It’s no secret that the wedding planning process has changed significantly since the Pandy Dandy. It’s really turned what makes a perfect wedding on its head. Many couples who value the intimacy of a small gathering now have the chance to design their dream small wedding.
Your wedding day is about you, your partner and your love story. Small weddings are a great way to celebrate the love between you and your partner in an adventurous way.
Who am I?
I'm Olivia, engagement, elopement and wedding photographer. I specialize in small, intimate weddings. When I'm not behind the camera - wait, I don't think I'm ever not behind a camera - you can find me travelling and exploring the outdoors with my sheepadoodle pup, Aurora.
I started my career as a photojournalist and even picked up a couple of awards for it. Through photojournalism, I found that I loved taking photos of people as well as landscape and travel photography. But people make the best subjects.
Photography is key to creating lasting memories of your elopement or small wedding so that you can cherish it with your family for years to come.
What is a small wedding?
One person’s small wedding might be someone else’s large wedding, so hosting a “small” wedding will be different for everyone. It’s generally accepted that anything under 50 guests is considered a small wedding, but you can make up your own rules, whether you want 10 guests or none!
Why have a small wedding?
An intimate wedding offers such a personal and loving experience for couples. I find that the smaller the affair the more you and your partner can focus on what is absolutely important: celebrating each other with the ones who matter most to you.
If you’re thinking about having a small wedding, here are some reasons to convince you!
1. You can surround yourself with the right people
Sometimes wedding guest counts skyrocket without really meaning to. (Who invited your mom’s friend’s cousin?!) And at some point, it starts to feel as if you’ve lost control over your wedding. Planning a smaller wedding allows you to take back control.
Gathering limits might just give you the excuse to cut Great Aunt Barb or Micheal from the office off your guest list. (If you’re really bummed about not inviting these people, but still want a small wedding, you could always invite additional guests virtually!)
Once you surround yourself with the right people, you now can now spend time with everyone who is there and really enjoy your day.
2. You can prioritize your budget
I love watching Say Yes to the Dress, but man, I can’t believe some of the price tags! And that goes for many other aspects of a wedding. Having a smaller wedding allows you to prioritize your budget on what really matters to you, whether that’s splurging on an incredible dress or hiring your dream photographer (*cough* me *cough*).
3. You can pick a perfect location
The size of your guest list can limit the venues that are open to you. With a smaller wedding, you can pretty much get married anywhere. Think of an 18-guest wedding at a flower farm, or an elopement overlooking Georgian Bay. Or you can really think outside the box when it comes to venues.
4. Everyone gets to be involved
A smaller party is definitely a more intimate affair. I’ve been a guest at weddings where I never got the chance to talk to the bride or groom! A smaller party means you can really get everyone involved, whether you want guests to give a special reading, or get them part of a confetti exit - whatever floats your boat!
5. You can focus on the special details
A smaller guest list allows you to really make your day special for everyone. Small touches, like personal, handwritten notes to your guests or unique party favours, really go a long way to show how much you appreciate them being present at your wedding.
6. You can get better wedding photos
Big weddings can be a big production, and be really stressful for couples. That’s why I love small weddings and elopements, which can be much simpler and less stressful to execute. That really shows in your photos!
When you have a smaller wedding, we can really plan your day around the perfect light or take our time with couple portraits. The day ends up being far more relaxing so that you can focus on the one thing that matters most, the love of your life, smiling in front of you!
How can you plan a rockin’ small wedding?
First up, you’ll want to decide that you’re going to have a small wedding. Making this decision is the first step, and one that will impact the rest of your planning process. And make sure you and your partner are on the same page about what you both consider a “small” wedding.
If you know you’re going to get resistance for your family or friends, it’s good to have a few talking points about why you’ve made your decision and how much better it will be.
Next, decide on where you’d like to say your vows. There are so many options to choose from, like a provincial park, a small venue, a backyard or on a rooftop! Pick something that means a lot to you and your partner. For example, if you’re an avid hiker or camper, then why not say “I do” at a provincial park? If you’re on the adventurous side, why not get married at a scenic lookout? If you just love being cozy, then getting married at an adorable A-Frame would be epic!
There are so many options nowadays and you can get married pretty much anywhere!
Next, look for a photographer! Bringing in a photographer early, also means bringing in some expertise. They (me!) can help you if you’re looking for venues, or trying to navigate permits, or may have vendor recommendations that will help narrow down your choices.
With a smaller guest list, you can stretch your budget to cover those vendors that would make your small wedding that much more spectacular! (Like an A-Frame arch?!)
Lastly, decide on where the after-party is. Again, a smaller guest list gives you the flexibility to have your reception anywhere - from an al fresco soiree to an intimate dinner at your favourite restaurant.
Once you have those details sketched out, you can start to solidify your guest list.
Have a relaxing small wedding photography experience
I strive to offer a positive experience, in a way that encourages and uplifts my couples. I like to get to know my couples on a deeper level right from the start - what brings them joy, what makes them excited, what’s important to them about their big day.
What I love so much about small weddings is that I get to be more than a wedding photographer! From day one, I’ll walk you through this journey so that you can thrive and come away on the other side with a remarkable experience that you’ll remember for years to come. I’ll also be there on the day to remind you how amazing you are, to pump you up and make the process feel as stress-free as possible.
Seriously, If I had a nickel for every time I heard the words “I’m so awkward in front of a camera” then I’d be a rich lady. My goal is to make you so comfortable in front of the camera that it disappears and you can focus on the one thing that matters most, your partner!
With small weddings, we get to work together to create a wedding timeline that gets you the optimal photography experience while still allowing you plenty of time to enjoy your day, your guests and the event that you created.
Interested in booking with me for your small wedding? Fill out the form below! I can’t wait to hear more about your small wedding plans!