The joy of intimate weddings

Intimate wedding moment between bride and groom before they sign the register

Intimate weddings. They’ve always been a thing. But then…

[Covid enters from stage left]

[Cue cancelled weddings and countless couples thrown into a spiral of uncertainty and confusion] 

It’s been a coronacoaster.

And now? Weddings are kinda back on. But not as we know them. The rules are changing faster than Daisy and Poppy run when they see a cat, but as of today, you can have a wedding with up to 30 people – as long as the ceremony and reception are socially-distanced. Find the full rules here.

There aren’t many couples who want to drop their dream wedding plans for such a different day. Most of my clients have postponed their days to next year. But three are going ahead. I’ve already photographed two of those (congratulations, Nadine & Nadeem and Joanna & Rob!) – and they were aLL KiNdS Of wOndErfUl.

[Cue the silent disco DJ: “Nothing’s gonna stop us now!”] 

And having photographed those weddings, I’d love to see intimate weddings become more popular.  

But before I explain why intimate weddings could become hotter than the gooey molten middle of a freshly-baked brownie, let’s start with…

What is an intimate wedding – pre-Covid?

The couples I work with tend to invite between 80 and 120 guests, so anything under 50 people is small to me. But the word intimate suggests something even smaller.

It makes me think of my grandparent’s wedding day in the 1940s. Looking through their wedding photos (a black and white delight!) you’ll see their immediate families and a couple of best friends only. They had 25 guests – and that was considered big at the time. Back then, all that mattered was getting married. 

You know that saying: Less is more? It really is.

And what makes that simplicity so special? 

The short answer: Love. Stripping everything else away lets love shine.

And the not-so short answer…

The joys of an intimate wedding

An intimate wedding:

1. Brings a warm and familiar feeling to your day. A pared-back guest list puts your faves front and centre. Which makes the day a celebration of your close relationships as well as your love as newly-weds. 

2. Creates a relaxed and friendly vibe. Intimate weddings tend to be for the people you’re closest to. So the chances are that most of them will already know each other. That means they can bypass the polite small talk and get straight on with celebrating together. 

3. Feels private and chilled. There’s less people and you’ll know them well. Which makes it less intimidating, especially for couples who don’t like being in the limelight. 

4. Makes your money go further.  A smaller wedding doesn’t have to mean a cheaper wedding. This is a chance to truly treat your loved ones and create something spectacular. With a higher budget per person, you could upgrade to a gourmet meal and still have money left to go all out on an amazing flower arch

5. Paves the way for a unique wedding. Following a less traditional format opens the door to doing something totally different. Turn tradition on its head and surprise your guests with something they’ve never experienced before. This is your chance to create a day you’ll talk about for decades – and not just because of ‘rona. 

Need some inspiration? Take a look at Andrew and Sarah’s summer garden party, where they hosted 30 guests for a day that was all about slowing down and taking the time to just ‘be’.

One positive on this whole situation? 

It’s an easy way to get past the awkward guest list questions! “Should we invite children?” “What about your sister’s new partner?” Sorry folks, Covid says no!

Instead, this is a chance to rekindle relationships with the family members you don’t often get to see … but wish you did. Swap the long list of friends, never-ending receiving line and bouncing from table to table during dinner – for quality time with the people you love. 

If this whole Covid experience has taught us anything, it’s the power of slowing down, reconnecting and remembering what matters. An intimate wedding can give you that. A chance to celebrate love and connect with the people who have made you you.

Get inspired by Darren and Natasha’s intimate outdoor wedding for 20 of their VIPs at Normanton Church.

Signing the register at Normanton Church

Planning an intimate wedding?

Want a low-key relaxed photographer to go with it? That’s exactly the kind of wedding I love to photograph. Let’s chat!