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10 Step Guide to Planning Your Intimate Wedding

Picture this scene: It’s your wedding day. You’ve finally made it here, past all the planning and hurdles and breakdowns.

You’re excited to see your friends and family, and of course, the love of your life. Everything is beautifully laid out, and everything is perfect.

And then…you see 200 of your nearest and dearest. You spend your day trying not to worry about how you’ll foot the bill for the crowd and manage the inevitable small talk.

That’s no way to celebrate the most important day of your life. Instead, consider your fantasy wedding, only smaller. Keep all the dream elements — invitations, the dress, a fabulous cake, a candlelit dinner — but invite ten guests, 20 max. 

Shrinking down the wedding party to an intimate size means you get to save money and create unforgettable experiences with every guest. If you’re considering the ultimate Pomona event venue, go with the micro wedding trend

Below, we’ve laid out the ten-step guide to planning the intimate wedding of your dreams. 

What Is an Intimate Wedding?

Some people consider 70 people to be intimate, while others hold that 10-20 guests are a small wedding party.

At Electric Loft, we believe intimate is how you define it. The main takeaway from the idea of the small wedding trend is that it is about the celebration. The focus shifts away from the couple and towards enjoying their union.

This relieves the stress and fatigue that accompanies traditional wedding planning. Guests shouldn’t be a burden, but people you love and cherish. 

It takes the best elements of an elopement and a fun celebration and brings them together. This can then lead to an authentic wedding that truly represents the couple as they are.

What Are the Benefits of a Small Wedding?

Where do we start? Small weddings are advantageous for every kind of couple. Let’s look at some of the reasons more couples are turning to this kind of event planning.

  • More personalized and intimate feel
  • Reduces overall time, effort, and budget
  • More relaxed
  • Can enjoy each moment with loved ones
  • Increased privacy and exclusivity
  • More meaningful time spent with cherished ones

All these benefits enable you to go all out with your celebrations. Micro weddings also allow the opportunity to use the leftover budget for a destination or luxe wedding. 

Let’s now dive into the ten essential steps for achieving your intimate wedding dream.

1. Daydream Away

The best part of wedding planning is dreaming. Maybe you’ve been anticipating this day since you were a child, or perhaps you’re only just starting to explore what you like.

But the more you think about it, the more inspired your big day will be. Use weddings you’ve attended as a starting point. Compile a list of things you like and elements you agree are not your style.

Keep adding to your list, considering factors like theme, colors, and decor elements. And don’t worry too much about setting everything in stone. For example, you may initially have art deco elements mixed with Harry Potter-themed elements!

This will change the further you get through the planning process. This stage is all about brainstorming and letting your imagination run wild.

We recommend setting up a Pinterest board as a place to dump your wildest inspirations. Don’t worry about whether it looks cohesive or makes sense. 

And remember to share your thoughts with your partner right from the get-go. It is essential to be on the same wavelength when it comes to wedding planning.

2. Plan Ahead

Now we come to the actual planning stage. This is when you’ll have to start narrowing down your ideas and start making decisions. Lucky for you, with all that daydreaming, you won’t have a shortage of ideas!

If you’re struggling with making decisions, utilize pro and con lists. Enlist the help of your friends too. And remember, don’t take planning a wedding too seriously! 

Ultimately, it’s all about having fun and letting go.

Also, an intimate wedding doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to complete all the planning in one day. You will have to make difficult decisions about the wedding venue, menu, vendors, and more, just like a traditional wedding.

Therefore, avoid leaving things too late. Rome wasn’t planned in a day, and neither will your wedding. Having strategies and resources early on will allow you to enjoy your wedding day without any hiccups. 

This is particularly true for those wishing to DIY elements of their wedding and add personalized touches. Those little flourishes take a lot of foresight, thought, and love. So give it the time it requires.

3. Finalize Your Budget

Here is when you need to take your planning and set it within a framework. While budgeting can be daunting, get clear about your intentions and long-term financial goals. 

Here’s how to approach financial planning for your micro wedding:

Start saving now: No amount is too small, so start setting a little aside every month. Calculate how much you’ll be able to save until the wedding date and how much you’re willing to put away towards the event.

Get clear on all your streams of money: Wedding funding can require enlisting the help of others. If you’re planning to ask family members or friends to contribute, have a clear idea of how much that adds up towards your entire budget.

Refine: Add up all the numbers to get a rough estimate and then narrow that down. Make cuts wherever needed because we often overestimate things that we didn’t need in the first place.

One of the benefits of micro weddings is that you’ll be able to get creative and find affordable ways to have a low-cost wedding. This will allow you to build up a nest egg or afford that luxe honeymoon.

4. Get Backup

Wedding planning involves so many intricacies and details. It is essential to realize that you and your partner can’t do it alone. So enlist support to back you up!

An obvious solution is to hire a wedding planner. They will help tick off so many of the tasks for you. From music and decor to coordinating vendors, wedding planners provide that extra support that will help you stay on top of things.

Download wedding planning apps, follow planning experts, and buy all those wedding magazines! Arm yourself with resources and information to stay organized and stress-free through the process.

5. Narrow Down That Guest List

Your guests will make or break your wedding. Deciding who to invite can be one of the most polarizing elements of wedding planning. But with a micro wedding, your decision gets that much easier!

You’ll want to invite your truly near and dear ones. If you decide on 20 people as the ideal size, that’s ten people on each side.

Decide on a strategy — is it friends and family only, or work friends and extended relatives as well? Will you have plus-ones?

You will also have to decide how to manage those who didn’t make the cut. This will save you some difficult conversations and reactions later on. 

6. Location, Location, Location

Having fewer guests makes deciding on your dream wedding location so much easier. You won’t have to worry too much about coordination, affordability, and privacy. 

What is critical here is to ensure that the wedding venue complements your wedding party size. Think of whether the space will allow you to make memories for a lifetime.

Lucky for you, there is no shortage of creative wedding venues. While finding the perfect venue can be daunting, we suggest referring back to your planning stage. Look for the elements that are uncompromisable, and then research for venues that have the feature.

For example, if your mood board had a lot of industrial chic elements, you can research and visit venues that have a historical or grunge feel to them.

Ultimately, the location needs to feel versatile and full of possibilities. Opt for a venue that isn’t too big or too small. Some of our favorite intimate wedding location ideas include:

  • Backyard weddings
  • Beach weddings
  • Loft weddings
  • Vineyard/brewery weddings

Remember, you want this to be a fun experience for you and your guests. Pick the venue with a relaxed atmosphere so that you have time to take it all in.

7. Sprinkle In Some Personality

Use your small wedding to break away from the tropes and traditions of typical weddings. Having such few guests allows you to add bespoke touches that speak volumes about you and your partner.

You get to make your own rules. Do you want to have a friend officiate? Perhaps you want to create a meaningful wedding ritual, like planting a tree or having the wedding party bless your ring.

Wedding vows are another way to get creative. Consider writing your own vows for a personalized and unique touch.

You can also get creative with the little details. Personalizing your favors and gifts to make your guests feel appreciated and extraordinary will go a long way. Some examples are handwritten notes and small gifts that evoke memories.

8. Get Creative With the Theme and Details

This is your dream day, so let it shine! Tie in the decor with you and your loved one’s personality or interests. Wedding themes are a great way to do this.

If you love books, celebrate your union in a library. Fell in love in the winter? A lovely winter wedding can add some seasonal magic to your wedding day.

Use the lighting, colors, and overall style to supplement your theme. Some popular decor ideas are boho-chic, nature-inspired, rustic, and even period/historical decor.

The sky is the limit, so have fun with it! Anything that puts a smile on your face and celebrates your love is worth it. 

In addition, little touches like ribbons, fairy lights, lanterns, and botanical details can go a long way in bringing the event together and giving it a unique personality.

9. Get the Word Out

Some couples prefer traditional save-the-date cards. Others create a wedding website to keep people up to date on the happenings. Share pictures, hotel information, and build excitement for the big day through your website.

And remember to give your guests suitable heads up — around 6-10 months is a good rule of thumb.

Wedding hashtags are also all the rage and will allow you to look back at the time with content your loved ones share. A wedding hashtag generator can create a fun phrase that encapsulates the special day.

10. Plan the Before and After

There are so many events that go into the wedding other than the big day. Are you planning to have a rehearsal dinner? If you’re going to have bachelor and bachelorette parties, remember to schedule those in too.

As for after the wedding, many couples opt for an after-party or morning-after brunch. This keeps things casual and relaxed and allows you to recount the events of the day before.

Remember What Matters and Have Fun

Micro weddings are unique because you get to tailor the experience to you! Don’t stress too much about the details — it’s your time to celebrate your love with the most important people in your life.

They don’t care about which table placements you chose. All they care about is you! So make the small moments count and enjoy your day.

Remember to call for backup (you’ll need it). Our priority at Electric Loft is to provide you with unmatched hospitality and attention to detail. Host your dream wedding in our unique and historic Pomona event venue today.

It’s perfect for an intimate wedding that doesn’t break the bank!

Contact us to schedule a walkthrough and make your dream wedding a reality today!

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