Life throws a lot of curve balls at us, and as humans we adapt, but in 2020 we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic due to covid-19. On a personal level, many suffered such great loss, loosing loved ones to this virus. The rest of us mourned loosing income and basic freedoms.
In the wedding industry, we lost our liveleyhood and our clients lost the right to celebrate. As we hunkered down during quarantine we fielded calls and emails from clients forced to cancel weddings and events. Many chose to postpone a full year, taking their wedding into 2021. Some just canceled out of exhaustion, hoping to find clarity after the dust settles.
THEN ALONG CAME THIS AMAZING IDEA…. MICRO WEDDINGS
As we started phasing into re-opening Oregon, gatherings were still pretty much banned. There was a 10 person limit, then we phased to slightly larger gathering numbers that kept fluctuating.
I noticed a few things as I worked with my wedding clients while they attempted to re-plan their weddings and Just Get Married Already:
1- URBAN VENUES WERE REPLACED WITH BACKYARDS AND BEACHES, FAR FAR AWAY
– They moved out of their urban venues and into backyards & beaches
– Our average deliveries went from 30min away to 2 hours away. The locations varied, maybe it was a family home, an awesome Air BnB, or somewhere along our gorgeous Oregon coastline.
2- 2OO PERSON WEDDINGS BECAME 20 PERSON WEDDINGS
Couples had to severely cut down on their guest list, allowing just immediate family and maybe a handful of best friends. Some chose to elope, and it was just them, their officiant and a witness.
3- BUDGET CONSCIOUS TURNED INTO DESIGN SAVY
With guest count cut by 90% or so, there became room in budgets to focus more attention on design, and they really enjoyed that aspect. It gave our couples something to refocus their energy on and get joy out of.
4- DREAM WEDDING TURNED INTO BACKUP PLAN #2, #3 or even #4…
The average 2020 wedding had 3 to 4 renditions. I didn’t take a poll or anything, but from working and re-working and re-working with the same couple over and over as they changed venues and guest count over and over in response to the ever changing government regulations, I would estimate the average couple in 2020 had to re-plan 3 to 4 times. WOW, exhausting isn’t it? But in the end, they got married to the love of their life, they made it happen! I would definitely pat myself on the back if I were them (or maybe take a shot or two).
5- It turns out YOU CAN plan a wedding in 30 days or less!
The silver lining, for an event industry business such as ours, is that even after all that revenue loss from the countless cancelations, we got to have some surprise orders when couples or their planners would reach out and say “so we’re planning a wedding for next month…” or “I’m getting married this weekend.” YES REALLY! It happened.
So will this micro wedding trend continue into 2021?
Yes, it will! BUT weddings and gatherings will find their way back to large numbers; we’re already seeing this trend with future weddings booked well into 2021, including those rescheduled from 2020. There’s certainly an appeal to both micro-weddings and large weddings. I say you do what works for you, if an intimate gathering gives you the warm and fluffy feels, then you should have a micro-wedding, and if you want a big celebration while dancing into the night, then you should do that.
Check out this breathtakingly beautiful MICRO-WEDDING AT THE OREGON COAST – July 2020
Here’s one of the sweetest micro-weddings I’ve ever seen – at the Oregon Coast in Arch Cape, planned by Morgan, of MH Events (she’s absolutely amazing if you’re looking for a planner)!
The couple rented out the Inn at Arch Cape for their whole family and the guests walked down to the beach for the ceremony.
The bride’s sister played ukelele as the Bride came down the aisle. They were also joined by their pup who their planner Morgan says was just the sweetest little babe.
“These two beautiful humans have a love you could feel miles away. It filled the whole day from start to finish. Their microwedding felt full size in joy, laughs and beauty and we had enough fun for 200 people! If small intimate elopements are the wave of the future, count us in.”
– Morgan, MH Events
They combined sand at the ceremony as a symbol of combining their lives and uniting as one.
The couple popped champagne at the end of their ceremony!
Then, everyone went back to the Inn at Arch Cape for delicious food and a dinner al fresco under the stars followed by an adorable first dance and a video of family and friends sharing love from afar.
“As someone who solely photographs adventure elopements and adventure intimate weddings, I see the trend continuing toward a more experience-driven day. The smaller guest list translates to spending more money on experiences throughout their elopement day. These are things that truly represent them and what they want to do. That can be anything from a party on the beach, to a helicopter ride to a glacier,”
– Sam Starns, the photographer for this micro wedding says. Starns is an adventure elopement photographer, author of “Elope Your Life” and a TEDx speaker.
Please check out this team of vendors that made this couple’s micro-wedding in the middle of a pandemic, a dream come true!