Small Wedding Ideas: Alison, Matt and their Pug, Rhino

  • By Jen Hart
  • Real Weddings
  • comments 0

Alison and Matt planned a small wedding in California, where they are from, that felt right for them. They had 50 guests and their adorable pug, Rhino.

We asked Alison to share the details of her small wedding with only 50 guests. “It allowed us to be present with each one there to celebrate us. It also allowed guests who didn’t know each other before to mingle and get to know each other; it was perfect.”

We are obsessed with their style and how they look as if they were made for each other. Alison shares how they met: “Matt was a regular at a cafe I was managing. We progressed from customer to friends, to dating to now husband and wife. We always had a serendipitous feeling, so we just rode the wave and knew.”



How Matt Proposed

Initially, we were supposed to have our proposal in France, but Covid had other plans for the world. He pivoted and booked a room for us at La Valencia in La Jolla, CA. He knew I wanted to have a boho picnic, so he planned one at the park overlooking the ocean, and he proposed there; it was so sweet.

Fun Nice-to-Haves for your Small Wedding

    “I absolutely loooved our photobooth, our phone guestbook, After The Tone and we purchased disposable cameras for each table to help capture the candid moments. But really, every vendor helped to create my full vision.”

Wedding Cake or Cupcake?

“We had mini cupcakes for our wedding and a small cutting cake for us. I loved the idea of having cupcakes because it allows everyone to pick a flavor or flavors that they want. I’m also gluten-free/dairy free so to be able to have regular cupcakes for our guests but also cupcakes/cutting cake for me was important.”

Finding a Dress for Her Small Wedding

  “I had been following Dreamers & Lovers for yearsss! I knew when the time came I would find my dream dress here. I knew I wanted long sleeves and had one particular dress in mind but after trying on the Willow, I knew that was “the one.”

Shop More Lace Wedding Dresses

Their Wedding Flowers

“I wanted an October wedding to lean into the fall color palette but not overtly fall. I definitely wanted a more wild look for my bouquet and I wanted it to be quite substantial because I just love flowers. Our florist nailed my vision and I was soo happy with the end result, fall but not in your face fall, it was lovely.”



Wedding Vows & Readings for a Smaller Wedding

“We specifically selected an officiant who would curate the perfect non-religious ceremony. She spoke mostly about love and what it means to everyone, and how it’s our universal language. It was exactly what we envisioned; we couldn’t have been happier.”

When asked about their vows, because we LOOOOOVE vows. “We did write our own vows! My favorite line was actually the last line of my vows – “and I cannot wait to laugh out the rest of this lifetime with you.” I truly believe that laughter can heal anything, and I’m so happy I found someone who makes me deep belly laugh daily.”


Alison’s Advice to Future Brides

“Stay true to who you are as a couple, don’t let outside voices influence you. We wanted an authentic to our wedding and that’s exactly what we had and we couldn’t have been happier!”

Alison’s Favorite Detail from her Intimate Wedding

“My favorite detail was being able to celebrate with all of our loved ones and being able to include our dog Rhino into the first look and ceremony.”

What’s Next for Alison, Matt & Rhino

“We’ve been together now for 7 years, we’ve been through so much already as a couple but now we’re ready to really settle in as husband and wife and continue working on creating a beautiful life for us and Rhino.”

Photographer: Kristina Joy Photography

Bride’s Dress: Willow Lace Wedding Dress