Jul 27, 2022


Why you should consider an intimate wedding

Ida Irvine

Getting ready in my mom’s bathroom!

It happened! He popped the question, you said YES! You can’t stop staring at your beautiful engagement ring, you’ve video called all your friends and family, eagerly waiting for them to notice the sparkle on your ring finger. Then the champagne is done, everyone knows you’re engaged and you’ve spammed enough of your instagram followers with sparkly photos of your ring. Now you have to get down to business: planning the wedding.

Our intimate wedding setup in my mom’s garden.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your Pinterest Board ready for your perfect wedding even before you met your perfect guy! Do you remember when mason jars wrapped in lace was what EVERYONE did at their wedding? Rustic was the theme. Naked cakes, pallets for seats – you name it, I pinned it! So the idea of throwing caution to the wind and just eloping never actually crossed my mind. Besides, my family was too big and too many people would get upset with me if they weren’t invited. So guess what me and my husband did. We had an impromptu intimate celebration in my mom’s garden.

A snippet of us in the middle of a video call with Duncan’s sister who lives in the US.

We didn’t plan on a wedding as small as this. It’s a long story and it sort of just happened. Would I change anything about the way our special day went down, though? Not in a million years. I would do it all over again, exactly the way it happened, and here are a few reasons why:

You save so much money.
It’s no secret that weddings can get crazy expensive. You have to fork out thousands for the venue, the catering, the DJ, the stationary, the photographer, the videographer, the dress, the suit… shall I go on? When you have a tiny wedding, you don’t have to worry about a head count. You can decide where you want to splurge, whether it’s the dress, the photo and video team (recommended) or even the honeymoon! Ditching the huge wedding will make the dent in your bank account significantly smaller.

Getting married at my childhood home with only our nearest and dearest, meant we could save on a venue fee as well as catering. We borrowed crockery, cutlery, a table and chairs from the surrounding neighbours and we only paid for the flowers, photographer and wedding cake. (This is one of my favourite wedding photos).

You can get married wherever you want.
Duncan and I did all the official stuff in court, and then we had an intimate family gathering in my mom’s garden. It was a dream come true! My mom always joked about prepping her garden for my wedding, and here it actually happened. It was incredibly special!
If a backyard wedding is not your thing, then by all means, get dressed and tie the knot in the mountains or even the desert. Maybe you love hiking. So get married at your favourite lookout point. The options are endless!

I felt like Alice in Wonderland in my own backyard.

You don’t have to worry about who to invite.
We didn’t officially invite anyone. We just sent out a message saying “hey, we’re getting married!” and our closest friends and family showed up. Maybe you don’t want anyone there at all – just you, your favourite human, the officiant (and the photographer, aka me!)

Basically the sum total of the people at our wedding.

You can do whatever you want.
You’ve broken the norm of the “Big White Wedding” so why stop there? If you don’t want to wear a dress and suit, then don’t! If you want to have a fancy five course meal for just the two of you on the beach under the stars, nothing is stopping you. Maybe you want to have your ceremony at sunrise when the world is still asleep. Or maybe you want to start off your wedding at your honeymoon destination. Book the tickets and get going!

We all had a hand in the table setup. It was so much fun doing it all with the family!

You can ditch all the cringy traditions.
We didn’t have a bouquet or garter toss (frankly I didn’t want to stand on a chair while Duncan looks for the garter underneath my dress to the cheering of all the boys…). We spent all our time catching up with our nearest and dearest, eating all the delicious food, drinking all the wine and dancing underneath the stars and fairy lights! There wasn’t a program with scheduled games and formalities (apart from a few speeches). But you can ditch the speeches too if you like!

In the long run, you kind of have to keep in mind what this celebration is all about. If you find yourself stressing too much about every little aspect of your wedding day, maybe you’re losing focus on the one thing that actually matters: exchanging your vows with your favourite human and taking the first step into your forever together. Everything else is just an extra!

My Journal / 21.

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