A practical inspiration post for you today from Elisa Event Design, a full-service event florals, design and planning boutique specializing in planning, paper goods, floral arrangements and installations for weddings, social functions, and lifestyle photo shoots. Her business is almost two years old, and one of her goals for 2014 is to better define her niche! This brings us around nicely to our topic for the day: Intimate Weddings. Elisa loves them and is becoming a specialist on the topic. May this post flow straight from her passion to your planner!
As our anniversary gets closer, I can’t help but laugh at the craziness we experienced on our wedding day. Granted it was a wonderful day, surrounded by everyone we loved, but it ended up being a 700 person wedding! To give you an idea, we attempted to take pictures during the reception with every one of our guests, but only made it halfway through the room! Imagine the personal “thank you” notes that we had to write post-wedding!
Everything about our wedding, before and after, was a huge endeavor. Were we to have our wedding all over again, we would buck our cultural penchant for large weddings and go for a more intimate wedding experience.
Intimate weddings usually include 75 guests or less with a more low-key style. There are so many great reasons to have an intimate wedding. Whether you are looking to decrease your wedding costs OR you want to create an extraordinary, luxurious experience for a select few, these ideas can help get your wedding planning started.
1) Put money towards your future (not just one day): you and your fiancé cannot imagine spending thousands of dollars on a couple hours when that money can go towards the future you two are building together, such as putting a down payment on a house. If you cannot justify spending money this way, you shouldn’t feel pressured to create an extravagant event, especially if a more intimate one suits your personalities even more.
2) Make it a personal reflection (with a unique venue): what better way to showcase your personality as a couple that to choose a unique venue to match. Sarah Burnett of Burnett’s Boards shares some fabulous venue ideas you will want to check out—everything from an empty swimming pool, art museum, tennis court, greenhouse, artisan factories, treehouse, sailboat, antique house, café, and even your home. Many of these unusual venues will probably also not cost as much, since they are not traditionally marketed for weddings with the typical markup that’s associated. Some other unique venues include national parks and caves!
3) Aim for intimacy (& more attention to your guests): Create more memories with your guests, and offer them a personal experience you cannot get with larger weddings. The Knot offers this insight about intimate weddings: “There is a real focus on the guest experience right now, and this is the ultimate for a guest.” Adding personalized details also becomes more manageable when you’re creating them for a few.
4) Make it manageable (you already have a job, after all): Couples today have many responsibilities to juggle—work, school, social obligations. Wedding planning is a job in and of itself, and every vendor involved will required individual attention and meetings. If you don’t want to take on another job, but do not want to hire a planner, opt for a simpler wedding that doesn’t require nearly as much planning. The intimate wedding also comes across as much more romantic and spontaneous!
5) Make it a surprise: speaking of romantic and spontaneous, why not invite friends and family over for a party and surprise them with a ceremony? The advantages of a surprise, intimate wedding are many: “from avoiding everything from drawn-out planning to making sure friends and family do not stress out about gifts, dress codes or other traditional wedding flash points.”
6) Make it a family affair: The two of you may have families which combined are large enough to fill an entire guest list. Or perhaps, when you envisioned your dream day, you saw yourself being surrounded just by your closest friends and loved ones. A small garden wedding in the backyard of your family home or in a lovely outdoor locale would be a great match for an intimate gathering.
7) Make it magical (with a destination wedding): your wedding decisions may not be subject to a tight budget, and you’re looking for something unique yet small. Why not whisk your dearest friends and family members to a destination fit for a prince and princess?!