Deanna and Andrew’s Peterborough Elopement

A quiet couple, Deanna and Andrew always knew that a wedding  – even an intimate one – would feel too much like a performance for them. In order to stay true to themselves and their relationship, they chose to elope instead. It took them less than two months to plan their private wedding ceremony and some quick talking to keep it a secret, but it turned out even more beautifully than they could have imagined. They surprised their family and friends, after the fact, with the romantic story of their wedding day and all the beautiful photos to go along with it.

Special thanks to their photographer Ash Nayler for capturing those wonderful photos and sharing them with us today!

Ontario elopement

Deanna, 25 & Andrew, 25

Peterborough, Ontario

Wedding Date: October 7, 2014

Number of Guests: We eloped – only the officiant, photographer and videographer (who also happened to be our close friend) were present.

Wedding Cost: under $4,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Stillwater on the Lake, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Wedding Reception Location: No formal reception, but there are a few casual parties to come.

double exposure bridal portrait bride and groom shoes bride in lace dress casual groom in vet and bow tie black and white wedding portrait wedding portrait bride and groom walking across field

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We decided that in order for our wedding to be truly genuine, it needed to be an elopement. With both of us being on the quiet side, even a small ceremony would have felt like a performance. To be true to ourselves it needed to be private, modest and relaxed. It turned out beautifully.

bride sitting on the bed bride and groom looking out window bride wearing flower crown bride in lace dress bride spinning black and white groom portrait wedding portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

The only challenge (and this was totally up to us) was to keep it a secret. It was a fun secret to have, but sometimes difficult to plan around. For instance, I actually ran into a friend at the bridal salon and had to do some quick talking as to why I was there. My beet red face said something entirely different, but she had the grace to pretend to believe me. Luckily we were able to plan it all in under two months, so we didn’t have to hide it long.

Telling our families was the only nerve wracking part of this whole thing. We weren’t sure how they would react, but every last person was delighted. In the end, we figured they would be much happier to be surprised after the fact, with a romantic story about our secret wedding and with gorgeous photos to share. For the rest of our friends and extended family we created a website with our story and the big reveal. The response to it was incredible.

black and white wedding portrait black and white wedding portrait wedding portrait groom kissing bride's forehead black and white wedding portrait bride and groom walking in the woods bride and groom walking down wooded road bride and groom in the woods bride and groom portrait bride and groom embracing bride walking through the woods bride and groom in the woods wedding portrait in the woods wedding portrait bride and groom portrait groom kissing bride's cheek woodland wedding portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Not really. Andrew can be a pest sometimes, but I decided, in the end, that he had to be there.

garden swan ornament bride and groom walking to ceremony bride and groom walking through garden bride walking to ceremony gazebo elopement ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We decided to play music throughout the ceremony, which was an incredibly meaningful touch. Quietly playing in the background were instrumental versions of songs carefully drawn from our seven year relationship. It was incredibly moving, and that was when the waterworks started. It was beautiful, but I was also glad I didn’t have to cry hideously in front of a hundred people.

groom during elopement cereony bride crying during ceremony Peterborough elopement ceremony groom putting ring on bride's finger bride signing marriage certificate

What were the highlights of the reception?

There was no reception. Instead we made reservations at a local restaurant and quietly enjoyed a VERY romantic candlelit dinner. We are planning a few small parties for our families next summer, but nothing formal.

cutting the wedding cake

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Eloping was the the best decision we could have made. The whole process was relaxed and stress free, and the day itself was more blissful than I can possibly describe. There was no pressure for anything to be perfect; it was just us, happier than we’ve ever been, enjoying every moment.

feeding each other cake

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

DO IT. After all, the day is about you two, your love and the celebration of your union. Make it your own! If your Great Aunt Mabel doesn’t like it, so be it. You will remember this day the rest of your lives, it needs to be true to who you are. You won’t regret it.

bride and groom silhouette


Flowers: Pammett’s Flowers

Cake: The Cake Artist

Photography: Ash Nayler

Venue: Stillwater on the Lake

Officiant: Mary McCandless

Pin It
Leave a Comment  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Elopements, Inn and B & B Weddings, Real Weddings
Find Intimate Weddings on Pinterest

10 Ways to Finish Your Look With a Bridal Cape

Capes have been a big trend over the last few seasons. Why not be inspired by the runway and wear one over your wedding dress? There are many styles to choose from that will complement the silhouette of your dress. Capes can be dramatic for a simple dress or have a classic style to fit in seamlessly with the rest of your look. Here are 10 capes that we love!

1. Embellished Capelet

This capelet has so many intricate details that it warrants being a shorter length. It is the perfect shape to wear over a strapless dress because it just skims over the neckline.

2. Oversized Jacket

Get creative by wearing an oversized off-white coat or jacket as a cape. Wear it falling effortlessly off your shoulders for your own spin on this trend.


3. High-Neck

An Edwardian inspired cape with a high neckline and soft lace details adds a touch of vintage elegance to a contemporary dress.

4. Jewel Neckline

Blend your jewelry with the cape for a unique statement piece. A heavy drop pearl necklace works well with a short embellished cape, for a look with plenty of impact.

5. Off The Shoulder

There’s a carefree elegance about off the shoulder garments. The same is true for this cape, which would also look great over a dress with thin straps.

6. Full-Length

A full-length cape is reminiscent of a flowing veil with a romantic twist. This is also a great idea for an outdoor wedding when there’s a bit of a chill in the air.

7. Sheer and Embellished

This dainty mini-cape provides an easy solution for elevating the most simple of dresses. As the white embellishments aren’t distracting it can still work well with a minimal style dress.

8. Buttoned Up

The buttons at the back of this long cape give it a different look and adds some interest to the back of the ensemble.

9. The Cape Train 

If you like the idea of having a train but you’ve already found your dress, you can still have one. A detachable cape has all the glamor of a train but you can remove it when your reception gets going.

10. All Lace

A mid-length lace cape over a detailed strapless dress creates a vintage inspired look. This would also look amazing over a strapless jumpsuit for a City Hall wedding.


Photo one: Gibson Bespoke; Photo two:; Photo three:; Photo four:; Photo five:; Photo six:; Photo seven:; Photo eight:; Photo nine:; Photo ten:

Pin It
Leave a Comment  |  Filed Under: Wedding Trends
Find Intimate Weddings on Pinterest

Cool Silver: 5 Silver Color Palettes for your Wedding Day

Metallic silver often gets overlooked these days in favor of warmer metallic tones, but winter serves as the perfect season for silver to come out and really shine. Reminiscent of glittering snowflakes and glistening ice, silver’s cool sparkle fits perfectly with the season and pairs equally well with traditional and non-traditional winter colors. So, if you’re looking to add a little sparkle and glam to your winter wedding day, put down the gold and give one of these 5 silver palettes a try.

Silver plays well with warm golden tones and together they add a dynamic touch to this dark blue palette.

silver color palette

We love this cool blue/green palette; it reminds us of the sea and would be perfect for an early winter modern nautical wedding.

Silver color palette

Silver and purple are a match made in color heaven and the dusty cool tones are made for winter nuptials.

Silver color palette

White and silver is the ultimate winter color pairing, in our opinion, and adding a hint of dark evergreen and brown gives this sophisticated palette a rustic, earthy touch.

Silver color palette

Red and green are classic christmas colors, but this traditional palette gets a modern update with the addition of silver, making it a chic alternative for a winter wedding.

silver color palette

Photo one:; Photo two:; Photo three:; Photo four:; Photo five:

Pin It
Leave a Comment  |  Filed Under: color palettes, Wedding Trends

We Heart It: 12 Free Valentine Themed Printables

valentine printables

With Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away,  it’s the perfect time to go a little heart crazy. We’ve searched around and found 12 great printables that you can use for free this Valentine’s Day. So bring out the scissors and get printing!

1. Love Coupons

For an experience based gift, give your loved one a book of redeemable coupons from I Heart Nap Time. Surely, breakfast in bed and a back rub sounds like more fun than heart shaped chocolates. Plus, these coupons ensure that those Valentine’s Day treats will last longer than one day.

Here are some more printable love coupons by Sarah Hearts:

valentines coupons

2. Heart Balloons 

These printable tags by eighteen25 are a cute and easy idea for the classroom, when tied to heart shaped balloons. You can also use the tags for a more adult friendly gift too.

3. In Love with Pizza 

Is there anything even remotely comparable to the perfection that is pizza? Probably not. There are puns a plenty when it comes to the delicious treat too, as shown in these fun printables from Live Laugh Rowe.

4. Sweet Treat 

Whether you’re looking for a fun gift to give to co-workers or to pack in your partners lunch, these tags from Lemon Squeezy are just the thing.

5. Love Sign

These signs can be framed to decorate your wedding space, home or office. The metallic stripes on this sign from Love From The Oven make this a great sign for the season.

6. Heart Garland

We are smitten with this adorable printable heart garland found at Simply Peachy.

heart garland


7. Fun Quotes

Most couples have their quirky private jokes (or language) and these funny cards from Landeelu will be sure to raise a laugh.

8. Romantic Cards

If you’ve forgotten to buy a card or the ones in the store are not your style, print one of these gorgeous options from Muffin Grayson.

9. Jar Printable 

Edible goodies are always welcome, these printable labels from The 36th Avenue can be used on jars that are filled to the brim with your loved one’s favorite candy.

10. For Friends 

The Crafted Sparrow have the right idea with these gift tags. Spread the love to your girlfriends with some gold themed gifts.

11.  Coffee Cup Wrappers 

Waking up to your favorite coffee with one of these adorable wrappers will get Valentine’s Day off to a great start. You can print them over at Eat Drink Chic.

12. Vintage Valentines 

These vintage valentine printables from Vintage Holiday Crafts are just the sweetest thing, print a few out to create a unique card or to decorate gifts.


Pin It
1 Comment  |  Filed Under: Wedding Trends

Michel and Matt’s Beachfront Mexico Wedding

As a wedding photographer, Michel saw first-hand how easy it is to get carried away when planning a wedding. When she and Matt started planning their own nuptials, they both agreed that they wanted to keep the focus on their love for each other. An intimate, destination in Mexico allowed them to do just that.

On a little stretch of beach they had discovered a few years earlier, with sand between their toes and their family and friends lovingly encircling them, the couple exchanged their vows in beautiful and heartfelt ceremony. It was – in the words of the bride – a perfect little’ lovefest!’

Special thanks to Jasmine of Let’s Frolic Together for sharing all that love with us!

mexico intimate wedding


Michel, 37 & Matt, 40

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Wedding Date: April 24, 2014

Number of Guests: 24 including us

Wedding Cost: ~ $18,000   

Wedding Ceremony Location: Las Caletas

Wedding Reception Location: Las Caletas

Puerto Vallarta Puerto Vallarta postcard old boat in Puerto Vallarta black and white bride portrait wedding thank you card bride and groom climbing stone stairs bride and groom footprints in the sand

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Matt and I both believed in just having our closest friends and family with us on our day, mostly because I know how easy things can get carried away when it comes to planning a wedding. I didn’t want any of the added stress of having a ‘ginormous’ guest list and we didn’t want to get carried away with the things that don’t matter. We wanted to instead focus our day on us, love, and the awesome people that came all that way to celebrate with us.

bride in floral robe wedding dress hanging on resort balcony mint green wedding shoes bride getting her dress on groomsmen getting ready groom portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We didn’t really face many challenges when it came to keeping the wedding small; instead, the issues fell around planning a wedding away from home. Part of the reason we were able to plan a small wedding was that we chose to do a destination wedding. That way, the most important people in our lives chose to come and we were able to really focus on what was important to us – our small little lovefest!

bride's with bridesmaids in green

groomsmen in white

bridal party portrait

bride and groom excited to see each other

bride and groom portrait in Mexico

Black and white weddingportrait

bride and groom waking on the beach

bride and groom portrait by the ocean

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It wasn’t really, not for us. I understand that sometimes people feel obligated to invite friends and feel pressure from parents to invite distant family members, but our family understood what we wanted. We didn’t send out formal invitations, we just called each person then got them set up with our travel planner and went from there. Once all of our super important people were signed up, we opened it up to some closer friends.

wedding guests arriving by boat mexico intimate wedding emotional bride walking to meet her father emotional bride with her father groom watching his bride walking down the aisle beach wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The ceremony was my favorite moment of all time. Matt and I had visited the beach area out at Las Caletas a few years ago on a trip and I just loved the spot. So when he suggested it for our wedding I just knew it was perfection. That beach, in a little cove surrounded by trees and the sweet smell of the ocean nearby was an absolute dream for us. Because I am a wedding photographer, I see amazing moments nearly every weekend and the best heart-tugging moments for me are the ones that are true to the couple and authentic to their love story. When Matt and I first started talking about our wedding, I always knew I’d be barefoot somewhere with sand between my toes.

laughing bride during ceremony wedding guests holding hands during ceremony bride and groom exchanging rings bride and groom first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

After the beach ceremony, we headed up to dinner in the open air restaurant that looks out over the ocean. The people at Las Caletas then transformed the beach for the reception. They built the dance floor, set up beach seating and lit the tiki torches. It was so perfect. We packed the dance floor the entire night.

resort sign bottles full of colored liquid resort wedding venue hanging bird cages bride and groom signs on backs of chairs place setting brid cage wedding decor wedding guests at reception dinner cocktail making wedding guests at reception dinner on resort porch

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

My first vision of our day was Matt and I, in the middle of a circle, our friends and family standing around us holding hands. Although I tried to look out into the faces of all those amazing people as many times and I could, to be honest, I couldn’t take my eyes off Matt. And that’s why our photos from Jasmine are so insanely special to me. I also think having a small guest list allowed us time with each of our guests that night. We didn’t feel overwhelmed with a large crowd and were able to be present and soak it all in.


tiki torches on beach lighting a wish lantern on the beach couples dancing wedding guests dancing

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

My advice to anyone planning any wedding is do what is right in your heart. It’s easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter but if you constantly think back to what you are going to remember in 50 years when you look back on the photos, it helps stay true to yourself and your fiancé. From the start, I knew I was going to bring a photographer with us on our adventure. Being a wedding photographer myself, clearly this is an important aspect to me. When choosing a photographer I didn’t have to go very far. Jasmine’s work has spoke to me for years, when viewing her work I pictured myself in it, and I’d never felt that way looking at anyone else’s work. but it really boiled down to her personality for us. Even more so for an intimate wedding, your photographer is a big part of your day and he or she must fit into the dynamic of the day. So my advice for choosing the right photographer is after you see their are competent in delivering work you love, choose the person with your heart.

bride and groom dancing


Photography: Let’s Frolic Together

Wedding Coordination: Alexandra at Luxe Destination Weddings & Dennise with Vallarta Adventures

Flowers: The venue provided small florals around the dinner table. I didn’t have a bouquet. 

Hair: The day of, I got my hair done at Now Amber Resort Spa – but I did a hair trial with Irene Nikolopoulos from Anna Rianou Salon & Spa in Edmonton before we left and having those photo to show the ladies there, was the only way I could convey exactly what I wanted. 

Makeup: Now Amber Resort Spa

Wedding Dress: Etsy 

Groom’s Suit: Le Chateau

Bride’s Shoes:  I went barefoot most of the day / ModCloth 

Custom Designed Necklace: Hunt Amor 

Bridesmaids’ Robes: Etsy  

Bridesmaids’ Clutches: Etsy

Our Wedding Bands: Etsy

Pin It
Leave a Comment  |  Filed Under: Beach Weddings, Destination Weddings, Real Weddings
  • Search
  • Categories
  • Archives
  • Wedding Invitiations
  • Appy Couple
  • Dessy Group Bridesmaid

Find Intimate Weddings on Pinterest