Ultimate Guide: Expert Tips for Planning Your Intimate Wedding


There's a lot that goes into planning a small celebration; Read along to find out how to plan a intimate wedding that truly feels like a celebration Vail + Damon’s wedding day was the epitome of just that. They opted to forgo tradition for tradition’s sake and get back to the basics of what was important to them on their wedding day: each other.


How do you want to remember your day?

First, Thnk of what sort of experience you want to have when figuring how how to plan an intimate wedding:

“We kept things as non-traditional as possible. These days were about us and we made sure it felt that way.”

After 10 years together, Vail + Damon were ready to take their next and most exciting adventure together as a couple - they wanted to tie the knot but first seriously considered how they wanted their day to look. Not just the aesthetics but the experience. They wanted a day that was exclusively for them but also an experience they could share with their family. So, they did both!

Originally from Arizona, they wanted to hit the road for a few weeks and explore the Pacific Northwest - Olympic National Park, specifically the Hoh Rainforest, was on their bucket list; they decided this was the perfect place to start their adventure.

They opted to plan an intimate wedding by spreading their celebration into a multi-day event, starting with an elopement-style adventure in Olympic National Park, followed by an intimate ceremony at the Hoyt Arboretum’s Observation Deck in Portland’s Washington Park, and ending with a small reception at Tendue with food, games, and music (plus a pit stop in downtown for ice cream at Portland’s iconic Salt and Straw *if you know you know*)

“We wanted all the adventure we could get! The two of us played with the idea of eloping but ultimately decided we should have our family present for our ceremony. That being said, our adventure session was for us and us only.”

How to plan an intimate wedding: adventure

“By planning our wedding/adventure session in different states, we were able to really drag out our experience and had more time to enjoy together and make memories!”

The first time we met Vail + Damon in person was in a parking lot in Forks, WA. Being from Arizona, Vail + Damon trusted our judgment and leaned into the ideas we laid out for them (we also very much appreciated their flexibility as the weather forced us to change our plans at the last minute - as it usually does on the peninsula!). Our day consisted of multiple beaches on the Washington coast - we first hit up Second Beach, traveled inland to check out Hoh Rainforest, made a pit stop for lunch in Forks, cooked s’mores on the beach at Kaloloch, and caught the last light of day at Ruby Beach.

Finally, tie the knot

forgo tradition for tradition's sake

“We spent every second of our day with one another, from our early morning ceremony set-up. To getting ready, to leaving our reception - we didn’t leave each other’s side for a moment. We really just valued having uninterrupted time together.”

For their wedding, they got ready together, did a private ring exchange, created a custom jeopardy game for their families to play in the evening, and even made an ice cream pit stop in the middle of the day.

Vail + Damon’s goal was figuring how to plan an intimate wedding day that truly felt like a celebration. They planned an epic day in Olympic National Park and also a packed wedding weekend with their families to draw out their experience, making more time to enjoy together and make memories (escape rooms, the zoo, pool party, etc.)

GET BACK TO THE BASICS OF WHAT’S IMPORTANT and plan an intimate wedding that's truly about you

At the end of the day, all you will have left are your memories. When you are figuring out how to plan an intimate wedding, first think of the experience you want to have and focus on crafting an experience that will create the best memories for you and your partner.

Figure out ways you can get back to the basics of what’s important and celebrate your first and most exciting adventure as a couple in a way that is unapologetically you. Vail + Damon wanted adventure but also the experience of making memories and time spent with their families. They were able to get both by dragging out their wedding into a multi-day, multi-state affair. They made their experience and wedding day truly about them by getting ready together, exchanging private vows, and stopping for a mid-day ice cream break at Salt and Straw.

Each small and intimate wedding will look different, as it’s unique to you. When you get back to the basics and what’s important and forgo tradition for tradition’s sake, you open the floodgates of possibility and open your heart to adventure.

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