Kelly and Dan decided to have an at-home intimate wedding with 64 guests. The couple wanted to put money into renovating the home they bought two years before they married, instead of spending money on a venue. Also, the duo wanted to be able to spend the day seeing all their guests, not running around frantically trying to see hundreds of people.
“The number of guests we had was perfect—it was small enough that we got to enjoy ourselves and be present the entire night,” says Kelly.
Thanks to the talented Cast83 Photography for capturing Kelly and Dan’s love so beautifully!
Kelly, 27 & Daniel, 38
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Wedding Date: August 13, 2016
Number of Guests: 64
Wedding Cost: $15,000
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
I really wanted to be able to hang out with all of my guests, not spend most of the evening running around trying to have five minute conversations with 100+ people. The number of guests we had was perfect—it was small enough that we got to enjoy ourselves and be present the entire night. I also wanted the ceremony to be intimate so I wasn’t nervous about saying our vows in front of a huge crowd. Lastly, I wanted to keep the wedding cost down, making it as nice as possible for the friends and family we had.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
Both of our mothers wanted to invite guests of their own, which we had to say no to because of our desire to have a small wedding. Also the size of our backyard was a stress factor; we needed to make sure we had just enough space for the right amount of guests. We were not able to do a sit down dinner because of space, instead we used the high top tables for a cocktail hour style dinner before moving onto the reception.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Dan and I have a great group of close friends, but a ton of acquaintances on both sides. I think having it so small made it easier because that next level of friends weren’t offended when they realized it was only our immediate family (20) and 20 friends on each side including spouses.
Did you have any issues with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
The only place we had issues was definitely with both of our mothers. Dan’s mother wanted to invite their entire extended family which was over 50 guests alone since they have a lot of cousins. My mom had “family friends” she wanted to invite and was upset that she couldn’t. We just explained to them what our vision was for the wedding (small) and asked them to understand. We were also paying for the wedding which was even more of an incentive to keep the guest list small.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Our officiant was a close friend and he was absolutely hilarious. Everyone was laughing, but I’ve also heard my girlfriends say they were crying. It all just felt surreal marrying my best friend in our own backyard looking out at the woods with the sun peeking through. Dan and I had been together for six years before tying the knot.
What were the highlights of the reception?
Our DJ was amazing and the dance floor was packed the entire night. By the end of the reception, half of the guests actually ended up in the pool!
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
Spending time with our closest family and friends, having the time to savor the special moments, and staying out of debt when it’s all over.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Focus on what is best for you two. Don’t let your family tell you what a wedding should be like, follow your own dream and the rest will work out.
Photography & Videography: Cast83
Venue: Our Home
Makeup: Gypsysol Makeup Artistry
Hair: Azure Salon and Day Spa
Florist: Flowers and Fancies
Bridal Gown: Karen Willis Holmes
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Banana Republic