The 2020 wedding season is shaping up to be vastly different than anyone anticipated. From engaged couples to venues and vendors, many are grieving the loss of not only long-awaited wedding dreams but money from deposits and cancelations as well.
Instead of waiting for safer and more certain times, many couples are choosing to turn lemons into lemonade by opting for intimate ceremonies followed by a small reception with their closest friends and family members. Making the decision to go this route doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a beautiful day and trendy decor. If you and your future spouse are pulling the plug on your original wedding plans for something more intimate, keep reading for tips to make sure your backup nuptials are still everything you’ve ever dreamed of!
1. Get in touch with your vendors
When making the switch to a micro-wedding, you will first want to connect with all of your vendors to ensure they are available for your new date and location (assuming they have changed). This includes your photographer, videographer, hairstylist, makeup artist, DJ, band, officiant, and florist. If one of your vendors isn’t available on your new date, don’t fret! There are likely many affordable wedding vendors in your area that have new openings due to cancellations.
If you can’t seem to muster any last-minute luck, there’s always a DIY solution! Consider watching a few YouTube hair and makeup tutorials instead of finding stylists. Just be sure to practice a few times in the days leading up to your wedding! For a backup DJ, designate a trusty friend or family member to play songs over a Bluetooth speaker during your ceremony and set a playlist to shuffle throughout the rest of the night. In a pinch, you can rely on your guests to get photos and videos with their phones throughout the celebration. And when it comes to flowers, pick up a few bouquets from your local grocery store or farmers market. Not only are these convenient backup plans, but they’ll save you lots of money in the long run!
PRO TIP: If you aren’t picky about your hair or makeup, consider hiring a cosmetology student as costs tend to be lower since they are working towards obtaining their license.
2. Communicate with all of your guests
The next step to planning a small back up a wedding is to determine your new guest list. Be sure to do research into the current gathering laws of your state and county. In most cases, this only includes your immediate family, bridal party, and maybe a few extras.
For the rest of your original guests, be sure to keep communication open and relay information as quickly as possible to prevent any issues with canceling travel reservations and accommodations. Just because they can’t physically be there, doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the fun! Invite the original guest list to a virtual ceremony. You can even set up a virtual guest book or ask friends and family members to pre-record a speech or message for you to play after the ceremony!
PRO TIP: Unfortunately, it is a possibility that not all of your wedding party will be able to attend due to capacity restraints or personal health concerns. If this happens, consider doing something thoughtful like using a delivery service app to order alcohol right to their front door! Not only is it a kind gesture and a great way to say “thank you” for spending their day with you virtually, but it can help to make everyone feel included in the celebration. Order champagne so they can join in on a virtual toast!
3. Don’t skimp on preventative measures
The most important factor you will want to keep in mind for your intimate wedding is cleanliness. Not only will it put your guests at ease knowing that you went above and beyond to take preventative measures, but it will lessen the chance that you or any of your guests will contract the coronavirus.
Start by providing hand sanitizer in multiple places throughout your wedding location. If you’re unsure of specific protocols such as table and chair distance requirements, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and keep guests as spaced out as possible. Protect your guests even further by straying from buffet-style dining and opting for plated meals or carry out instead.
PRO TIP: In light of turning lemons into lemonade, you and your soon-to-be spouse can even provide sanitizers, disinfectants, and personalized masks as wedding favors!
4. Make it meaningful
Heartbreak is inevitable when canceling your original wedding plans. You spent what feels like forever putting meaning behind each detail and it can be very difficult to let that go. However, challenge yourself to find ways to put special meaning into your new plans. Perhaps it’s making the decision to get married in your backyard so that you can think of marrying your best friend every time you look out the window. Or, it may mean choosing to tie the knot at a state park in the college town that you met so you can get take out from all of your favorite local spots.
Though it’s a hard choice to make, opting for a smaller wedding forces couples to let go of the materialistic aspects of a wedding, and instead, focus on what getting married is truly about– celebrating the unconditional love you’ve found in one another. Embracing that alone will make your big day more beautiful than you could have ever imagined!