Weddings with a small guest list have a charm all their own. There’s something beyond special about being surrounded by your nearest and dearest – especially when marrying in a small yet stunning setting.
Not to mention: With fewer attendees, you’ll likely be able to spend more time with each and every person there and put more of your budget towards excellent food and wine. You might even be able to host your event at a venue that doesn’t always allow larger parties! Ready to take our word for it? Below, you’ll see how a small ceremony can look and feel especially beautiful as it opens up the possibility of smaller gardens, boutique hotels, and historic sites.
Here are 29 intimate ceremony designs to inspire an intimate union.
The gilded details of the Sumatra crown from traditional Indonesian weddings was the inspiration for this stunning arrangement, according to floral designer Myrtle et Olive. Designed around a spiral staircase at The Gunawarman in Jakarta, Indonesia, flowers included local tuberose, gladiolus, and chrysanthemums, accented by 300 feet of jasmine garlands.
Raise A Few Flags
The Indian Ocean served as the backdrop for this dreamy ceremony setup on a beach in South Cottesloe near Perth, Australia. Low, lush arrangement lined the aisle while flagpoles of varying heights nestled within a larger arrangement of grasses and flowers served as a ceremony marker.
Create An Enchanted Garden
Floral designer Nature Composed placed flower boxes between fabric-covered chairs from Froufrou Ribbons to create a magical garden setting for the wedding of photographer Laura Gordon.
Dress Up An Existing Detail
During a wedding at San Diego’s Providence Chateau, an outdoor fireplace was transformed into a stunning ceremony backdrop by floral designer Mulberry & Moss.
Make Your Mark
A geometric ceremony marker framed the sea during this beach wedding at Solaz Luxury Collection Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Arrangements of pampas grass, a rustic aisle runner, and wicker benches blended seamlessly with the coastal setting. As of July 19, 2021, this property is temporarily closed and not accepting new reservations.
Let The Landscape Shine
Transparent ghost chairs and a simple aisle marker of low greenery kept the focus on the ocean during this ceremony at The Cove, Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Stalks of beach grass and arrangements of greenery and white flowers served as a subtle ceremony backdrop.
Bring The Indoors Outside
Vintage rugs, an antique desk, and wicker arm chairs were all part of this boho-chic wedding held at the historic Castello di San Sebastiano Po, located in the hills of Piedmonte, Italy. The gardens of the property were created in 1810 and include a fruit orchard, box trees, roses, Lebanese cedars, cypress trees, and Japanese maples.
Choose An Historic Backdrop
The Italian estate Dimora delle Balze set a romantic scene for this intimate outdoor wedding. White and green arrangements by La Rosa Canina Firenze framed the ancient wooden door while guests were shaded by centuries-old trees.
Mix Natural Tones
Nude-colored candles, greenery and rich leather chairs formed this handsome ceremony space at Hacienda El Carmen in Jalisco, Mexico. The illustrated archway is a clever way to add architectural interest to blank spaces, too.
Brighten Up Benches
Simple wood benches take on an enchanted look thanks to vibrant purple flowers and grasses by Greenwood Events. The ceremony space was created in a field of Foster Creek Farm in Montana.
Make Flowers (And A View!) The Focus
Three modern love seats were transformed into beautiful guest seating for this ceremony at Belmond Hotel Caruso in Italy’s Amalfi Coast. A stunning floral archway created by Siloh Floral Artistry added to the dreamy Mediterranean view.
Add An Ivy Backdrop
This couple hosted a wedding for 16 loved ones in the garden of Italian restaurant Palma NYC in the West Village of Manhattan. The brick wall hung with ivy and white flowers created an instantly-beautiful backdrop for their vows.
Create A Cozy Outdoor Space
The exterior of a barn at Foster Creek Farm in Montana became a stunning outdoor ceremony venue with the addition of a romantic arbor and benches decorated with candles and flowers. A white curtain created a neutral backdrop for the couple to exchange vows, while lights arranged around the barn’s perimeter and a charming holiday tableau visible through the window added to the magical vibes.
Add Homey Details
This couple opted for an elopement in Italy with just 12 friends, marrying on a hilltop overlooking Florence surrounded by olive groves. Persian rugs acted as the aisle runner, while a wooden archway decorated with eucalyptus, pampas grass, and king proteas created a stunning ceremony backdrop.
Make Your Ceremony Spot The Focus
For their romantic ceremony at Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, this couple intentionally kept the aisle flower-free so that the focus would be on their chuppa, decorated with an abundance of white and green blooms.
Head Into Nature
The mountains of Utah served as a backdrop for this couple’s intimate ceremony, attended by just a few family members. A wooden archway created a focus for the ceremony, while photos of the couple lined the aisle.
Frame A Doorway
A gorgeous door makes the perfect backdrop for a ceremony – enhance its beauty with a floral border, either whole or asymmetrical, like this stunning arrangement for a wedding that took place at La Badia di Orvieto, a restaurant located within an ancient abbey in Umbria.
Take A Winding Path
Simple and stunning, florist Bows and Arrows Flowers and designer Joy Proctor created an aisle in the sand for a ceremony set for the beginning of sunset.
Create A Floral Arch
Floral designer Flower Addicted Angelica designed this stunning archway for a wedding in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, held in the gardens of Hotel Villa Cimbrone, a 12th century residence in Ravello.
Make It Modern
The checked exterior of Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum created instant texture for this ceremony setup with wooden restaurant chairs and green grass accents.
Reserve A Rooftop Venue
Rooftop venues provide privacy and a bird’s eye view. This wedding was held at Manhattan’s 620 Loft and Garden, perched atop 30 Rock and overlooking 5th Avenue and Rockefeller Center. Fresh sod and flower boxes filled with boxwood hedges added natural elements to the urban setting.
Create A Magical Moment
A woodland setting already includes a gorgeous natural backdrop, and is easy to make your own with a simple floral arch and chairs like this setup in the forest near Chateau de Varennes in Burgundy, designed by Greenwood Events.
Make It All About The View
Seating for 50 guests was all that was needed to create a stunning ceremony site at actress Krys Marshall’s destination wedding on the Greek Island of Mykonos. “The view spoke for itself, so we didn’t add much,” says the bride about the ceremony site, Mykonos Castle, which overlooked the harbor.
Head Into The Woods
Forest venues offer an easy, natural beauty like the Redwood Cathedral at Ventana Big Sur where this couple held their ceremony. The bride and groom exchanged vows beneath the iron chuppah decorated with fall foliage, while guests looked on from redwood benches.
Light The Way
This unique ceremony took place on a road near Torch Lake, Michigan. Juniper & Lace Events added romance to the forest setting by lining the “aisle” with candles in glass hurricanes and candelabras.
Choose An Historic Backdrop
The stunning archways of the Ancient Spanish Monastery – the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, shipped from Europe and rebuilt in Miami – served as a backdrop for this ceremony.
Vibrant orange, red, and pink flowers by Ella + Louie Floral Studio made this ceremony at Skyview Los Alamos standout and coordinated with the rugs used to create an aisle.
Mix Seating And Florals
This eye-catching aisle, created on the ancient grounds of Castiglion del Bosco estate in Tuscany, mixed chairs and benches for guest seating, as well as floral arrangements of different heights.
Line The Aisle With Flowers
The garden of Villa Balbiano, which sits on the western shore of Italy’s Lake Como, was the setting of this stunning wedding where the bride walked the grassy aisle, created by lining either side with white flowers.
originally posted on brides.com by Leigh Crandall
About Author: Leigh Crandall has held staff positions including Managing Editor at luxury travel site Jetsetter, Senior Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, and Travel Editor at Brides.com. Currently a senior editor at Country Living, she also writes for publications including The New York Times, AirBNB Magazine, BBC Travel, and BRIDES. Her first children’s book Dark Hedges, Wizard Island, and Other Magical Places That Really Exist was published by Running Press Kids in 2020.