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A cozy in-home winter wedding and casual brewery reception

February 15, 2024



A couple and their wedding officiant stand in their living room for their home wedding while their family and dog watch from the couch

One of the best things engaged couples can do is to plan a wedding that feels like YOU. The most enjoyable wedding days are ones where couples have planned an intentional celebration that they and their guests will enjoy. Read on for details on what an in-home micro wedding day is like!

Carly and Andrew’s in home December wedding was comfortable, relaxed and exactly what they wanted. I drove out to their home in Irvine, Kentucky and hung out with Andrew and his family while they watched football and spent quality time together until it was time to get ready. Upstairs, Carly and her best friend chatted and enjoyed a glass of bubbly while she got her hair and makeup done. 

Mantel greenery and florals

In the living room, a lush green floral arrangement decorated the fireplace mantel and the couch was turned to face the ceremony spot with chairs behind for the 8 guests (their immediate family and two friends – one of whom officiated). Andrew’s mom set up the charcuterie box they ordered and Carly’s best friend set up the bottles of champagne and Carly’s colorful floral bouquet!

Before the ceremony, the couple met outside for a few couples portraits and family pictures before the early winter sunset. We spent maybe 15 minutes taking relaxed group photos on this surprisingly warmish winter afternoon.

One of their dogs, Remy, definitely stole the spotlight in his black bowtie. He would sit right in front for the group photos and just as I counted to 3, he looked right at the camera at the perfect time! He was rewarded with lots of belly rubs and a front row seat to the ceremony.

A bride's dad sits on the couch with her dog, who licks his face while the bride and groom get married in front of them

Once we went inside, everyone took their seats for things to begin. It’s amazing how something in the air changes right before the ceremony begins, even once you’ve seen everyone and have spent the day together already! Jeremy, their close friend and officiant, did an outstanding job of creating a personalized ceremony that tied in Carly’s fondness of music and literature with stories of Andrew and Carly’s love for one other.

After the post-kiss hugs, the newlyweds and their guests celebrated with glasses of champagne, charcuterie, and food. They signed the marriage license and we took a few final pictures in front of their Christmas tree and I left them to enjoy their evening.

Two weeks later, I met up with our newlyweds and more of their friends and family at West 6th Brewery in Lexington, Kentucky for a casual reception. They rented the spacious private area with its own bar and brought New Orleans style food (including beignets!!!) for the buffet. I love that they had already printed some of the ceremony previews to decorate the long tables along with colorful bud vases. The string lights and bourbon barrels created a really warm, relaxed atmosphere.

A framed wedding portrait sits atop a bar counter at West 6th Brewery Lexington

One of the relatives asked me, “So how long have you been friends with Carly and Andrew?” and it was the best compliment I’ve ever received! I believe that connection with my couples is so important to capturing your love story in a genuine way. I truly enjoyed this two part celebration, because it allowed us to build that closeness at their home where they felt comfortable, and then it made everything even more relaxed for the reception at West 6th. 

This part of the celebration was all about spending quality time with friends and family, and no formalities – no first dance, speeches, or toasts. Sometimes, couples are hesitant to plan non-traditional celebrations – but I can assure you everyone had a great time and there was zero stress! The great thing about having fewer formalities is that people feel comfortable to be themselves, so I focused on taking candid portraits of all of each guest from a distance. 

All of Carly and Andrew’s friends and families were so nice to be around, and it felt so special seeing everyone have a good time together over beer and beignets.

Are you envisioning a completely unconventional elopement, micro wedding, or in-home celebration? I’ve photographed plenty of events like these and find that scheduling is much more flexible because they don’t take up an entire day (unless you want them to). Reach out on my website to let me know what your dream for a wedding that feels like YOU and let’s make it official!

A photo of Johanna (owner of Frames and Letters Photography)

Johanna Hribal is a wedding photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky. She enjoys traveling to other states and countries for weddings and elopements whenever possible! People love her colorful and vibrant edits and the way she captures their love in a natural and non-intrusive way. Click here to visit her website to learn more about current wedding collections. Follow me on Instagram to see more engagement sessions, weddings I’ve been photographing!

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