What Makes a Good Small Wedding Location

The intent for this guide is during this crisis of COVID 19 at the moment. And I know there will be couples seeking other options. So these tips are for those who want to change their weddings into Intimate Small Weddings (under 50 people) or an elopement option. Now, I use the word Elopement loosely because I know that word can scare families. But when I use it in this context it's more of a Family Elopement which you can see in my other blog post here.

Now, I'm a huge believer that your location is a big deal. The place where you exchange your vows holds so much significance for your relationship, that’s why it’s important to think about what makes a good small wedding/elopement location. Being a part of a few Intimate Small Wedding myself I did want to start by exploring the options that are available for couples in Ontario during this time of venues that might not be hosting weddings for a while. At this time there are new rules every day so here are some location ideas that do not require a venue that might speak to you.

Locations That Do Not Require a Venue for Your Vows (under 50 people):

  • A Park

  • Family/Friends Backyard

  • Hamilton Waterfalls (saying vows and then bringing guests to reception location)

  • Dundas Peak (journey with guests to the lookout for your vows)

  • Forest Locations

  • Toronto Lofts (depending on availability)

  • Open Fields (cottage country has great locations)

  • A Cottage (large enough for everyone, you can say your vows out on the doc)

I also wanted to bring some inspiration from fellow photographers that have created a beautiful combination of these locations for their Intimate Small Weddings:

Alright, now here are the biggest factors when choosing a location for your Intimate Small Wedding (this probably falls more out of the time of COVID 19 crisis right now):


The best locations offer privacy and seclusion. If you want to elope/marry in a public place, like a National Park or beach, I always recommend choosing a weekday. You’ll find fewer crowds and you’re less likely to have a group of strangers passing by – which might distract you from being fully present and able to connect.


Your location should reflect your personalities. Do you two love adventuring to epic waterfalls, or camping in the desert? When you think about your ideal wedding day, are you saying “I do” on a beach, near a mountain, or in a forest? Narrowing down a type of scenery will help you find an elopement location that feels unique to your relationship.


Accessibility is another important factor when it comes to choosing your location. If you have elderly relatives joining you for your vows ceremony, we have to consider how they will get there if it's somewhere adventurous. You want to be able to enjoy your wedding day, and whether you’re looking for an adventure location or a short walk to an incredible view, think about the activity and accessibility concerns for all parties attending your elopement.


I encourage couples to think about locations that have sentimental value. Think of the anniversaries, dates, firsts, and moments of growth you’ve shared: where did those moments happen? When you get married somewhere that holds emotional significance, it makes your day even more intentional and incredible.

Need a little help? Send me an email and I’ll help you find the perfect setting for your elopement/intimate small wedding. Just click here and tell me more about you!

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