I have always rooted for small and intimate weddings. There are SO many great things about hosting these kinds of events and I'm going to spill my guts telling you about it.
Before we dive in though, I have to warn you. I'm going to say some uncomfortable but necessary things. However, please believe me when I say it's all out of love. Truly.
So, let's get that uncomfortable part out of the way and talk about why we opt to have a big wedding. Personally, I think part of that is because it's ingrained in us from childhood. Think about it. It's what we see in movies, TV shoes and all over Pinterest. A second reason is because most of us (me included) have tons of family and friends and we want to celebrate with those whom we consider close. But if we were to take off the wedding, rose-colored glasses for a moment and go through our guest list with an extremely critical eye, how many of those people can we HONESTLY say are our ride or die folks? How many of the people on that guest list do you talk to on a weekly basis? How many of the people on that guest list do you see continuing to have a flourishing relationship 5 years down the road? 10 years down the road? I know it may seem cutthroat but take a hard, long look at that list and if you find yourself crossing names off then you may want to ask yourself "WHY are we hosting such a big wedding?". Think about that. This is important. What is you why? Be brutally honest with yourself here, no one is judging you.
Now that you've searched within yourself and answered that very important question "why?" we can move to the next phase. If having a small wedding is something you are considering, please keep reading, I think you're going to like this. If a small event is simply not an option because you are an all-around rock star and people magnet I get it. Your awesomeness coupled with your 12 siblings, 30 aunts and uncles and an innumerable amount of cousins, make it impossible to have a small wedding so I completely understand (story of my life). Even though this post may not be for you, will you let us blow your mind by showing you what we can do for events like yours? Shoot us a note and let's get to planning and designing.
If small and intimate is a feasible option let me open your eyes to the amazing-ness that is a small event. First, let's define what we mean by "small and intimate". How many people are we talking about? Well, that's up to you but what we have seen are couples hosting intimate weddings with as little at 10 guests. Others have had about 50 guests. So, for purposes of this blog post, when we mention small and intimate weddings we are referring to weddings with 10 - 50ish guests.
For now, let's start painting the possibilities that lie ahead. The picture we are painting is not just some "dinner party" with the title of a wedding. No. We are creating an experience. A nice evening can easily be forgotten but an experience lasts forever. Remember that.
For starters, catering. Picture this, have you ever had an incredible fine dining experience you will never forget? You know the ones I'm talking about. The restaurants with select menus serving 5-course meals with wine pairings? That restaurant you have to make reservation for 3 months in advance? Well, imagine providing your guests with a fine dining experience composed of course meals and wine pairings. A sommelier explaining to your guests what kind of wine they are drinking and why they opted to pair it with a particular dish. A chef cooking up something inspired by you and for you. With a smaller guest list an experience like this, enjoyed with your loved ones and closest friends is unforgettable. And that's just the beginning.
How about photos? Your photographer will be better able to capture every.single.detail. of your special day without having to navigate hundreds of guests to get the money shot. During your ceremony your photographer will actually be able to capture YOU as a couple without dozens of arms and phone lining the isle. Your wedding photographer would be like a kid in a candy store when given the time to photograph all the small details that go unnoticed with larger events. And believe me my photographer friends live for this. It inspires them. And if you've ever seen an inspired photographer's work, you are in for magazine worthy wedding photos.
Let's talk details for a second. I know you've heard the saying "the devil's in the details" and it's true. If you are still day dreaming with me, imagine having those lux linens and modern, couture china. Custom table settings full of texture, pattern and personality, YOUR personality. Instead of a seating chart, your wedding planner actually pointing each guest to their seat where their name is placed atop their professionally designed and styled place setting with personal touches that speak to them. A smaller wedding can give you the opportunity really celebrate this special event the way it's meant to be. With meaning.
What about flowers and decor? I know you have fallen in love a million times with some of the flower arrangements you've seen on Pinterest. If you have ever gotten a quote for those, you know they are a pretty penny. The thing is, with a small and intimate wedding you can afford them! You can actually have some beautifully curated flowers that showcase your personality and match the overall look and feel you want to achieve for your special day.
How about wedding planning costs? Well, wedding planning for smaller events can cost less than the larger ones because there aren't as many invited guests. Prices for planning can range greatly depending on whether you want someone to manage the whole show or you just need someone to manage the day of the event. A word of caution here. For the the kind of event we are discussing here, I will always recommend having a full wedding planner. Yes, it will be more expensive but having the same person be with you from conception to fruition is key for this specific type of event. If you want to learn more about our process to create these kinds of weddings, shoot us a note so we can talk about how we can execute the most amazing small and intimate affair you could have ever imaged OR take a look at everything we have included in our small & intimate wedding package.
We haven't even talked about all the beautiful locations where such an event can be had, your gorgeous gown, the custom stationary, beautiful rentals and so much more. Can you guys understand why I love small and intimate weddings so much? If an event like this is pulling at your heart strings but you don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it happen for that 200 person guest list; can I invite you to consider two options?
1. Take a long and hard look at that guest list and really ask yourself what's the experience you really want to have for such a momentous occasion.
2. Could you maybe consider hosting an intimate event like the one we just discussed for close friends and family and maybe find a way to cut back on those statement making pieces for the larger event? Food for thought.
If you think this may be for you, we would be happy to talk you through how to make all this work. Remember, you can forget a nice evening but an experience lasts forever.
P.S. Can you do us a huge favor and share this post with someone you know? We're starting a new phenomenon, here!
Photos by: Erika Layne Photography