The times may have shrunk the size of your wedding, but an intimate celebration can be more memorable, meaningful and safe.
Compared to a bigger wedding, a smaller one will be less stressful because it reduces the worry about sickness and germs, said Samantha Sands, a bridal consultant at the White Flower Bridal Boutique in San Diego.
“You spend more time with the people that really matter and celebrate with those closest with you and your partner,” she said. “Any time there is a smaller wedding, it’s more about you and your partner, rather than dinner, drinks, dancing, the crazy cousin, etc.”
While not all friends and family will make the guest list, you should still send them an invitation but with the date, time and a live-streaming link instead of the location and other in-person wedding details.
“This ensures no one is left out,” Sands said.
To assure your memories are captured in the highest-quality way, hire a professional videographer, said Clay Vaughan, CEO and founder of Reverent Wedding Films.
“Streaming your wedding isn’t something you expected you would have to do, but for close family members who may be unable to travel, they should be able to experience at least a few moments of your day with you,” said Emily Dill, wedding coordinator at Reverent Wedding Films.
Vaughan recommends finding a venue that offers access to Wi-Fi.
“You can stream over LTE or cellular data, but the quality will be reduced dramatically,” he said. “At the very least, it is important to set up a dedicated phone or computer with an external webcam that could be put on a stand or tripod. The most user-friendly DIY solution would be the Mevo camera, which can be purchased on Amazon for a few hundred dollars.”
Location options for smaller weddings should begin with outdoor spaces if weather permits, Sands said.
“Nature enhances the beauty of the wedding. However, smaller events can rent out bigger Airbnbs, big backyards, a ranch or even a really nice small venue space/restaurant,” she said.
Nature is the best way to decorate if hosting a wedding at a home, Sands said. Positioning the bride and groom under a nice big tree for the ceremony is a perfect touch.
“Couples can also decorate by planting some plants and flowers weeks before the wedding around their venue space, if the venue permits,” she said. “If the wedding is indoors, you can’t go wrong with a lot of greenery, candles and a lit fireplace. Guests can interact with each other with different stations set up, such as a fireplace s’mores station, cornhole, dinner buffet/potluck and a small dance floor in the backyard.”
With fewer guests, your budget may stretch farther.
“Splurge on your honeymoon! Plan a smaller honeymoon during COVID-19, then within the next year or two have a second honeymoon where you have the possibility to go out of the country,” Sands said. “You can also splurge on dinner items, a DJ, more alcohol or even save it for a down payment on a house.”
With a small guest count, couples can be more creative with food, flowers and other elements. Add a flower wall for photos, hire a food truck or socially distant food stations, offer personalized welcome gifts and plan other thoughtful details and activities.
Give meaningful favors people can enjoy after the wedding.
“Some recommendations are a small succulent plant that says ‘let love grow,’ a candle or hand sanitizer that says ‘in sickness and in health,’ ” Sands said.
Most important are the couples’ vows, the bride’s dress and whether guests had a good time.
“Those are the three things that everyone remembers,” she said. “Everything else is important and beautiful, but don’t stress too much about those aspects of the venue and wedding.”
—Melissa Erickson | More Content Now