Jenna and David were first introduced by their best friends, and fell in love at the Iowa State Fair. Five years later, they returned to the scene of the crime, where David proposed in the pig barn – the spot that started it all. After much discussion about the big day, the couple settled on an intimate destination wedding in Fort Lauderdale with just their family members by their side. They exchanged their vows on the grounds of a beautiful private residence and celebrated with a low-key reception, using the occasion to catch up with family and revel in their newlywed status.
Special thanks to Enuel Viera for sharing all the photos from Jenna and David’s special day with us.
Jenna, 31 & David, 43
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Wedding Date: November 22, 2014
Number of Guests: 20
Wedding Cost: $20,000
Wedding Ceremony Location: Destination wedding at private home in Ft. Lauderdale
Wedding Reception Location: same
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Wedding planning can get stressful and the bigger the guest list the more overwhelming the planning seemed to be. We didn’t want to stress, we wanted to relax and enjoy the process. The idea of having just our family with us fit perfectly into our vision for our wedding day. We both come from small families so it was easy to keep it simple and small.
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
We wanted to keep things simple. Thankfully we had an amazing wedding planner, Soco, to remind us that our wedding could be simple and have a personal touch. Our biggest challenge was probably keeping in mind that just because we were going small and intimate didn’t mean we couldn’t include aspects that a large wedding would have.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Not at all. We knew if we started adding our friends to the guest list, our guest list would be over a hundred. Since we wanted to go for the intimate feel, we promised each other only family would be invited and stuck with it. When we started the planning process, it was hard at first thinking our closest friends wouldn’t be there with us. Luckily we have great friends that were still involved in the planning process and thanks to Facetime we got to see each other on the big day! We wouldn’t change a thing.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
No issues, thank God.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Our guitarist, Lenny Batista, played the sweetest most romantic song, Love Someone by Jason Mraz, toward the end of our ceremony that he mastered especially for us. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful moment at the perfect time.
What were the highlights of the reception?
Our reception was low key and celebrating with our family was very special to us.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
All of my (bride’s) family lives thousands of miles away and we don’t get to see them but a couple times a year. It was the perfect opportunity for us all to catch up and be together which rarely happens.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Don’t leave things out or dismiss ideas because you aren’t having a big ceremony or reception. You can still do everything you want and have the relaxed and simple wedding of your dreams.
Wedding Planning: Socorro Alicea at Ever After Wed
Florist: Bella Lilly Studio
Photography: Enuel Viera Photography
Catering: Hugh’s Culinary
Cakes: Gigi Mamma Cakes
Hair & Makeup: Raquel Brito Beauty Rush by Raquel
Officiant: Reverend Michael Calderin
Venue: Private residence in Fort Lauderdale
Music: Lenny Batista
Dress: Mori Lee
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Put those hours of seating chart planning to good use with some wedding place cards that will stand out. After all, place cards are one of the first things your guests will see when they arrive at their tables. Not only do they show guests where to sit, place cards add a personal touch to your decor. We’ve found 12 perfect place card picks from Etsy.
*This post includes Etsy Affiliate links.
The wedding planning process can bring out the best – and the worst in people. Sometimes you may feel like throwing in the towel, forgetting about the whole wedding thing and running away together. And that might just be the best idea ever! In fact, heaps of couples have scrapped their big, fancy wedding plans and said ‘hell yeah!’ to running away from it all. (Want some inspiration? Check out the elopements section on IW.)
Here are 10 reasons why you might want to nix your wedding plans and opt for an elopement instead!
1. You will save money. Lots of it.
Running away together has become something couples choose for practical reasons; one of those being finances. Some people would rather spend money on honeymoon travel, a deposit on a house or a big purchase instead of a wedding. A fun, informal party to celebrate your wedding when you return is the perfect way to appease guests who weren’t invited.
2. Planning your wedding is less time-consuming and less stressful.
Don’t want to spend a year or more of your life planning a wedding? Don’t want to wait a year or more to get married? Then go ahead and get married – it’s as simple as that. You will save many hours of hard work by having a quick elopement.
3. You get to travel!
Who doesn’t love an excuse to travel? An elopement gives you a license to follow your heart and travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
4. You can get married just about anywhere.
Since there is just the two of you (and maybe a handful of guests), you can get really creative with your wedding location. Want to get married on a mountaintop? Inside a forest? At your favorite cafe? On a remote beach? The choices are endless.
5. No Wedding Party Troubles:
One of the reasons I didn’t have a wedding party at my wedding was to avoid the extra stress of coordinating a wedding party; it was one thing I didn’t have to worry about and I could focus on other things, as well as us as a couple. You may look for ways to strike things off the list or forgo the wedding task list completely and elope.
6. You won’t have an audience.
Shy brides will empathize with the anxiety that comes with being the center of attention in a room full of people. Having to socialize, mingle and say your vows in front of everyone you know is a scary thought for some people who prefer a quieter setting. If this sounds like you, an elopement might be the perfect fit.
7. You won’t have to pay as much for gorgeous photos.
Trust me, photographers LOVE elopements. They know that there is something so incredibly magical about them. They also don’t have to put as much time in to cover your event – which means less expense for you!
8. It’s quick!
There are many reasons why couples choose to elope ranging from pregnancies to family issues to military duties. Sometimes those reasons necessitate a short planning duration. It is difficult to plan a 100-guest wedding in two weeks – but an elopement is entirely doable!
9. You can be adventurous.
Without having to worry about a guest list, you can be as adventurous as you want to be. Maybe you’ve always wanted to explore the rugged terrain of Iceland or the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, but you’ve always found an excuse not to go. An elopement can be the push you need to take a chance on something just outside the edge of your comfort zone.
10. You can focus on the love, rather than the guest list.
Instead of worrying about your Aunt Myrtle getting sloshed, or your cousin Vinnie telling lurid jokes to your mother-in-law during the reception, you can focus solely on the love between you and your partner. And we think that’s the best reason of all.
Although the Victorian days of carrying around a parasol to protect from the sun are long over, the parasol has made a major comeback in the world of weddings. A parasol can be used for photo props, as a wedding accessory and even as wedding decor. From paper to lace to fabric, there are many kinds of parasols to fit all wedding looks, although classic battenburg lace parasols with their geometric patterns and woven vintage look make for an elegant accessory.
A vintage parasol is also something to hold in your hands while you’re taking photos. Props usually always make photos easier. Get inspired by vintage beauties with parasols like Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. In Victorian times, the parasol was a status symbol of sorts and many ladies had one to match each outfit.
Give each of your bridesmaids a parasol to have everyone matching. You can find parasols in various colors and styles to match. Ask a vintage rental company if they have authentic vintage parasols to rent or buy a vintage parasol at an antique shop for a real vintage accessory.
Use the parasol to “hide” behind for a first look photo or get a cute photo of the bride and groom kissing behind one.
The beauty of vintage parasols is that each one is a slightly different. Even a mismatched look adds a fun element to accessories for the wedding party.
Have a stack of parasols out for your guests at an outdoor wedding, so they can protect themselves from the sun.
Love these colors!
Parasols also work as decorations to hang from the ceiling, or even from trees. They are usually not that expensive to buy in batches, so you can get many. We love this idea of hanging colored ribbons from each parasol.
These white and pastel blue parasols are so dreamy!
Parasols also come in different shapes and sizes. The smaller ones make a cute table centerpiece. Search online or wedding wholesale suppliers for “parasols” to find them and have fun with the vintage look. You can even get parasol drink stirrers to match your theme.
Photo one: playbuzz.com; Photo two: weddingchicks.com; Photo three:Maria Mack Photography via Ruffled Blog; photo four: elizabethannedesigns.com; Photo five: stylemepretty.com; Photo six: ruffled.com; Photo seven:weddingpartyapp.com; Photo eight: stylemepretty.com; Photo nine: Flutter Glass Photography via 100 Layer Cake
Today, dear readers, you are in for a treat! The moment we set eyes on this romantic bridal session sent over to us by photographer Steven Dray from Steven Dray images, we lit up with excitement; we simply could not wait to share it on IW!
To set the stage for this gorgeous shoot, we’ll let Steven describe the “old meets new” bridal session in his own words. Take it away Steven!
This mysterious, romantic bridal session features an “old meets new” theme with inspiration from different time periods. All featured vendors are up and coming, fresh and local to the Pittsburgh area.
The bride’s look centers on the 1960’s – classic and elegant. Hair and make up by Hannah Conard Beauty are reminiscent of the Brigitte Bardot fashion era. Her dress from local boutique Glitter & Grit requires no heavy accessories; the Chante by Houghton speaks for itself. This column gown French guider lace dress features long sleeves, a beautiful boat neck and an open, cut out back. Two different pairs of beautiful shoes from Modcloth show the versatility of the dress. Local flowers arranged by The Farmer’s Daughter add vibrant pops of color that bring the session to life.
The groom’s look is something straight out of a current issue of GQ magazine. His simple navy suit, (American Commodore Tuxedo) fresh to death hairstyle and classic beard bring energy and style that perfectly complement the rest of the session. Whether this couple got married in 1960 or 2015, their timeless looks would still be the cats meow.
A sweetheart table featuring a flower table runner, vintage glasses and place cards was provided by Devoted to You Events. A portion of the session showcases hand woven rocking chairs decorated by flowers overlooking hallmark Pittsburgh bridges on the Allegheny River. The bride and groom decided to skip dinner and go straight for desserts provided by the Lincoln Bakery.
Photographer Steven Dray Images didn’t want to deliver typical golden hour photos but wanted to capture mysterious, romantic portraits that boast contrast and color as the evening light faded. In order to give this session a unique feel and location, the couple was photographed on the docks leading up to house boats at Choderwood. The shoot ended with the bride changing into a more casual look (Cocktail dress by Modcloth) and the couple enjoying a private cocktail on the top of a houseboat. As the evening settled in, the photos became deeper and more emotional. I could talk about this photo shoot forever but one look at the images will inspire the adventurous bride and groom to try something different.
Photographer: Steven Dray Images
Wedding Planner and Coordinator: Melissa Crawford, Devoted To You
Gown: Glitter & Grit Bridal Boutique – Bridal Gown called Chante by Houghton
Groom’s Attire: American Commodore Tuxedo Robinson Township
Make Up & Hair: Hannah Conard
Flowers: The Farmer’s Daughter
Shoes & Cocktail Dress: Modcloth
Male Model: Mike Hanlon
Female Model: Elizabeth Podlesnik