A Guide To Planning An Intimate Or Civil Wedding

Sure! Everyone loves all the glamour, romance, and rituals that go along with traditional, lavish weddings-the flowers, cake, dress, and the love story. But to legally tie the knot, none of that is actually required. To officially say your "I do's," all you really need is a certified officiant, a marriage license, and a couple of witnesses (and even those aren't necessary for all areas). And, while we often think that an intimate or civil ceremony means you head to city hall, with just the two of you, a civil ceremony can happen anywhere and look however you want it to. So, if you are overwhelmed by the thought of planning a wedding for 150 of your closest family and friends, why not plan something more intimate? Here is your guide to planning an intimate or civil wedding. 

Photographe: Alice Marhan

How To Plan An Intimate Or Civil Wedding 

Where Can I Host An Intimate Wedding

Like we said, technically, an intimate or civil wedding can take place anywhere. But there are a few things that you should consider when deciding on the perfect spot to say "I Do." We recommend that you find a venue or location with some sentimental meaning for the two of you. When hosting an intimate wedding, you don't want to have a venue that is too large. So, keep it small. This helps keep the budget down because it will require less decor, and with your short guest list, the venue will still feel full. 

Here are a few ideas. 

How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Dress For An Intimate Wedding

Even though you plan to keep your Montreal wedding small and intimate or just tying the knot at the courthouse, you still want to have a wedding "experience," so don't skip the dress. You know wedding dresses are our universe, and we want you to know that there are tons of beautiful choices that are perfect for small or civil weddings. 

Schedule an appointment at a local bridal boutique such as Chateau Nadia and let professional bridal stylists help you find the perfect gown. And have an open mind. Your dream wedding gown may not be what you envision in your mind. Give your stylists some ideas of what you "think" you want to wear on your wedding day, but let them present you with some other choices as well. You never know, your perfect wedding dress may just be a pantsuit. And know this, you don't have to settle for a simple wedding dress just because you're getting married at the courthouse, it's your special day so you should wear whatever you want. 

PS: Sarah the daughter of Nadia celebrated her wedding in a civil union with an intimate crowd of people and she loved every second of it. Her dress was exactly what she envisioned for her day and she captured those beautiful moment that she will cherish her whole life. Here are a few pictures of her civil ceremony with her Château Nadia dress.

Be Selective About Your Guest List

Since you are trying to keep things intimate, there will be lots of people who won't make the guest list. This can be a difficult task to master because, of course, you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Here are a few people that you can eliminate from your list.

Wedding Decor For Intimate or Civil Weddings

This is our favorite part. Having an intimate wedding doesn't mean you skip all the fancy wedding decor and details. Actually, it's just the opposite. Because you are keeping it small, your wedding decor will even have a larger impact on the event, so don't skip anything. 

Create a beautiful altar for your intimate ceremony with lots of florals and greenery, set up the guest chairs in unique ways (like circled around the altar), dine family-style with farm-style tables, whatever your heart's desire can be done. And the result will be a totally unforgettable intimate wedding.

Photographe: Authentik Weddings

The Pros Of Having A Small Wedding Or Civil Wedding

More Time To Enjoy

One of the main pros of having a small wedding is that you will have more time to spend with your guests. Think about this. If you have a guest list of 275 people, it will take you a lot of time to thank each of them for coming. Which means you have less time to enjoy the festivities. It will be much easier with a smaller guest list, and then you can really enjoy spending time with them on the dancefloor.

More Sustainable

Weddings have a massive impact on our environment. Some studies have shown that the average wedding produces up to 400 pounds of waste and 63 tons of CO2 (according to The Green Bride Guide). Keeping your nuptials intimate will help save our planet. 

More Cost-Effective

This is a no-brainer. Let's be real; weddings are expensive. A shorter wedding guest list means that you can whittle down the impact your "I Do's" will have on your wallet. One of the highest costs at a wedding is the food, and fewer people means less food and huge savings. You will also have fewer chairs, tables, and linens to rent, fewer centerpieces, and even spend less on the bar. The money you save on these things can be allocated to other areas to give your wedding guests a unique and unforgettable experience, like having live music.

Ideas For Your Intimate Wedding

Don't think that because your wedding is small, it has to be boring. There are a lot of ways that you can still make your small wedding a huge event! 

Invitations  

First, starting with the invitations, you can create an experience that your guests will never forget. Since you don't have hundreds of guests, you can now send hand-written wedding invites in beautiful hand-lettering or calligraphy. 

Send an Announcement

Second, for those family and friends that didn't make it on the guest list, you should send them a wedding announcement. This is an excellent way to let them know that you are now married. 

The Venue

Third, with an intimate wedding, this opens up thousands of unique venues to choose from. For an unforgettable wedding experience, why not book a unique Airbnb or VRBO property. The smaller guest list means you will have funds available to splurge on different areas of your wedding. And while getting married in a European castle may not have been in your budget, there could be Airbnb's that you can rent for a few days or a week to host your event. Surprising, we know. But they are castles, mansions, and chateaus you can rent! Just Google it!

Intimate weddings in Montreal are becoming more popular, and for some couples, the COVID-19 is what drove them to downsize their event. In conclusion, We know that this worldwide pandemic has had a significant impact on the wedding industry, and while Coronavirus can cancel or postpone a lot of things, one thing is for sure, it can't cancel love! 

Photographe: Authentik Weddings

Book your appointment now in our Montreal bridal boutique to begin the process of your intimate wedding ceremony.