Victorian farmhouse wedding

Eliza, 27 & Toby, 31

South Bristol, Maine

Wedding Date: September 4, 2011

Number of Guests: 10

Wedding Cost: $9,500

Wedding Ceremony Location: Clifford House, South Bristol, Maine

Wedding Reception Location: Clifford House, South Bristol, Maine

bride and groom with bicycles

bride and groom outside victorian farmhouse

vintage place setting

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I imagined myself sitting down to write a guest list. When I thought of all of the people I would like to invite, I realized that many of them were people I hadn’t seen in a long time and I knew it would be impossible to catch up with all of those people in the same night. I would want to talk to everyone and there just wouldn’t be enough time for that. I felt like I’d end the night feeling cheated and missing people. The aforementioned ‘people who I hadn’t seen in a long time’ happened to include all of the groom’s immediate family members, as well as my brother. I felt that this group would have a great dynamic, so it just made sense to me.

Also, I knew that I could do a lot with our budget for such a small wedding, and not just in “superficial” ways. We were able to provide accommodations for all of our guests, which was important to me since my most desired location was in an area where you would have to drive pretty far to get to a hotel.

rustic wedding bouquet

rustic hanging flower arrangement

outdoor farmhouse wedding reception table

white lantern hanging in tree

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, we were lucky that we were able to stick to immediate family – moms, dads, siblings & their families.

flower arrangement in tree stump

rustic rose centerpiece

rustic rose farmhouse wedding centerpiece

farmhouse wedding reception table setting with pink depression glass

pink depression glass table setting

rustic rose centerpiece in antique silver vase

rustic rose centerpiece

farmhouse wedding

ponytailed groom

outdoor farmhouse wedding

outdoor farmhouse wedding table

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

I tried to be forthright about it from the get-go. As soon as we made the decision to have a small wedding, I spread the word amongst my extended family and friends. We also had a less formal party after we got back from our honeymoon and invited family and close friends.

bride sitting at picnic table

bride in vintage wedding dress

bride with small flowers in her hair

farmhouse screened porch

vintage wedding dress reflected in antique mirror


long outdoor wedding table

setting the wedding reception table

groom setting the table

long outdoor wedding table

pink depression glass tea cups and silver tea pots

ponytailed groom in black suit

bride in vintage wedding dress

bride with rustic bouquet

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Toby actually came up with the idea of saying a few words about our families coming together and then inviting others to speak, instead of doing a reading. After he spoke about our families, he turned to me and told me he loved me in the most beautiful way. I was not expecting it at all, and luckily I hadn’t had time to actually prepare anything to say, because I wouldn’t have been able to get the words out! Then my Dad read a beautiful poem he wrote, and our brothers and his father told some sweet anecdotes. The format turned out to be such a great idea for a group of our size.

bride with her parents

vintage bride walking down the aisle

outdoor farmhouse wedding ceremony

guests at outdoor wedding ceremony

outdoor wedding ceremony by the lake

bride and groom at outdoor wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands during ceremony

bride crying during ceremony

bride holding bouquet during ceremony

bride and groom's feet during ceremony

groom putting ring on bride's finger

groom reading his vows

exchanging wedding rings

bride putting ring on groom's finger

bride and groom at outdoor wedding ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

Gosh, it is just a blur to me! Amazing food, great conversation, great music (the groom created a playlist of our favorite songs), opening gifts, champagne, laughing … at one point we got silly and danced … it was probably the funniest little party I’ve ever been to.

popping the champagne

pouring champagne for wedding guests

guests drinking champagne

wedding cupcakes on pink depression glass stands

pink wedding cupcakes

wedding mini quiches

bacon wrapped scallops

wedding cheese puffs

groom with champagne

wedding croquet

lighting candles at outdoor wedding reception

outdoor farmhouse wedding reception

bride eating salad

bride at outdoor dinner

groom at outdoor reception

outdoor wedding reception with twinkle lights

outdoor farmhouse wedding receptions

outdoor farmhouse wedding table with candelabra

outdoor wedding buffet

outdoor farmhouse wedding reception

lobster dinner at wedding

steamed clams at wedding

outdoor wedding reception lit by twinkle lights

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, I liked that we were able to put so much thought and detail into the design. I fought hard on eBay for some of that vintage tableware! It was great fun. And now I have the option of re-selling it and getting my money back, or keeping it. I’m keeping it;)

hanging flower arrangements

outdoor wedding table with silver candelabra

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

Do something special for close friends/family you decide not to invite. Even a small gesture like bringing them back a wedding favor can mean a lot.

bride with champagne and rustic bouquet

bride and groom in front of barn

bride and groom with vintage bicycles

bride and groom by the lake

bride and groom on the pier



Venue: Clifford House, South Bristol, Maine

Photography: A Love Supreme Photography/Erin Wallace

Catering: Sea Coast Catering/Lurie Sprague-Palino

Cupcakes: Sweet Delights/Gipsy Diskin

Flowers: Boothbay Region Greenhouse/Denise Demeter

Officiant: Maria Northcott, Notary Public