outdoor wedding ny

Rebecca 26, & Daniel 26

New Paltz, NY

Wedding Date: July 18, 2008

Number of Guests: 13

Wedding Cost: under $2,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Outside Gardens at Mohonk Mountain House

Wedding Reception Location: East Dining Room 1 at Mohonk Mountain House

outdoor wedding in ny

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Daniel and I did not want a big wedding.  If we began to invite friends and extended family, it would have been over 100 people.  So we decided that just our immediate families and their significant others would be the best bet.

bride at outdoor wedding in ny

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

First, trying to decide if we wanted an intimate wedding was a small challenge.  My sister was married 20 days before us, and she invited a lot of family and friends- to make her 130 person guest list.  We knew we did not want that, because neither of us wanted to be the center of attention at a party that big.  Once we decided that, we figured only immediate family would work- or else friends, aunts and uncles may feel bad if they weren’t invited, and others like them were.

bride and groom kissing

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, because we decided to have only immediate family.

bride walking down aisle outdoors

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

Yes, my mother thought that it was inconsiderate of us to have such a small wedding.  She wanted grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc to be involved in our special day.  I think it helped that my sister had invited our extended relatives to her wedding (less than 3 weeks before ours).  Once my mother realized that a small wedding was really what we wanted (and that it wouldn’t cost much), she was okay with it.

Also, some of our friends came to “spy” on our wedding because they were not invited, but it was in a public place.  They hid in a tall gazebo near the ceremony, and saw us later in the day when we were taking pictures– it was really nice that they came, it is a public park and beautiful, so they decided to make a day of it. They did not push and bother us at all, but it was nice to see them before our small reception.

outdoor wedding ceremony in new york

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Besides the 95+ degree weather, getting married outside next to the beautiful gardens overlooking the majestic Catskill mountains was amazing.  Also, having a small amount of people was great.

outdoor wedding bubbles

What were the highlights of the reception?

Being able to have intimate conversations will ALL of our guests was very exciting.

chocolate bar wedding favors

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Dan’s siblings (two sisters) and my siblings (two brothers and a sister) and all significant others, had never met each other.  It was so nice for them to meet and be able to talk and not be overwhelmed with tons of other people around.

wedding centerpiece with roses

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

Go for it!  You can talk with every guest, and really enjoy the people that are close to you… instead of having family that you rarely see be there, and never get a chance to spend time with them.

wedding mohonk mountain house ny


Venue: Mohonk Mountain House provided the ceremony equipment, dining, flowers, and great service to us throughout our special day.

Photographer: Turn Loose the Art

bride and groom outdoor wedding

Photos: Turn Loose the Art

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5 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Real Weddings

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  1. Posted by Donna Brown on January 25th, 2010 at 3:48pm

    What a beautiful wedding. This is EXACTLY the type of wedding I'd like to have. I only plan to have 25 guests, but I'm struggling to find a venue. I'm also looking to spend $3000 or less.
  2. Posted by Christina on January 25th, 2010 at 5:13pm

    Donna, thanks for your comment. Did you try this http://www.intimateweddings.com/venu_finder.php for your venue?
  3. Posted by Ivette on August 21st, 2010 at 12:05pm

    Are you willing to do a beach wedding at the Jersey shore? It's a beautiful trendy place with a pool deck on the beach at sunset would be beautiful. Great food and intimate. It's where I think I will be having mine.

    For those coming in from NY, the train stop is only 3 blocks away...
  4. Posted by Carolina on May 10th, 2012 at 9:45pm

    I'm looking at Mohonk as a venue, it's absolutely GORGEOUS, really close to the city, and surprisingly MUCH cheaper than anything else I've found around the NYC area. And, I've had a co-worker help me plan my wedding,as he was recently married and he was on a tight budget as well, more guests than me (He had close to 200, as I'm having 60 invites and I'm assuming not everyone will respond yes to the RSVP). So we might be going with Mohonk, if that is my cheap option in the city.

    Did the $2k include the reception as well? :o
  5. Posted by Tiffany on July 2nd, 2013 at 10:14am

    I cannot fathom not inviting the grandparents. I think you'll regret that. For an extra few hundred dollars you would have given them and yourselves the memories of a lifetime.
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