• Sydney Leigh

How To Plan An Intimate Wedding

With everything going on in this world, it is getting harder and harder to plan a big wedding with many family members and friends. Intimate weddings and elopements are starting to be more and more popular. Not just because of COVID, but because of how special and intimate they are. After starting wedding planning, many couples realize that they are planning a wedding to please other people, spending more money than they have, or "putting on a show for other people." If any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, you are not the only one. While I was planning my own wedding, I had these thoughts so many times. Many couples ignore these thoughts and go with the "typical" wedding. This is not how your wedding should be, unless that is YOUR dream. Your wedding should be everything you want it to be, not what others want it to be.

First step to planning an intimate wedding is deciding where you want it, The best part about having an intimate wedding is that you can do it anywhere! You can go elope somewhere out of state, out of country, or right in your home town. Whatever you choose, just make sure it fits what you want. The look, style, and vision you want of your wedding. The location goes hand in hand with the date. If you want Minnesota's North Shore with the fall colors, you obviously cannot have your day be in the summer. If you want Colorado mountains with green grass and warm weather, winter is not the season to get married in. Make sure however you are picturing your day, you incorporate the location you are envisioning and the season.

Once your location and date is decided, time to choose who you all want there. Do you want it to be extremely intimate and just be you and your hunny? Do you want your families to be there? Your friends? Make it an intimate as you want it to be! The less people, the more focus it is on you two, what you want, and how you want to do it. So, sit down and really hash out a list of who exactly you want to be there or not and explain why you want them there or not. IT IS OKAY TO ONLY WANT IT JUST THE TWO OF YOU. I know, you are getting so many pressure from family or friends about making decisions, but at the end of the day, it is about YOU TWO. It is only about about you two, starting YOUR life together.

Next on the planning list, is deciding the vendors you are going to want and need! The typical vendors I see for intimate weddings and elopements are photographers, videographers, florists, hair and make up artists, wedding planner/rental company, caterer, and officiant. How you use and execute their services is really up to you and how you want to move forward with planning your day! Spend your money on the things that you can take away from your day, and that mean the most to you! Here are vendors I recommend! For a photographer, me, obviously! ;) For a videographer, Forest Bound Films or Cole Cruse Films. For a florist, I would recommend Olive&Grace or Indigo Row Floral Design. For other vendor recommendations, feel free to reach out to me! :)

Having an intimate wedding means you can really plan everything when you want and how you want! You can take photos right at golden hour, you can have your first dance under the stars, you can eat an hour before sunset, you can have your ceremony right at sunset. Whatever it is, you can do it exactly how you want and when you want! Really make this time all about you two and what you want, not what others want. It is your day and the start of your life! Here is what I would recommend doing! Have your ceremony about 2-3 hours before sunset. Do a first look before your ceremony and then do your ceremony. Right after you are married, set aside an hour for pictures together. If you have any family or friends you want pictures with, do that before the couple portraits! Once that is done, eat together wherever that is! After you have eaten, let the night festivities begin, whatever you choose to do! Whether that is dancing, partying, bon fire, make it exactly what you want to end the night!

So, how much time should you plan for an intimate wedding or elopement? That all depends on where you are and who you all have with you! If you are in a national park with a ton of different views you want captured, I would definitely set aside a few hours (2-3) at sunrise and a few hours at sunset (2-3) with a rest time in the middle of the day and your ceremony during one of these times!! If you are somewhere that has the same views (mainly) all around, I would choose 4-6 hours around sunset time! For an intimate wedding and elopement, I would do most photos after the ceremony! Do the first look about a half hour before the ceremony so you have time to talk and check each other out. ;) But, then if you have any friends or family, let them wait to see you until the ceremony! That way it is still a little surprise for them and you!

Last, but not least, make this time as fun and adventurous or intimate and romantic as you want it! This day, again, is about YOU TWO. So let this day represent you and show your personalities and your love! For this amazing day, the bride is wearing a dress from Flutter Dress, a hat from GigiPip, and earrings from Lucy Ave Boutique. The groom is wearing a suit from JcPenney and a tie from Dazi. The table scape (table decor) and arch boards were provided by me! Yes, if you book me, you can totally use all of this! Don't be afraid to reach out! Let's plan your intimate wedding or elopement! :)

xoxo Sydney


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Mountain Elopement Photographer

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Destination wedding and

elopement photographer
based out of Minnesota but

always ready to travel.