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8 Venue Ideas for an Intimate Wedding

I define an intimate wedding as having less than 50 guests. This could be a small gathering of friends and family for dinner or an elopement at City Hall. Obviously you’ll save a bunch of money having a smaller wedding, but you’ll feel closer to every guest because you’re only inviting your most important people. I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely love a packed dance floor with 200 people, but there’s such an intimacy with small weddings that I really love as well. If you’re thinking about keeping your wedding small, I’ve put together 8 venue ideas for an intimate wedding.

Your Favorite Restaurant

It’s Friday night, your heels are on and you’re going out. What’s your spot? Where do you go? Your favorite restaurant could also be your wedding venue, just ask the staff if they have private rooms for events. More than likely the answer is yes. Aileen and John picked Del Frisco’s in Boston’s Seaport for their intimate wedding.

Go Back Home

If you and your fiance are not from the area, consider making it easy on your families by having your wedding back home. Maybe you moved to Boston for school and just stuck around (cause it’s awesome!) Maybe you want to bring your besties to your destination wedding, of course they’ll say yes! Bonus points if you’re actually from somewhere gorgeous like Denver where Emily and Tanner’s wedding was!

Denver & Estes Park Colorado Wedding Photos

All About Family

If you have a close-knit family then consider staying local and small with an intimate wedding in your home town. Eleni And Matt’s Greek wedding was held at their hometown church with just immediate family. After a few portraits of the two of them, they all went out to dinner afterwards.

At Home

It doesn’t get more intimate than getting married in your living room. I especially love photographing weddings at home because I really feel welcomed in as part of the family. There’s nowhere for me to go other than to be close to my couple and their family and really capture all the emotion of their celebration. Leah and Blake’s wedding was especially fun because I’ve never seen 16 people dance so hard ๐Ÿ™‚

History in the City

Boston is home to so many historically significant buildings, and the Omni Parker House would be at the top of that list. For Lauren and Trey’s wedding we went outside for some bride and groom photos while their guests were treated to a tour of the hotel where JFK proposed to Jackie. We all met back inside for dinner in one of the smaller elegant rooms at the Omni Parker.

City Hall

I can’t say it better than the bride Stef did,

“Small weddings and elopements get a bad rep, but we feel like we had THE best day and did it right! We still splurged on the good stuff- spent a long weekend staying at The Langham Hotel, hired Stephen as our photographer and had a big family supper to celebrate the day in Bostonโ€™s North End. What made it more special was celebrating the day with our parents. Lots of happy tears! For all those couples that say ‘we should just elope to (insert warm and sunny/romantic/special location)’ JUST DO IT! You wonโ€™t regret it! Just make sure you treat yourself to the things most important to you.โ€

Check out their City Hall Elopement here.

Find a spot and set up some chairs

So, you should definitely ask first ๐Ÿ™‚ But if there’s a park or garden area that you and your fiance love, ask if they would consider renting their space. Every time you go back there, especially if it’s somewhere meaningful to you, like where you got engaged, it will be so much more meaningful if you get married there as well. Bonus points if you find a garden across from the rocky coast in NH like Sarah and Cody did ๐Ÿ™‚

Scale it Back

Oftentimes intimate weddings are the ceremony and dinner only. But what if you want that feeling of a small wedding but still want to dance to your favorite local band, have your MOH give a toast, and enjoy cocktail hour before dinner? Many venues offer smaller areas on the property for smaller weddings. Everything about Liz and Pat’s Wellesley Country Club wedding looked like a lot of my bigger weddings, except there were less than 50 guests. Instead of the big ballroom, they opted for the covered patio. Instead of a big ceremony they just popped a tent up next to the fairway. Whatever your reasons for having a small wedding, just remember what’s important to you and splurge on the things that will make your day memorable.

See all of the intimate weddings included in this article here.

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