I didn’t want an up-do for my wedding. I’ve never worn an up-do in my life. It didn’t suit me – but no bride wears her hair down on her wedding day – or so it seemed.

I flipped through luxurious bridal magazines thicker than telephone directories (this was before wedding blogs and Pinterest!) looking for pictures of brides with their hair free of bobby pins. I came up empty.

“You want your hair to look special on your wedding day, don’t you?” said the hairstylist during a trial-run appointment. I caved. “Sure. Give me an up-do.” An hour and a half later the woman staring back in the mirror was no longer me. She wasn’t the kind of girl who wore plaid flannel pajamas. She didn’t have hangnails or enjoy frothy Guinness and warm slabs of steak. That girl wore satin. She ordered salad for lunch. She chewed slowly. She got manicures.

I dismantled the up-do as soon as I got into my car. That evening was one of clarity: I was going to be myself no matter how much pressure I felt. Thankfully, that pressure didn’t come from family or friends. All along, they encouraged me to be true to myself. They knew that I was the type of gal that marched to her own beat. Why would I suddenly change all that on my wedding day?

I had been to enough weddings to know what I didn’t want at our wedding, which included: A)A mile-long receiving line B) Drunk people doing ‘The Macarena’ c) $400 cake smashed into my face D)People singing silly rhyming songs to get us to kiss.

I bought a book to help me plan our wedding, but the more I read, the more I realized just how much my version of the ideal wedding differed from the norm. I didn’t want five bridesmaids; one maid of honor suited me just fine. I didn’t want a garter toss. I didn’t want a DJ playing the Electric Slide. Sure, I wanted music, but my music would be live. And most of all, I didn’t want a big, fat guest list. I didn’t want to celebrate my wedding day with a group of strangers. Instead, I wanted everyone there to have touched our lives in a special way.

I shake my head when I think of all the things I fretted over while we were planning our wedding. Can we really have a wedding with no bridesmaids or groomsmen? Will people think it’s weird that we don’t have a receiving line? Will our guests still have fun if there is no dancing?

My worries were unfounded. Our little wedding turned out to be one of the best days of my life.

Several months after our wedding, I wrote Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style. Aside from wanting to help brides with all the nitty gritty of planning a small wedding, I wanted other brides to feel confident in their decision to have an intimate wedding – even if their ideas bucked convention. I wanted couples to feel a sense of validation, and, of course, I wanted them to hear about all the wonderful things a small wedding can offer them.

IntimateWeddings.com took it a giant step further. The site, which was originally created to promote the book, became a source of small wedding planning articles, as well as a place to find the ideal venue for a small wedding. With the addition of DIY weddings and small real weddings the site skyrocketed in popularity.

As the trend towards small weddings continues to grow, Intimate Weddings remains the only major blog that is devoted to this niche in the wedding market.

Even though the site has evolved over the years, Intimate Weddings remains loyal to it’s original vision: to inspire couples to be true to themselves, even if that means taking the aisle less traveled. Even if that means not pleasing everyone else.


Christina Friedrichsen, IntimateWeddings.com

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5 Comments  |  Filed Under: About IntimateWeddings.com, At Home Weddings

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  1. Posted by Felicia on May 29th, 2011 at 4:16pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I've had our wedding featured on your site but I hadn't read this till now. I am glad you created Intimate Weddings -- just because we had small weddings, it certainly doesn't diminish the significance nor beauty of our marriages!
  2. Posted by HiLLjO on July 12th, 2011 at 4:23pm

    Simply. too. awesome.

    And 10 years later is looks amazing, too.

    A bloggy bride friend referred me over here, saying it is awesome and that you guys might like my husband and my wedding we just made in June. Now that I see there's a max guest list number I won't submit the wedding, I respect your thing you're doin', but I will enjoy the bejeezus out of this blog.
  3. Posted by Molly on May 21st, 2012 at 7:45pm

    Exactly! A wedding should be about what it used to be about... the bride and groom. And not a bunch of stuffy traditions. I too want to wear my hair down and I've had to look up pictures of celebrities to find images of what I want because bridal hair photos just aren't me. I also don't want a veil (much to my Mother's dismay). I don't want a garter toss, bouquet toss, receiving line, or ANY cliche dances (macarena, YMCA). I think brides should be encouraged to pick and choose what suits them. Because my wedding is small, I've had a number of venues recommend I cut my reception time to be shorter or even cut the dinner altogether. Where I'm from, 50 people is still a damn good party! Love this website, thanks!
  4. Posted by Elaine on June 23rd, 2013 at 3:10pm

    I love this. I have been to your site while I was planning our wedding which ended up being a small 45 person event. I had one maid of honor (my sister) and a junior bridesmaid (niece). My husband had his best friend be his best man and both my sons walked me down the aisle (age 15 and 20). We only had family and close friends. It was in a small quaint Henry Ford Village type 1800s white chapel and the reception was in the attached same era hall. We did have a catered meal but no head table,as we sat amongst our guests . No drinking or dancing, kids and babies and toddlers were welcomed. It was family friendly and made sure to share the extra bubbles for them to take home. We toasted (kids included) with sparkling cider. The flower centerpieces were fresh lilacs (May wedding) my husband and I cut from our garden and put in ribboned mason jars. I wore a white gown, but elegant and not over the top. I couldn't have been happier. The smaller wedding was heavenly. It was very focused on famiy, friends, and most importantly for us- God. So many people told how much they loved the small intimiacy of our wedding and how beautiful it was.
  5. Posted by Christina on June 24th, 2013 at 1:46pm

    Thanks for your comment Elaine! Your wedding sounds amazing!
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