How to Have a Small Wedding

He popped the question, you said “yes”, and the glow and magic of the moment is still fresh in your mind, playing over and over. What if I told you that it’s possible to hold on to this sweetness and still plan a wedding? That wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful?

The guest list, which is probably one of the first steps you’ll take in planning your wedding, will set the tone for everything that follows. Deciding early on in the process that you want to have a small, intimate wedding can do wonders for simplifying your planning. Intimate weddings usually include 75 guests or less, and there are numerous benefits to selecting this style of wedding. Here are some points to consider as your start to think about planning a small wedding:

1) Trimming the guest list: As you start compiling your guest list, think of it as an extra large dinner party and build up from there; this will be the hardest part, as it will mean resisting the urge to invite everyone you know and care about. You may want to take some time and decide what is going to work best for you two, whether or not it makes everyone else happy. This doesn’t have to be a negative thing; think of it as an opportunity to create more memories with all of your guests, and to offer them a personal experience one cannot get with larger weddings.

2) The venue’s the thing: Having a small wedding opens up a number of possibilities for your venue, ranging from the sentimental choices (a wedding at home) to more unique options, such as a cave or a secluded forest alcove. Some of the more unique venues, such as historic buildings, greenhouses, and sailboats, are also better suited for smaller groups. 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.

3) Let yourself be inspired: Once you and your fiancé have settled on the guest count and secured your venue, give yourself some time to be inspired outside of the unending visual feast that is readily available at your fingertips (specifically Pinterest). Take a moment and step away from the computer. Take a stroll through an art gallery. Find a local floral wholesaler and walk around through their floral cooler. Walk through a specialty fabric store and absorb the colors and feel the fibers. Find an element, a color, a texture that inspires you and let that enrich your wedding style.

4) Your vendors, and a coordinator too: Did you know that some vendors specialize only in intimate weddings? This is especially true for photographers, planners and designers/ florists. What better way to get the wedding you envision than to choose vendors who have an eye and passion for the same thing? You will also want to consider that even though you’re going small, you will more than likely still have the same number of vendors as you would for a large wedding, which is why you will not want to skip on a coordinator. Whether day-of, week-of, or month-of-coordinator, these professionals can do wonders for easing the stress of planning, especially as you near the big day.

Article by Elisa Restea from Elisa Event Design

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10.02.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

DIY Autumn Nashville Wedding

We can’t think of a better way to start off October than with our first Autumn wedding of the year! We love all of the special details that Jessica Sloane worked into the design for this adorable couple, and Austin Gros did a phenomenal job capturing every part of their special day.

More from Jessica Sloane:

Sarah and Marc are an artistic couple with Brooklyn style and a Southern sensibility. They wanted to have a laid-back gathering of close friends and family to celebrate their marriage. Sarah, a Brooklyn designer, known for her ceramics and work with porcelain, wanted to contribute her art to the wedding design. She crafted all the porcelain pieces that were used as vases and the hangings placed over the guest tables. Her overall approach was DIY and that’s what made her wedding truly unique. All of the decor, hangings, desserts and favors were contributed by either the bride or talented friends and family. Sarah even took her stunning Nicole Miller dress and with her mom, reworked the lace to be a gold modern design that complimented her aesthetic. This relaxed celebration was truly “homemade,” but felt more like an intimate community of artists, family and friends.

Photographer: Austin Gros | Designer/Creative Director/ Stylist: Jessica Sloane | Florals: Vintage Florals | Hair Styling: DIY | Makeup: DIY | Paper Goods: The Bride | Venue: Wren’s Nest | Desserts and Cookie Favors: family made | Rentals: Southern Events | Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller and lace added by the mother of the bride

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10.01.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Elegant Outdoor White Wedding

From the Bride:

A photographer and an actor. Two very different schedules. Two different cities and many, many separate international trips.  Eric and I have been together for 7 years, and have tackled all of our adolescent years as friends and our adult years as a unit. When Eric proposed, life started to make a lot more sense for us – we were finally planning our life together. We collectively made decisions, chose our strengths and tackled our individual projects throughout the exciting year of planning our day and ‘next steps’ of our future.

Tuscany, family, wine, little lights… timeless; these were a few of the words spilled on our first wedding notes. After seeing so (so) many weddings ourselves due to our line of work, we wanted to somehow try and create something we’d never photographed – something simplified and classic. E and I have both traveled through Europe separately, and have many big plans for the future there. It became a natural platform for our inspiration; after we chose that, we worried less about things matching, the size of the peonies, or the regular formalities.

We hoped we could create the ambiance of a grand dinner and dance party, one that we just happened to be getting married at! With the unpredictable weather of Southwestern Ontario, we knew we were taking a bit of a risk having a roof-less meal under the stars… this doesn’t happen in Canada! Man oh man, am I ever glad we chanced it – it allowed for an incredible and unique atmosphere as it painted a true European backyard.

Eric is a huge foodie, so he tackled the exciting venture of our on-site barbecue and menu. I love diving into DIY projects, so my sister Lori and I collected silverplate vintage antiques to plant succulents and vines in them over a period of two months pre-wedding. It was a total labour of love, thank goodness for sisters with green thumbs!

The most sentimental touch was the fact that my dad sketched a rendering of the villa that was printed on every invitation – I mean, that was a dream come true for me. We even a had chance to use slate from Eric’s parent’s 100 year old house for the table numbers; I feel crazylucky that we were able to incorporate little pieces of our favourite people!

It was the truest, warmest, most emotional day of our lives. I got to walk down the aisle to the love of my life down a natural row of 150 year old trees, and be embraced by the best people I know following an epic dancefest. It doesn’t get better than that. Thank you to photographers/adventure partners/friends Jacob & Annie for helping us see it all again through their storytelling- even more beautifully than we’d remembered.

Photographer: Brumley & Wells | Designer/Creative Director/Stylist: Richelle Hunter (Bre Black on Day-of Coordination) | Florals: Bre Black | Hair Styling: Bethany Medland | Makeup: Sarah Smith MUA | Invitations: Vintage Wedding Love by Greenbrook & Co. | Calligraphy: Richelle Hunter & Lori Elder | Venue: Elsie Perrin Williams Estate | Cake Design: Jerrica Hunter | Videographer: Friends/Eric | Rentals: A&B Rentals | Wedding Dress: Demetrios Ilissa from Petrov Bridal | Wedding Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Grooms Suit: Indochino | Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell, J Crew, Aiden Maddox

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09.30.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog


Sometimes we can gather inspiration more from moods, memories, feelings, and past experiences rather than from images of someone else’s wedding. Finding inspiration in all aspects of your life rather than trying to imitate what someone else did, is the best way to create an authentic wedding that is a true representation of who you are as a couple.

We hope that more of these stunning images from Amy Osaba and Meghan Kay Sadler serve as inspiration for your wedding- maybe you’re not looking for a ballet inspired wedding, but seeing shoots like this can help you expand your mind. Think of experiences you share, things in your past that have had an impact on you, places you’ve been, and start designing from there!

Creative Direction and Floral Design: Amy Osaba Events | Photography: MK Sadler  | Model: Savannah Lowery | Dress:Samuelle Couture Bridal | Headpieces: Jennifer Behr | Calligraphy: Graceline Art | Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Venue: The 1896 | Makeup: Nicole Sievers | Hair: Styles on B | Rentals: Patina

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09.29.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog