When Brandon and Heather’s wedding guest list started getting out of hand, they scrapped everything and started over again. Ultimately, they decided that they wanted their wedding to be about the two of them – not pleasing others, so they opted for an elopement at Sonoma’s Beltane Ranch.
And they didn’t regret a thing.
“Every decision we made was for the two of us. In the end, everything was exactly what we wanted. It was much less stressful than worrying about if everyone else liked the wedding,” says Heather.
Thanks to the talented Megan Clouse for capturing this elopement so beautifully!
Heather, 36 & Brandon, 44
Location: Glen Ellen, CA
Wedding Date: November 8, 2016
Number of Guests: 0
Wedding Cost: $6,000 (including travel expenses)
Wedding Ceremony Location: Beltane Ranch
Wedding Reception Location: Dinner at Glen Ellen Inn
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Both my husband and I have been married before. This time around we really wanted to do things our way. However, as we started our planning, the larger the invite list became, the less the wedding felt like we were doing it for us, but rather that the decisions we made were for the enjoyment/approval of our guests. Once we realized we were getting off track from what we wanted, it was an easy decision to make. Looking back, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
Deciding if we wanted to include any family/friends.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
We knew we didn’t want more than a few people in attendance when we started planning. Every time we considered inviting one person, however, we felt like we needed to invite three more or risk offending/hurting someone we loved. The numbers got out of control quickly. Eventually we decided to make the wedding just the two of us.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
Everyone understood in the end, and they were all really happy that we were happy with our decision.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Definitely our personalized speeches to each other. He got really sentimental and I joked around a little, which is a complete switch of our personalities.
What were the highlights of the reception?
We had an intimate dinner and got to spend the evening enjoying finally being husband and wife. It was pretty amazing to sit and talk about how the day had gone and know that we get to spend the rest of our lives with our best friend.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
Every decision we made was for the two of us. In the end, everything was exactly what we wanted. It was much less stressful than worrying about if everyone else liked the wedding.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
You only get to have one wedding, so make sure it is really what you want. We were 100% sure that this was the perfect wedding for us.
Venue: Beltane Ranch
Photographer: Megan Clouse
Officiant: Wine Country Wedding Vows
Cake: Crisp Bake Shop
Hair: Salon Novo
Flowers: Beltane Ranch