We all have a dream of what our wedding day will look like, right? I know I did. So many couples are having to change their wedding plans this year in spite of Covid-19, and that beautiful day may look different than the original plans.
The main change they’re making – decreasing the number of guests in attendance. What if I told you, however, that having a small wedding might actually be the best wedding decision you can make, during a pandemic or not? I have a special place in my heart for small weddings because Robert and I had an intimate wedding in Palmetto Bluff in 2017. There are several reasons Elopements and Intimate Weddings are a lovely alternative, and I’ve rounded up my favorite top ten reasons to share with you. Before we get into it, small weddings are my specialty, so if you’re looking for a photographer to capture your day, check out my Elopement and Intimate Wedding collections here.
1. You’ve got too much on your plate (or your mind) to even think about a big wedding.
A lot is changing right now, and planning a big wedding might be the last thing you want to think about. If you feel like you have decision fatigue, a large wedding might push you over the edge. In fact, choosing a smaller wedding might be a great way to care for you and your fiance’s mental health right now.
2. You have family and friends all over the country or world.
You have an aunt in Albuquerque, a friend from college in California, cousins in Connecticut, and a grandfather in Montana… you see where I’m going. It may actually be beneficial to have a small wedding for both you and your family and your friends. Especially as it is currently risky, traveling can cost both you and them stress, more time, and most importantly, safety. Can’t imagine your day without them? I get that. I know it won’t replace their presence, but setting up a live stream so they can watch the ceremony from home is a practical alternative that can cultivate that sense of community. 🙂
3. Timelines and details stress you out.
If seating charts, drink estimations, and parking plans make you want to RUN, an elopement or intimate wedding is a great alternative as these options generally have fewer logistical problems to figure out, without the added stress of a pandemic. An elopement can give you more time and energy during your engagement to spend time with your love and think about this special time in your lives.
4. You’ve always envisioned a smaller wedding, and now you have an excuse for it. LOL.
I mention this one because I actually had a couple tell me they were feeling this one. The good news – because of everything going on right now, friends and family should be especially understanding if you decide not to include them in your wedding day. Ultimately this day is about making commitments to your partner and celebrating the start of a lifelong journey together. 🙂
5. You want to get married NOW!
Want to get married at the end of the month, or maybe even the end of the week? Elopements, or even small weddings (also called micro weddings or intimate weddings) are perfect for that. Your engagement period doesn’t have to be months and months of planning to be special. Consider incorporating a few things that are meaningful to you as a couple, and it can be the best day of your lives.
6. It’s a time for peace and focus on what your friendship is truly all about.
Many couples who choose to have larger weddings spend their engagement planning the wedding instead of focusing on each other and building their lives together, not out of choice necessarily, but simply because of how much more planning goes into a big wedding. Even on the day of, if you have fewer guests, you’re able to relax during the ceremony and enjoy the reception, instead of feeling the pressure to talk to hundreds of people in attendance.
7. When choosing an Intimate Wedding, you can have intentional time with close family and friends.
Conversations with guests at an intimate wedding can be just that – intimate. You can be fully present and share how those people have supported you and your new spouse. I will never forget the moments Robert and I shared with our 9 guests at our very intimate wedding in Palmetto Bluff. We made an entire weekend out of it that we’ll remember forever.
8. You have more options to personalize.
A smaller guest count often opens the door to more venues, caterers, and vendor options. Is there a restaurant special for you and your fiance? They may be able to accommodate your reception if you have a limited number of guests. How fun is that?
9. You can always have a low-key celebration with your family and friends a few months later. Or whenever you want for that matter.
I say all of these points with a pause because I know that people are what give us life and it’s a shift to consider a smaller wedding. We need each other in this life, right? But remember, even if you have a smaller wedding at first, you can still have another celebration. Two wedding cakes? Count me in. 😉
10. The locations options are endless!
Elopements or Intimate Weddings allow you to have the destination wedding of your dreams. Whether it’s been to get married in an enchanted forest in Big Sur, the rolling Tuscan countryside, or the beach resort in Mexico, by having a smaller wedding, you can experience your wedding day in your favorite place in the world. Even though there are limitations with travel because of Covid-19 , there are plenty of local options that are great destinations! Consider local parks or waterfalls for the summer or a cozy cabin in the winter.
If you can’t tell, I am a big fan of smaller weddings, largely because of the intentionality and peace they can bring to a very important and meaningful day. I truly believe they can be just as (if not more) special than a wedding with lots of guests. And remember, you can always have a low-key reception later, like I said above, where you can celebrate your heart out and have your favorite drink with your friends and family. If you think eloping or having an intimate wedding may be the best option for you, I would love to talk more about photographing your day. Inquire here to learn more about our process. Still just considering? I totally understand. Feel free to follow along on Instagram or read more on the blog all about Elopements & Intimate Weddings as you consider your options.
Here are a few photos of me and my greatest gift just married almost 3 years ago.