How to Have and Intimate and Meaningful Wedding
Commitment is the glue that binds you to each other. – Anonymous
You want a wedding that’s meaningful, impactful, and full of memories that make you giddy for joy when you think about them, right? We thought so! Today, we’re sharing a few key points we’ve collected over the years as wedding photographers. They will make your wedding more intimate and more meaningful! Our intention as a photographer has always been to capture intimate and emotionally raw moments. Over the years, we realized that intimate and meaningful moments are intentional choices. Intimate weddings don’t happen on their own accord. Much like minimal design, for your wedding to make way for intimacy and connection, it takes a lot of effort. Please remember that there is no wrong way to do a wedding. However, we’ve got a handful of suggestions to help you plan an intimate wedding, with an emphasis on the depth and connection between you and your partner.
As photographers, we want to highlight how some of these choices can impact your wedding images. Great wedding photography is a collaborative effort. Planning your day with light, time, and intimacy in mind will help not only give you the images you want but also create a more memorable experience.
Some of the most meaningful weddings we’ve been a part of have simply been us and the couple. More and more couples are deciding that they’d rather spend their wedding day with their future spouse instead of planning a large gathering. Elopements allow you to spend the entire day with your spouse and give you an almost unlimited timeline to do what you want to do. This way, instead of feeling pressured to have events or things planned for a large group of people, you can simply be. If you decide you’d like to elope somewhere besides your home country, it allows you to combine both your honeymoon and wedding into one experience. Moreover, this scenario gives you plenty of time to reflect and enjoy time together as newlyweds. Some of our favorite weddings have been simple elopements. That allowed us to build rapport and trust with the couple. You can imagine that by the end of the day, it feels more like celebrating close friends than being a hired photographer.
PLAN A DESTINATION WEDDING
If you’re wanting to have a wedding with fewer guests, planning a destination can be a way for you to do that with the least amount of conflict. Having a destination wedding means that you can create a special and unique experience for your nearest people. A destination wedding doesn’t mean you have to go to another continent. However, it allows you to plan a smaller wedding that is more suited to reflection and connection with your partner and your closest friends.
BOOK A VENUE THAT HAS ON-SITE LODGING
Whether you’re planning a larger or a smaller wedding, one of the best ways to ensure quality time with your friends and family is to book a venue with on-site accommodations. If you truly want to preserve the intimacy of your wedding, it’s best if you can book a smaller hotel, private estate, or Villa, depending on the region in the world where you’re looking to have your wedding.
For example, a private Villa in Tuscany would be cheaper for the entire week than a wedding venue would have been for a single day. Whether it’s small, boutique hotel, or a private estate, renting out a curated space allows you to spend more time with your loved ones in the days leading up to your wedding.
LIMIT THE GUESTLIST
Weddings can quickly get out of hand. What started as a small wedding with your friends and family can evolve into a large party for acquaintances and your parent’s friends. To manage this it can be helpful to set a cap for how many guests you’re wanting to invite…and stand by it. One thing we love about photographing smaller weddings is the space it gives us to connect with guests. At a small wedding, it ends up that only close friends and family are present. We love that! It is wonderful for photographs because it allows us to focus my energy on photographing your closest people instead of trying to capture photos of a large group of guests, some of whom may only be acquaintances.
WRITE YOUR VOWS
One way to keep your wedding personal and unique is to write your vows. Writing your vows can be one of the easiest and simplest ways to bring calm and intimacy into your wedding day without needing to restructure the wedding day itself.
HAVE A PRIVATE VOW CEREMONY
Since this is your wedding, you can have the best of both worlds: a small, intimate ceremony as well as a large party with all your friends and family. One option to combine these things is to have a private vow ceremony between you and your partner, separate from the wedding ceremony. Taking the time to do it alone and in private can be a way to have a intimate and meaningful time with your spouse. Additionally, you can have a private ceremony whenever you want. Either on the morning of your wedding, the day before or a week before, you can choose the time you want!
PLAN AN OUTDOOR DINNER
Depending on where and when you’re planning your wedding, having a seated dinner outdoors helps to bring everyone out to one place. By default, these dinners are typically lit with candles, so when the sun finally sets, it sets the tone for a really warm, romantic setting. An outdoor wedding day can feel relaxed, like a beautiful picnic, but also have as much time in nature and natural light as possible that’s great for pictures!
PLAN A PORTRAIT SESSION
Setting up a portrait session with your photographer can be a great way to build trust and a connection. If you’re wedding is a pretty intimate day, your photographer may be one of only a handful of people present. We think that it helps to have some report and an ongoing relationship, because it can make taking photos together feel special. When it comes to destination weddings and elopements, most of our communication with couples has been over Zoom meetings and e-mail. To battle that we love taking our couples out a day or two before the wedding (and sometimes after) to connect and build trust.
EMBRACE THE EMOTION
Weddings have a way of bringing together so many emotions and experiences. Joy. Sadness. Fear. Anticipation. Excitement; these things are an essential part of a wedding and it’s important to embrace that. Our goal as photographers is to shoot in a way that authentically exposes you, including tears, hugs, and embraces. This is a celebration of you, we want to capture that in the most authentic way possible.
You and your partner share your commitment and promise to each other, everything else is the icing on the cake. You get to do whatever way you want. If you want to elope, go for it. If you want to plan a party for 400 people, have at it. Weddings aren’t meant to fit into a box. There’s no need to force something to work that doesn’t fit. If you want an intimate, intentional wedding, the options are truly unlimited. Trust your gut feeling!
Looking for photographers to capture the true intimacy and love of your wedding day? We’re here for you! Contact us!