MINI Weddings Go Mainstream Post Pandemic
Prior to the Covid Craziness , traditional weddings in the U.S. were averaging in size between 120-150 guests and over 2 million events being held per year. With so many couples and families seeing larger gatherings as a health and safety concern during the peak of the pandemic - many couples decided to tweak their weddings to better suit the circumstances of the times. Here are a few of the most popular Mini wedding options that have gained in popularity and are moving full steam ahead into the post pandemic wedding industry.
During peak pandemic with so many restrictions and gathering limits, as well as the concern many families had over health and safety of in person gatherings , the Virtual Wedding was an option that began to occur around the world. Guests, as well as bridal party members, would all virtual meet live in order to maintain social distancing , but still allow them to all be together and participate, the celebration of marriage.
During the height of restrictions around the country we saw the largest uptick in the number of mini ceremonies (minimony) where limited numbers of immediate family and closest guests would still attend in person for a small intimate ceremony, with plans for post pandemic large receptions to still occur. While restrictions have since been lifted most everywhere - many couples are still opting for a smaller ceremony during these uncertain times, with a larger reception to follow on an upcoming anniversary or alternative date to ensure they are past restrictions and guests all feel more comfortable with larger gatherings.
photo courtesy of H.Hawkins Photography
of a Minimony during the Pandemic with full reception held at 1 year anniversary
Seeing a surge in popularity during the last two years, the secretive and impulsive nature of elopements peaked the interest of couples not wanting to wait out the duration of an ongoing pandemic. With no idea as to how long restrictions or limitations would impose upon them and their dream day, a large number of couples opted to have an elopement to still move forward with proving their love and commitment to each other alone, or with small gatherings (typically under 10 for an elopement). Saving money in order to build a future together , many couples opted to forgo the large weddings altogether in order to take advantage of saving funds from a large wedding and instead tending to invest in homes, education, and primary needs to start their life together with less debt and no worries about large gathering restrictions, or health and safety of their guests. Priorities post pandemic are trending towards these smaller events in order to keep gatherings numbers minimal and focus on immediate family and friends, as well as each other, and keeping the stress down without having to plan for large events and details.
photo courtesy of Hastings Photography for an elopement at Wolf Oak Acres
with couple and under 10 total attendees
POP UP WEDDING:
Most venues are now offering the opportunity to have smaller events, with a smaller budget, time frame, and minimal work. Pop Ups have become a huge trend world wide as they fit the bill for smaller gathering size, stress free planning, and budget restraints. These mini wedding events are perfect for those looking to have all the work planned and prepared by the venue host - to include everything a large gathering traditional event would offer - but planned for a small increment of time with a smaller crowd. Pop ups are usually a one stop shop in which the venue plans, decorates, prepares and hosts all of the vendors, needs, foods, deserts, pictures, floral, entertainment, officiant and staff for a preplanned event - where the couple just brings in their immediate family and friends (usually under 40 guests) and only has to arrive ready with the marriage license . They are then given a few hours to privately entertain while being pampered with everything provided for them. (Wolf Oak Acres right here in Oneida can offer these packages!
Check it out: https://www.wolfoakacres.com/pop-up-weddings ). EASY and cost effective!!!
photo courtesy: Hastings Photography from a pop up wedding at Wolf Oak Acres with 40 guests
A traditional wedding planned and provided by the couple but a smaller guest list - typically under 50 attendees. Couples have been focusing on the smaller more intimate affairs and have opted to provide more entertainment, and a more personal experiences for their smaller crowds. While some couples are opting to save the money by having a smaller guest list and putting the funds towards future investments - others are still spending the same budgets they would have used for their large gathering event -but opting to put funds towards providing extra amenities such as higher quality food/deserts/beverages, additional activities (cigar bars, entertainment, gifts) as well as covering extra expenses for transportation/accommodations and making it a private vacation type experience for those immediate family and friends coming to attend.
Photography by Jessi Goldman Photography of a microwedding brunch held for under 50 guests.
SMALL WEDDING ALTERNATIVES:
No matter the reason behind the decision - smaller sized wedding events have become a more mainstream commonplace these last two years. It will certainly be interesting to watch the trends to see if these smaller intimate gatherings continue their popular push into the mainstream wave of hosting weddings post pandemic. There are certainly numerous pros to having smaller affairs from budgets, time, stress free planning, higher availability of finding venues that can accommodate small events, more options for providing additional amenities to guests, and more time to truly spend with those attending. The options become limitless on how to host intimate weddings, and we hope you'll reach out and share some of your experiences and ideas with us!