High school sweethearts Gillian and Brian, eventually went their separate ways, but were reunited after 10 years apart when Gillian moved back to their hometown, post-divorce, with her three kids. After falling in love all over again, the couple chose to wed at the bride’s mother’s Victorian home where they had shared so many wonderful memories as teenagers. With their kids as their wedding party, the bride and groom officiated their own ceremony in one of the most truly intimate weddings we have ever seen. Here’s how Gillian describes their day:

We always say, just you and I-until the sun burns out. When we found out we could officiate our own ceremony in the state of CO, we were so pleased. It made it so personal, so “us.” When the ceremony began, the kids and I walked down the stairs to a Smashing Pumpkins song that meant so much to me 14 years ago when we dated as teenagers. It was truly magical. I will never forget that feeling.

We have a small black book that we write each other notes in every morning. The last pages in our first book of notes is our ceremony and vows. It’s not poetic, not perfect. It’s just us. I still dream of that night.

Special thanks to Malissa Ahlin for capturing Gillian and Brian’s intimate wedding day so beautifully and sharing it with us.

at-home elopement

Gillian, 33 & Brian, 35

Pueblo, Colorado

Wedding Date: February 27th, 2015

Number of Guests: Less than 20

Wedding Cost: Less than $1,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: At the Bride’s mother’s Victorian home.

Wedding Reception Location: There was no reception on the day of the ceremony, but everyone went to dinner afterward at a restaurant called The ShamrockThe couple did have a very casual celebration a few months later where extended family and friends were invited to celebrate the new couple.

living room

flower girl and ring bearer

groom portrait

bride portrait

bride and groom kissing on the couch

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We always wanted a small wedding. I didn’t feel like I would be as comfortable and honest around a huge group of people.

Colorado house

stairs decorated with wedding decorations

knitted boutonniere

living room

yarn bouquet on chair

dining room with handmade wedding decorations

homemade wedding cupcakes

grandmother setting up dining room

homemade wedding cupcakes

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

There were no challenges.

bride and groom portrait at home

bride and groom portrait at home

bride and groom portrait at home

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, we already knew we only wanted immediate family to attend.

bride and groom portrait at home

bride and groom portrait at home

bride and groom portrait at home

bride and groom portrait at home

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

Thankfully we had no issues!

groom waiting at altar

living room elopement ceremony

guests at living room wedding

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The children being involved with the ceremony and being surrounded by my loved ones were the highlights – everything about it was a dream.

groom reading vows

bride looking at her groom during ceremony

groom putting ring on bride's finger

bride and groom first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

Being around everyone I loved.

at-home wedding reception set-up

at-home wedding reception set-up

homemade wedding cupcakes

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It was so personal, so “us”, and it was so real. Everyone I loved had the chance to be involved in a small, but very meaningful way. It reflected exactly who we are as a couple and we felt completely like ourselves.

bride looking at her ring

bride showing off her ring

pouring flutes of champagne

bride and groom eating cupcakes

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

I think having an intimate wedding was beautiful, stress-free, and real. The kids loved it, our families felt so close, and it was simply just Brian and I. I think that’s what it should be about anyway!

groom feeding bride a cupcake


Photography: Malissa Ahlin Photography