Wedding Planning

Why We Love Intimate Destination Weddings

March 20, 2021

Intimate Destination Weddings


Intimate Destination Weddings
Photography: Rachel Owens

After a year of couples reimagining their weddings in the wake of a global pandemic, celebrations have naturally become smaller, and more intimate. Couples said their vows among their true nearest and dearest in intimate ceremonies, rather than large affairs with hundreds of guests. There is a special place in our hearts for intimate destination weddings for the quality time, elevated guest experience, and customized details they make possible.

A common misconception is that intimate destination weddings are less elevated, less curated. We often find quite the opposite. Having an intimate guest list creates many opportunities for a truly unforgettable event that sometimes aren’t possible with extensive guest lists.

 Ballyfin Demesne Destination Wedding Planner
 Ballyfin Demesne
Photography: Molly Carr

Multi-Day Affairs

Many couples are surprised by how quickly their wedding days fly by. For couples with smaller guest lists, more intimate wedding venues become a possibility. This is the perfect opportunity for a multi-day celebration, where brides and grooms can really soak up this time with their loved ones and create unforgettable experiences. Villas, châteaux, and luxury ranches are all examples of venues perfectly suited for an exclusive experience with your closest friends and family for an unparalleled experience.

Reserving exclusive use of a property makes for an incredible experience your guests won’t soon forget. Venues such as Château du Grand-Lucé in the Loire Valley, Château de Villette just outside Paris, Château d’Estoublon in the heart of Provence, Ballyfin Demesne in Ireland, Villa Balbiano in Lake Como, or Villa Cimbrone in Ravello are perfect examples of venues tailored for a customized, elevated experience.

Depending on your group size and the region, venue exclusivity also opens the door for countless activities to enjoy together: a boat ride on Lake Como, a true Provençal experience exploring local markets, or a farewell brunch as the perfect send-off to an incredible wedding weekend.

Intimate Destination Weddings
Photography: Tanya Menoni

Gastronomic Experiences

It’s always a good idea to invest in guest experience, and food and beverage is often one of the most memorable aspects of a wedding. Local fare is a sensory experience for guests, giving them the opportunity to see, smell, and taste all your destination has to offer, like your Tuscan villa’s fresh olive oil, or a welcome event picnic basket filled with local wine, fromage, and pastries from your château’s local village.

While a truly gastronomic menu may not have been possible with a larger guest list, it is much more doable with a smaller group. Giving your guests an incredible culinary experience will be truly memorable, and elevates the quality time spent with loved ones. This is especially true of destination weddings, where you can give your guests a taste of the amazing local fare.

Intimate Destination Weddings Paris
Curated Details: French antique sapphire and white china, tasselled menus with gold foil letterpress, 100% linen from flax grown and woven in Europe, French antique crystal and silver.
Photography: Molly Car

Details Make The Design

As they say, “The details are not the details. They make the design.”

– Charles Eames

The details are what make something special, what take your wedding to the next level in terms of design, and what make it feel personal. A shorter guest list allows you to add more customized elements to your wedding design in a manageable scale.

A growing trend for weddings is using family heirloom china, or creating your own custom set for your wedding day that you can keep as your newlywed china. An intimate guest list makes it possible for you to keep your wedding china as a family heirloom forever. To personalize place settings to guests, some couples have custom-embroidered their napkins with each guest’s initials.

One way to thank your guests for joining you on such a meaningful day is a personal touch. For example, handwriting a thank you note to each guest awaiting them at their place settings accompanying the menu, or tucked into welcome boxes with local flair from your wedding destination. While this is a very heartfelt gesture, penning 25 notes is much more manageable than writing, perhaps, 200 handwritten notes. Thoughtful, personal gestures like these become possible when working with a shorter guest list.

We specialize in intimate destination weddings and the attention to detail they require to create truly unforgettable experiences. Contact us to begin planning your intimate destination wedding.


behind rsvp events


American wedding planner based in Paris, France curating unforgettable experiences with art de vivre in Europe and the United States.

As seen in leading publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Raela has serviced weddings and brands both stateside and abroad, from the sun-drenched hillsides of Southern California to the resplendent châteaux of France to the lemon trees of Positano. With unparalleled attention to detail, Raela’s specialty lies in creating unforgettable, exquisite, sensory experiences.

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We would love to learn more about your vision for your celebration. Contact us to begin planning your destination wedding.

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