Posted April 22, 2020

5 Ways to Create an Intimate Wedding


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 small and 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 small 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 and didn’t visit for your intimate engagement dinner. 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.

A dinner party is a fabulous way to bring your closest friends and family together to celebrate. Pictured: Kimpton Gray Hotel, Chicago, IL

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 hotel suite provides: Have the small ceremony, the intimate reception, and the honeymoon all in the same location with a hotel wedding. Yes, it’s an efficient option, but it can also be pretty amazing if you pick a decadent room or penthouse.

A suite with an intimate setting adds an extra-special touch to your big day. Pictured: Kimpton Schofield Hotel, Cleveland, OH

3.) Destination: Bliss

For the couple that loves to travel, a destination wedding is an intimate way to celebrate your nuptials. Skip the gifts and invite select 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.

A destination wedding is a perfect solution for the wanderlusting duo. Pictured: Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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 and small 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 for an intimate wedding—an officiant, local flowers, a luxury suite with late checkout, breakfast in bed and more.

Elopements take all the stress out of the big day… especially when you elope to a serene setting. Pictured: Kimpton Canary Hotel, Santa Barbara, CA

5.) Be Unconventional

When planning a small 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. Inspire your guests by celebrating your big day in a place as special as your love story, and consider weaving sustainable and charitable elements into your intimate wedding.

Embrace the unconventional with a personality-filled venue. Pictured: Kimpton Everly Hotel, Los Angeles, CA; photo credit @christineflowerphotography

Small weddings create a magical environment for the happy couple and the select loved ones invited to experience your big day. There’s no wrong way to plan your wedding. Perhaps you hope to integrate your furry friend, or you go all out for the engagement announcements. Maybe you jump on the trend of ditching long-term planning—the right path is the one that best creates your most memorable wedding day.