For foodies, one of the perks of having an intimate wedding is the ability the splurge on great food – something not always possible with larger guest lists. Today’s couple, Jamie and Barry, chose to do just that, opting to go all out on food and drinks for their small wedding at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. Hosting both their ceremony and their reception at the restaurant, the newlyweds celebrated their beautiful union with cocktail pairings, a gourmet dinner, and 60 of their closest family and friends.

Special thanks to Studio Nouveau for sharing their gorgeous wedding photos with us today!

cambridge ma wedding

Jamie, 33 & Barry, 42

Cambridge, MA

Wedding Date: April 5, 2014

Number of Guests:  60

Wedding Cost: about $25,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Catalyst Restaurant, Cambridge, MA

Wedding Reception Location: Catalyst Restaurant, Cambridge, MA

Catalyst restaurant sign

copper place setting

name tag with rosemary

wedding dress detail

bride portrait

succulent and rose bouquet

bride at reception

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted time to be able to visit with everyone. We live in Seattle, and most guests were from Boston and New York, so we don’t get to see them all the time. Having a small wedding meant we could actually talk to all of our guests! We had a little reception on the night before the wedding at the Kendall Hotel that was a lot of fun, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that with a huge guest list. We also wanted to be able to go all out on food and cocktails, and having a smaller guest list meant that we could do that within the budget we had set. The food was to die for!

dress hanging in hallway

sparkly grey wedding shoes

chandelier earrings

bride getting readyBHLDN wedding belt

bride getting ready

jewelled hair clip in bride's hair

bride putting on shoes

bride putting on bracelet

bride putting on earrings

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

Well, the only real challenge was that I wanted to have the wedding in a restaurant, but I didn’t want to do a buy-out. I wanted the ambient noise and great energy from a busy restaurant. We had too few people to really make a buy-out make sense anyway, and too many people for many group dining rooms. Catalyst is right next to MIT and does hundreds of events a year – they were able to make it work for us in any configuration.

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom embracing

bride looking over shoulder

bride and groom head to head

groom kissing bride's forehead

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Actually, no! I will admit that I took up more than my fair share of guests, however.

bride and groom walking down street

Cambridge wedding portrait

bride and groom outside Catalyst restaurant

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

Nope! Everyone pretty much left us alone to do what we wanted.  I did ask my parents early on for a guest list of non-family members that they wanted to invite, but the list they gave me contained people I had already planned to invite. We were all on the same page.

restaurant wedding ceremony

musicians at wedding ceremony

restaurant light fixture detail

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The moment when we first met at the “altar” was pretty great. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would be.

Catalyst wedding ceremony

wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Everything went so smoothly and was so special that it’s hard to say. The Catalyst bar staff made up these demi-cocktails that each paired well with one of our passed appetizers – if pressed, I’d say that was the crowning part of the reception. My dad’s toast was also wonderful.

Catalyst restaurant

restaurant lounge

succulent wall

chalkboard wedding sign

framed seating chart

restaurant wedding reception set-up

restaurant wedding table setting

wedding table number

copper plate table setting

pink wedding centerpiece

kraft and rosemary place card

simple wedding centerpiece

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

I didn’t feel crazy in the days leading up to the wedding. Everything was well in hand and I had time the week before the wedding to visit with everyone. This was one part intimate wedding and one part having talented, organized people help with all the planning!

bride and groom at wedding reception

champagne toast

bride and groom speech

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

Hire a wedding planner! I initially thought that was a little crazy for us to do given that we didn’t have a huge guest list. However, I was able to enjoy our engagement because Rachael Gross, our wedding planner, kept me on track the whole time!

bride and groom kissing at reception


Photography: Studio Nouveau

WeddingPlanner+EventDesign: Rachael Gross, lolagraceEVENTS

Officiant: Priscilla Geaney

Florist: Little Flower Cottage

Live Music: Rhett Price

Rentals: New England Country Rentals

Hair + Make-Up: Bre Welch

WeddingDress: BHLDN


Calligrapher: Susan Smith

Accommodations, Bride/Groom/WeddingParty: Kendall Hotel

Accommodations, Bride/Groom/WeddingParty: Cambridge Boston Marriott