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“I grew up in Atlanta with parents who loved hosting parties and gatherings, whether they be intimate multi-course meals or neighborhood barbeques by the pool,” says Avis Glenister, owner of Intimate Weddings 30A. “They were big subscribers to Southern hospitality and always welcomed family, friends, especially the misfits, into our home.”

After graduating from the University of Georgia, where she majored in social work, Avis followed her parents to 30A in Florida. “An academic career rooted in helping others combined with an extremely social upbringing made the transition to event planning incredibly natural for me,” she explains. But never did Avis think her niche would be weddings this small. We talked to her about how and why she decided to turn her business model on its head and bring many mini weddings to the white sand beaches of Florida. This trend — brides sharing vendor costs and highly sought-after venues — is only going to continue, according to Avis, and you’re invited …

RELATED: What Is A Micro Wedding?

Reception area with greenery and candles

In the wake of the pandemic, event work has been forced to creatively scale down. But smaller does not mean any less glamorous. Intimate Weddings 30A is making sure of that. Image: Amanda Suanne Photography

“Innovative, Intimate, and Intentional” is What They’re All About

Avis and her team have created a completely updated approach to weddings. “We curate your vendor team, your design and your venue so all YOU have to do is show up,” she says. “Why shouldn’t your wedding day be that easy? We know what the average couple wants, and we make sure that’s included in their package — a photographer, a champagne toast, or after-party options, for example.” Intimate Weddings 30A brings all the traditional wedding experience, but without the fluff, making it a great option for the bride focused on sustainability or the groom who wants an elopement-style ceremony.

Brides Share Vendor Costs With Other Brides

Instead of just one couple paying for the space for sometimes more time than needed, five couples share the cost of the space. “The venue still receives its normal fee, but one bride and groom aren’t absorbing that cost alone,” Avis says. “We choose sought-after venues for this purpose. Decorations work the same way — there is only one set-up and one breakdown, so outside of personal flowers, couples share the vendor’s full fee.” Other vendors like photographers and entertainers are comfortable charging the standard rate — and sometimes less than normal — considering they aren’t traveling between venues. And confectioners benefit from the economies of large-order scale. “It’s really a win-win for everyone!” Avis remarks.

Ceremony space for intimate 30A wedding

“Where many clients traditionally put their budget investment into their reception, we are putting the focus back into a beautifully decorated ceremony venue where they’ll take many of their timeless photos,” Avis says. Image: Alena Fine Art Wedding Photography

Coastal Coffee Bar at intimate wedding

Intimate Weddings 30A has an arsenal of creative partners like Coastal Coffee Bar (pictured here) that they assemble for each event. Image: Erstellen Media Co.

Why the Max Guest Count of 30?

A micro wedding isn’t a true elopement, but it’s not a full-fledged ceremony, either. “By capping the guest count at 30, couples place the emphasis of their wedding day back on themselves,” Avis says. “You share the day with your closest friends and family, but they are there for YOU! Plus, you get the day of your dreams without the major investment of time and funds.”

Thirty guests, they found, is the perfect number to make the magic happen. “We realized after talking to many clients amid cancelations, plan Cs, and rescheduling that once they stripped down the production of their original wedding, they really prioritized and found peace in a more intimate guest count,” she adds.

Smaller Doesn’t Mean Less Magnificent

A common misconception about micro weddings is that they can’t be as showstopping as large weddings. “A micro wedding can be every bit as impressive and exciting as a 200-person destination event. It just depends on your vendor team and your planner’s expertise,” Avis tells us. “I’ve attended and planned gorgeous weddings, both big and small. The Intimate Weddings 30A bride is someone who wants the traditional grandeur associated with large weddings in a smaller package. We show everyone that it can be done!” And when they see how easy it is, and how much more affordable, this unique turnkey trend is catching on …

Ceremony set-up on beach

For outdoor events, 30 people or fewer is a COVID-friendly compromise for those who don’t want a lot of people but still want the feel and look of a traditional ceremony. Image: Amanda Suanne Photography

Dinner Set-up for intimate wedding

As the intimate wedding trend keeps gaining traction, vendors are following suit. Rental companies and caterers alike are reformatting their packages to accommodate these turnkey events. Image: Kayla Nicole Photography

The Tiny Trend Is Going Nowhere

As brides realize how much they can save by shortening their guest counts, they’re investing in other elements. “Elevated food menus, bespoke cocktails, and tabletop details/decor are substantially more valued now with the decreasing guest counts and prevalence of plated dinners,” Avis says. Regarding the return of big weddings, they’re currently executing full-scale, larger weddings for those who feel comfortable with their sister company, Peach & Pearl Events, “but we do believe Intimate Weddings 30A will be around forever,” Avis says. “Once the concept catches on, I think it’ll just be another great option for people to get married more simply and intimately at the beach.”

RELATED: The “Bridgerton” Wedding Florals Made Us Swoon

Silver Linings On the Wedding Cloud of 2020

Planning a wedding is a uniquely joyful-meets-stressful undertaking. “You never want the shape of the event to overshadow the love the couple is there to celebrate,” Avis says. “While COVID certainly created more stress upfront, once a couple’s wedding day began, I found that they were far more focused on each other and their love story than before. They’d gone through so much to make it happen that they were just happy to be there.” There’s a deeper sense of connection and emotion within the wedding world and less of an obsession with superficial frills. “It’s been refreshing, along with our stock in waterproof mascara!” Avis adds.

Want An Intimate Wedding in 30A? Here’s How It Works.

1. Check out their availability and choose the date and time that works best for you.
2. Invite your 30-guest-max group however you choose (some are even inviting digitally!) and shop for attire. Every other detail will be taken care of.
3. On your big day, you’ll follow a seamless timeline sent by your planner.
4. After your ceremony, portraits will be snapped, champagne glasses clung, and sweet treats served.
5. Continue the festivities in the after-party style of your choosing.

Thank you, Avis, for chatting with us! Find out more about Intimate Weddings 30A at intimateweddings30a.com.

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