Couples getting married in 2020 face some tough decisions about their original wedding plans, and I truly empathize. I know how stressful wedding planning can be, even without the challenge of a global pandemic. As large-scale gatherings have been banned across the country, couples are left deliberating how to modify their existing wedding plans. Some have decided to postpone until later in the year or move their wedding to 2021. But, given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, there are other options gaining popularity: “minimonies”, elopements and micro-weddings. Could one of these be right for you?
As traditional, large weddings were brought to the halt, mini-ceremonies or minimonies have become a recent wedding trend among couples. The couple chooses to honor their original wedding date and get married at a socially-distanced wedding with a few loved ones in presence (and perhaps others joining virtually). Then these couples reschedule their larger celebrations to when it is safe and restrictions on travel and gatherings have been lifted. The beautiful part of this option is your love doesn’t have to wait, life isn’t put on hold, and you still get to have the larger celebration you envisioned with all your loved ones during the sequel wedding!
Traditionally, when people think of elopements they envision a rebellious couple “running away” on impulse to a local courthouse (or Vegas!) and getting married in secrecy. But in reality, modern day elopements are more likely to include thoughtful planning and a couple marrying with only a few guests in attendance. The benefits of elopements include: you can get married basically anywhere, it is deeply intimate, it doesn’t require a sizable budget or considerable amount of time and effort to plan, and it provides freedom from writing the invitation list!
Even before COVID-19, micro-weddings were a growing trend among couples looking for a more intimate, affordable option (as noted by The Knot, Martha Steward Weddings, and The Real Simple). So, what exactly is a micro-wedding? A micro wedding is any ceremony and/or reception with less than 50 total guests. It includes all the elements of a traditional wedding day, including a venue, photographer, cake, décor, guests, reception and so on, but just on a smaller scale. In essence a micro-wedding is a beautiful blend of an elopement and a traditional wedding.
There are several reasons for the growing popularity of micro-weddings. First, even before coronavirus paused large-scale gatherings across the globe, couples were seeking more affordable options to traditional weddings. Although it should be noted that a smaller wedding doesn’t necessarily equal a smaller budget. According to the Knot some couples are deciding to provide a more luxury “macro experience” to their guests. Second, micro-weddings allow for a more intimate and personal atmosphere. A wedding with a few dozen guests allows the happy couple the opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones and to visit with everyone at the ceremony. Micro-weddings also present a lower-stress, but equally elegant option for couples who may feel overwhelmed at the thought of spending an entire day in the spotlight in front of 200 guests.
The Future of Weddings Amid Coronavirus
So, what can be said about weddings in the near future? Regrettably there is no way of knowing when large gatherings will be allowed again. The situation is continuously evolving and states are in different phases of reopening. But the reality is that social-distancing measures will likely mean that weddings in the near future will be smaller and more intimate. It may mean accepting the “new reality” that guest may be asked to wear masks. It may mean that elderly relatives – or those immunocompromised – will not be able to attend. It may mean innovative seating arrangements where people from the same household are seated together. It may mean some friends and family attending virtually. Each wedding, couple, and their circumstances are unique. If you are eager to get married right away, a minimony or an elopement may the right choice for you. If you desire a traditional wedding but worry about restrictions on gatherings, a micro-wedding may be the right choice. But one thing is for certain – all weddings will still be beautiful and filled with love.
I’d be honored to be a part of your celebration. If you are interested in photography for any of these options, please inquire for details!