Relaxed, smaller, wedding gatherings are perfect for many couples. Perhaps two people have lived together as partners for several years, before deciding to marry and already have a shared life together; they will probably already have the household items that are traditionally given as wedding gifts. Maybe two people are embarking on their second marriage, and would prefer a modest day with their immediate family. Or, a couple may be shy in the spotlight and would prefer just a few family and friends around them who they know very well. Less can be more and a small marriage ceremony means two people can spend more time with the person they’re about to commit vows to, with the people closest to them both.
There is also another consideration regarding a smaller wedding day. Due to public health safety from 28th September 2020, up to 15 people are permitted to attend a marriage or civil partnership in England, including the couple. These unprecedented times offer other changes to a traditional wedding day, including appropriate distancing measures. For current government guidance on Covid-19 weddings, please visit the GOV.uk website.
At first glance a wedding under Covid-19 restrictions might seem to take the shine off celebrations. However, with weddings costing several thousands of pounds, and taking several years of planning, attending an intimate wedding presents a manageable, and sometimes welcome, alternative. Smaller wedding venues may have shorter waiting lists, and the logistical plans of coordinating travel and accommodation for far away family and friends are suddenly eliminated. The financial focus of the matrimonial day shifts, too, with small marriage ceremonies; instead of calculating the cost of a vast head count at the dinner table, the funds could go towards engagement and wedding rings, or on a home renovation, or a future long-haul trip.
For many couples, a small marriage ceremony or civil partnership is a practical endeavour, to commit to each other in the eyes of the law. Wider celebrations can occur at a later, more suitable date, with a large gathering, wedding meal, cake to cut and a band to see the couple celebrate their union.