Post # 1
I’ve been engaged for about 3 weeks now and just can’t stop putting ideas together for our wedding. We have decided on a winter wedding in January 2014. It will be very intimate. So far i have 15 guests listed but could potentially be 25 max. We are wanting something very intimate, just family and a few close friends.
I am needing ideas from those of you that have had or are planning an intimate wedding. My Fiance and i are kind of dorks and very non traditional.
My ideal wedding includes a short ceremony and delicious food (FI both love eating great food). We are not going to have a bridal party of any kind. Neither of us really like dancing so i would rather avoid the whole awkward first dance. I have looked at a few venues and am possibly leaning at having the ceremony and reception at a garden ( they also provide a dining hall and catering) We have also considered getting married at a park then going to a nice restaurant for dinner. I feel like there is a lot of pressure to entertain guests during a wedding.
Have any of you just done a ceremony and dinner? How long did that last? I know a few venues that give you 8 hours and i feel like that is a lot more time then we will need for a ceremony and reception. I just want to be with family, look beautiful and enjoy some great food.
We really enjoy things that are simple, nothing over the top so i feel like an intimate wedding is the best choice for us.
Anyway ladies would love your ideas or experiences with these type of events, post pictures, stories whatever you would like. Thanks
Post # 3
@lightmist: We are just doing a ceremony and lunch buffet for 70 guest. We dont dance and are very conservative. The restaurant has reservations for 3 hours for us to entertain, eat, etc.
Post # 4
We had 23 guests. Our ceremony was in one place and dinner in another. We had dinner in an italian restaurant’s private room. It was 4 courses, open bar all on one big huge long table with everyone together. Dinner lasted about 2 hours. We did go to a lounge afterwards for drinks/dancing, but everything was separate.
Post # 5
@lightmist: Yeah for small weddings! We did an intimate ceremony and brunch reception for 15 guests. My husband and I both love breakfast and brunch, so we had our ceremony at 12noon and then did brunch right after. The food was amazing. We found a very high-end downtown hotel that does a fancy Sunday jazz brunch and has intimate wedding packages. We had our ceremony in their lovely rooftop garden, there was then a brief cocktail hour in a lounge area while my husband and I took some pics, and then guests moved down into the private wine room for brunch. Scheduling our wedding to coincide with the hotel’s famous Sunday brunch gave our guests much more options than we could have afforded on our own – smoked salmon, mussels, crab, prime rib, custom omlettes, waffles, unlimited champagne plus standard breakfast and lunch fare – it was brunch porn basically.
No formal wedding party (I felt like everyone there was a part of our wedding party), no dancing, just an intimate ceremony and delicious meal. Guests arrived around 11:30, ceremony was at 12noon, brunch began around 1pm, and I think we said goodbye to most guests around 3pm and then took some add’l pics with the photog? Day was kind of a blur.
My brother did a similarly intimate wedding (in Madison, WI ironically) where they rented a loft-like space downtown by the capital and then flipped the space after the ceremony for a catered brunch/lunch by their favorite restaurant – I love the intimate, relaxed vibe of a small wedding and I’m sure you guys will have a wonderful time.
Post # 6
I’m subscribing to this thread because this is exactly what we want to do. I love the idea of an intimate ceremony, private dinner and maybe drinks with friends later
Post # 7
@lightmist: If you’re in Madison and planning something small, you should definitely check out the Gates of Heaven synagogue in James Madison Park and then dinner at Bellini!
We also had a really great experience working with Brocach (they hosted our rehearsal dinner). You can reserve their upstairs area (no room fee) and the food is excellent. It would be a more relaxed vibe than Bellini, if you want something less formal.
Quivey’s Grove is also a cool venue for hosting a smaller wedding.
Post # 8
I am definately not doing an intimate wedding but I absolutely love the idea!!! With a group that small I think I would do an intimate ceremony in a garden/park/wherever and then dinner at a nice restaurant. Many restaurants have small rooms that would fit a party of your size. And maybe you could get a room that has some extra space that you could set up a few extra chairs or tall tables so people can walk around and socialize before/after dinner. And no need for dancing, but background music would be nice. Doesn’t even need to be live unless you have the space and budget for it – an ipod works!
Post # 9
We had our outdoor wedding for 50 people a few months ago at a private estate. The ceremony started at 5:00pm on the front lawn and lasted about 10 minutes. The reception started at 5:30pm in the backyard and almost everyone stayed till 8:30ish. We did not have a bridal party, did not dance, did not do the bouquet/garter toss. It was a very laid-back affair and we thoroughly enjoyed it; our guests also were relaxed, laughing, and getting to know one another.
If you have any specific questions (about timeline, details, etc), please feel free to PM me.
One question: You mentioned having the ceremony in a park, but what’s the weather like in January where you live?
Post # 10
We are having a small wedding in March 2013.
I went back and forth, as my family is HUGE and his is small. We went from summer wedding, to bakcyard wedding, to renting an estate house, to this. This feels right. I will have a barbecue for my extended family this summer at the family summer home for the people that were not invited.
Once we decided on a winter wedding and I knew I wanted to not have a headache or be responsible for 35 centerpieces and huge seating charts, and lots of $$$ we don’t have to spend things came all together.
ON the plus side of a small wedding, you can really do things up, as you have a smaller amount of tables/space to work with. Like I can make FIVE gorgeous centerpieces, and it’s no sweat….
We just started planning a month ago. It will be 25 people max.
We decided on having in at an Inn. We wanted some place with GREAT FOOD first, a great place (with great interior design so that even if I did nothing it would still be beautiful on all it’s own) and just a beautiful place to stay and then a wonderful honeymoon.
We are non-tradional. His childhood best friend is marrying us. We have 3 children already and live together.
Still undecided on the dance, we are having a quartet play during the ceremony and cocktail hour, and then during dinner we will have a playlist, and if we decide just the first dance. The Inn has a pianist that starts in the lounge at 8pm, which will be around the time our festivities will end so that works out. I want simple/elegant, and yummy:) There is also a really fun brewery down the street, that we think if we want to leave the INN with the few friends that are attending, we may head there, or not. Open bar during cocktail/dinner. I fell in love with the look/feel of the place the minute I went in. I’m into details and even the doorknobs were lovely (haha). There is an ice skating rink out side of it, and the rooms are just gorgeous. They take care of everything and the wedding coordinator is great with all my emails/questions. We will get married in front of the fireplace and then have the entire back private dining room for dinner, and the cocktail lounge for our cocktail hour.
Post # 11
These are the wedding I want to see on ‘Four Weddings’! I’m trying to convince Fiance into having a smaller guest list. I figured, large guest list=nice/decent wedding… Smaller guest list=way nicer/beautiful wedding.
The venue (hopefully) is an old employer of mine, they already agreed, but we have since postponed the date, so I hope they’ll still allow it. Don’t think they’ll charge us and it is a beautiful place. Lots of trees and greenery with a little pavillion and kitchen and fire place!
I’m not sure about dancing either, but I would love to have some live entertainment, nothing big, just a solo guitarist. I think it would be beautiful!
Post # 12
@Miss Mauverick: hi! I would love to hear more about your wedding details… (you can send me a private note) We just got engaged and and are planning for 50 adults (plus some kids) in June. Ceremony outside with dinner indoors at a fine dining restaurant. I’d love to hear more details about yours! Thanks
Post # 13
@KCKnd2: thank you for your suggestion. I will definitley check out bellini. I have also looked at quivey’s grove and we are considering it as well.
We were also thinking of maybe getting married at the capitol building (because of the beautiful architecture) and then having the reception at one of the many fine restaurants downtown.
@Miss Mauverick: the weather here is pretty cold in January but we won’t be having the ceremony outside so that should be fine. Hopefully it will snow for even better pictures!
I love the idea of an intimate wedding because that way we can spend time with our close ones and it is great on the budget. It kills me to have to spend money on decorations for a ceremony and reception just for them to be thrown away. Hopefully we can find something that barely needs to be decorated (like the Capitol) all this girl wants is a juicy steak and some wine. I feel a lot better about making this happen now that you guys have given me more suggestions 🙂
Post # 14
I am also planning a very small wedding. Its only 21 to 22 people involved. We are getting married in a park (outside of course) My older sister is my Maid/Matron of Honor and my Fiance brother is his Bridesmaid or Best Man. My little sister plays the violin so she is providing the music for us during the mini ceremony. The wedding will start at about 230 and should last like 15 minutes at the most. Soon as it is over we are taking a few pictures then heading to Pappadaeux Seafood Kitchen for our reception. We reserved a private room that also gives me space for our wedding cake which is great. The space comes with table linen and napkins and great center pieces. We are not doing any dancing or anything like that, just food and converstaion. I am however getting toasting flutes for us, as well as wedding favors for the few guest that are coming. And Im thinking about getting those special napkins for the cake but Im not sure. I love that our wedding is small and it fits perfectly in our budget. So the only other people that are coming to our wedding and reception thats not our parents or siblings will be the wedding planner and the photographer.
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
This thread from another Bee may be helpful to you http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/the-small-wedding-thread-less-than-40-guests
Post # 16
Did any of you hire a wedding coordinator for your intimate wedding? I am wondering if it is necessary. I am wanting to have a stress free day but at the same time there isn’t a lot to prepare. Any thoughts?