Last weekend, I had the distinct honor to be a part of a very tiny wedding. Only one witness for the civil ceremony, two for the church blessing and a total of twelve guests for the wedding luncheon. After planning hundreds of weddings having anywhere from 100-700 guests, it was quite a change.
About fifteen years ago, I planned a similarly intimate wedding of seventeen guests but just about every wedding between now and then has been at least one hundred guests and many have topped four hundred.
Most people don’t hire full-scale wedding planners for small weddings, which is a shame. All weddings have virtually the same number of components it’s just a matter of increasing volume of people. The small wedding from this past weekend had just as many, if not more, details as my larger weddings and required the same attention to that detail to make it a success. We had a timeline and we followed it!
What I love about the small wedding is that it allows even more customization and personalization. This weekend, we used the client’s own antique china service and sterling silver for lunch, as well as his grandmother’s vases to hold the centerpieces. It made the table so stunning and wouldn’t have been possible at a larger event. Each guest received a beautiful bag of personalized gifts selected by the couple that went far beyond the usual wedding favor. Again, something that would not be possible if the client had to prepare (and pay for) two hundred of them.
But most notable was the intimacy of the wedding and reception, the feeling that everyone in attendance was important to the couple. And when you’re exchanging once-in-a-lifetime vows, isn’t that the way it should be?
So, although most couples don’t feel they could ever have a twelve person wedding, if you find yourself considering a teeny tiny celebration, don’t be afraid of it. There are many wonderful advantages to small weddings. Sometimes size isn’t everything.
My dear friends Monte and Jack are getting married this weekend and they feel lucky. Lucky to now have the legal right to be married in D.C., lucky to have found each other and lucky to be celebrating with friends.
We’re using several sweet “luck” elements in the wedding but I just found this charming set of “lucky us” keychains on Etsy and had to share. The pennies can be from the year you met or the year you married. What a cute idea! Lucky us!
I’m currently knee-deep in wedding planning for my dear friends Monte Durham (of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” fame) and Jack Evans. Monte and I have known each other for over 17 years when we first started working together doing weddings– he doing bridal hair and me doing the planning. He and Jack had already been together a few years when I first met them but legal marriage for gay couples didn’t seem close on the horizon.
Fast forward almost two decades and gay marriage is legal in D.C. (woo hoo!) and my friends are excited to make it official. Even though anyone who knows Monte knows he is anything but simple, he does want a small, low-key celebration to include a ceremony at the DC Courthouse, a blessing at his church and a luncheon. Perfect. If we weren’t in the middle of a government shutdown, of course.
Although I’d applied for their license before the shutdown, we can’t depend on the courthouse wedding anymore so I began searching for alternatives. DC Elopements to the rescue! Laura Cannon and her team stepped in and absolutely saved the day with the perfect short and sweet package and even agreed to do it on the Courthouse steps wearing a judge’s robes (Monte loves himself some dramatic flair).
The process of booking the ceremony was so simple and they were accommodating with the ceremony date and time we already had planned on. If you are looking for a great officiant for your D.C. wedding, I highly recommend DC Elopements! They have all types of packages and can even take care of the license process for you (which is a pain in the neck). A great company with wonderful celebrants!