Becca, 23 & Jonathan, 29
Wedding Date: July 16th, 2011
Number of Guests: 50
Wedding Cost: $6,500
Wedding Ceremony Location: Big Springs, a beautiful field in a park in Pinetop, AZ
Wedding Reception Location: My parent’s cabin in Pinetop, AZ, we set up a tent in the driveway and had tables decorated by my friends and family. We also had a live band that played jazz music and some classics.
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We just wanted it to be family and closest friends.
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
We got engaged in April and had a July wedding, so the time to get everything organized was challenging. That is another reason we decided to have a smaller wedding – so we could put everything together quickly.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
No, because it was just family and closest friends.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
We didn’t have any issues because we made it clear it was just family and friends. Unfortunately, five of our closest friends were supposed to arrive the day before the wedding, but their car broke down in California, so it ended up being even smaller than we thought (since they were about 50% of the friends we invited).
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
One of the biggest highlights was the setting; it was so beautiful in the field – especially because it had just stormed and there were big storm clouds, but the sun was shining. At the end of the ceremony, a rainbow appeared, which was so incredible – what perfect timing! The field was so peaceful and serene. It was the perfect setting for a relaxed intimate wedding. Another highlight was that my dad performed the ceremony. He is an elder at the church I attended growing up in Arizona, and having him officiate the wedding made it all the more personal for me, my husband, and my family.
What were the highlights of the reception?
The live band was definitely a highlight. They played so many fun songs, and it really made the atmosphere one of relaxation and casual dancing instead of too much energy. Having the reception outside under a tent, the table decorations, and the quick rainstorm right before the start of the reception really gave everything a natural, nature feel, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We had a fun photo wall where friends and family had a great time dressing up in props and costumes and taking goofy pictures. The food was so delicious, but the cake, made by one of my closest friends, was absolutely incredible. Because the cabin was such a familiar place, as my family spent every summer there, it was a very nostalgic feel to the whole ceremony and reception.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
The best thing was being able to relax and celebrate with the people we love the most without the pressure of a huge ceremony. We also didn’t have to rush around to meet everyone, since everyone was close family and friends and had spent the whole weekend up in the mountains with us. We moved to Oregon after the wedding, so being able to spend not only the ceremony, but the whole weekend with the people we care about most was irreplaceable.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
I would suggest not to be swayed by people who don’t think you should have an intimate wedding. Stay with your original plans; the wedding is for you, your significant other, and your family and friends (however big or small that group may be). Also, try to help the vendors (like the photographer, florist, the band, etc.) understand your goals for the day, what you are really hoping for by having an intimate wedding, so they can reflect the heart of your wedding day.
Photographer: Jenna Bishop Photography: Gilbert, AZ
Flowers/Decorations: Everybody Loves Flowers: Gilbert, AZ
Food, Decorations: Classic Events: Pinetop, AZ
Cake: friend of the bride