An Intimate Baldwin Hills Wedding

When we started arguing over $3,000 lighting, something had to give

Saul, TV Development Executive & Pauline, Promotional Marketing Executive

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Intimately awesome.

Soundtrack for reading: “You Fill Up My Senses” by John Denver


We have a dirty little secret. This wasn’t our first planned wedding. Not to say we’d ever been married or engaged before—but we had initially planned a much larger more traditional wedding, picked out a planner, a venue, a caterer, and, of course, paid deposits. I should mention that we aren’t a couple that bickers much. So, somewhere between arguing over $3,000 floor lighting (something we’d only just learned about, but both had opinions as if we’d carried them our whole lives) and two valets or three, we realized something was off.
A couple days later, while at the post office to send save the dates, my fiancé called me to express concerns over how unlike us this wedding was feeling. I came home without sending out the save the dates, and we chatted things over. Despite the venue being beautifully “us” everything else, it seemed, became more cliché and less “us” the further down the road we went. We made the very hard decision to let go of the venue (and deposit) and scale back from a 150 person wedding to something far more intimate.
We chose to invite immediate family, and the only friends we’d have would be our wedding party and their plus ones (with perhaps one or two exceptions). We had to make some painful cuts to our wedding, capping our list at forty people (when children were accounted for we maxed out at fifty). It was hard to have so many close friends and coworkers not join us for what turned out to be one beautiful day, but the truth is the whole event would have been very different if the guest list was tripled.
We didn’t feel rushed to blaze through conversations to make sure we “got to” everyone there. We were able to spend time and enjoy the company we had. A surprising benefit of the limited guest list was by having such a small group, and by blending tables with like-minded personalities of strangers who were about to become family, our wedding wasn’t just a union between us, but a first step in blending our families.
Smaller weddings aren’t for everyone—and perhaps we will do a big more casual blow-out later with those we were unable to invite—but it did make for a lovely, intimate family affair with our closest of friends on a beautiful day… and with the money we saved, we closed on a home three months and two days after walking down the aisle. The downside, our parents know we now have space for kids and have already been less than subtle… but that’s a story, I’m sure.

Favorite Thing About the Wedding:

We wrote our own vows. For both of us, our favorite things was not only being able to share and hear what the other person had to say, but doing so in front of our friends and family. Neither of us tends to pour our heart out in front of our parents or siblings so, while our friends regularly see how much love there is between us, for our family this was a glimpse into the man and woman we have become and how we support, love, and laugh with one another.


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