Jamie and Barry’s Cambridge Restaurant Wedding

For foodies, one of the perks of having an intimate wedding is the ability the splurge on great food – something not always possible with larger guest lists. Today’s couple, Jamie and Barry, chose to do just that, opting to go all out on food and drinks for their small wedding at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. Hosting both their ceremony and their reception at the restaurant, the newlyweds celebrated their beautiful union with cocktail pairings, a gourmet dinner, and 60 of their closest family and friends.

Special thanks to Studio Nouveau for sharing their gorgeous wedding photos with us today!

cambridge ma wedding

Jamie, 33 & Barry, 42

Cambridge, MA

Wedding Date: April 5, 2014

Number of Guests:  60

Wedding Cost: about $25,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Catalyst Restaurant, Cambridge, MA

Wedding Reception Location: Catalyst Restaurant, Cambridge, MA

Catalyst restaurant sign copper place setting name tag with rosemary wedding dress detail bride portrait succulent and rose bouquet bride at reception

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted time to be able to visit with everyone. We live in Seattle, and most guests were from Boston and New York, so we don’t get to see them all the time. Having a small wedding meant we could actually talk to all of our guests! We had a little reception on the night before the wedding at the Kendall Hotel that was a lot of fun, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that with a huge guest list. We also wanted to be able to go all out on food and cocktails, and having a smaller guest list meant that we could do that within the budget we had set. The food was to die for!

dress hanging in hallway sparkly grey wedding shoes chandelier earrings bride getting ready BHLDN wedding belt bride getting ready jewelled hair clip in bride's hair bride putting on shoes bride putting on bracelet bride putting on earrings

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

Well, the only real challenge was that I wanted to have the wedding in a restaurant, but I didn’t want to do a buy-out. I wanted the ambient noise and great energy from a busy restaurant. We had too few people to really make a buy-out make sense anyway, and too many people for many group dining rooms. Catalyst is right next to MIT and does hundreds of events a year – they were able to make it work for us in any configuration.

bride and groom portrait bride and groom embracing bride looking over shoulder bride and groom head to head groom kissing bride's forehead

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Actually, no! I will admit that I took up more than my fair share of guests, however.

bride and groom walking down street Cambridge wedding portrait bride and groom outside Catalyst restaurant

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Nope! Everyone pretty much left us alone to do what we wanted.  I did ask my parents early on for a guest list of non-family members that they wanted to invite, but the list they gave me contained people I had already planned to invite. We were all on the same page.

restaurant wedding ceremony musicians at wedding ceremony restaurant light fixture detail

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The moment when we first met at the “altar” was pretty great. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be.

Catalyst wedding ceremony wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Everything went so smoothly and was so special that it’s hard to say. The Catalyst bar staff made up these demi-cocktails that each paired well with one of our passed appetizers – if pressed, I’d say that was the crowning part of the reception. My dad’s toast was also wonderful.

Catalyst restaurant restaurant lounge succulent wall chalkboard wedding sign framed seating chart restaurant wedding reception set-up restaurant wedding table setting wedding table number copper plate table setting pink wedding centerpiece kraft and rosemary place card simple wedding centerpiece

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

I didn’t feel crazy in the days leading up to the wedding. Everything was well in hand and I had time the week before the wedding to visit with everyone. This was one part intimate wedding and one part having talented, organized people help with all the planning!

bride and groom at wedding reception champagne toast bride and groom speech

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

Hire a wedding planner! I initially thought that was a little crazy for us to do given that we didn’t have a huge guest list. However, I was able to enjoy our engagement because Rachael Gross, our wedding planner, kept me on track the whole time!

bride and groom kissing at reception


Photography: Studio Nouveau

WeddingPlanner+EventDesign: Rachael Gross, lolagraceEVENTS

Officiant: Priscilla Geaney

Florist: Little Flower Cottage

Live Music: Rhett Price

Rentals: New England Country Rentals

Hair + Make-Up: Bre Welch

WeddingDress: BHLDN

Invitations: Minted.com

Calligrapher: Susan Smith

Accommodations, Bride/Groom/WeddingParty: Kendall Hotel

Accommodations, Bride/Groom/WeddingParty: Cambridge Boston Marriott

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10 Fashion Ideas for a Destination Wedding

A destination wedding often calls for different attire, and gives you the opportunity to go for bolder fashion choices. Whether you’re flying off for an elopement or taking an intimate group with you; dressing for the climate and your faraway venue is all-important. We’ve rounded up 10 of our fave fashion ideas for a destination wedding, so start packing!

1. Backless Beauty

Backless wedding dresses keep you cool in an elegant way. They’re also wonderful for showing off that summer glow.


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Associated with royalty and wealth, it’s no wonder purple is a popular color for weddings. Not just for princess brides, however, blackberry is a rich dark shade of purple that’s ideal for anyone looking to add a little drama to their big day, or at least their color palette, anyways. Here are five different ways to incorporate the moody hue.

If you want to use blackberry purple, but still keep your palette fun and fresh, pair it with some sweet pastel colors like lilac and mint green.

Dark purple color palette

For lovers of the jewel tone trend, this palette is your ticket to jump on the bandwagon.

Dark purple color palette

Muting down your colors and adding in some grey will help play up the moody nature of blackberry purple and give your wedding a gothic romantic feel.

Dark purple color palette

With beautiful shades of purple, pink, and gold, this color scheme is elegant, rich, and luxurious – definitely fit for royalty!

Dark purple color palette

Sometimes the best place to look for inspiration is in your food, and we think lemons and blackberries make for a truly delicious color combination!

Dark purple color palette

Photo one: sweetapolita.com; Photo two: weddingchicks.com; Photo three: 100layercake.com; Photo four: stylemepretty.com; Photo five: magnoliarouge.com

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Love Birds: Wedding Inspiration

Be the ultimate love birds with this romantic wedding theme that is inspired by a sweet couple of the feathered variety. A love birds theme can be easily incorporated into any color palette or look and ups the romance without being cheesy. We love that there’s so many ways to personalize this trend and fit it in with your own style.

A white-on-white cake with a love birds cake topper, is a minimal and contemporary take. Gold confetti is fabulous as it is, but in adorable bird shapes… even better!



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Katie and Rodney’s Georgia Courthouse Elopement

After several miserable weeks of wedding planning stress, Katie and Rodney decided that having a wedding just wasn’t worth it, choosing to secretly elope instead. Relieved of all traditional wedding day pressure, the couple dressed up for their Georgia courthouse ceremony together and celebrated their union with cupcakes and champagne.

Special thanks to Laura Fulmer for documenting their elopement so they could share their wedding experience with their family and friends (and us!).

Georgia elopement

Katie, 24 & Rodney, 33

Evans, Georgia

Wedding Date: May 8, 2014

Number of Guests: Just us!

Wedding Cost: $1500

Wedding Ceremony Location: Magistrate Court of Columbia County

Wedding Reception Location: We shared cupcakes and champagne at Crum’s on Central. We had dinner at Frog Hollow Tavern and dessert at Craft & Vine.

wedding rings on newspaper bride with hankerchief bride in front of city hall headless wedding portrait bride and groom at courthouse bride and groom dancing outside courthouse eloping couple kissing over cupcakes

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

For a while, we discussed every iteration of wedding possible – large, small, local, destination, etc. We put that conversation aside and tried to nail down some of the logistical issues, hoping that that would help guide us in our first decision. It was miserable. Miserable. When the idea of planning a wedding seemed too insurmountable, we’d joke about eloping. It was the only thing that relieved our stress. We’d heard from tons of married couples that they wish that they had eloped. We couldn’t imagine an entire year of the wedding planning stress we faced over only a couple of weeks, so we decided to take the advice. And it was great.

bride at salon bride getting her make-up done wedding attire hanging up bride and groom's shoes bride putting on earrings bride and groom getting ready bride and groom getting ready bride and groom getting ready bride putting on necklace

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

Our biggest challenge was how we were going to tell our family and friends. Since we robbed our loved ones of a wedding experience, we wanted to do something special for them. We hired an incredible photographer to document our day with the intent of sending wedding announcements to everyone we would have invited. It took us a little longer to print the announcements and send them out than we thought (we’re both in professional schools, so time is limited), so we had to lie to everyone we knew for a month! It was awful. We had to equivocate at every: “When/where are you getting married?!” We let our families know either in person or on FaceTime, instructing distant family to connect with us before they opened the announcement. After giving our closest friends a week or so to receive the wedding announcement, we posted pictures to Facebook for everyone.

bride portrait
elopement portraits
bride and groom at courthouse
bride and groom portrait
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

Because it was just the two of us, it wasn’t difficult at all!

black and white couple portrait
close-up wedding portraits
bride and groom kissing
black and white wedding portrait

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?  

While some of our friends and family were understandably a little disappointed at not coming to our wedding, they are all entirely supportive and happy for us.

bride and groom heading to the courthouse magistrate signe bride and groom at the courthouse bride and groom waiting at the courthouse marriage ceremony at courthouse

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

We dressed up to get married at the courthouse. I don’t think that happens often. We were married in the same room that I think juveniles are brought in for “scare them straight” training. Our judge was in her regular office clothes. We love the picture of her marrying us.

courthouse wedding ceremony bride putting ring on groom's finger excited bride at courthouse ceremony bride and groom first kiss bride and groom hugging in courthouse bride and groom waiting at courthouse marriage certificate

What were the highlights of the reception?  

We’re both sort of introverted, so the idea of a weekend of everyone focusing attention on us was terrifying. Being able to spend such a special day with each other, just the two of us, was priceless.

bride and groom crossing the street wedding cupcakes

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

It made our special day even more special. It truly made the day about us.

bride with cupcake bride and groom kissing over champagne

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

Social media is great. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter… they’ve connected us like nothing else has. But it’s also created an environment where we portray less of our real lives (remember those annoying posts when Facebook first started?) and more of our life’s best performance. There’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding. It’s an important day. Don’t get lost in the pursuit of your best performance. Have fun.

bride and groom with just married bunting


Cake: In lieu of a wedding cake, we shared beautiful (and tasty!) cupcakes from Neopolitan Cupcakes.

Flowers: Bouquet assembled by the wonderful staff at Martina’s Flowers and Gifts.

Hair: Avail salon.

Dress: Ralph Lauren

Groom’s suit: Banana Republic.

Photography: by the ever-inspiring Laura Fulmer Photography.

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