intentionally with each guest. The venue you choose will have a lot of impact on how comfortably you can host your small group and how smoothly everything goes. I hope this short list of our favorite small wedding venues in Nashville will help you with making that important decision.