If a big wedding appeals to you about as much as those oversized shoulder pads on wedding dresses in the ’80s, ditch the idea of planning a grand event and embrace a more intimate celebration instead. When you keep it low key, you can create a more luxe, personal experience for your guests—and take a little stress off your non-padded shoulders.
Try these 5 ideas on for size before committing to the right match for you:
1.) Host a Dinner Party
If a formal ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance just isn’t your style, tie the knot in a civil ceremony, then treat yourself to a private dining experience with your closest friends and family. Find a restaurant you love, maybe where you had an unforgettable date, or pick a spot that you’ve always wanted to try. Whether you’d prefer tapas and a local beer tasting on a rooftop overlooking the city or a seated, four-course dinner paired with wines from around the world, there’s no better way to share your personal tastes with your guests than with a memorable meal.
2.) Suite and Simple
There’s something irresistible about one-stop shops. Who can argue with the convenience of getting multiple things you need all in one place? That’s exactly what a suite provides: Have the ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon all in the same location. Yes, it’s an efficient option, but it can also be pretty amazing if you pick a decadent room or penthouse. Think the Heaven Over Hell Penthouse Suite at Ink48 in NYC, where the Manhattan skyline envelops you from your own private rooftop terrace.
3.) Destination: Bliss
For the couple that loves to travel, a destination wedding is the perfect way to celebrate your nuptials. Invite your guests to experience food and culture of one of your favorite cities or explore a new locale like Grand Cayman. The Seven Mile Beach’s 500 feet of sandy shoreline creates an ideal backdrop to seal your love. Then, charter a catamaran and spend the day in the company of your nearest and dearest lounging, snorkeling and spotting stingrays. From there, you’re perfectly positioned to jump right into your new life together, starting with a Caribbean honeymoon.
4.) Elopement Is the New Black
Some days in life should be all about you. Once frowned upon, elopements today are embraced by couples who want to skip the hassle of planning a grand affair, and prefer spending their Big Day just being together. It can be especially simple when you go with something that’s set like an elopement package. With the “Simply Love” package at Seattle’s Kimpton Alexis Hotel, you get everything taken care of—an officiant, local flowers, a luxury suite with late checkout, breakfast in bed and more. On the East Coast, tucked away in the hills of Vermont, Kimpton Taconic Hotel’s “Escape to Elope” package provides an array of goodies curated for couples—from monogrammed robes to a personalized cake.
If you want to run away together but still bring your closest loved ones along for the fun, the “HOLY! Matrimony” package at Philadelphia’s Hotel Palomar delivers four different elopement options that can also accommodate up to 30 family members and friends.
5.) Be Unconventional
When planning a smaller ceremony, a world of alternative venues opens up. Instead of limiting yourself to only a traditional church or ballroom, you can say “I do” in a unique setting that reflects both of your personalities. Imagine getting hitched in a secret garden, surrounded by art at a boutique gallery, or even in the shadow of a revolving celestial sphere. Inspire your guests by celebrating your big day in a place as special as your love story.