As today’s couple, Lauren and Patrick, know all too well, sometimes you don’t choose to have an intimate wedding; sometimes it chooses you.

The couple were planning a wedding extravaganza before a job related move forced them to downsize their plans and opt for a 10 guest “staged elopement” instead. While they may have slashed the guest list, they certainly didn’t skimp on the details, making for one of the chicest elopements we’ve ever seen!

A huge thank you to Tommy and Connie of The Great Romance for photographing and sharing their big day with us.

California elopement

Lauren, 30 & Patrick, 35

Culver City, CA

Wedding Date: August 23, 2014

Number of Guests: 10

Wedding Cost: $3,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: The Culver Hotel

Wedding Reception Location: The Culver Hotel

wooden book and wedding bouquet

bridal bouquet on bride's lap

groom sitting in chair

bride with wedding bouquet

bride and groom walking down street

bride and groom climbing fire escape

bride and groom kissing

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We moved to the East Coast for jobs rather suddenly last year so we had to put off having the extravaganza we were planning back east, but then we decided we didn’t want to wait so we planned a “staged elopement” with just our immediate families and a few close friends.

Culver city hotel

groom tying tie

bride's purse

bride's dress

bride sitting on hotel bed

groom's boutonniere

bride holding bouquet

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

Telling family members was a challenge.

hotel ballroom

hotel chandelier

groom waiting to see his bride

bride going to meet her groom

bride and groom first look

bride and groom first look

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, the parameters didn’t leave much wiggle room, which was good.

hotel wedding portrait

hotel wedding portrait

Culver Hotel wedding portrait

bride and groom kissing in chair

bride and groom in front of Culver Hotel

bride and groom climbing fire escape

bride and groom on fire escape

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom walking down the street

bride and groom kissing on the street

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

Communicating A LOT, and sending lots of pictures through the entire process so that we still felt connected.

Culver Hotel ceremony venue

bride at the altar

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The Irish music played by a violinist and cellist, our officiant’s extremely eloquent and beautiful wedding speech, and my parents sitting in the front row holding hands.

Culver Hotel wedding ceremony

best man reading

Culver Hotel wedding ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

Getting to have LA friends come to the hotel bar for an after party.

culver hotel sign

wedding canapes

wedding guests at reception

wedding canapes

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It was so special and we got to spend quality time and have conversations with everyone.

table setting

glitter bottle centerpieces

wedding toast

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

Do what’s in your heart. If you’re going to regret not having a big she-bang, be honest with yourself; and if you prefer to keep it small, people are most likely going to understand and be incredibly supportive of your decision!

guests raising glasses


Venue: The Culver Hotel

Photography: The Great Romance

Florals: Fleur De Rye

Desserts: Susie Cakes