Wanting to keep the focus on why they were getting married, rather than how they were getting married, Megan and Zsolt first determined the things they couldn’t live without on their wedding day – a ceremony, dinner, and Zsolt’s parents being there – and cut out everything else. As cost also played a huge part in their planning and decision making process, the couple chose to keep their actual wedding day guest list to immediate family only, and celebrated their nuptials with friends and extended family at an informal beach party the next day.
A big thank you to Annie Hall for generously sharing Megan and Zsolt’s wedding day photos with us.
Megan, 26 & Zsolt, 29
Santa Barbara, CA
Wedding Date: June 6, 2014
Number of Guests: 25
Wedding Cost: Our out-of-pocket cost for the all-things-wedding was around $11,000. We had several family members graciously help us by taking care of the flowers, rental chairs for the ceremony, and our unity tree.
Wedding Ceremony Location: Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens
Wedding Reception Location: Olio e Limone Ristorante – everything about this place is excellent!
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Cost was really the main factor, and as we got further and further into the planning process, we realized that it was a perfect way to honor our family members who have been with us from the beginning, instead of making a huge, dramatic spectacle out of the whole thing. We were really able to focus on why we were getting married, and much less on how.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Once we made up our minds, it was relatively easy to keep it to immediate family only. We are still sad that we couldn’t have more close friends there, especially since many of them have seen our relationship develop from the start. As a compromise, though, we had a very informal party at the beach in Carpinteria the next day. I think almost 200 people showed up for that!
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
I think sincere disappointment is a better word for this than “issues.” We have wonderful close friends, and it was painful to have to let them down. We’re all in similar positions, though, so when we told them that cost was the driving factor, it was easy for most everyone to understand. Also, our friends and extended family seriously rock, so it would have been surprising to see any of them freak out over this.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
So many! It meant the world to us that Zsolt’s parents could be there. Zsolt translated the whole ceremony in Hungarian for them. Our roommate, who is my best friend from college, performed the ceremony. That was very special.
What were the highlights of the reception?
The toast my dad gave was amazing. I wish we had recorded it – he did it completely off the cuff. The food was also fantastic!
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
Staying realistic and true to our priorities.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Just think about the things you can’t live without, and cut everything else. For us, we knew we had to have a ceremony, a dinner, and Zsolt’s parents absolutely needed to be there. That was pretty much it, and drove all our decisions.
Dress: J.Crew (it’s actually a bridesmaid dress that I got on sale)
Hair & Make up: Noelle from Chateau Belle
Photography: Annie Hall Photography