Intimate and Unique Weddings during the pandemic. It’s your time to embrace small weddings!

Has the pandemic made you think differently about your big day?

It’s really hard to plan anything in life at the moment! Shall we get dressed or stay in our pjs? Coffee or gin? Homeschool or Netflix? The pandemic has put a giant pause on large gatherings in the UK, knowing when we will be given the green light to party again can make wedding planning pretty stressful. My social media feeds are full of discussion and questions like when weddings may be allowed to take place again? How many people can attend? Can you have a wedding if all your guests stayed 2 meters apart? And would you want a wedding if guests had to keep 2 meters apart? How will venues adapt? Lots of questions and not many answers.

In truth, no one really knows when big gatherings will be allowed, this will put those who are planning a traditional wedding into a frustrating limbo land. But maybe you hadn’t quite decided what your day was going to be like yet or maybe you had always been toying with the idea of a more intimate wedding day but didn’t quite feel brave enough to go through with it. If so, then maybe this a good time to explore some other options. The pandemic has given a little golden ticket to those couples who may have not felt comfortable trying something new. whether it be the expectation of others, a guests lists that seem impossible to keep small or just the fact that you didn’t really think there was an alternative. Well, I’m here to tell you there is, and now is the perfect time to embrace an alternative wedding day.

I understand that it’s very easy to get swept up when planning a wedding, when we first got engaged I wanted a small wedding followed by a party at a local pub. Before I knew it we had booked a very traditional wedding venue (all be it an awesome one) with 100 day guests to help us celebrate. I don’t have any regrets about our day, it was perfect in many ways, but had we been a little more confident about exploring the other options, I now know we could have pulled off a day that was more inline with what we originally wanted.
For me, the reason I ended up with a larger wedding day was I was so concerned about offending people who I cared about by not inviting them to celebrate our day. I knew most of my family and friends probably would have been understanding about us wanting a small wedding, but the guilt of not inviting some guests over others weighed too heavily on our shoulders.
The pandemic has handed couples who may have wanted a smaller intimate wedding a massive ‘guilt free’ pass. Larger gatherings are currently not allowed to take place, so people will understand an intimate wedding being planned off the back of the pandemic. Right now you can enjoy a glorious guilt free feeling allowing you to plan a small wedding without offending people!

So, for a limited time, the pressure is off, now is the time for small weddings to shine!!

If you need more convincing about intimate weddings read on, as I have pulled together a list of reasons that I believe make small weddings simply smashing!

  1. SO. MUCH. LOVE. What you lack in numbers you make up for in LOVE. When you are a guest at a small wedding you feel ‘knocked off your feet’ honoured to be there. And this love fills the room, oozing out of every guests with you on that day.
  2. Quality time with your guests! You’ll actually have time to enjoy your guests company. A common pit fall of a larger wedding is not having enough time with guests, often just a quick hug and a few words before you greet the next eager well wisher. Smaller weddings mean you can really indulge in good quality chat with everyone and lets pray hugs are back on, so you can really make those squeezes count!!
  3. Way more venue options. If you are happy to have the legal service before hand (or after), you get the pick of anywhere!! Look at local pubs, restaurants, pavilions, parks, village halls or even your parents garden! Many venues have smaller rooms available for more intimate weddings, so its worth asking if you have a traditional wedding venue already in mind.
  4. Budget. It’s easy maths, less people to feed and water will give you a decent saving. But a small wedding doesn’t need to be stripped back or simple, you can still stamp your personality all over your day, you just will have more money to do so if you don’t need to factor in food and drink for your cousin and their 4 children!
  5. Mix it up. Weddings generally follow an order, there is nothing wrong with this, it works well for larger numbers. Simply put it goes like this – get ready, get married, get fed, get drunk, get dancing, go home. But with a smaller group you can really mix it up, take your guests away for a weekend and book a celebrant to come perform a service, have a party on a boat or a field, get married in the morning then go for an afternoon tea around London, or take your guests to the cinema! Your day, your way and smaller weddings really allow you to rewrite the rule book!
  6. A more relaxed day. Weddings can be stressful and sometimes a little hectic. No matter how on top of all the planning you may feel you are, coordinating all that detail and plans for a large numbers is not easy. When your numbers are small the stress is easier to manage.

As a documentary wedding photographer I think the emotions captured in those real moments are especially important at small weddings. There will be people who care about you that won’t be able to see you get married and they will relish the chance to view your day as it actually was. The pandemic has certainly been horrible for the wedding industry but maybe weddings will find a new way to flourish. I for one am excited to see unique intimate weddings rise from this crazy situation and I can’t wait to dust of my camera and get shooting again!