Intimate Weddings and Elopement Venue Ideas

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Intimate Weddings and Elopement Venue Ideas

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Intimate weddings and elopements can relieve much of the hassle that comes with planning a wedding. Maybe, you just don’t want to deal with a large guest list or worry about who’s sitting next to who at the reception. With an intimate wedding or elopement, there’s still so much you can do to have your dream wedding without the fuss. Skipping an elaborate wedding venue can reduce a lot of wedding stress and bridezilla moments. 

When planning for a wedding, there are two things you should never skimp on; that's food and photography. We've already discussed why professional photography is important and I'm sure you already know why you shouldn't be cheap with food (can't have a party without good food). Here's some venue ideas to make the most of your intimate wedding or elopement.

Home Weddings

Home weddings can be simple. First, you want to make sure your home is clean. Try hiring a professional cleaner or organizer so you don’t miss any cobwebs in the corners. If you have a great room, remove the sofa and add chairs depending on the amount of guests you desire. Intimacy is about creating memories and bonds that last for a lifetime. Once the ceremony is over, instead of hosting a reception, host a dinner party. Use the kitchen as a buffet station and your dining room as your beverage and dessert station. 


As I’ve mentioned before, photographic memories are important; try using the staircase as the setting for your wedding photos. The wedding party can be elegantly staged on the staircase. For guest photos, a backdrop isn’t needed. Use photo booth props without a photobooth to add an extra pop to guest photos. Decorating is essential to turning your home into the perfect venue, comparable to the ones that cost thousands of dollars. 

You can also rent a house. Just remember to notify the owner that you’ll be doing some decorating and maybe a little bit of furniture rearranging. If you go this route, try to look for a house on the beach or a lake house. 

Similar to Home Weddings are: 

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Everything staged inside the house, can be staged outside. In the backyard, there is usually more room than in a living room. This will give the guests more room, the bride more aisle space, and the bridal party (if you have one) more standing space. The inside of the home can be prepped for a dinner party, or you can have an outside dinner party. 

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Bed and Breakfast Weddings
This is perfect if you live in an apartment or have a small backyard. Once you have permission from the owner of the bed and breakfast, you can use all of the suggestions for the backyard wedding for your B&B of choice. You may be able to get them to cater your wedding for an intimate mom and pop shop feel. 

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Rooftop Weddings
When you get married, you want to feel like you’re on top of the world. Getting married on top of the roof of a tall building will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. The view from up there is amazing too. Search for a building that’s high enough that the noise from people on the sidewalk or cars in the street won’t affect your ceremony. Also, make sure the building has an elevator.

City Hall Weddings


If you’re all about fun and adventure, then skip the fancy wedding and hold the ceremony in the courthouse! A wedding inside a courthouse may not be your mother’s dream for you, but if you want to keep it intimate, this isn’t a bad idea. Although you can’t set up decorations inside a courtroom, some of City Hall’s architecture will make a great background. The chandeliers and the decorative ceilings and walls are just picture perfect. If you’re City Hall doesn’t have timeless and elegant structures, try visiting a nearby city. Photos next to the judge’s booth or even with the judge who performs the ceremony are priceless too. To make your day extra special, don’t forget to hire a photographer for your “get ready with me” photos. This adds excitement to your day and captures behind the scenes memories.

The great part about skipping an elaborate wedding and having it at City Hall is that you can throw an epic reception. Having pictures from your once-in-a-lifetime party (whether big or small) where you and your fiance can let loose is definitely worth it - especially if you never have to stop to take a photo.

Nature Weddings 

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Weddings that take place outside are subject to weather, but when you’re able to find the perfect day, then these nature wedding ideas are ideal. 

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If you want total seclusion with breathtaking scenery, try a mountaintop wedding. You’ll create an extraordinary bond while you climb up the mountain together - try doing so hand in hand. You may even be able to bring or build a wedding altar. Your photographer can bring their backdrop stand and you can add decorative curtains and flowers. You could also bring wedding columns or just allow the scenery to be your backdrop. Invite guests, but remember only those who will be able to climb to the top will be able to join you. Mountaintops aren’t always pointed summits. You can find flat areas where guests can be seated. However, if you’re going for an intimate feel, standing guests are best, as they all become your wedding party. 

Your small and intimate wedding will be perfect with the backdrop of a waterfall. They are always elegant to view and even better in pictures. Before you decide on a waterfall, take a trip there. You want to make sure it is easy to access for you and your guests. Also, make sure the waterfall isn’t just a trickle, but it’s all that you’d want it to be! Make sure that it will look spectacular in photos and doesn’t splash you while you’re standing next to it. 


Private Beaches/Lakes
Finding a private beach may seem like a daunting task, however, try asking your local government for a permit for an early morning or late evening wedding. The earlier it is, the less likely there will be people passing by. If you have the funds available, a private beach on an island is your best bet. The resort is usually able to accommodate privacy for their customers. Lakes are also a place where you can ask the local government for a permit. Many times lakes have strict hours of operation where lifeguards are on duty. Try having the ceremony begin about one hour before the lake opens. That way the lifeguards are there preparing for work and available in case anything happens. It’s safer for you and for them. 

Yacht/Boat Weddings
Unless you and your guest get seasick, a Yacht is another beautiful and intimate space for your wedding. Yacht Weddings are usually all-inclusive meaning a coordinator, caterer, linens, and sometimes even the DJ is included. There are a variety of packages available to fit your budget, but be sure to ask about hidden fees like fuel surcharges. Like the rooftop wedding, your reception will also take place in the same location so there's no need to travel elsewhere.  Make sure you speak to the coordinator about restrictions, some Yachts do not allow the lighting of candles. 

Now that you’ve decided on your venue, adding things like floral arrangements, vines, and branches can turn your home into a beautiful upscale venue. If you’re on a budget, try using fabrics like tulle (not netting), organza, chiffon, or satins. You can also try stringed lights, backdrop banners, and renting or diy-ing columns for an extra pop. With these suggestions, whether you decide to elope or have an intimate wedding, you’ll be prepared. 

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