From the bride’s unique accessories to the chic restaurant venue, Laura and Eric brought a killer sense of style to their completely gorgeous modern and minimalist Brooklyn wedding. Even more importantly, however, the couple’s big day was filled with the things that mean the most to them – close family, good friends, and great food!
Thanks to Cassidy Parker Smith Photography for the gorgeous photos!
Lauren, 28 & Eric, 32
May 10, 2014
Number of Guests: 32
Wedding Cost: $8,500 including photographer, reception/dinner, cake, flowers, drinks for after party
Wedding Ceremony Location: Fitzcarraldo, restaurant located in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn
Wedding Reception Location: Fitzcarraldo, followed by a brownstone in Park Slope that was being gut renovated – it was about 80% complete at the time.
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We were actually on a plane ride back from a small-ish wedding in Austin, and we both realized that we wanted something extremely small and intimate. I think that’s actually when we decided to get married as well! We also wanted to avoid getting wrapped up in the details of a traditional wedding that are ultimately unimportant. So many unimportant details can easily overwhelm any couple and distract from the beauty of a wedding. Our focus remained on our relationship and the people that brought us to that day, rather than the “event” of being wed. We also wanted to share the time with the people who were important to our relationship, and who had been part of the journey that had taken us to that night.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
We took about two weeks to plan the majority of our wedding. Eric did a very good job not letting me get wrapped up in the typical details of a wedding. I had to remind myself that certain things were not important to me, despite others’ recommendations. One of the biggest challenges we faced was that our original venue closed about six weeks prior to the wedding date, after we had already sent out invitations. We had actually discovered Fitzcarraldo after we had sent out the invitations. During our first dinner there, we were almost hesitant to admit that we had maybe made a mistake in our venue – so it was a total blessing in disguise. I think the other challenge was that the two of us ended up running a lot of the details – we made the flower arrangements ourselves the night before, we coordinated transportation and logistics, we called Uber, we picked up the cake, etc. Having more people around may have taken away from some of those challenges, but definitely would have added to the stress level.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
I think this was more challenging for our parents, who wanted to show us off to all their friends! As for us, we narrowed the list by only inviting people that were important in our life together as a couple. Of course there were people we wish we could have invited, but it ended up being our closest friends at the wedding which only added to the intimacy of our wedding. At the end of the day, we had a perfect guest list – one where we didn’t have to worry about co-mingling issues, embarrassing relatives, etc. We knew going into the night that every single person there would get along fabulously with every other guest.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
Yes! We both have fairly large families, primarily in Texas and Louisiana. Instead of inviting everyone, we sent marriage announcements to make sure our family knew they were important to us and part of our big day. Our friends were all super supportive of the idea – we both got a lot of comments from married couples saying “oh man, you’re doing it the right way… I wish I had done that!”
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Reading our own vows turned out to be so touching and amazing. It was very nerve-wracking to have to do that in front of others, but sharing our love for one another amongst a small group of family and friends was so amazing. A larger wedding would have distracted us from the intimacy of those moments. It was also really amazing to look out and see every single person in our lives that are important to us and to see the reactions they had. We would have missed so many small moments and reactions from friends and family if they had been seated in rows dozens of feet away.
What were the highlights of the reception?
The food! Another great part about a small wedding, is that you can spend more on food and wine. Fitzcarraldo offered a unique six course meal that was so delicious. It was important for us to share our love of food (especially in NYC!) with our family and friends. Another thing I loved about our reception was that we drew numbers for seating – it’s a bit of a Boudreaux family tradition that ended up making total sense for the wedding. Everyone at our wedding was important, so it became difficult to decide who sits where, especially without hurting feelings or keeping us from sitting next to our closest friends. This alleviated a lot of stress – and everyone really got into the idea! We didn’t have any cheaters and got so many comments about how it really made the night unique. It was also great to be able to talk to every person there in depth – we didn’t have to do the typical “rounds” and end up not spending the night with the people we actually wanted to be spending it with.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
Not getting wrapped up in unimportant details. Being a fourth year medical student getting ready for graduation, Eric with a full time job, and both of us preparing to move across the country for my residency shortly after the wedding was certainly enough stress for us. Our wedding planning was so easy and it let us focus on each other and to prepare for “real life” rather than getting wrapped up in the details of a wedding that aren’t important. The best thing was that we could focus on the things that matter – friends, family (and food).
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Remember that the wedding is about you and no one else. Don’t let family members dictate what you should have at your wedding – whether it’s the guest list, the venue, or even any minor detail. Stay strong to what you have envisioned! You know who the most important people are in your lives, and it will become apparent who will make the cut for a small wedding. We drew the line at if we had not seen or spoken to that person in six months or if they were not involved in BOTH of our lives then we could not invite them. It seemed to narrow down the list a lot!
Photographer: Cassidy Parker Smith Photography
Design and Decor: D.S.MeeBee Custom Event Design and Planning
Dress Store: J. Crew
Shoes:Kate Spade for Keds
Specialty Foods:Pelzer’s Pretzels
Cake Designer:Two Little Red Hens