Brenda's Wedding Blog | Fresh Ideas for Creative Weddings

wedding blog + planning guide for creative weddings | inspiration for DIY Brides

Brenda's Wedding Blog is your online resource for planning your dream elegant wedding. Helping you find the "wow" in weddings.

Posts tagged intimate weddings
An Intimate Rustic Barn Wedding at Home In Utah from Pepper Nix Photography
Today's real wedding of Jen and Paul is definitely going down as one of my favorites. Along with the amazing photos from Pepper Nix Photography, this blue and yellow wedding was intimate with under 100 guests and took place at home. The bride's parents home actually, among 160 acres of aspen trees in Utah. The couple married in an Aspen Grove and the reception was held at their neighbor's "barn". Everything was either made or designed by the bride and her mother.

Jen and Paul opted for a first look and here's what the bride wrote: "We did do a first look. Mostly, we were influenced by the timing of the ceremony. Given the time of year, we wanted to have the ceremony during the warmest and least windy part of the day on the ranch which was 4 PM. This did not give us much time to do pictures prior to the reception dinner at 6 PM and we wanted to reserve the time we did have for family photos and make sure that our time together for photos was not rushed. I love having a picture of the way he looked when he saw me in my dress for the 1st time. I have never felt more beautiful."

Wildflowers were used at Jen and Paul's wedding to fit the setting. Aspen logs were carved out and used as planters to fill with an assortment of colorful flowers and shepherds hooks were used to hold flowers that lined the aisle. The tables at the reception were an assortment of wooden ranch tables of different shapes and sizes with burlap runners and vintage bottles of wildflowers scattered about. Table numbers were made of moss and my favorite part was the napkins that were cornflower blue bandanans. The wedding cake was a round, 2 tier cake with white frosting and cornflower blue aspen leaves. The flavor? Lemon poppyseed.

Here's the Wedding Menu for Jen and Paul


wild mushroom crostini with roasted asparagus and trio of swiss cheeses
smoked salmon flatbread
scallop wanton
BBQ beef brisket on twice baked potato skins w/ vinaigrette
grilled chicken sate with peanut dipping sauce
Rosemary & Garlic Rubbed Wolf Creek Ranch Elk Tenderloin on Grilled Baguette
Caramelized Shallot & Zinfandel Reduction Sauce
Wolf Creek Ranch Elk Sausage Phyllo Cups with Apple Pear Chutney & Brandy Cream

Reception Menu: buffet style

classic caesar salad with garlic croutons
organic mixed green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, feta cheese and tasted almonds

Southwest spiced, grilled Black Angus rib eye steak with avocado and totato salsa
Herb and Asiago crusted fresh Alaskan Halibut with roasted pepper vinaigrette

sweet potato chips
grilled asparagus

Wedding Vendors:
photographer: Pepper Nix Photography
hair stylist: Ooh La La Studio
caterer: Done To Your Taste Catering
reception venue: Wolf Creek Ranch
dress designer: Wtoo
floral designer: Silver Cricket Floral Atelier
bridal shoes: Nina
bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff {silk chiffon cornflower blue}
cake designer: Carrie's Cakes
wedding planner: Mom and bride {day of coordinator was Eileen from Done to Your Taste Catering and Events}
Real Wedding : an intimate spanish-traditional backyard affair

So happy to share today's wedding with you and I'm honored to be able to give Mariana of Kismis Ink Photography in Tampa, FL her first wedding blog feature. Today's wedding of Katherine and Manuel was an intimate backyard ceremony and reception that was held at the home of the groom's mom. According to Mariana, the wedding day was hurried, spanish-traditional with lots of family-lovin. Due to this, Mariana knew she didn't have time to get the bride and groom alone for some romantic photos, so she pre-scheduled a day-after session. {those photos are coming up in a little bit, so stay tuned}.

Thank you so much Mariana for sharing this beautiful intimate wedding with my readers today.

Wedding Vendors List:
Cake: Cake Plus
Dress: Dillards
Tuxedo: Men's Warehouse
Chairs covers, table clothes and chairs: Rent All of Tampa
Flowers: Natural Market
Parts of the decoration are from: Party City & Michael's
DJ: DJ Luis/Luis Alcantara

To see more from Mariana, please be sure to visit Kismis Ink Photography online.

Real Intimate Wedding : a calico cat and a gorgeous tiered gown

Today's Real Wedding, from Shannon Lee Images, features the intimate wedding of Nancy and Adam in St. Louis. Their ceremony was officiated by Adam's father and was witnessed by 25 guests. The bride and groom did something a little bit nontraditional for their wedding, and held their reception the following evening at a closer location to where Adam grew up. I love the idea of spreading out the wedding festivities over a course of 2 days, something that is definitely possible when having an intimate wedding.

Don't you just love Nancy's Maggie Sottero wedding gown?

I love these shots of the little kitty, so cute. The calico cat reminds me of my Sam {aka Samantha} from when I was growing up.

The bride's something blue . . .

Even though it was a chilly, rainy day, I love how Nancy and Adam embraced the weather and grabbed some large umbrellas and got some terrific shots. {more on Shannon's blog}

This is so sweet, Adam changed Nancy's shoes for their first dance. Instead of having a dance at the reception, Nancy and Adam utilized their string quartet for a lovely waltz. Such a unique and wonderful idea.

Thank you Shannon for sharing this beautifully intimate wedding with my readers today. To see more from the wedding of Nancy and Adam, please click here. For more photos from Shannon Lee Images, please visit Shannon's web site and blog.

Wedding Vendors:
Ceremony: Piper Palm House, Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Reception: Gallaghers, Waterloo, Illinois
Hair/Makeup: Damian Satrianni owner of Tease in Centralia, Illinois
Florist: Botanical Design Studio
Quartet: The Rosewood Ensemble
Cake: Kreative Kakes

Small Weddings Big on Charm: Five Unique Wedding Venues to Say ‘I Do’

I'm so happy to have Christina, author of Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style with us today. She has written a great article on how to have an intimate wedding that is BIG on charm. If you're planning a small wedding, please leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you.


Good things come in small packages, and that's especially true for weddings. Not only do couples save big bucks by having a small wedding, scaling back the guest list makes it easier to create the "wow" factor. When you've got fewer wedding guests, you can splurge on the things that really matter to you. For some that might be an out-of-this world dinner, for others it might be a five-piece jazz band or a designer wedding gown. Aside from your ability to really splurge on the things that matter, a small wedding opens up the doors to a variety of venue options. What better way to have a 'wow' wedding than in a charming setting? Here are five intimate wedding venues that are sure to charm:

Restaurant - Are you a foodie? Do you have a favorite bistro, or fine dining restaurant? Why not find out if the venue can host your wedding? Restaurants and lounges are becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples looking for small wedding venues. Although all restaurants are different, many have intimate surroundings that are ideal for small guest lists. And they can save you money. Having a restaurant reception means not having to rent tables, chairs, tableware and glassware. Some venues will also provide linens. And as far as convenience goes - there's no need to hire a caterer. The chef is already in the house!

Inn or Bed and Breakfast - Inns and bed and breakfasts are ideal small wedding venues. Whether you want a small decadent indoor wedding or a simple garden wedding on a budget, there's sure to be an inn or bed and breakfast to suit your needs. Although many couples choose inns that they have previously stayed at to get married, some couples choose small wedding venues they've never visited. It might be an inn just a few blocks away, or one on the other side of the country - or even the globe.

Art Gallery - Are you an artsy type? Why not have your wedding reception at an art gallery? A few years ago, art gallery weddings were about as fringe as Mohawk hairdos. But as popularity of more personalized and intimate weddings has risen, so has the need for unique venues. Art galleries across North America have quickly caught on and many are now marketing themselves as ideal places to hold a wedding reception. Both large and small galleries offer rental space for weddings - and many offer full blown wedding packages. If you are more the DIY wedding type, there are plenty of galleries that will let you 'have at it' for your wedding day. Winery - Miles of rolling hills strung with lush green grapevines that are ripe with plump, sweet grapes. It's no wonder that so many brides and grooms head to wine country to tie the knot.

A vineyard is a gorgeous setting to say 'I do.' Whether you are looking for an outdoor ceremony amidst the vines, or an intimate wine themed reception indoors overlooking the vineyard, wineries are ideal small wedding venues for couples wanting to add the splendor of nature to their nuptials. Wineries not only provide a picturesque setting, many are equipped to meet a couple's wedding day needs from start to finish.

At Home - The words wedding and home don't always go together, especially if you are having a big guest list. However, if you have opted for a small wedding the two can be a match made in heaven. At-home weddings are becoming increasingly popular, especially for couples who want to add a personal touch to their weddings. With 60 percent of couples living together, many already own homes and love the idea of tying the knot there. Others couples may choose to get married at the home of a relative or friend.

Remember that just because you choose to have a small wedding, doesn't mean that you shouldn't start your search for a venue early. Places can book up over a year in advance - especially if they're high on charm. So go ahead, sit down with your spouse-to-be and make a list of potential sites. Is there a place that has special meaning to you? Maybe it's the bed and breakfast you stayed at last summer or the restaurant on the corner. Or maybe it's your own backyard.

Christina Friedrichsen is the author of Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style. For more small wedding ideas please visit The Intimate Weddings Blog.

Thank you Christina for taking the time to write this superb article for my readers.

Above images courtesy of Restaurant Reception {15 guests} at 212 Restaurant & Bar, NYC, Outdoor Garden Wedding at the Richmond House, TX, Art Gallery Reception at Hamilton Building, PA, Vineyard Wedding at Firestone Vineyard, CA from Brides, Backyard Wedding, Outdoor Wedding {85 guests} at Wild Horse Inn, CO