Lockdown has forced thousands of couples up and down the country to either postpone or cancel their big day, in a bid to help prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
But with the latest Government announcement that weddings of up to 30 people including staff and suppliers can now take place, couples who want to tie the knot sooner rather than later are having to consider either a much smaller wedding or even an elopement.
While the future remains uncertain as to when larger ceremonies and receptions can resume, smaller weddings certainly have their advantages.
So what are the advantages of having a smaller wedding?
It’s often said that the best things in life come in small packages, and that can definitely be applied to weddings too! Ryan and I actually eloped in St Lucia back in 2016 (We decided to elope as it would have been so hard not comparing our wedding to all of the other amazing weddings I’ve photographed, plus fitting my own wedding in to a summer along with all my other weddings would have been a nightmare!) Our wedding was small and perfectly formed and I would highly recommend it to anyone teetering on the edge of this decision.
Due to current restrictions couples may be considering a smaller wedding as a way to celebrate now without waiting until some unknown date months into the future. To those brides, I’d enthusiastically advise: do it!
So I thought I’d talk about why small weddings are fabulous and will hopefully be able to reframe the current wedding situation for you into a happy and positive one. Here goes.
Top 10 Reasons Why Small Weddings are Marvellous
1. You surround yourself with the people who mean the world to you.You will celebrate one of the most important days of your life with the people you really love and who truly matter most to you.
When the guest list is small, the bride and groom can spend time with each of their guests, making them feel welcome.
At a big wedding, you could spend hours going from table to table saying your hellos, without ever getting past the “Congrats!” and “Let’s take a photo!” conversation.
At a smaller wedding, you’re giving yourself the chance to create meaningful memories with each and every person in attendance.
Plus, with fewer people there, you can celebrate, and soak in the joy of all those around you without worrying whether you remembered to thank your parents’ neighbours or your third cousin twice removed for coming.
Weddings are so personal. They’re about love, vulnerability and heartfelt promises. They’re about new chapters and old memories full of tears and laughter. Do you really want to experience all that with acquaintances you barely know?
With fewer guests you can cherish everyone that made the effort to be there, with no pressure to ‘get to everybody’. Each person will feel truly valued. Leading nicely onto…
2. You will feel more relaxed.Being surrounded by friends and family instead of a room full of acquaintances will make you feel more more at home with your guests. Your wedding will feel more like a celebration with close-knit friends and family.
Plus, you don’t get as nervous saying your vows. An audience of 30 people is much less daunting than 120!
3. A smaller wedding means spending less money.Weddings are expensive. So if you’re spending £100 a head on 30 guests instead of 120, that’s easy maths. You’re going to spend significantly less money no matter how you cut it. Leading on to..
4. You can splurge on what really matters.After cutting your guest list down, you can put your money towards the things that matter most to you. You can splurge.
A small guest list means you can pull out all the stops and have a truly lavish wedding. Now you can get that dream a-line, ivory lace, off-the-shoulder wedding gown you’ve been dreaming about since you were nine years-old. Or, how about a really fancy 5-course dinner with wine pairings?
Not to mention (in my opinion) the most important element of all…an amazing photographer to capture all those special moments. As a wedding photographer I am writing this with, let’s face it, a bit of a bias.
But here’s the thing about wedding photography. The photographer you choose, matters. I’ve read a lot of wedding forums. I have heard the regret from couples who are disappointed with their wedding pictures. They skimped on wedding photos, thinking a wedding photographer is just another vendor to book and move on.
Those brides and grooms had made the mistake of assuming that all photographers are the same. It’s just pressing a button, right? I’ll just go with the ‘affordable’ one that fits within the budget so I can get right on with wedding planning.
My honest perspective is that your photographer is not just another vendor. Your pictures are the only tangible reminders you’ll have from your day.
So by having a smaller guest list, you will be able to afford the photographer whose work you love – and whose style and personality are a great fit for you personally.
This might be the best wedding planning decision you can make. And it is one that will last longer than the 8- 10 hours of your wedding day.
It will last for generations.
5. An intimate celebration is one your friends will remember forever.Your wedding will leave an impression. Because your wedding won’t be typical – the kind your guests have been to over and over again – your wedding is more likely to be remembered.
The experience will be different, yes, but you’ll be thankful for a meaningful day spent doing exactly what matters: making a commitment to your partner.
And, while the guest list may be smaller, you’ll share this intimate experience with those closest to you, and that’s something that your guests will look back fondly on having been a part of for years to come.
6. You can work with a shorter time-line.With fewer people and details to fulfill, you’ll have the option to cut down your time-line. Want to be married by this time three months from now? A small guest list makes this possible.
7. You will spare feelings.With a small wedding, you have an easy way out of telling people they aren’t invited.
If you’re having a large gathering, it gets a little harder to tell them why they didn’t make the cut. It’s hard not to feel pressure when it comes to the guest list, especially since every list has a cutoff number.
While there always will be someone who is bound to be upset they didn’t get an invite, when you only invite your closest circle — “No, really, it’s a tiny wedding!” — it feels a lot less personal for those who didn’t make the cut. Also leading on nicely to…
8. Eliminate the seating plan drama.
When you cut down the guest list, there’s an awful lot less seating plan stress to worry about. You may even be able to have everyone sat together on one big table. How lovely!
9. More venue options.You have more options when searching for venues, and you’ll be more likely to find one that can sleep all your guests.
10. You can take time to be present.Stop. Soak it in. So many brides say that their wedding day was a blur. With a large wedding, from coordinating with your planner to making sure you greet every guest, it’s super hard to step back and take it all in.
A smaller wedding means you can talk to everyone and still escape with your partner every now and then to experience it as just the two of you. Take a moment to enjoy each other on your wedding day, because that’s what it’s all about, right?
A small wedding isn’t for everyone. But hopefully in this article you’ve got a new perspective on some of the wonderful advantages of having an intimate wedding.
The most important thing to remember throughout wedding planning is remembering why you’re having a wedding. It’s ultimately about the two of you and whatever feels right to you.
So, here’s to sharing this major life event with the people you love the most. A small, intimate wedding opens up a world of unique possibilities. I hope that whatever you choose, you have a day that’s beautiful, joyful, authentic and memorable.
Love, Rebecca xx
Ps. If you are considering a smaller, socially distanced wedding, for a limited time I am offering 2 hours coverage for £500 (£150 for each additional hour). Contact me here for my availability.