Erin and Jake had an intimate outdoor ceremony at River Oaks Garden Club Forum in Houston, Texas with 25 of their nearest and dearest. Instead of celebrating with their guests directly after the ceremony, they opted to have the reception on a separate day.
“… separating the two events, while awkward at times, did a nice job of getting us down to the very real fact that a lot of the people in our lives were more interested in having fun with us than they were invested in the intimate, emotional aspects of the ceremony,” explained the groom, adding that 75 guests attended the reception.
Although whittling down the guest list was tough, the couple said their wedding couldn’t have been more perfect.
“(We were) surrounded by people who understood the impact of this moment on our lives. It made it very pure and intense,” said Jake.
Thanks to the talented Jill Goehring from Half a Rice Studios for sharing this lovely intimate wedding with us!
Erin, 28 & Jake, 26
Location: Houston, Texas
Wedding Date: Nov. 8, 2018
Number of Guests: ~25 for the ceremony, 75 for the reception. We held them on two separate nights.
Wedding Cost: ~$20K
Wedding Ceremony Location: River Oaks Garden Club Forum
Wedding Reception Location: Nouveau Antique Art Bar
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We wanted to make sure we could focus on each other, without as much of the distraction of “playing host.”
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
Figuring out where to draw the line on guests was extremely difficult as we both have relatively large families (see below), but the other difficulty for us was finding venues that were appropriate for something small. So many venues that participate in the wedding industry are meant to handle pretty large groups, so we didn’t want to be swimming in empty space. ROGC was perfect, it just took some looking to find it.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Very. There’s no way around the fact that some people felt left out, but what I would say to future couples considering something like this is that you have to remember the mantra: “It’s OUR day.” At the end of the day, our family and friends understood that.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
We did, but not too much. When we did, we essentially reminded them that exclusion had nothing to do with us not loving them or wanting them in our lives, but it was about making sure we could control the size (costs) associated with the event. We paid for the vast majority of this ourselves, after all.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
The whole thing. Can I say that? The ceremony itself was all built to be a perfect representation of us. We were married by a close friend, my mother played the processional music live on violin, our siblings were our wedding party… it was wonderful.
What were the highlights of the reception?
The open bar was a very worthwhile investment. But, in all seriousness, separating the two events, while awkward at times, did a nice job of getting us down to the very real fact that a lot of the people in our lives were more interested in having fun with us than they were invested in the intimate, emotional aspects of the ceremony.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
Having everything exactly the way we wanted it, surrounded by people who understood the impact of this moment on our lives. It made it very pure and intense.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Society (and some families) more or less expect a pretty big event out of your wedding. If that’s not you, stay the course, and have the wedding you want. If done right, it will be more intimate, and more meaningful than it could have been otherwise.
Ceremony Venue: River Oaks Garden Club Forum
Reception Venue: Nouveau Antique Art Bar
Photography: Half a Rice Studios
Alcohol: Spec’s Wine and Spirits
Makeup Artist: Your Beautiful Face