Tiny Weddings Fair

Tiny Weddings Fair Exhibitor – Ruffled By Grace

Tiny Weddings Fair Ruffled by Grace

Michelle is another fantastic exhibitor who will be at the Tiny Weddings Fair on 30th Sept at the Wycombe Swan.  The Rev. Michelle Wahila is originally from the US and now lives in Paris.  She has served as Associate Pastor of The American Church in Paris where she has organized many huge events reaching the expatriate community.  Now she performs weddings and blessings in Paris, possibly the most romantic city in the world.  Check out her website Ruffled by Grace.

Please give a brief overview of your business… 

I am a classically trained and ordained pastor (Presbyterian Church, USA), and professional wedding officiant. I have been performing weddings since I was ordained in 2005. I am the creator and owner of Ruffled By Grace: Parisian Wedding Blessings. I try not to be your typical pastor. Because I don’t serve a particular church (I used to work full time in a parish), I am able to bless every couple desiring to be married/blessed/have their vows renewed. That means I get to practice radical welcome and hospitality to ALL people.

Because of my classical pastoral background and training, I can provide pre-marital counseling, in addition to ceremony writing and myriad other pastoral services such as baptisms, funerals, liturgy and curriculum. I am also a preacher, speaker, worship leader, and creator of specialized retreats. Bonus: I can include holy communion or other rituals of the church into the ceremony. Possibly my very favorite ceremony included communion in the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower.

You’ll often find me running around Paris in my Converse sneakers and my clergy collar. I love helping couples create their dream destination wedding, and I adore all things “Paris. Above all, I desire to give “grace” to everyone who contacts me – whether they book or not. This means that I will go above and beyond to help with planning, details, and resources.

Additionally, I have made every effort to source other women entrepreneurs – so my champagne, photographer, hair and make up, florist, etc – all women business owners! I have curated a brilliant team of vendors for destination weddings, elopements, vow renewals, and family promise ceremonies in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. It’s truly a privilege.

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How do you think the couples are different when working with a large wedding versus a tiny wedding?

Couples planning larger weddings often focus on the reception details. While everyone loves a good party, sometimes other parts of the day seem to fly by because everyone is anxiously awaiting the reception!

Couples planning tiny weddings have the chance to focus more on the details of their ceremony proper. As an ordained pastor, and professional wedding officiant, I love to walk couples through the details that will make their ceremony unique and memorable. Whether it be readings, rituals, or a fairy tale send off, these details create memories that will last a lifetime. Similarly, I love when a couple takes the opportunity to have a first look and photos ahead of their ceremony. Tiny weddings typically have a much more flexible time schedule that allow for these precious moments to receive the time they deserve on the wedding day.

If you could work on a tiny wedding anywhere in the world, any theme, any couple; where or what or whom would it be?

I am kind of partial to Paris! I love the city backdrop for all of my tiny weddings; it’s truly the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and photos. Similarly, I would love to work in New York City. If I had to pick another non-urban location I would say, “take me to the beach!”

I also enjoy working with couples who are thinking “outside of the box” for their wedding day and ceremony. I may come out of a traditional faith background, but I am not a typical pastor! Many of my couples find me because of my modern take on faith and my dedication to radical welcome and hospitality – and that travels anywhere!

What are the main differences in the way you do business when dealing with a tiny wedding?

While all of my ceremonies and weddings are personalized and unique, tiny weddings have the opportunity to choose even more opportunities for personalization. For example, there are myriad locations that will allow a very small wedding parties to come and take advantage of their amazing views for a ceremony or wedding photos, that would not be an option for a large wedding party.

I work with all of my couples to create a day that incorporates their dreams into a workable schedule in the City of Light! Often couples want multiple locations in Paris for photos, an excellent restaurant or Picnic on the Champ de Mars, and other special details to create their wedding narrative. When you have the tiny wedding you can easily hop from location to location, and see the best Paris has to offer on your wedding day (while sipping champagne, of course).

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Give an example of a tiny wedding you have worked on and what you did for the couple?

All of my weddings are so incredibly special – it is hard to select just one! I especially love when a tiny wedding involves the children of the couple. One couple brought their young son with them, and I had the chance to create a candy jar ceremony for the family. The simple and fun ritual was a way for their son to be a part of the ceremony, and for the family to have a special “take home” reminder of their special day. What family doesn’t want a candy jar at their home to remind them of the sweetness of life together?

Do you feel there has been an increase in tiny weddings in the past few years or have you always worked with a lot of small wedding parties?

While Paris is always a draw for “dream” weddings, I do see more and more couples who are choosing to have an intimate “white wedding.” Gone are the days when having an “elopement” means running away from their families to get married. Some couples are bringing along their families for the vacation of a lifetime. Others are choosing a “just the two of us” wedding. Tiny weddings are remarkable because they can give you your fairy tale wedding without breaking the bank. For couples on a budget, a tiny wedding can provide exactly what they are dreaming of for their wedding day, along with a bonus honeymoon.

What do you love about tiny weddings?

Tiny weddings give you the opportunity to have an intimate celebration with your nearest and dearest. Whether you are celebrating with only your spouse or have immediate family and friends with you for your special day, a tiny wedding gives you the chance to create exactly the wedding and atmosphere you are hoping for, on exactly the budget you want. I love how tiny weddings can be as luxurious or as simple as a couple desires.

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Follow Michelle’s Facebook page to keep updated on her lovely ceremonies in Paris, or follow her on Instagram, or go and gets lots more information from her website.  Follow our Tiny Weddings Fair Facebook page for helpful and inspiring articles and information, and show your interest in our Facebook event to see updates. Follow us on Instagram for lovely photos and inspiration of small weddings, chat with us on Twitter and see our posts on Pinterest. Most importantly, buy yourself a ticket in advance.

photo credit: www.catherineohara.com and www.missparisphoto.com



Tiny Weddings Fair

5 Dream Locations for a Tiny Wedding

5 locations tiny wedding

So you’ve made the decision that your wedding day is going to be an intimate one, just you and your partner and, perhaps, a few close friends and family members to celebrate your marriage. The next question is where are you going to choose for your tiny wedding?

So we thought we’d give you a head start with a short list of some of our favourites…



Ireland is a spectacular place to hold a romantic wedding with few guests. with some of the most beautiful, natural settings in the world Ireland holds a special place in many people’s imaginations.

Providing ceremony venues as varied as ruined abbeys and monasteries swathed in Ivy, through dense, magical forests and wide, windswept beaches; Ireland is a dream for an outdoorsy couple who love romance.

Ireland’s rustic countryside and cute cottages provide a sweet space for small wedding parties to gather and celebrate. Is there anything more romantic than an autumn outdoor ceremony followed by heading indoors to the warmth of the hearth and raising a glass to the happy couple?

Check out Peach Perfect Weddings for more info.

New York, USA

New York Elopement Windcatcher

If you’re looking for something a little more fast-paced for your intimate ceremony why not take a bit from the Big Apple for your tiny wedding?

Exploring the city with your nearest and dearest makes for an interesting backdrop to the main event and you’ll never be stuck for entertainment. There is so much to do, from Broadway shows, boating on the lake in Central Park or making the most of the thousands of bars and restaurants New York has to offer, you could spend months here and still have a lot to see and do!

If you’re looking for something a little unusual for your wedding ceremony did you know there is a castle in the centre of Central Park? New York is probably the only city where you can go from high-rise modernism to a castle on a lake in a matter of minutes!

Not only that but it’s extremely simple to be legally married in New York for couples of most nationalities. That, combined with a wide variety of venues and the short flight across the pond makes New York a go-to for many UK couples.

Go to Wed in Central Park for your one-stop shop for all you need for an outdoor wedding in New York.

Paris, France

M Wahlia Paris Elopement

Where else conjures such a feeling of romance than Paris?

If you’re looking for a tiny wedding made for two then Paris is hard to beat. In the summer the city comes alive along the river and a sunrise ceremony under the Eiffel Tower is a wonder to behold, whilst winter brings cosy, candlelit cafes and hot chocolate celebrations.

If you’re bringing along friends and family for your tiny wedding then you may want somewhere a little more private than the Eiffel Tower and many hotels have city views from balconies high above the streets where small ceremonies can include your loved ones too.

So go on, hang your own love lock in Paris and make a commitment to romance that will last forever.

Ruffled by Grace is an English-speaking officiant in Paris and can help you with all you need to get married there.


Pink Iceland Elopement

If you’re looking for a dramatic backdrop to your ceremony then Iceland may be the location for you. Follow your waterfall ceremony with a dip in the hot springs and a night of glamping under the northern lights.

If your looking for comfort and glamour then Iceland might not be your first choice but if it was easy everyone would be doing it! A short hike to your ceremony location will bring its own rewards as you gave out over the landscape and see no one for miles. With only your personal guests for company, this remote region will give you everything you need to take a deep breath as you commit to your lives together.

If you’re looking to declare you love somewhere a little cooler you may choose to share your vows atop a glacier, in an ice cave or on a windswept beach overlooking the ocean. This warm and friendly Island has a lot to offer and you really can be as adventurous as you like with your elopement or tiny wedding.

Check out Pink Iceland – wedding, travel and event expert.

The Lake District, UK

Lake District Elopement

If you’re looking for a location a little closer to home for your intimate elopement or tiny wedding then what about the Lake District? Whilst you may not want to hike with a hundred guests a small wedding party can easily hop one of the many sweet boats across the lakes and find themselves a remote lookout to share their vows.

Legal wedding venues are spread throughout the Lakes but if you want to be really adventurous then holding a celebrant lead ceremony can open up the whole area to you and your loved ones.

Windermere is a tourist hotspot and easily accessible from all over the UK but if you’re looking for somewhere a little more off the beaten track there are plenty of cute villages offering cosy accommodation for your wedding party.

Easy hikes, great landscapes and lots to do make the Lake District a great choice for those looking for adventure without leaving the country.

So where will you be holding your tiny wedding? Why not come along and join us to hear about these locations and many more at the Tiny Weddings Fair. Get your tickets here…

Follow our Facebook page for helpful and inspiring articles and information, and show your interest in our Facebook event to see updates. Follow us on Instagram for lovely photos and inspiration of small weddings, chat with us on Twitter and see our posts on Pinterest. Most importantly, buy yourself a ticket in advance.

Photo credit: