While the wedding industry tries to determine how weddings in 2021 will look I will share a few thoughts regarding the advantages of hosting the smaller and micro wedding.
The wedding industry has been hit particularly badly by Covid-19. This time last year my wedding season was fully booked for what looked to be a spectacular year ahead for my business. I had a few early season weddings in February, but by late March it became clear that a dark cloud would hang over the spring and summer ahead. Little by little my couples moved their wedding dates to 2021 in order that they could go ahead with the large event they had dreamed of.
Here we are, one year later and we are all back in ‘lockdown’. We face severe restrictions on weddings and talk of these restrictions not being lifted until much later in the year. I fear some of those postponed weddings may still choose to move their wedding once again to a date sometime in the future. However, for those of you willing to adopt a little flexibility to your plans and rise to new challenges, weddings will still take place this year, just as they did last year.
What is the smaller and micro wedding?
Micro weddings and smaller celebrations are currently growing in popularity. As a wedding photographer I have witnessed a move in this direction over the last few years. With couples wanting to move away from a ‘traditional’ wedding day in favour of a more relaxed and intimate occasion. So what exactly is the difference between a small and micro wedding? The main difference is size. A small wedding is typically for couples wanting to invite only 30 to 60 guests, usually immediate family and close friends only. Small weddings most often take on the usual components of the day such as a cake cutting and first dance. A micro wedding will have less than 20 guests and will have a ceremony and reception but often in a less traditional format. A micro wedding might include an outdoor ceremony, a woodland picnic, or perhaps a private setting in a restaurant or hotel.
For the predicted 36% of couples who will go ahead with their wedding this year let me assure you it will still be a truly amazing day although perhaps in a different format to the day you originally planned. We now know that it is safer for us to be in outdoor open spaces to help prevent the spread of infection. Outdoor weddings are expected to grow in popularity as couples adopt social distancing measures to help keep their guests safe.
My weddings last summer were a wonderful example of this. I photographed ceremonies under homemade garden gazebos, enjoyed lakeside champagne receptions and roamed Castle grounds. Luckily the weather was kind. We can’t always rely on the great British climate but I do anticipate a moving trend towards outdoor weddings.
What to expect?
Small and micro weddings are personal and intimate. There is nothing to stop you having the day you always dreamed of and planned for even with an exclusive guest list. By cutting down the guest list your ‘nearest and dearest’ will feel like VIP’s and you will eliminate the distant relatives you rarely see and the fair-weather friends. This is an ideal opportunity to get creative with your planning. After all, your budget may go much further with fewer guests.
Make sure to prioritise the ‘must-haves’ for your day, whether that is the dream dress, amazing flowers or that extra-special venue. Smaller weddings allow for the personal touch from venues and catering to cakes and favours. Whatever the size of your wedding make sure your day is documented by your wedding photographer. Capture your day and share your photos with those family and friends who were not able to attend.
Photography at small and micro weddings
As a wedding photographer I love that a smaller wedding allows me more time with a Bride and Groom to capture those wonderful ‘just married’ shots. A small group of guests eliminates much of the pressure of herding large groups of guests between locations and endless large group photographs.
Each of my weddings last summer was drastically reduced in guest numbers. This allowed me considerably more time with each couple to capture those important Bride and Groom portraits. This is always my favourite part of the day and that extra time meant more opportunity for creative couple shots. I also found that these smaller gatherings made for some great documentary style images. Somehow guests seem more relaxed in these settings.
Latest trends indicate that micros weddings, elopements and smaller, intimate gatherings are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Weddings will continue to take place, just as they have through time, after all you can’t ‘lockdown’ love! So come on folks, embrace the idea of a smaller celebration, get creative and make it spectacular.
If you are planning a small or micro wedding and would like me to document your day then please get in touch, I would love to hear your plans.