We’ve had couples coming to us with thoughts of downsizing their large wedding to an intimate one. BUT they still want to have the wedding they dreamed of. The biggest question we’re getting is how can I downsize my wedding day while still making it feel special?


Well, we gottchu! Here are some helpful tips to make your wedding day everything you’ve wanted while keeping it small. If you’re getting stuck in the logistics, give yourself permission to make heart decisions based on your priorities. If your heart wants you to get married now, do it! It’s your relationship and partnership that should be the driving force to your decisions. The main thing to remember is that your wedding day should be WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT IT TO BE. Say it with me now! Whether you’re planning a small micro wedding or a full on adventure elopement (see the full checklist herreee), we believe it should be whatever your heart wants!

Downsizing to an Intimate Wedding and How to Keep it Special

LIVE STREAM THE WEDDING

Some couples have waited so long to get married that they are planning on getting married no matter what. Whether family members can’t travel, they’re ill, they can’t afford to travel to the venue, or are otherwise tied up #coronavirus, there are many reasons why live streaming is a great way to have our loved ones at our ceremony. A great way for downsizing to an intimate wedding and how to keep it special is to plan a zoom meeting (password protected) for your ceremony time and live stream the wedding to your loved ones. According to Chip Dizard, a live stream expert, it’s best if a camera can be connected to a laptop and a wired internet connection. We also suggest leaving this in the hands of professionals so you don’t have to worry. Here are his professional tips on how to live stream your wedding. Your videographer can help out with this. Be sure to get the all clear with your wedding planner and any musicians that will be playing at the ceremony as well.

Have Two Ceremonies

If your original wedding date is a big priority for you, you can still get married on that date. Consider having one intimate ceremony with just you, your future husband, officiant, and close family and friends. It’s a great way for downsizing to an intimate wedding and how to keep it special. Plan for a larger ceremony with your entire guest list in the future where people can come together and celebrate your special time. You might be thinking, “how can I make the second ceremony special when we’ve already been married?” Great question.

You want the first ceremony to be special, but you also want the second ceremony to be different so it doesn’t just feel like an assembly line. The first ceremony is more intimate and it’s the perfect time to write your own vows. You can have more traditional vows for the second ceremony. Add family readings and a group unity activity into your second ceremony. You can even ask a treasured family member to be the officiant at your second ceremony and invite important guests to be a part of the processional.


Another thing you can change up is your apparel on the days. Maybe you want to wear different shoes, veil options, or even alter your dress from one ceremony to the other. If your dress is made of tulle, think about having a tulle skirt for the second ceremony that is shorter or a blush color. If you want to wear your wedding dress as much as possible, GREAT! Keep it on and change up your hair or wear a veil! If you’ve been dying to wear those high heels but the mountain elopement of your first ceremony didn’t allow for it, whip them out for your second ceremony.

Glacier national park elopement, wedding ceremony at Lake McDonald

HAVE GUESTS WRITE A LETTER FOR THE CEREMONY

If you know your guests aren’t tech savvy or you’d rather be tech free and present at your ceremony, consider requesting your important guests to write you a letter to read at your ceremony. Read the letter at your ceremony to bring your guests closer to you on your special day. You and your guests will feel part of your wedding day, so you are downsizing to an intimate wedding and how to keep it special.

HONOR GUESTS AT YOUR “RECEPTION”

Even if you’re not having the big ballroom reception you were dreaming about, there are still great ways to incorporate your loved ones. You can play your loved ones favorite song, make a speech on their behalf, or even serve their favorite dessert as a way of making it feel like they are still a part of your special day. They could even record a speech for you ahead of time and you could listen to it as you pop the bubbly.

Downsizing to an Intimate Wedding and How to Keep it Special, desert elopement location, horseshoe bend elopement, utah elopement photographer

MAKE YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING DAY FUN

You can have as many or as few wedding day traditions on your intimate elopement day as you want! Now that you are shifting to an intimate wedding, you’re free to have more of an adventure! At the end of the day, you are going to wake up the next morning married to your partner. It’s about the lifelong commitment you have made to each other. When we plan adventure weddings, we like to ask the couple what they like to do together, things they’ve always wanted to do, or hikes they want to have.


The sky’s the limit when it comes to wedding day activities. A sunrise ceremony at the top of the mountain. A sweet little lakeside picnic. Stargazing. Dancing in an open field with candles everywhere. Kayaking just the two of you. A little champagne toast after you reflect on your new marriage. This is the day where you can do whatever you want! You don’t have to worry about guests or anyone but yourselves. This is the wedding day you truly want! Your day will be just as memorable with the two of you as it would be with a room full of people.

Set up a little intimate table in the great outdoors and get takeout.

GET CREATIVE WITH THE DETAILS

Even though your wedding won’t look the same way you imagined, it can still be beautiful! Let’s face it, your day will be perfect because your love is perfect for you and you’re getting married. Ask your vendors what they can do to be creative and get you the wedding of your dreams. Your florist could send you a DIY kit with the stems you need to make your own bouquet and arrangements. Your baker could send you the batter to make your own wedding cake. You’ll get the same feelings, just not the same execution.

HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER YOU TRUST

Now, more than ever, it is so important to capture your priceless wedding day memories. Choose a photography and videography team you trust. Be sure to ask all the good questions to get to know if they are a good fit for you. Hiring a photography & videography team who does both can also really help you in the logistics department. You only need to coordinate with one person and you are assured that the quality of work is the same. Be able to stay present in your wedding day.


Wedding albums are a must have. This is history in the moment. Your wedding day is special, unique, beautiful and one of a kind. It needs to be documented perfectly. Having a wedding video is so important. Beyond the countless reasons you need to hire a videographer, having something to show your extended family and friends is priceless. You want them to feel like they are involved, even if you are downsizing to an intimate wedding and how to keep it spcial. With a good wedding video, they can hear your vows and experience your wedding day from afar.

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