Oh 2020, you’ve been tough. And for the wedding industry you’ve been tougher. How do we even go about getting married during this time? Our real bride Lydia shares her experience of an intimate wedding during the Covid - 19 pandemic.
Need help knowing where to start, or want to get an idea of how a micro wedding would look? Then have a little read and hear from someone who has been there and done it already…
Wedding date - 12th September 2020
Venue - Deers Glade Norfolk ceremony and brides parents’ house for the reception
Transport - A cream VW called Millie owned by our friend from church, Sam Milchem
Florals - The Daisy Chain, North Walsham
Photographer - Becky Welford Photography
Brides hair piece - The one her mum wore for her wedding with a few of the leaves from the bouquet added in
Brides Dress - Naya Bridal
Brides ring - Sonkai Jewellers
Brides shoes - Steve Madden
Brides earrings - Little Red Apple
Grooms ring - Ebon Crow
Grooms Suit - Asos
Carpet - Etsy
What were your original plans for your wedding day, pre Covid-19?
‘Our plans were still to have our ceremony at Deers glade but we were also going to have our reception there too. We had a brick pizza oven van booked to cater, a very big 200 seater gazebo sorted from a friend, we planned to have around 300 people at the ceremony and then about 150 would stay for the slightly more intimate evening with food, speeches and dancing. We were going for a festival theme with straw bales, plenty of string lights, and a wooden dance floor in the centre of everything.’
What was it like planning for the day with the restrictions?
‘Naturally, myself and Eli don’t stress easy and I think the most important thing was that to us our priority was the marriage - therefore as plans slowly changed there was no major panic because our focus was never on the logistics of the actual day but on our union to one another. We both knew that the party can always happen another time on an anniversary. The hardest part of it all for us was that Eli’s family are all in Perth, Australia and since we got back from visiting in March their borders had been shut and therefore they couldn’t make it. Our priority then at that point became getting a professional in to stream the wedding live to everyone so that no matter where anyone lived in the world they could still feel as though they were standing with us in the moment.'
Was it hard picking a limited guest list?
‘Well we actually brought our wedding forward a week so we could keep our numbers to 30.. our wedding was due to be on the 19th September and when we found out the numbers for gatherings would be going down to 15 on the 14th, we immediately brought Our date forward to the 12th! A lot of the narrowing down was done for us mainly due to Eli’s family being in Perth but also because when we counted my family, bridesmaids, groomsmen and their partners we had exactly 30. Everyone else completely understood because of the restrictions but also because they all knew about the livestream so no one felt as though they were missing out on anything - in fact they ended up having the best seats in the house! We even managed a road trip during the afternoon to see a few other special family friends etc who couldn’t make it at different spots around Norfolk on the way back to the reception!
What was your favourite part about your intimate wedding?
‘Time went slowly! The biggest thing I remember people telling me on the run up to our wedding was that we needed to soak up every second because the day goes so quickly and you don’t even feel like you’ve seen everyone by the end of it, but we experienced the complete opposite with ours! We didn’t just see everyone that was there but had real quality time with every single one. We sat and had fish and chips with all of them, multiple photos with each and every person there and were just given this incredibly precious day which seemed to go on for the perfect amount of time!
The evening was special too because the speeches were so intimate, it was just friends and family listening to anecdotes and inside jokes which I truly believe is how they should always be!
The first dance was so special and when everyone else started to join in it felt like a bunch of old friends laughing at one another and showing off their moves. I remember every single moment of the day and I think that’s what I’m most grateful for.
I think the other thing is that I woke up the next day knowing the people who have my best interests at heart - the friends to my destiny and the family I am so blessed to have been given. They were the people who supported every step - the ones who dropped everything and drove half way across the country a week early to laugh and cry with us all day.’
What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic?
‘Don’t overcomplicate it - write down your priorities and the immovable parts you don’t want to sacrifice and work a day that fits it all in. Just because weddings ‘usually’ go a certain way doesn’t mean they have to or should. I understand family can be a difficult factor here but anyone who sees your devotion to one another will just want to aid you in making it work. I attended 3 COVID weddings in 2020 and had one of my own and I can say that all of us stuck to the core values of why we wanted to get married based the day around that, and we walked away saying the same thing - ‘it might not have been the day we thought we wanted but it ended up being the day we needed which as it turns out was so much better’.’
Any other comments, advise or inspiration you want to add:
Eli’s Pearl of wisdom - Don’t be afraid of narrowing down the guest list or let it stress you out, it’s your day not theirs and anyone who thinks it is, probably shouldn’t be there anyway.
Lydia’s advice - The food and drink doesn’t have to cost the world - think about what you would want to have at a wedding. We went for fish & chips from our favourite local and a bunch of wine and beer we bought back from France in the summer. We got a free bath a friend was chucking away and put a load of ice and drinks in it. Affordable, practical and everyone loved it!