You had envisioned your wedding day all your life, maybe even since you were a little girl wearing a pillowcase on your head as a veil. Unfortunately, now those dreams cannot be a reality. A pandemic is upon us! You still want to marry the love of your life without waiting a full year; we do not know what will happen with the pandemic and frankly with the world’s response to the crisis. So… you have changed your mindset and are now looking forward to the newly popular mini ceremony, (aka minimony)! However, you still want to have all the dreamy components of your original plan. Some people may say “It doesn’t need to be fancy, there will only be ten people”, or “Save your money for the big reception you plan on having next year”. Well I am here to say that with a few steps you can meet these nay-sayers in the middle, and host an intimate, romantic, and affordable minimony.
1. Use a few elements from the original ceremony.
Were you planning on having an arch, huppa, or architectural element for your vow exchange? If so, use it! This is a great way to tie a piece of what you had originally envisioned.
Use your bouquet- perhaps the whole wedding party does not need them, but the bride will enjoy holding hers as she walks down the aisle.
2. Make a fantasy ceremony a reality.
Want a summer night ceremony with candles, twinkle lights, white florals? Or how about a sunrise ceremony with a mimosa unity ceremony as the smell of bacon lingers in the air? Small items that can be found at the dollar store or decor from sites like Facebook marketplace, snag my wedding, bride to bride, etc. may have discounted used items that will make this a reality at a discounted price. Who needs brand new candles, you are going to burn them anyway?...
3. Ditch the suit rentals and show personality with your attire!
But the dress… if you want to wear the dress because it’s a Vera Wang, and you spent so much money on it, wear it! However, if you want to save a little money on the suit or tux rentals, wear your favorite button up with the tie that screams your personality! Maybe you are a shorts person, go for it! Minimonies are even more customizable than full blown weddings due to their intimate nature.
4. Pick a romantic location and time.
With the ceremony being small, now you have endless opportunities of locations. Do you want to hike up to your favorite view of the city or mountains; can you have that backyard wedding that you secretly always wanted but your guest list wouldn’t allow; can you stand on a pier at a lake just as the morning mist rises? What location speaks to YOUR definition of romance?
5. They say 3 is a crowd…
Choosing your intimate crowd can be challenging. Perhaps your wedding party is spread out all over the country and cannot travel, maybe your parents are not local and are too high risk to travel. Although these situations are not ideal, ask yourself who is in your circle? Is it possible for them to come? Do you have local family or friends? Look at your local regulations for gatherings to determine the maximum number of people you can have. Depending on the state that you are in, you may not require a witness, just an officiant. Your minimony could be just the three of you or perhaps up to 20 people. If your extended family is experiencing FOMO, just remind them that you will share the story and the photos with them. You can even livestream your intimate ceremony on zoom. If you use a business account, you can record it too!
6. Hire a photographer/videographer
Capture this moment! Although this component can be pricey, you wont regret it. You will want to look back on this unique celebration. Personally, I think that you can cut out the videographer for the reception planned for next summer. You may even be able to limit the numbers of hours of photography based on how many family photos etc. you are wanting. How many videos do you really need of people eating or dancing? Employ your friends to document the reception next summer with a creative hashtag. Talk to your vendors, they are human too, and usually willing to make it work. Perhaps a split of the original hours of your contract or something similar would be possible. You will never know unless you ask.
7. Host a small celebration post minimony.
Beer, Wine, Twinkly Lights, Spotify, maybe a campfire, and a few close friends. Go casual, get some pizzas, and truly enjoy the company of the 10-20 people that you had support you. This is unique opportunity to really get to spend time with your guests. Large wedding receptions can fly by and the couple tries to talk to everyone but either you miss saying Hi to folks, or you miss out on the dancing and frivolity. Most newlyweds must make that choice, but with a minimony you get to really celebrate with the people you love most in a setting like no other.
Want to dress it up a little bit? Order a few cocktail tables with some satin linens and ties. This will dress up any backyard and can be inexpensive for just a few tables and linens.
*Check if rental shops are open.
*Want to make it a formal affair- use that 12 pieces table setting china set and doll up your table for your 10 guests. I think it is important to look at this as an opportunity to think outside the box of what your original guest count and budget would never allow. Providing china or linens for 10 people is MUCH more affordable than 200 people.
8. All you need is LOVE
At the end of the day, #loveisnotcancelled, and although this was not your initial plan, or your rain plan, or even plan C, a ceremony is about celebrating the love between you and your partner. It is a symbol of the beginning of your marriage together.
Your love survived the pandemic and for this you should celebrate!