Anyone up for a glass of lemonade? 2020 has certainly given us enough lemons to make lots of lemonade. It may be easier to make lemonade in other situations in your life but what about applying it to your wedding… a day you may have thought about, planned for and dreamed of for years?! The Coronavirus has legitimately created very stressful, disappointing, and difficult situations for so many of my dear brides and friends to deal with. After seven years in the wedding industry it seems to me that there is a certain expectation placed on brides to plan a party large enough to accommodate all of their friends and family complete with a ceremony, full meal, and all the details. Chances are that your wedding is the largest event you’ve ever organized and it is an overwhelming task for even the most organized of people! But let me ask you a question… could a smaller wedding or elopement ACTUALLY be a better fit for you and your fiance? Is it possible that it might actually be more of what you dreamed about than a large elaborate wedding? Here are five reasons why a smaller wedding might actually be the one of your dreams, particularly if you’re more of an introverted person!
1. Its more intimate
Last month I had the privilege of co-shooting an elopement with my dear friend Kayla of Frozen in Time Photography by KJ. The wedding consisted of the bride, groom, her parents, his parents, the officiant (and ourselves of course!) Their ceremony was held on the bride’s parent’s back deck in Lake Placid NY and it was one of the sweetest, most intimate ceremonies I have ever witnessed. Because there was only a handful of people, everyone seemed to be more relaxed and free to be themselves. I saw tears from at least the bride, groom and both moms. The bride’s dad wrapped up the ceremony by singing and playing a song on his guitar while her mom accompanied him with a tambourine. It had the feel of a sweet, small family gathering, free from complicated details. This leads me to my next point…
2.You won’t be in the spotlight of 100+ guests
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard a bride voice her concerns about tripping in front of all her guests as she walks down the aisle or asking the DJ if he’ll cut their first dance song short because she doesn’t want to be in the spotlight for longer than what’s absolutely necessary. If you’re more of an introverted person that doesn’t love to be the center of attention and is happy to listen in on conversations as opposed to running it, maybe a smaller wedding or elopement is something you’d enjoy so much more. Speaking of guests, it can be so fun to have all your friends and family in one place but it can also be stressful, especially if there are hard feelings that can lead to family drama. If this sounds a bit like your situation, having only a handful of guests may just allow you to enjoy the day more with less stress involved.
3. You can choose your location with more flexibility
So here’s MY favorite point of this post as a wedding photographer! If you’re eloping and its just you and your fiancé or even if you include a few family members, you have SO much flexibility as to where you can hold your ceremony and do your pictures! No longer are you tied down to a location and venue that can hold 150 people OR having to worry about cutting your portrait time short in order to get back to your reception and guests! This bride and groom chose to elope in the Adirondacks in Lake Placid NY and the locations we shot at for their portraits were STUNNING! The timeline for the day was so relaxed and actually revolved around the pictures themselves! Kayla and I arrived late in the morning to capture the bride and groom getting ready, which then led to the bride having a First Look with her dad, and then with the groom. Their small ceremony was set for 1:30 and was followed by a few family pictures! An early dinner was delivered about 3pm and the family took their time eating, relaxing and hanging out until about 5pm. As photographers, we call the last few hour(s) of daylight “golden hour” because the light is just perfect then. This is when we took the bride and groom all around the Lake Placid and Whiteface area for their romantic couple portraits! We actually were able to take 2 ½ hours for their pictures which is an INCREDIBLE amount of time! If it had been a traditional wedding day, we probably would have had one hour at most with them. (By the way, if you need timeline tips, check out this article!) But this way they got so many more portraits than they would have originally! I don’t even think you need five reasons… this reason is enough to prove that a smaller wedding might actually be the one of your dreams, but then I AM biased as a wedding photographer who loves shooting in Lake Placid!
4. You can keep your original date
Chances are that you chose your wedding date with a fair amount of thought to the season, the weather or some nostalgic reason. You may have even ordered things with your specific date on them like a wedding dress hanger, ring box, centerpieces or other details like that. If you decide to hold an elopement or smaller wedding, you can keep your original date and still be able to use all those items! And lastly, if you keep your original date, know that…
5. You don’t have to sacrifice the party!
I am actually a bridesmaid IN a wedding at the end of June. My friend has actually opted to get married on her original wedding date surrounded by her immediate family and bridal party only but they will be holding a large party with all their guests later in November! So just because you choose to get married on your original date doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having a big party with all your friends and family later!
A small wedding or elopement isn’t going to appeal to everyone and that’s totally ok! Everyone has different personalities and hopes and expectations when it comes to your wedding day. But perhaps these points gave you a little something extra to consider. Who knows, maybe a smaller wedding might actually end up being the wedding of your dreams!
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