HOW TO PLAN THE BEST SMALL WEDDING!


This has certainly been a challenging year to plan a wedding or civil partnership.

With restrictions on large groups still in place in the UK many couples are opting for smaller weddings rather than postponing their big day, because when it comes down to it you just want to be married, right? Well now is the time to rip up the rule book and get hitched exactly how you want and where you want!

And while you might not be planning the exact dream wedding you had growing up, there’s plenty of positives to tying the knot with a smaller event.

Having already been behind the lens shooting weddings and engagements since lockdown restrictions eased slightly I’m here to give you the tips I’ve learned over the past few months, working with couples who were determined that small can still mean amazing.

SMALL IS BETTER

For the past number of years, the cost of a dream wedding has been rocketing - not to mention the guest count! But often this is due to family pressure or unrealistic expectations of what a dream wedding should look like (social media guilty as charged…)
A lot of couples have started to feel like it’s not even their wedding any more.

THIS YEAR IS YOUR EXCUSE TO HAVE THE WEDDING YOU ACTUALLY WANT.

You now have full control over the guest list. You get to invite the most important people in your life to be there, and you actually have time to be with them!



YOU GET TO SPEND TIME WITH EVERYONE THERE

Traditionally, it’s actually rare for couples to actually talk to everyone that attends their wedding. With a more intimate wedding you can spend time with everyone you’ve invited, and make them really feel like part of your big day.

COST

Couples right now are saving so much money on weddings. Prices really have gotten out of control, and now you can spend the money you save in other places - your dream dress, for instance, or your dream honeymoon when the time is right. You could also invest in a stylish and intimate engagement/pre-wedding photoshoot to keep the excitement levels high until the big day!

A WIDER CHOICE OF WHERE TO GET MARRIED

This is one of the most exciting things with ‘micro weddings' - you no longer have to look for a venue to accommodate a certain guest count, while also staying within budget. Now you get to be more creative, like with smaller, cosier venues that would not have been possible with a larger guest count.

BETTER WEDDING PHOTOS

A smaller wedding doesn’t mean lower expectations, and you still deserve beautiful photos to forever remember your special day.

As a wedding photographer, this is the best part of small weddings for me.

Weddings have become much simpler overall, which means less stress for you on the day - you simply get to enjoy the day! And this lack of stress on the wedding day really comes through in the photos.

We have all the time we need for photos, and we’re more in control of the time of day we take them. At a traditional wedding - which can often take more coordinating than the London Olympics - the photo session just kind of fits wherever it fits. This can mean less than ideal lighting conditions and a flustered bride and groom.




HERE’S 4 TIPS ON PLANNING THE BEST MICRO WEDDING!

1) Pick a location that really works for you as a couple

Wedding venues large and small are really going out of their way to be super accommodating at the moment. And with a smaller guest count the choice of suitable venues dramatically increases, making your life a lot easier. Now you can look for a venue that matches your personalities, not your guest list!

If you’re dreaming of an outdoor ‘I do’ how about Scotland, where al fresco humanist ceremonies are already legal. Since September 2014, venues haven’t needed to be approved, as long as a minister or celebrant is present. So you can choose your spot - be it a dramatic coastline, the rugged Highlands or a picturesque glen!



2) Set up an on-location dinner, or book a restaurant

With smaller guest counts it’s now so much easier (and way cheaper!) to organise a small reception. Book a pub or restaurant just for you and your guests or set up an on-location dinner, like in a church hall.

3) Spend some of the money you’re saving on bringing in great vendors

Budgets usually get stretched really thin because of the number of guests at the wedding. This is your excuse to involve all of the vendors you would want to have for your dream wedding, and current UK Government guidance says that 'anyone working is not included as part of the limit on attendees'.



4) Make sure you get the best photographs

Schedule your ceremony when it’s good for photos. Later in the afternoon or two hours before sunset will give photographers the best light for photos, especially that beautiful ‘golden hour’ just before the sun goes down. You could even switch your couple shoot to follow the reception - and with a few glasses of bubbly inside you, expect some fun pics!

Hire a photographer (me!) for 2-3 hours.

This could cover the ceremony, family photos and photos of the two of you afterwards (see my pricing page for full details of packages and how a small wedding coverage could cost you as little as £300). I also offer a 10% discount on all my wedding and engagement packages to NHS staff, as a little thank you for being great - during Covid and always!

Always professional and discreet, my style is a mix of natural storytelling and posed, shot in a relaxed, informal and fun way that aims to capture the personality and love of the beautiful couple.

Of course safety in this time is a priority for me, and I will respect all current national and local rules regarding Covid-19.

I also offer stylish engagement/pre-wedding shoots for just £180. These fun, laid-back sessions are a great way to give you more confidence having your photo taken together as a couple before your wedding day, and a perfect way to get to know your photographer! Your favourite pics can also be used for your 'save the date' cards.

If you’re interested in working together, please send me a brief message via my contact page, or email mikeblackburnphotography@gmail.com or give me a call on 07853570745, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading and CONGRATULATIONS! And if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch!
Mike