Intimate Weddings (And Why We’re Obsessed With Them)
Have you considered the perks of an intimate wedding this year or next? If you haven’t yet, you may want to. This trend is gaining tons of momentum in 2020 for a good reason (not just because of quarantine).
We know that love in the time of quarantine has had its challenges. As always, you – our wonderful clients – are our top priority at Morning Light Photography. Your happiness, your safety and capturing your wedding day joy remain top of mind. We are here for you through the ups and downs of wedding planning, and we hope this article can be a source of inspiration to you!
Ode to the Intimate Wedding:
It’s been a minute since we gave a COVID-related update so we thought we’d share a few reminders (at the end of this article), and talk about something we’ve completely fallen in love with amidst the punches that 2020 through our ways – intimate weddings.
Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about holding a small wedding, give this blog a read. You should know that a smaller wedding is a beautiful way to celebrate your marriage. We’ve seen it in person! Whether or not you decide to follow up a small wedding with a bigger celebration next summer, an intimate wedding offers so many wonderful benefits to engaged couples, like:
Avoid further postponement of your wedding celebrations (and avoid splitting up your ceremony and reception)
Save money or splurge on those beautiful extras you’ve been eyeing for months
Enjoy slowing down and relaxing on your wedding with more time to soak up the moments and less pressure to talk to your entire guest list
Less stress coordinating details of a small wedding than a big wedding
Start your own traditions in this new chapter of our world together
Choose a unique venue to host their smaller guest list
Enjoy a destination wedding (in-country during COVID, or international when restrictions lift)
It gives you a reason to throw a big anniversary party next year (if that’s your jam)
Having now attended several intimate weddings this year, we can say that small weddings have been a sacred, memorable and absolutely stunning experience. Yes, that many adjectives.
What may have started as a pandemic solution is now gaining traction and allure in its own right. Consider this our toast to the intimate wedding!
And other things that have changed since COVID
Remember the time before March 2020, when planning your wedding was just a normal amount of stress? Seating arrangements, deciding who will get plus-ones and sending passive-aggressive emails to guests who hadn’t RSVP’d yet… ahh yes, those were the days.
So much has changed for you since then, and practically overnight.
None of us could have imagined the way COVID-19 would turn our worlds upside down, not to mention your wedding plans:
You’ve been living in uncertainty
You’ve been pushing back dates for your wedding, bridal showers and bachelorette parties
You’ve been figuring out the most polite way to cut your guest list so you can accommodate gathering restrictions
You’ve been in constant communication with your wedding vendors
And you’ve had to completely reimagine what your wedding day will look like.
We understand. We see you, worrying, wondering, adapting and trying to stay strong. And we’ve seen now more than ever, that love really does endure all things. Even quarantines.
The New Normal:
If you hadn’t heard of these terms before COVID, you’ve probably learned a few of them by now:
Small and intimate weddings have been a growing niche trend before COVID. But it’s been interesting to see all the unique takes on the small wedding popping up during the pandemic.
It started with the minimony, that had less than five people during the tightest of the quarantine restrictions. In some cases it was even just the couple and their officiant while loved ones looked on via Zoom.
We love this story of Elaine Welteroth’s trendy wedding on her porch stoop.
It grew to a microwedding as restrictions were lifted in some locations and now as indoor social gatherings in Ontario have increased to 50 people, we’re back in the sphere of the “intimate wedding” which is usually between 20 and 50 people.
There are no exceptions, even for royalty. We had heart-eyes over the photos from Princess Beatrice’s intimate wedding in July.
Why An Intimate Wedding:
Couples have found extraordinary ways to celebrate their marriage during COVID, helping many of us realize something – these small weddings aren’t just a pandemic solution. They’re a really excellent choice and preference. What you may lose in numbers, you make up for in authentic experiences, and deep connection.
We’ve now photographed three intimate weddings since March of this year. We have to say, we’ve been so impressed by how these couples created something so beautiful and special for themselves and everyone there. There has been no shortage of joy or celebration on those days. We’ve seen swoon worthy decor, romantic vows, incredible menus, hilarious speeches and loads of personality showing up in the details… all the things you and your guests look forward to at a wedding! No compromises, no sacrifices.
But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what one of our couples had to say about their intimate wedding in 2020:
“Our wedding day was not what we expected or planned for. Our 120 guest wedding turned into a 12 guest wedding. It was small, intimate, and beautiful. We wouldn’t change it for the world.
We got married in a treehouse (yes, a treehouse!), surrounded by the beautiful forest and our loved ones. Our treehouse ceremony brought to life our dream wedding more so than what we initially planned; and it would not have been possible if we’d had a large wedding.
Looking back at our wedding day we have no regrets. We never felt like we were missing anything, we had the people closest to us and we were surrounded by their genuine love and excitement.
(Side note: it was definitely cheaper to get cake and champagne for only 12 people!)
Having an intimate wedding took a lot of the pressure off. We never felt rushed or stressed, we just got to focus on each other and on cherishing our wedding. You often hear the advice on your wedding day to make sure to stop for a minute to “take it all in”. With our small and beautiful wedding, we got to spend the whole day taking it in.
We also had so much time for photos! We got pictures with every person in attendance, in a bunch of different combinations, and then we still had tons of time for our own photos.
We wouldn’t trade our beautiful and intimate wedding for anything”.
-Mr. & Mrs. Fernandez
Cheers to the Small Wedding!
Some of you have decided to fully reschedule your wedding and you feel good about that decision. You love the date you chose and you want to keep that even if it means waiting until 2021 or even 2022. We completely respect that and we’re not here to convince you otherwise! (And we’re so excited to see you on your new date!)
We want to reassure those of you who are really struggling with a decision, and those of you who can’t bear the thought of pushing your wedding back a whole year. Some of our couples want to be married before they take other milestone steps, and the thought of pushing their life back a full year is difficult to grapple with. It’s hard to decide and we know that. We just want to say this – a small wedding is a truly phenomenal option, quarantine or not. From our experience, small weddings are an opportunity to create a deeply personal and connected experience for you and your guests.
Our main takeaway is this: small weddings can help you bring parts of your vision to life you may not have thought possible with a larger wedding. They truly bring so many gifts.
Here are five things we’ve loved about the intimate weddings we’ve seen:
Less Guests, Extra Connection: A smaller guest list means you can spend more time with each person, and enjoy more quiet moments as a couple. You’ve heard the stories of couples who missed out on the cocktail party because they spent so long in the receiving line. Or the couple who barely got to eat their dinners because they were so busy talking to all their guests. In a small wedding, fewer guests mean you have more time to talk to people closest to you.
Same Breathtaking Photos: It truly makes no difference in the photos, especially now that you can have your wedding parties with you during phase 3. Unless you want to document and remember the pandemic’s collision with your wedding with floral face masks or a beautifully decorated “sanitizer station,” nothing about your photos will be compromised. (Plus, just think of the “behind-the-scenes” stories you can tell your grandchildren one day as you flip through your albums with them.)
Save Money or Splurge on the Extras: On one hand, you can definitely just save some money. On the other hand, saving money with a shorter guest list also allows you to splurge on those beautiful extras you were dreaming of. Whether it’s that extra piece on your tablescape, going big with your floral arrangements or handing out wedding favours that will wow your guests. We’ll be so glad to capture these details at the wedding of your dreams!
Start New Trends: Small weddings can really speak to the trailblazers among us. An intimate wedding provides a lot of opportunity for trendsetters and creatives. Without the regular pressure of wedding “expectations” you are free to create an experience for you and your guests that feels like … whatever you love most! There are so many ways you can bring extra personalization to your wedding, with different venue and location options for smaller groups (ie. the beautiful backyard wedding or your favourite restaurant venue). You can experiment more with seating arrangements, a theme, surprise your guests with fun events throughout the reception, or everyone’s favourite thing – BRUNCH!
More Time, Less Stress: You will have more time to savour the moments of your wedding day. There will be extra spare moments to stand back and soak up the love. You could arrange the day to give you a more leisurely morning getting ready. You won’t have to miss out on the appetizers you were excited to try, and you can actually play the lawn games you were planning to set out for the guests! Those candid shots are absolute gold in your photos.
If this list sparks joy or creative ideas, then an intimate wedding could be the perfect option for you. No matter the size of your wedding, the heart and soul you put into it will always shine through. And we are always glad to be a sounding board if you need someone to talk to about it!
In the meantime, our message remains the same as we navigate a new season of small weddings together:
We are ready to honour whatever decision you make. To us, honouring your decision means that we will not be charging our clients to reschedule their bookings with us. We follow all social distancing and sanitization regulations to keep your safety top of mind.
What part of a small, intimate wedding captivates you? Is it the extra time spent with your closest friends and family? The opportunity to challenge traditions and start new trends? Or maybe it’s the thought of creating an unforgettable aesthetic experience that will set your wedding apart. We’d love to know!
We are still booking for the 2021 & 2022 season. Get in touch with us with questions or inquiries and we’ll be so pumped to celebrate your wedding with you!