So COVID-19 has really turned your wedding (and your life!) upside down. I am right there with you. We’ve all had to adjust and rethink so many things. Our brains are tired, and it’s ok to be upset about all that’s changing.

When things get turned over and shaken up a bit, we have a unique opportunity to see something in a new, refreshed way. And that is a silver lining we can all cling to.

Because of COVID-19, you’re considering an adjustment to your original plans. Maybe you’re downsizing your entire event, or you might be choosing to postpone the big celebration for another time.

Either is fine and you have to choose what’s best for you.

But if you still want to do something small on your original date, you have options. And before your mind has a chance to start spiraling (again) let’s just address one very important thing first.

Just because something is “small” it does not need to be any LESS SPECIAL, LESS “REAL”, or LESS FORMAL (if you don’t want it to be).

On episode 85 of the Put A Ring On It Podcast, we dig into these options for you, what they mean, what they can offer you, and how to make them work for you.

Blush and white bridal bouquet in front of bride and groom touching foreheads

Photo by Nina Lily Photography of Valerie and Andrew’s Wedding

Let’s start with some of your options.

Elopement

An elopement is the smallest type of wedding you can have. It’s often just the couple, the officiant, and (hopefully) a photographer.

In years past, eloping was considered to be a BIT rebellious. It was often surrounded by secrecy and the idea of “running away” to elope.

In recent years, the term is used more often when describing a smaller wedding with ten or fewer guests and is considered to be incredibly romantic.

Minimony

A minimony is a small ceremony-only event with just the couple, their close family, officiant, and (again, hopefully) a photographer — roughly 10-15 people or less.

This is a very intentional and ceremony-focused option that was born out of COVID as couples’ weddings have had to postpone.

Minimonies are often held on the “original” date that couples had prior to having to postpone.

Do you still want more people involved in your celebration when it’s safer to do so? You can still have a big reception/celebration to come at a later date.

Not to mention you can always broadcast your ceremony virtually (there’s a TON of companies offering this service now — just ask).

Microwedding

Photo by EIN Photography of Vivian and Josh’s Wedding

Microwedding

A microwedding is a complete wedding experience, but done with a smaller number of guests (less than 50 and more commonly less than 30).

There will often be a ceremony, followed by dinner, and maybe even dancing (depending on whether that’s safely allowed at your venue right now).

Much like a typical wedding, there are flowers, dinner, photography, and often really beautiful and intricate details.

Microweddings are my personal favorite!

You still get to have the wedding you want and go BIG on creating an incredible experience for your guests. Yes, it’s fewer people than you originally thought. But in the loss of quantity, you’ve gained the ability to be more present with your guests then maybe you would have been able to at a bigger wedding.

We did an entire episode pre-COVID that focused on Microweddings with Alisa Tongg in Episode 62 if you want to dive in more

Of course, the options don’t stop there. Check out this couple’s creative wedding!

Mother Son Dance
Photo by EIN Photography of Vivian and Josh’s Wedding

Ok, we’ve decided… now what?

Find a venue

After you’ve considered how to rethink your nuptials, your next step is to find a location that will accommodate you and your guests. This can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Here are some things to note:

  • If you don’t have someplace specific in mind, it’s best to work with a local specialist
  • Think outside the box and keep an open-mind
  • Most places still require a permit or “permission” of some sort even if you’re just planning a quick ceremony

Now, yes, a lot could be changing, but let’s also focus on the things that aren’t.

Work with a planner

Just because you’re planning a small wedding does not mean you should have to do it all on your own. You still deserve to enjoy your wedding day and work with someone who can help you plan a wedding that showcases your love for one another.

Microwedding and small wedding planning is a service that I LOVE providing for my clients. If you’re getting married in the eastern Pennsylvania area, specifically Bucks-Mont, Lehigh Valley, or Philadelphia area — let’s chat.

small wedding social

Photo by Daniel Moyer Photography of  Lauren and Sean’s Wedding

Remember to focus on giving your guests a great experience

Just because it’s small doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your ideas on making this special for you and your guests.

Remember the four fundamentals of hosting a beautiful event that your guests will love:

  1. Give them food (if that’s allowed)
  2. Give them something to drink (also if it’s allowed)
  3. Keep them entertained (this can be dancing OR something else entirely that allows for safe distancing)
  4. Keep them comfortable (this should really be #1, no?)

If you touch on those four points and do it well, you “win”.

Splurge on whatever you like

Again, a small wedding does not equal less special.

You’re still allowed to get a great outfit. The outfit that makes you feel like it’s one of the most memorable days of your life. You deserve it.

You’re allowed to plan an incredible, blow-their-socks-off meal for you and your guests.

You can even work with a florist on a beautiful bouquet or over-the-top centerpiece.

Not only are you making the most of your situation, but you’re also supporting local businesses. Win-win!

Couple under lights

Photo by Daniel Moyer Photography of  Lauren and Sean’s Wedding

No matter what, STILL HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER

If anything were to change, this is NOT it.

This day may not look like you thought it would originally, but it’s still going to be a day you want to remember.

You can work out something with your current photographer, or maybe you want to take the opportunity to work with someone you otherwise might not have been able to.

Big or small, having someone there to capture the moment is SO IMPORTANT.

PRO TIP: Take one big group photo with everyone at your wedding together (How many couples can say they have that?)

Changing plans (the biggest plans of your life thus far) can feel overwhelming, but the “Dans” have your back. Use these tools to help you get started.

Listen to the full Put A Ring On It Podcast episode here:

Don’t forget to check out The Ringer Club for more help, tips, and real-time answers to your questions! Not to mention, discounts in the DPNAK shop (coming soon) to provide you with resources for planning your wedding.