8 Ways to Make an Intimate Wedding Memorable
Okay, it’s more than 8… but there are 11 of us and we have a lot to say! We will preface all the goodness that’s about to be unveiled with “This is one blog post you’re going to want to Bookmark!”
In true “wedding planner to the rescue” fashion, the DreamGroup Planners have lots of valuable insight and tips to share when it comes to carrying out an intimate micro wedding. In fact, we could probably write a book on the subject after the year we have all had… hmm… Now there’s an idea!! Stay tuned on that one!
In the meantime, we have come together to share a few tips (and a few of our most coveted wedding vendors) for making an intimate or micro wedding celebration extra awesome! And be sure to scroll to the bottom for DreamGroup’s KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) Micro Wedding Checklist with a few more recommended Vendors just because we feel like spreading the love today!!
~ The budget required for a 30-50 person wedding will cost far less than one for a 150-200 person gathering so go the extra mile with your floral and decor if that’s an area that excites you! It may be your opportunity to have that luxury centerpiece you pinned or that super wow jaw dropping floral ceremony backdrop you only ever dreamed about! Until now… Production and design companies like Koncept and Paradise Events have adapted to support the micro and intimate wedding market in the most luxurious and beautiful way!
~ My advice is hire a killer marriage officiant to create a customized ceremony that is totally and completely you! In addition to the popular practice of the couple writing their own vows an officiant can offer a ceremony rich with feeling and personalized stories made even more engaging with a touch of humour thrown in! Our friends at Young, Hip, & Married are a dg FAV and offer a truly memorable personalized experience that is often the highlight of the entire wedding! And while I’m at it… here are a few of my favourite wedding associates that you should totally check out… Ruffled Rose, Simply Sweet Photography, The Cake & The Giraffe, Girl on Wax… the list of talents in this city is enviable!
~ Create customized notes of gratitude for each of your guests either given to them upon arrival or waiting for them at their seats. It’s a lovely touch not often time permissive when the guest count is high and a wonderful way to make your guests feel extra special and appreciated. Our friends at Making Memories are so good at creating custom stationery… Hint Hint.
~ Splurge on decadent welcome boxes for your guests filled with “things you love” or #supportlocal artisanal goods and edible delights! And unrelated to these two tips here, but still deserving of a mention are Helmet Salon and Mathias Fast Photography.
~ Hire a professional company to offer live streaming of the ceremony and cocktail hour so that out of town guests or those that could not attend can be a part of the moment! You may be tempted to get Uncle Jerry to Facebook Live it, but it’s not the same thing. I’ve had a few couples say after the fact that they wish they had hired a professional to manage that part. Our friends at So Wedding and New Narrative have had a few opportunities to assist our clients with their live streaming needs. And before I go a little Woot-Woot to my friends at Soirette and my girl Jamie Delaine.
~ Host the wedding ceremony at a special location that holds meaning. With a smaller group it makes it much more feasible to pull this off! Perhaps a parent’s backyard, or the park where he (or she) proposed. And be sure to include an amazing photographer that gives you all the feels both in their shooting style and positive love filled vibes… while we’re on the subject let me introduce you to Sheena and Andrew Heaton of Cedar & Sand Photography.
~ With a more intimate group of guests couples are afforded the ability to up the food and drink ante by offering guests a food experience rather than the usual dinner. Luxurious multi course, wine paired, menus with pre and post dinner food and drinks fares of fancy sprinkled throughout the night are a lot of fun for the couple to host and for guests to enjoy! Check out two of my FAVS Blank Canvas Catering & White Table Catering.
~ Also, with the relaxed, less hectic day an intimate wedding brings comes the gift of time! And in this case time for photos! How better to celebrate the occasion, the joy, the dress, the shoes, each other… than with an extended photo session for two?! Choose a few special locations around town to spend a few hours taking some fabulously romantic photos together! And allow me to introduce you to Brooklyn D Photography and Niche Boutique Florals.
~ As not only a DreamGroup Planner, but also Creative Director of BridalStyle Vancouver I can’t help but make my tip about the FASHION!!! With the money saved by hosting a smaller guest number this leaves more money to splurge on the bridal fashion! Spoil yourself with a custom embroidered veil, couture gown, fabulous statement earrings (available in The BSV Shop), or a killer pair of designer heels! YAS GIRL! You know you want to! A few of my fashion FAVS include Fern & Moon, OM Couture, Jane Rhyan, & Atelier Simone Martin. And I’d kick myself if I didn’t give a shout out to my tried and trues SambaJoy Photography and Le Gateau Bake Shop! Love ya!
~ If there was ever a time to involve a professional videographer this is it! No matter who didn’t get to attend in person, they can still enjoy reliving the moment when you share it with them afterwards. And it’s also a wonderful keepsake to be enjoyed for many years to come! Check out my friends Gina & Chris at Butter Studios!
~ Just because it’s a micro wedding doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate being a bride on every side of the wedding day! Live it up! Arrange for manis and pedis with your girlfriends… Schedule a boudoir shoot to mark this empowered time in your life. Hong Photography offers some fun and elegant boudoir shoot options.
~ Depending on how micro or intimate your wedding is and also, what restrictions around consuming food are in place at the time, consider having little mini wedding cakes made and given out to guests as they leave. Cake by Nicole offers some very chic and creative mini cakes to go!
~ Having planned multiple micro and intimate weddings myself over the course of this past year I wholeheartedly agree with the tips my fellow DreamGroup planners have shared above (especially the sentiment that it’s an opportunity to splurge on things you may not otherwise have been able to), but there’s one more reason to host a micro or intimate wedding that has not yet been mentioned… Time with your guests! With larger weddings you can certainly make the effort to connect with your guests briefly, but you can only spend so much one on one time with 120+ people! With the more intimate guest numbers there’s just so much more time for cherished conversations and meaningful hugs (gosh I’ve missed those)!
~ And my second suggestion would be to include live music for the ceremony! It’s a surefire way to create that perfect killer atmosphere as you say “I do”! And now I’m supposed to share a couple shout outs to those vendors I love and admire most (which is so unfair because I love and admire so many industry peeps that help make my clients so HAPPY) but here goes… Hugs to Balconi Floral Design Studio, Note Photography, & Van DJ Co. Okay, so that’s 3.
As things start to open back up and larger weddings are allowed to take place, there will still be some couples who prefer to KISS and host a micro wedding anyway! Here’s our easy as 1-2-3 steps to organizing that perfect micro wedding!
DreamGroup’s Micro Wedding KISS Checklist:
- Speak to a wedding planner to either obtain paid consultation and vendor referrals or to plan the whole thing if you really want to keep is simple!
- Book a Venue that allows you to offer food trucks on site or catering-to-go. Some DreamGroup FAVS include Edge Catering, Railtown Catering, Peake of Catering, & Cocktails & Canapes who are all offering some lovely micro wedding menus and some creative and elevated “meal to go” options!
- Hire your favourite local florist to create a gorgeous ceremony backdrop and a fabulous fresh floral bouquet bigger than your head… if you like. Check out Flowerz, The Flower Factory, Budget Blooms, Celsia Floral, and Myrtle et Olive just to name a few of too many dg FAV florists to count!!
- Book your Officiant… In addition to YH&M mentioned above we also love the peeps over at Vancouver Officiant!!
- Book your Hair & Makeup person! Something to get you started… Denise Elliott Beauty Co, Jayna Marie Makeup & Hair, Save the Date Beauty & Tori Blush.
- Rent a few lawn games like Giant Jenga, Connect 4, or even Horseshoes if space allows. Our friends at Bespoke Decor have some fabulous items for rent.
- Hire some entertainment like a live guitarist/singer or trio to liven the atmosphere and keep guests engaged! Our friends at Musical Occasions, VanHattan Entertainment, & Musos Entertainment offer some terrific options. And/or include a mobile portrait studio with a vibrant backdrop… Lucky Booth, The Near & Dear, & Butter Photobooth are 3 dg FAVS!
- Book the most talented fabulous photographer whose photos make you totally giddy! Refer to our coveted master list here.
- Create Gift Bags to be enjoyed at the wedding… Fun to assemble and might include things like personalized hand sanitizer (available on Etsy), a face mask, some almonds, chocolate or cookies, sparkling water, and a personalized thank you for coming card!
- Create a moment by moment timeline that includes all involved vendors start times, contracted services, and end times. Also include the key ceremonial moments and note the involved people for each event so everyone knows what you are planning and when. Be sure to also include addresses and phone numbers of all locations and vendors.
- Create your guest list and send out either paper or electronic invitations (Paperless Post is a dg FAV for evites with style and Written Word Calligraphy would create something totally custom and fabulous if given the opportunity). It’s also a good idea to send wedding announcements to anyone who did not make the micro cut inviting them to a virtual viewing of the occasion so they can feel involved and can offer their congratulations.
- Arrange for professional virtual streaming of your ceremony and post ceremony mingling time! Make sure you have appropriate wifi capability and a strong connection. Shyah K Films is offering a lovely little package you may wish to check out.
- And don’t forget to buy your marriage license! Click here to learn where to get one!
Wedding Planners Signing off!! Phew! That was a good one!
Genève McNally, Founding Planner
Planner Photos by Butter Studios
Main Blog Photo by Shari + Mike