Tips for Planning an Intimate Wedding


We have learned in the last few years that couples actually really don’t always want the big circus of a wedding to get married…many have been relieved to be limited to a smaller number of guests in settings like parks, restaurants, forests, and their homes! There are so many great places to get married that allow you to keep your guest list small and your wedding intimate – here are some tips to help you have the tiny wedding of your dreams!

How fun is that photo? I took part in a very small wedding in the Distillery District in Toronto which began with photos at the big heart, then a walk through the cobbled streets led by a piper to the restaurant where the ceremony took place! Our sweet couple wanted a very small wedding, and they were able to go all out for their guests while keeping costs down, and looking like a milion bucks!

Get Your Marriage Licence

Just because you are having a small wedding doesn’t mean it isn’t a legal one! In Ontario you need to get your marriage licence within 3 months before you wedding date and you must have your marriage licence at your ceremony waiting for your Officiant to get there.

Don’t Forget Your Officiant

One of the first elements of your small wedding that you should book is your Officiant. This ensures that no matter what, you will be getting married! Just because your wedding is small and might be more casual, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take this part seriously. Officiants get booked years in advance so don’t be tempted to wait until the last minute.

ProTip! Officiants often have lower rates for weekday elopement style ceremonies so if you just want a quick 5-minute ceremony you might be able to save a few dollars you can spend later on cake and champagne! I charge $400 for a full ceremony, and $200 for a quick weekday elopement.

Find the Perfect Outfit

Just because you’re getting married in a smaller location doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t or shouldn’t look stunning. Whether you want to wear a beautiful white gown or an eye-catching cocktail dress, the choice is yours. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure you both walk out the door feeling your best, this is your special day after all. If you’re bringing friends and family along, don’t forget to tell them to dress up too.

Don’t Forget about Invitations

While this isn’t a must, many couples wish they had made an effort with invitations, even if it was just for their parents, siblings, and closest friends. Plus, when you don’t need to print as many invitations as you would for a larger wedding, the costs are far lower, and you can easily find a local card maker to create the most perfect invitations for you. Paper invitations add a formal touch to your big day and give you something to keep at home to remember your wedding.

Flowers are Nice to Have Too

You don’t need to have flowers at a smaller wedding, but it’s always nice to at least have a bouquet and a boutonniere for you and your partner. If you really wanted to, you could also purchase corsages and boutonnieres for your guests. In fact, if you’re really creative, they’re not that difficult to make at home, just make sure you get your flowers from your local florist as they will have the best and freshest flowers in season.

Hire a Professional Photographer

You might be tempted to ask someone you know to snap some photos, but hiring a professional photographer is highly recommended. You won’t regret having some photos of you getting ready before you say your vows and the happiness on your faces once you’re married. Since you won’t need a photographer for a full day, the costs will likely be lower. Plus, having professional photos taken means you have high-quality pictures you can print for an album or your home.

Get Some Help

Just because this is a smaller affair doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help from those you love. This is particularly true if you’re planning to have a small reception at home. Family and friends are always happy to help and it means less stress for you so don’t be afraid to make a list of tasks and ask your loved ones to pitch in!

Speaking of Receptions

There’s something about celebrating with the people who are closest to you that makes your wedding day even more special. If you’re able to, arrange a small celebration after your ceremony. Having it at home is more intimate, but you could even book out a small section in a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal and a glass of champagne together.

As you plan your intimate wedding, remember that this is about what you and your partner want. You don’t need to feel guilty about not being able to or wanting to include everyone. Plus, you can always arrange a larger celebration at a later stage.

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