tell me about your (very!) intimate wedding

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
1306 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

bumping, im curious about this as well as we are seriously considering this.

Post # 4
Member
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Well, I haven’t done this, but I’m playing it out in my head and here’s what I would do.

As for the ceremony, I would do it the same as if you’re having a big wedding. Have chairs set up for your guests at your reception site, allow your guests time to find their seats, and then walk down the aisle. If you would play music for your big wedding, then play music the same way for your intimate wedding. (I’m having trouble figuring out how I’m going to do this for my own wedding, so I can’t provide much insight here.)

I would probably do the “first look” thing that a lot of brides are doing so that you get all the pictures of you and your groom that you could want, and you get those out of the way before the ceremony. During the cermonoy, I would definitely have the photographer there. Then after the ceremony, the photographer can get pictures of everyone.

Head to a restaurant with a private room, set up and decorated beautifully, and have a nice, relaxing meal with your loved ones. And yes, have the photographer there. To end it, I’d do the cake cutting, have cake with everyone, and do the “get away” thing (leave with all of the guests walking you out basically).

 

Post # 5
Member
1306 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

yeah Im thinking something similar except it will be just FI and I and two witnesses. Im thinking we should,

book a hotel room for the night,

get a bouquet for me (a big all white one) and a bout for him

buy a long white dress, but with very little poof factor, shoes, hair accesories (but no veil)

get my nails/hair/make-up done,

get a fancy photographer

do a first look with with plenty of pictures,

walk down the aisle together ( or maybe just me),

do the nuptial mass,

maybe take more pics in the church,

do and early dinner with just us two or us two and the two witnesses,

leave for honeymoon,

send out a card to all our loved ones.

 

Post # 6
Member
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

We had 30 people, so not as small, but still pretty tiny.

We did a first look, pictures, a Ketubah ceremony with just our families, and then the ceremony. We had a friend play the keyboard for music, and our cantor sang for us. Since you seem to want structure, it might be nice to do the traditional walk down the aisle and have some music to let everyone know what is happening and when.

We had pictures taken after too. I thought it was nice to have a small number of people b/c it made pictures easier. Even though it was small, it wasn’t any less important to me so I wanted to have a good photographer so we’ll have pictures to remember it by. We had a bigger reception, 90 people, but it was just a dinner with no dancing. Even if we just had a small dinner I’d want the photographer there for at least some of it.

 

Post # 7
Member
3226 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yay, I can actually help with this!

I had a very intimate wedding on October 9th (20 guests). Let me tell you, I was all nervous about how everything would play out as well, and had a million questions in my head while I was planning this out: what should I do? would it be boring? is it going to feel like  wedding? etc, etc, etc. Let me tell you…don’t worry about it! My day was so freaking awesome, and I am extremely happy I did it that way.  Here is how it went.

I actually had my ceremony at a Catholic church.  As you can imagine, I was kinda feeling awkward about it, because 20 people in a church would look kinda sad…but in the end, it didn’t matter. It was beautiful!  My brother walked down with my mom, my hubby’s parents walked down together, my MOH walked, then I walked down with my dad.  Since it was in a church, we had an organist and vocalist, and it was basically a full mass wedding.  The ceremony started at 2pm and ended around 3pm.

After the ceremony everyone went outside, and we started taking photos right outside the church. After about 30 minutes, my hubby, the photographer and I left for Boston to do photos by ourselves.  We pretty much told everyone that cocktail hour started at 5pm, and went on our way. (I was kinda freaking about this part of the planning…didn’t know how people would feel being left to themselves for a period of time, but it worked out fine. I don’t know what they did while we were in Boston, and that’s ok…they’re adults. All that mattered is that they got to the restaurant when they were supposed to! lol)

As I said, my husband and I got to Boston, and took photographs for about an hour, then we headed to the restaurant (UpStairs on the Square) to join everyone.  We got there around 5:30pm, and everyone was already there, enjoying the cocktail hour.  Here is how we timed our dinner:

5-6: cocktail hour

6ish: first dance

6:15pm: sit down for dinner

8pm: cut cake

9pm: leave restaurant

We had the restaurant for 4 hours (which again, I was like..ehehhh….its this too long for just 20 people? Answer: no). We had our own private room.  To setup the day, we had a few DIY projects, and told the restaurant how to set everything up, and we had a florist bring in centerpieces. So we did decorate the room a bit and everything…just like any other wedding. We had cocktail hour, a three course dinner, unlimited bar, a dessert buffet and cake.

There was no dancing for the guests, just our first dance. We setup our own music on an ipod for cockail hour and for the first dance, and then let the restaurant play their own music for the rest of the night.

Even though we didn’t have any announcer, DJ, dancing, flower throwing, etc., it all felt special, wedding like, and awesome!

So that’s it. It was amazing. I say, go for the small wedding. Even though I tell you not to freak out about it, you’ll probably be nervous about how it will all play out (because I was like that), but let me tell you, in the end, you’ll be the happiest bride ever!

And to finish, here are some of the photos of my event. Credit to Alicia from Alicia Renee Photography

Photos:http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=245934&id=154574216434&ref=mf

Post # 8
Member
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I had 35 people, and we did the same things we would have done for a big wedding. We got ready in separate rooms but did see each other and take pictures before the ceremony, we had a ceremony with an aisle, etc. Our ceremony and reception were in two private rooms of a B&B/restaurant, and were the perfect size for our party. We were able to have dancing. It did not feel out of place to have the photographer or any of the other “typical” wedding elements.

The only thing we did a little differently was mingle with the guests before the ceremony started, which was much easier to do with so few people to see. We also did not have a DJ, and I think that a DJ that made announcements would have overpowered our crowd. Having so few people, though, meant that it was very easy for us to play music with a laptop, and also meant that we did not need a DJ to make announcements. When we had something to announce, we just stood up and said it! Easy to do with 35 people, hard to do with 200 people.

I’ve also been to other very small weddings where we had a table reserved at a restaurant amongst the other diners. This was fine, but I think it feels much more special to have your own room. Many restaurants have private rooms that are designed for groups 10-20 people, so if you could find a room like this it could be perfect for you! And as a bonus, since restaurants probably do not do many weddings in these small rooms, they may not charge you wedding-like rates.

Post # 9
Member
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@FutureNYa: We basically did EXACTLY what you are planning…In NYC, natch. So this will be a LONG post, but hopefully it’ll help. I loved my wedding, by the way, and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have because I love remembering it!

For the ceremony, FI, me and my siblings (who were sort of unofficial BM & MOH) arrived after everyone else. This is partly because we obviously took the longest to get ready. So our families were waiting for about 15 minutes. We didn’t do the walk-down-the-aisle thing because I wasn’t into it; we all just kind of walked up to the spot. Part of it that helps is your ceremony site. Try to get some sort of space that helps people orient–a gazebo, between flower plantings etc. But if you can’t get that, your parents can also just stand in a semi-circle around you to create the space. And rely on your officiant to welcome everyone and start the ceremony. You CAN have music (we didn’t) if you wish, but we just marked the beginning of the ceremony with a bell. We did the ceremony in a public park. It took maybe 15 minutes.

We hired our photographer to shoot the getting ready and ceremony and then a private photo session of just us for about an hour sort of hanging around NYC. It wasn’t weird to have her in the intimate setting IMO, although I wasn’t really paying attention to her! We also asked her to just shoot the toast at the beginning of the dinner and then she was off. The key here is: find a photographer YOU are comfortable with; someone who’s personality gels with your own. Don’t go with anyone who makes you feel funny. Tell your parents exactly what they should do during your photo session so they have a plan as well and aren’t standing around while you go off. Maybe they can go to a nearby hotel for drinks–just make them have a plan ahead of time.

We then went to a restaurant about 1 hour after photos. We had a private room (and it was enclosed in the KITCHEN, which was so cool!) and I wore my dress. I loved having it in a private room because we weren’t a spectacle and it was quieter so we could hear everyone. My dad made a toast and my brother made one too and it was really nice.

HERE are some KEY POINTS that I think will help you on your big day:

1. If you’re doing it in NYC (you said NY, but I don’t know where), get a permit for the park if you can even though you don’t have to for parties less than 20. It gives you rights to the space and the ability to ask people to leave if you don’t want them around.

2. Do a walk-through with your officiant and make sure you have an idea of where people are going to stand. Remember things like, if your 90-year-old grandmother will be there, someone might want to bring a folding chair for her.

3. Incorporate some ritual into your ceremony and mark the beginning and end with sound. Again, we used a bell, but we also could have used a singing bowl or chimes or something. A ritual can be anything you like–wine, sand, unity candle–but it’s a nice touch that helps establish your ceremony itself as a ritual.

4. Our officiant had a college-aged kid he knew well and my DH also knew come with him to the wedding. He and kid arrived 30 min. before ceremony just to make sure there was no dog poop or anything. The kid’s job, however–and this is something to consider–was to be our “enforcer.” We didn’t anticipate any problems and we didn’t have any in the end, but it was NYC and you never know about people. So kid was there in case a member of the public was disrupting the ceremony and he could go over to deal with it. He was a blackbelt in karate, but it wasn’t about his ability to kick ass, it was more that he could channel energy in a positive way and really understood how to handle people. But again, most people will respect what’s going on and keep their distance, and it’s unlikely there’ll be a problem. But you might want to consider an extra person or just asking if someone can assume that role in case something happens.

5. Make sure people know what they’re doing when. Give them a schedule, help them out with transportation and maps, and again, make sure they know exaclty where to go and what to do after the ceremony, whether it’s drinks while you photograph or going straight to the restaurant. Make sure they understand HOW they’re going to get there too–are they going to walk (in heels)? Drive? Take cabs? Take public transport? Make it easy on them.

6. And I highly recommend the two of you leave right after dinner and go off on your own–don’t go back home and pack or anything. You two leaving is the signal to everyone else it’s over.

7. Have a rain contingency plan. We had great weather, but the predictions of rain up until 3 days out was nail-biting.

Again, I LOVED my wedding and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas.

Post # 10
Member
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

My brother had an intimate wedding with 10 attendees including himself and his wife. They booked their wedding night at a gorgeous B&B that really suited their vintage, classic feel and were able to use the property for photos and a casual “cocktail hour” for their guests before, during, and after their and their guests group pictures were taken. They decided to have a first look with their guests present. It was a sweet touch. With them aiming for a more intimate feel, it was nice to have the whole group take part in each special part of the day.

About three hours were spent at the B&B then we headed to a very well suited restaurant where they had their ceremony and dinner in a private room. His Bride had the traditional entrance with her father at her side. They had a nice 15-20 minute ceremony, the traditional table for signing the wedding certificate, and we basically followed with a great meal. As far as smaller details go, music was playing during the bride’s entrance and played softly during the exchange of vows and meal. They decorated the room with flowers and table linens, much like any other wedding would have. I expected it to feel a little too casual as far as the logistics of it all would go like arranging everyone, planning for her entrance and for the ceremony to begin. That said, they quietly coordinated with texts to get the right timing, my brother gave us the heads up and it ended up going quite smoothly!

They had a great photographer who they felt very comfortable with which I think was very important. With his easy going attitude and everyone’s comfort level with him, he more or less blended in as another guest and allowed for the evening to feel natural, like a family get together. He left for our dinner service and when it wound down, returned to take more pictures outside/on location with the bride and groom while the guests left. 

All in all it was a really nice, classy evening. I personally would want to include more family… but I would enjoy a similar venue. The only oversights that I felt would have really rounded out the whole feeling of the big day was that they didn’t bother with invitations, place cards, a cake or favors etc. I think because it was strictly immediate family they didn’t feel a need for this, and maybe I’m just too accustomed to a traditional wedding, but I think even if they were incredibly simple… it would have been a great finishing touch.

Post # 11
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@luli29:loved your photos january 1st I am getting married in a priave room with only 30 guests as well.. I hope it turns out as well as your’s did ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@luli29:loved your photos january 1st I am getting married in a priavte room with only 30 guests as well.. I hope it turns out as well as your’s did ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@luli29:loved your photos january 1st I am getting married in a priavte room with only 30 guests as well.. I hope it turns out as well as your’s did ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 14
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

tagging myself here for reference! great ideas, all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 14
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 1969

JennyW1:  jenny-I’m planning something similar and are wondering: what restaurant did you choose for your reception?

Post # 15
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 1969

JennyW1:  hi jenny- doing something similar in nyc and I’m curious- what restaurant did you choose for your reception?

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