Intimate Weddings in Paris

Intimate wedding in Paris vs Traditional Paris wedding. Until now, a glorious wedding was considered to be synonymous to a superbly grand affair. However, the global pandemic introduced the world to a number of lifestyle changes. Every industry was impacted, including the wedding industry

Initially, many couples’ wedding dreams were shattered, as they had to postpone the events. However, as people realized that this pandemic was here to stay (quite literally, it lasted 3 years), it also made sense to adapt to the new norm instead of putting our lives on pause.

Whilst the pandemic has cast a dark shadow on the world, it did bring a glimmer of hope; the importance of what really matters, which is your loved ones. Instead of celebrating your big day with a guest list of 300+ (some of whom you don’t even know that well), why not just celebrate it as meaningfully as possible, while being surrounded by only the people who truly matter to you?

More and more couples are choosing a destination wedding in France or to elope to Paris, but there’s a middle-ground option to weddings: an intimate wedding in Paris. Personally, it’s actually the type of French wedding that gets me most excited.

Intimate wedding in Paris - Captured by The Paris Photographer

What is an Intimate Wedding in Paris?

The uniqueness of intimate weddings lies in the guest list. Intimate weddings have guest lists of less than 50 people, and more commonly around 20 people or less. Unlike elopements, your wedding will still include your nearest and dearest ones. It also includes other wedding elements such as a venue, décor, cake and other festivities and traditions. Intimate weddings have been around for a very long time.

Thus, an intimate wedding in Paris is an event that has less than 50 guests, that travel with you to Paris to celebrate your romantic union.

Honestly, a small guest list is nothing but good news. Having a small guest list makes all the difference in the world. It literally impacts every decision in your wedding planning.

Wedding cake and wedding floral design at Plaza Athenee in Paris

Benefits of having a Small Wedding in Paris

If you’re planning to get married, here’s why you should definitely consider an intimate wedding in Paris:

1. Less Stress = Happier Couple

Grand weddings are a lot of work. The larger your guest list, the more complicated the logistics become. Furthermore, a greater guest list means more people giving unsolicited advice that you definitely did not ask for. I mean, who are you again?

Intimate weddings are typically less stressful. You can forget about the unnecessarily high expectations and making everybody happy. Instead, you get to focus on the things that you want on your wedding day. Intimate weddings are always a happy affair. With less stress on their minds, the couple really gets to enjoy the special day like it should be – laughter, happy moments and lots of love. Just picture yourself holding hands with your future husband and saying I do during an Eiffel Tower wedding.

Newly married happy couple walking out of their marriage ceremony in Paris at the Chapelle Expiatoire

2. Quality Time with Quality People

One of the greatest challenges of a big wedding is not being able to give enough time to your guests. Making your way around to everyone, ensuring you have pictures with everybody and spending time with your guests really feels like an exhausting battle if you have a big guest list. 

It also makes it easier for guests to build relationships with one another and a chance for the families to get to know each other. Intimate weddings can really help bond two families together and be a wonderful start to a new relationship.

An intimate wedding in Paris allows you to spend quality time with your guests. Spending time with them becomes more manageable, and it surely makes your wedding day a lot less exhausting and a lot more memorable!

Most importantly, intimate weddings make room for more meaningful moments with the one that matters the most: your significant other. With lesser guests to worry about, you can really be present with your partner. Your wedding day will never come back, so make sure you spend your time memorably.

Who should I invite to my small wedding in Paris

Who should I invite to my intimate wedding in Paris?

Your immediate family comes first. If everyone can make the trip to Paris, then your parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents should be on the list. Then, include your closest friends, the ones that you truly appreciate and who can help you have a meaningful wedding celebration.

3. Better Options, Go Wild

Limiting your guests opens up a world of unique options that are definitely within your reach. Suddenly, your favorite venue options are on the table, because you don’t have to worry about not accommodating a larger event. You can rent out cafés, bars and even parks for an intimate wedding in Paris.

In order to help, we have put together a list of small wedding venues in Paris to make your search easier.

Romantic venue for intimate events in Paris

Furthermore, an intimate wedding in Paris offers better vendor options. It’s common to find vendors who have small operations that can’t cater to large weddings. Hire your best friend who also happens to be a phenomenal event planner. Ask your local bakery to bake you the cake of your dreams. Make your giveaways a little extra special. Go wild, girlfriend!

What Parisian wedding vendors should I consider for my small wedding?

Our recommendations for wedding vendors are biased, because we work in the industry and we know how important it is to have the experience and trust of a professional when it comes to parts of your most important day. That being said, here are the most important wedding vendors for small weddings:

  • Wedding venue and catering. Start with these as venues get booked very far in advance. Especially in a such a popular wedding destination such as Paris.
  • Event Planner: to help you put things together, especially because you are not here in Paris.
  • Wedding photographer and videographer: to capture the most important moments of the day.
  • Hair and make-up artist: you’ll look fabulous on your wedding day.
  • Celebrant or officiant: your personalized ceremony will be more meaningful with the help of a Paris celebrant.
  • Florist: for your wedding bouquet and floral decoration for your ceremony and reception.
  • Wedding cake designer: you’ll enjoy the taste of Paris on your wedding day.
  • Musicians: for the ceremony and of course for the reception.
Wedding cake and wedding floral design at Plaza Athenee in Paris

Wedding Photography Services for an Intimate Wedding in Paris

Here at The Paris Photographer, we are a team of fun and friendly French wedding photographers and wedding videographers. We offer a variety of styles, going from classic, fine art, to spontaneous and documentary photography. We would love to take your intimate wedding photos in Paris.

4. Less Cha-Ching, More Bling

Everybody knows that big weddings are anything but cheap. A smaller guest list allows you to reallocate your budget on things that actually make you happy. Often couples use intimate weddings as an opportunity to really go all out to make their dream fantasy a reality. With lesser guests to seat and feed, you can go for a better event manager, your dream photographer or even a destination wedding!

On the other hand, an intimate wedding in Paris is great for couples with smaller wedding budgets, as they are more affordable. In fact, an intimate wedding could be the solution to why you’ve been holding off your wedding until now.

Intimate ceremony on a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower

How much does a small wedding cost in Paris?

The cost of your wedding in Paris is highly influenced by the wedding venue. Given that you’ll have a small number of guests, the venue cost will allow you to lower the total cost of the event.

Let’s get specific. For a small venue such as Hotel Le Marois, you can budget around 5000€ of rental fees. Catering for 20 guests can cost 4800€. But these prices vary a lot depending on the venue. A good wedding photographer costs at least 3000€. Same goes for a talented wedding videographer. Hair & make-up start at 600€. A wedding officiant might charge a minimum of 500€. You can budget 200€ for a wedding bouquet. If you wish to have flowers at your ceremony and reception, then you’ll probably want to allocate 4-500€. A beautiful wedding cake will be around 500€. Musicians charge around 2500€ for live music during your reception.

This makes the total cost of a small wedding in Paris 24 100€. If you hire a Paris wedding planner, which we highly encourage you to do as it reduces your stress levels tremendously, then the planning costs will probably be a percentage of your initial budget.

Beautiful bride holding purple bouquet posing for photos

To these costs, you can add the travel and accommodation costs for you as a couple and any other family member that you wish to take with you. Also, you can plan activities for the guests the day before and after the wedding day: such as wine tasting, visits in Paris, a daytrip to Champagne or Versailles, etc

How to pay less for your small wedding in Paris?

Obviously, there are ways to draw these budgets down. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make your own bouquet from a flowers hop around the corner. Just go into a neighborhood flower shop the day before and ask them to put together your dream wedding bouquet.
  • Hire a wedding planner who is also a floral designer and ask for a package for both floral design and planning.
  • You might not want to have live music at the ceremony or reception. You can simply hire a Paris violinist and drastically reduce music related costs.
  • Instead of a wedding venue for the reception, book a big table at a Parisian restaurant that can accommodate large groups.
Bride and groom kiss after getting married in Paris

5. Say Hello to Bespoke Weddings!

This is probably the sweetest advantage of having an intimate wedding in Paris. It really gives the couple an opportunity to show their friends and family who they are and plan a wedding that is truly an embodiment of their personalities. Intimate weddings give more opportunity to successfully carry out DIY projects. Have a themed wedding based on your favorite book. Give a little more time to your invitations and write personalized thank you notes for your guests. Truly make your wedding your own!

6. Unique Experiences are a Big Yes

Intimate weddings give you a little more space to include unique experiences. If you’re an adventurous soul, you could hire fire dancers. If you’re an art lover, you can go for live painters. In fact, these experiences don’t even need to be limited to the wedding day. Make your wedding in France an entire experience!

Bride and groom cutting wedding cake on their wedding night in Paris

You could plan activities before or after your wedding for your friends and families. Depending on your wedding destination, you could go for wine tastings, cooking classes, hot air balloons and so much more. Your wedding is one of the most special events of your life, so you can totally allow your celebration to last longer than a single day.

The benefits of an intimate wedding in Paris definitely offer a strong argument to ditch the big guest list. Grand weddings are some couples’ cup of tea, and that’s totally okay! However, there are many couples out there who would love an intimate wedding in Paris so much more.

Therefore, we’re sure that the trend of having intimate weddings is here to stay, even beyond the global pandemic. Covering intimate weddings is so special, since they’re more romantic, secluded and generally more fun. In fact, intimate weddings often make us feel like we’re family too! The wedding industry is definitely pivoting towards making space for intimate weddings, and we’re all up for it. The beauty of intimate weddings has caught our attention!

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