wedding in san francisco

Sara, 28 & Iain, 29

San Francisco, California

Wedding Date: April16,  2010

Number of Guests: 23

Wedding Cost: $9,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Ceilo Suite Hotel Vitale

Wedding Reception Location: same as above

trolley bride

trolley groom

san fransico destination wedding

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We don’t enjoy big parties with lots of people. We really wanted the wedding, especially the ceremony to be about us and a celebration of our relationship, not a huge family party. We have been to big weddings and found them stressful and impersonal.

outddor wedding

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

The main challenges were not inviting everyone. I’m sure some people, especially family were upset, but it is what we wanted and we hoped they understood. We had a destination wedding, so it was too expensive for many people to come anyway! Also, it was a challenge to find a venue that was not too big and would allow for a small party without huge minimum spends.

groom with groomsmen

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Not really. We only wanted close friends and family. We could have had a much longer list but it would have been just to please family members.

destination bride

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

We just invited immediate family and very close friends, no kids etc.

rooftop wedding

outdoor wedding in san francisco

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

It was great having outside with the fantastic view of San Francisco. The ceremony was very personal; we had a friend and the groom’s father do a reading which was lovely and funny. Quite a few people cried! It was beautiful! Saying our vows felt so right; it was long time coming and quite emotional.

rooftop wedding

What were the highlights of the reception?

It was so small that we had a chance to relax and talk to everyone. The views again were stunning with the sun setting over the bay! Very romantic.

rooftop wedding

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It being so personal, relaxed and also being able to spend time talking to people and just enjoying the day. We didn’t have to think about things going well as it was so stress-free. It was such a great day and we are so glad we did everything the way we did.

small wedding in ca

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

Go for it! It makes the day about you and no one else. You have to remember it’s your wedding and don’t get pressured into making it bigger if a small wedding is what you want. People will get over it, but you will have your wedding memories for the rest of your lives!

rooftop ceremony

couple near golden gate bridge


Wedding Photographer: Janae Shields Photography (She was fab.)

Flowers: Added Touch Flowers (Great service and truly beautiful flowers.)

Acoustic Guitarist: Elle Music

Venue: Hotel Vitale (Great service and beautiful location.)

Make up: Awny