The wedding size post-covid is a big question for couples. While weddings are trending smaller, that might not be right for everyone.
Almost all couples who got married during the pandemic had to forgo their original wedding plans for much smaller and more intimate weddings. Terms like micro-wedding and mini-ceremony or minimony started to swirl around as we tried to solve the crisis of having socially distanced weddings.
As we all become acclimatized to Covid-19 and events are allowed in most countries, those who pay very close attention to weddings are conflicted. Some insist that 2021 is the year of micro-weddings and elopements. Others are convinced that most couples will stage the big wedding celebrations they couldn’t have in 2020.
One thing we can all agree on, however, is that people will continue to have weddings no matter the circumstances. Therefore, whether you’re a couple looking to tie the knot or an event planner, it’s worth thinking through weddings of any size.
Small weddings became the norm in 2020 due to their functionality and safety. They are now a permanent fixture because they are cost-effective and intimate, which are qualities that resonate with a lot of people.
The pandemic restrictions saw the rise of the minimony trend. It’s now a standard wedding size. This term refers to a “mini wedding ceremony,” which typically includes around 15 guests.
The minimony is similar to a commitment ceremony in that the focus is placed on witnessing the couple as they commit to one another. This type of wedding was ideal during the pandemic as couples could ensure the safety of their loved ones and still get married on the day they planned. It is now an option for couples who want to focus on sentiment rather than staging an event on their special day.
A minimony may also be the prelude to a larger wedding at a later stage. It could be merely the first celebration. For example, having the ceremony in your living room, having unplanned vows, using a celebrant instead of an officiant, and serving a light menu. It can also be helpful to have a minimony in situations where there are time constraints like the ailing health of a loved one, finalizing immigration documents, or even pregnancy.
Things to bear in mind for a Minimony:
- Immediate family only: your guests will only be immediate family members such as parents, grandparents, and siblings.
- A virtual ceremony: you can make your ceremony accessible via videoconferencing platforms for those loved ones who cannot attend. With one or two tripods and a microphone, you can easily create a lovely viewing experience. Your celebrant or officiant could also join you virtually.
- Stick to the essentials: leave the big flower arrangements, wedding cake, and live entertainment to your sequel wedding, where more guests will be there to enjoy them.
- Wear your original wedding outfit: since you will be forgoing many wedding traditions, it may be affirming to wear proper wedding attire to keep the ceremony sentimental.
- Legalities: if your minimony is a preliminary wedding celebration, it may be better to use a celebrant than having the administrative hassle of finding a religious officiator or booking a slot at the courthouse (depending on local laws).
More and more couples are opting for intimate nuptials. As the title suggests, a micro-wedding is an actual wedding with all the trimmings just with a small number of guests. The guest list will typically include a maximum of 50 guests or even less, consisting of family and very intimate friends. The micro-wedding differs from a minimony, incorporating all aspects of a wedding ceremony. Nothing is left out for a future event, i.e., a sequel wedding.
The micro-wedding can be thought of as a traditional wedding with an elopement undertone. What’s also important to note is that the smaller wedding size does not necessarily mean a modest budget. In fact, couples might opt for a micro-wedding so they can give their limited guests a macro-wedding experience with good food and exclusive entertainment.
Things to bear in mind for a Micro-wedding:
- Intimate seating arrangements for your reception: with a small number of guests, you want to make sure everyone feels included.
- Use your small spaces wisely: ensure that your guests have enough elbow space and access to all the necessities, i.e., water, sanitizer, and flatware.
- Use an unconventional venue: cut corners in your budget by using a restaurant venue or having the wedding in your own backyard or a friend’s home. You could also hire an Airbnb to have an intimate, homely wedding.
- Add personal touches: you can send handwritten invitations, have handwritten menus, or even have customized napkins or place cards for each guest. You may also give guests more elaborate party favors, such as welcome gift boxes in which you can include some of your favorite things as a couple.
- Be creative with the menu: you can go as far if you are catering for fewer guests, so take the opportunity to give them an unforgettable culinary experience.
People sorely missed larger weddings during the pandemic. As the large-scale wedding size returns, many people are changing the traditional form to have weddings that suit their cultures and lifestyles.
The Sequel Wedding
Sequel weddings were on the rise well before the pandemic as more couples wanted to personalize their wedding celebrations. A sequel wedding typically follows an elopement or small wedding celebration shared with family and a few friends. As couples blend different cultures and backgrounds, weddings have become more hybridized or span multiple events to honor different heritages. This is certainly not a modern concept either. Many cultures worldwide have multiple wedding celebrations that take place over months and even years in extreme cases.
Many couples who got married during the pandemic are still looking to have the big, traditional wedding celebrations they could not have. Extracurricular activities like getaway wedding weekends, welcome parties, and farewell brunches will be resurfacing. If guests have a good time and you’re celebrating love, why count? It is truly the season of the sequel wedding!
Things to bear in mind with a Sequel Wedding
- You need distinct visions for your ceremonies: they must have different themes and styles for them to be a success. Otherwise, there is little point in more than one event.
- Convenience: use the same planner, florist, photographer, and designer from your first wedding celebration. This will help you ensure continuity and cohesion in your events, even though they are different.
- You can do it all at your own pace: there is no time limit on the gap between your celebrations, which means you can take as much time as you need to build up capital so that each has all the bells and whistles.
The Anniversary Reception
Some couples may not be looking to go the sequel wedding route due to financial strains and recovering from the changes that occurred during the pandemic. An anniversary reception is the simpler way of celebrating a marriage without having a traditional wedding. It does not need to occur immediately after the first celebration. It can follow on months, or even years, later.
An anniversary reception may also be the dominant choice for couples who chose to elope during the pandemic. It could be the perfect way to announce their marriage to their loved ones without having a big event. Even though it is not a wedding, it can still incorporate the trimmings of a traditional wedding, like a multi-course meal, décor, flower arrangements, and live entertainment.
Reasons to have an Anniversary Reception
- After a destination elopement: if you are not looking to spend a lot of money on your announcement back home, have a cocktail anniversary reception. You can offer light foods and drinks and a more relaxed atmosphere than you would at a traditional wedding.
- After a minimony: you may have an anniversary reception to celebrate your marriage with all the guests you could not have at your minimony during the pandemic.
- Vows: you can take the opportunity to share your vows with your guests, or you may decide to have new vows.
- Attire: you can relax the formality as this is not the actual wedding but a celebration. Alternatively, you may take this as the opportunity to wear that big dress you could not wear in your minimony or elopement.
Wedding Size Can Come Down To Cost Vs. Culture
There are major financial and health perks to any of these wedding size options. Ultimately, your choice will be based on your culture and lifestyle. While going with a small, intimate wedding is ideal for spending quality time with those closest to you, everyone still loves a big celebration. And a sequel wedding or anniversary reception could be a great way to celebrate our collective emergence after months of sheltering in our homes.