29 Intimate Ceremony Settings To Inspire Your Own Petite Vows

Small-yet-stunning setups for every style.

intimate ceremony

Photo by Jose Villa; Floral Design by Mindy Rice Design; Planning by Easton Events

Weddings with a small guest list have a charm all their own. There's something beyond special about being surrounded by your nearest and dearest—especially when marrying in a small yet stunning setting.

Not to mention: With fewer attendees, you’ll likely be able to spend more time with each and every person there and put more of your budget towards excellent food and wine. You might even be able to host your event at a venue that doesn't always allow larger parties! Ready to take our word for it? Below, you'll see how a small ceremony can look and feel especially beautiful as it opens up the possibility of smaller gardens, boutique hotels, and historic sites.

Here are 29 intimate ceremony designs to inspire an intimate union. 

01 of 29

Embrace Romance

wedding ceremony

Photo by Katie Grant; Floral design by Myrtle et Olive; Planned by Natalie Palmer of Paper Diamonds

The gilded details of the Sumatra crown from traditional Indonesian weddings was the inspiration for this stunning arrangement, according to floral designer Myrtle et Olive. Designed around a spiral staircase at The Gunawarman in Jakarta, Indonesia, flowers included local tuberose, gladiolus, and chrysanthemums, accented by 300 feet of jasmine garlands.  

02 of 29

Raise a Few Flags

beach wedding ceremony

Photo by Katie Grant; Florals by Wildwood Florals Perth; Chairs by Heart Strings

The Indian Ocean served as the backdrop for this dreamy ceremony setup on a beach in South Cottesloe near Perth, Australia. Low, lush arrangement lined the aisle while flagpoles of varying heights nestled within a larger arrangement of grasses and flowers served as a ceremony marker.  

03 of 29

Create an Enchanted Garden

garden wedding ceremony

Photo by Erich McVey; Planning and design by Ginny Au; Floral design by Nature Composed; Ribbons and chair covers by Froufrou Ribbons

Floral designer Nature Composed placed flower boxes between fabric-covered chairs from Froufrou Ribbons to create a magical garden setting for the wedding of photographer Laura Gordon

04 of 29

Dress Up an Existing Detail

wedding ceremony

Photo by Charla Storey; Planned by Aly Ann Events; Floral Design by Mulberry & Moss

During a wedding at San Diego’s Providence Chateau, an outdoor fireplace was transformed into a stunning ceremony backdrop by floral designer Mulberry & Moss

05 of 29

Make Your Mark

beach wedding ceremony

Photo by Julieta Amezcua Photography; Planned by Amy Abbott Events and Everyday Pursuits; Rentals by Baja Boutique Rental Company; Floral Design by Lola Del Campo

A geometric ceremony marker framed the sea during this beach wedding at Solaz Luxury Collection Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Arrangements of pampas grass, a rustic aisle runner, and wicker benches blended seamlessly with the coastal setting. As of July 19, 2021, this property is temporarily closed and not accepting new reservations.

06 of 29

Let the Landscape Shine

beach wedding ceremony

Photo by Elizabeth Lanier Photography; Planned by Molly McKinley Designs; Florals and rentals by Boy Meets Girl Weddings 



Transparent ghost chairs and a simple aisle marker of low greenery kept the focus on the ocean during this ceremony at The Cove, Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Stalks of beach grass and arrangements of greenery and white flowers served as a subtle ceremony backdrop. 

07 of 29

Bring the Indoors Outside

wedding ceremony

Photo by Lenny Pellico; Planned by Angela Mugnai Emporium

Vintage rugs, an antique desk, and wicker arm chairs were all part of this boho-chic wedding held at the historic Castello di San Sebastiano Po, located in the hills of Piedmonte, Italy. The gardens of the property were created in 1810 and include a fruit orchard, box trees, roses, Lebanese cedars, cypress trees, and Japanese maples. 

08 of 29

Choose an Historic Backdrop

wedding ceremony

Photo by Cinzia Bruschini Studio; Event Design & Production by Design Anarchy Studio; Florals by La Rosa Canina Firenze

The Italian estate Dimora delle Balze set a romantic scene for this intimate outdoor wedding. White and green arrangements by La Rosa Canina Firenze framed the ancient wooden door while guests were shaded by centuries-old trees. 

09 of 29

Mix Natural Tones

indoor wedding ceremony

Photo by Jose Villa; Floral design by Mindy Rice; Planned by Easton Events

Nude-colored candles, greenery and rich leather chairs formed this handsome ceremony space at Hacienda El Carmen in Jalisco, Mexico. The illustrated archway is a clever way to add architectural interest to blank spaces, too. 

10 of 29

Brighten Up Benches

outdoor ceremony

Photo, design, and florals by Greenwood Events 

Simple wood benches take on an enchanted look thanks to vibrant purple flowers and grasses by Greenwood Events. The ceremony space was created in a field of Foster Creek Farm in Montana

11 of 29

Make Flowers (and a View!) the Focus

outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo by Rebecca Yale; Planned by Amorology; Floral design by Siloh Floral Artistry

Three modern love seats were transformed into beautiful guest seating for this ceremony at Belmond Hotel Caruso in Italy’s Amalfi Coast. A stunning floral archway created by Siloh Floral Artistry added to the dreamy Mediterranean view. 

12 of 29

Add an Ivy Backdrop

<p>ceremony setting</p>

Photo by Esther S Yi

This couple hosted a wedding for 16 loved ones in the garden of Italian restaurant Palma NYC in the West Village of Manhattan. The brick wall hung with ivy and white flowers created an instantly-beautiful backdrop for their vows. 

13 of 29

Create a Cozy Outdoor Space

barn wedding

Photo by Larissa Cleveland

The exterior of a barn at Foster Creek Farm in Montana became a stunning outdoor ceremony venue with the addition of a romantic arbor and benches decorated with candles and flowers. A white curtain created a neutral backdrop for the couple to exchange vows, while lights arranged around the barn’s perimeter and a charming holiday tableau visible through the window added to the magical vibes. 

14 of 29

Add Homey Details

<p>small ceremony rugs in aisle and altar structure</p>

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

This couple opted for an elopement in Italy with just 12 friends, marrying on a hilltop overlooking Florence surrounded by olive groves. Persian rugs acted as the aisle runner, while a wooden archway decorated with eucalyptus, pampas grass, and king proteas created a stunning ceremony backdrop. 

15 of 29

Make Your Ceremony Spot the Focus

wedding ceremony

Photo by Lisa Poggi

For their romantic ceremony at Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, this couple intentionally kept the aisle flower-free so that the focus would be on their chuppa, decorated with an abundance of white and green blooms. 

16 of 29

Head Into Nature

wedding ceremony

Photo by Jordan Bree Photography

The mountains of Utah served as a backdrop for this couple’s intimate ceremony, attended by just a few family members. A wooden archway created a focus for the ceremony, while photos of the couple lined the aisle. 

17 of 29

Frame a Doorway

wedding ceremony

Photo by Kaylea Moreno; Floral Design by Designs by Hemingway

A gorgeous door makes the perfect backdrop for a ceremony—enhance its beauty with a floral border, either whole or asymmetrical, like this stunning arrangement for a wedding that took place at La Badia di Orvieto, a restaurant located within an ancient abbey in Umbria. 

18 of 29

Take a Winding Path

outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo by Donny Zalvala; Styling and design by Joy Proctor; Floral design by Bows and Arrows Flowers

Simple and stunning, florist Bows and Arrows Flowers and designer Joy Proctor created an aisle in the sand for a ceremony set for the beginning of sunset. 

19 of 29

Create a Floral Arch

outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo by Gianni de Natale; Planned by Exclusive Italy Weddings; Floral design by Flower Addicted Angelica

Floral designer Flower Addicted Angelica designed this stunning archway for a wedding in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, held in the gardens of Hotel Villa Cimbrone, a 12th century residence in Ravello.

20 of 29

Make It Modern

wedding ceremony

Photo by Stephanie Gan; Planned by Erica Estrada; Floral Design by Oak + Ash

The checked exterior of Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum created instant texture for this ceremony setup with wooden restaurant chairs and green grass accents

21 of 29

Reserve a Rooftop Venue

rooftop ceremony

Photo by Skylar Stetten of Stetten Wilson; Planned by East Made Co.

Rooftop venues provide privacy and a bird’s eye view. This wedding was held at Manhattan’s 620 Loft and Garden, perched atop 30 Rock and overlooking 5th Avenue and Rockefeller Center. Fresh sod and flower boxes filled with boxwood hedges added natural elements to the urban setting. 

22 of 29

Create a Magical Moment

forest wedding ceremony

Photo by Sylvie Gil; Event and Floral design by Greenwood Events; Floral assistance by Noobah Flowers

A woodland setting already includes a gorgeous natural backdrop, and is easy to make your own with a simple floral arch and chairs like this setup in the forest near Chateau de Varennes in Burgundy, designed by Greenwood Events

23 of 29

Make It All About the View

<p>Bride and groom at altar</p>

Photo by Betsy Newman

Seating for 50 guests was all that was needed to create a stunning ceremony site at actress Krys Marshall’s destination wedding on the Greek Island of Mykonos. “The view spoke for itself, so we didn’t add much,” says the bride about the ceremony site, Mykonos Castle, which overlooked the harbor. 

24 of 29

Head Into the Woods

outdoor wedding ceremony venue

Photo by Lacie Hansen Photography

Forest venues offer an easy, natural beauty like the Redwood Cathedral at Ventana Big Sur where this couple held their ceremony. The bride and groom exchanged vows beneath the iron chuppah decorated with fall foliage, while guests looked on from redwood benches. 

25 of 29

Light the Way

forest wedding ceremony

Photo by Kaley from Kansas; Planning by Juniper & Lace Events; Floral Design by Amy Kate Designs


This unique ceremony took place on a road near Torch Lake, Michigan. Juniper & Lace Events added romance to the forest setting by lining the “aisle” with candles in glass hurricanes and candelabras. 

26 of 29

Choose an Historic Backdrop

wedding ceremony

Photo by Matt Rice; Floral design by Ever After Floral Design

The stunning archways of the Ancient Spanish Monastery—the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, shipped from Europe and rebuilt in Miami—served as a backdrop for this ceremony. 

27 of 29

Add Color

wedding ceremony

Photo by Anna Delores; Planned and designed by Amazing Day Events; Floral design by ella + louie floral studio

Vibrant orange, red, and pink flowers by Ella + Louie Floral Studio made this ceremony at Skyview Los Alamos standout and coordinated with the rugs used to create an aisle. 

28 of 29

Mix Seating and Florals

outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo by Gianluco and Mary Adovasio; Planned by Exclusive Italy Weddings; Floral design by La Rosa Canina Firenze

This eye-catching aisle, created on the ancient grounds of Castiglion del Bosco estate in Tuscany, mixed chairs and benches for guest seating, as well as floral arrangements of different heights. 

29 of 29

Line the Aisle with Flowers

wedding ceremony

Photo by Andrew Bayda; Planned by Nadi Mironova

The garden of Villa Balbiano, which sits on the western shore of Italy’s Lake Como, was the setting of this stunning wedding where the bride walked the grassy aisle, created by lining either side with white flowers. 

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