First of all, I just wanted to say if you are a couple reading this and your wedding has been impacted by COVID-19, I’m thinking about you, and I’m here. This is so hard, confusing, stressful, and sad. Sending you a big virtual hug (or elbow bump) right now.
The past couple months have been crazy to say the least. There’s no question about it, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the wedding industry and left couples with new questions and making plans they never imagined would be a part of the wedding planning process.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about intimate weddings+elopements, what that could look like and for a little inspiration. Just like every wedding is different, so are elopements! There is no right or wrong way to do them and you can still make it your own! SO I thought I would share from the best- some of my past couples who have actually had just that! An intimate wedding or elopement.
Side note: If you need a hand adjusting your wedding plans, have questions about planning your wedding during coronavirus, or need a hand brainstorming, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Seriously. I would LOVE to help. I am also up to date with the BC government’s guidelines and so thankful to be a part of a leading North America wedding vendors forum brainstorming solutions too.
Honestly though babes, give yourself grace. Take a deep breath. And let’s get creative! I’ve seen it all the past few months – couples rescheduling, having court marriages, intimate elopements with TBD reception dates. From Zoom weddings. Post-ceremony car parades. Picnic receptions. Ordering individual pizzas. Booking international flights. The possibilities are endless.
Hope this helps. xx
Cailey+Joe had a small intimate ceremony in Kelowna with just immediate family and photos after of the two of them. They sent an invite out to their loved ones in advance saying “we’re tying the knot! C+J are eloping in Kelowna on x.xx.xx. Please join us for a reception on X date.” They both wore their wedding attire to their reception and got the best of both- that small intimate ceremony, but also celebrating later on a different date with their 150 of their family+friends (dinner, photobooth, cake, and all).
“We wanted to do it intimate elopement style so it really was just about us. Take away all the stress and production of a big wedding and have a special wedding that was just about us and then have the fun of celebrating with everyone after. The biggest difference I think when I look back is that the elopement/intimate style felt so much more about us wanting to be married and less about a “wedding” – the event itself and it was just a lot more personal and special. Even with having a dinner reception later, it was less rushed and on a timeline and more just a celebration hanging out family & friends.”
Emilee+Xander had their wedding scheduled for August 2020. After some tough circumstances, they decided to have a legal marriage ceremony last weekend, but postponed their wedding day for 2021.
With a few iphones videoing the occasion to share with their siblings+bridal party, it was such a beautiful day, despite social distancing from each others families. Can’t wait to celebrate next year with you guys too!
I asked Emilee if she wanted to share anything with other couples in the same boat. Seriously love these two and their outlook. Here’s what she said:
“I would say don’t put too much pressure on it- especially if they’re postponing their wedding. We loved that we barely planned anything and didn’t have any decor really (just the flowers and cake- which were perfect). And to definitely get a photographer (you preferably haha). We love our photos and are so thankful that we didn’t have to think about capturing anything. Making it extremely simple allowed us to enjoy it for what it was! And I didn’t feel nervous or stressed about it. It’s important to lower the expectations and just enjoy the moment you get to have with the one you love! And remember that you get to have the big special party next year and that this doesn’t take away from that, it just adds to it!!”
Brianna+Nicholas got married in Saint Lucia at the luxury Royalton Resort with their ceremony overlooking the pitons at La Haut Plantation. This tropical Caribbean wedding was such a dream to be a part of. With their closest family+friends in attendance, they ventured to their ceremony and back to their rooftop reception via catamaran… and then explored the island the next day with their guests too!
“We had originally planned on having a wedding at home with over 200 guests. We ended up changing to have a destination wedding and found that it was much easier to plan and more of what we wanted verse what everyone else wanted. As much as we love our family and opinions we knew that this was our day and to stick with what we really wanted.”
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Samantha+Jordan eloped under the big old trees in Pacific Rim National Park in Tofino. With Jordan’s dad officiating the ceremony and their moms as witnesses, these two exchanged their heartfelt+emotional vows and grandparents rings as the wind blew through the trees.
Samantha and Jordan started their wedding week by road tripping across the country (all the way from Ontario!) in “Lola” their adorable happier camper. With a pit stop half way, their parents flew out and met them in Tofino to explore + celebrate their marriage together.
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Lloyd+Jessie spent the weekend hanging out at Sunwolf Cabins in Squamish. With their family in town from all over North America, it was the perfect spot for not only their wedding festivities, but for their vision of an intimate+adventure filled wedding weekend.
With more friends+family joining for the ceremony, these two ended the night with an intimate dinner with just their immediate families.
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Melanie+James had an intimate wedding at Rowena’s Inn. With just their immediate family in attendance, their siblings as their best man+maid of honor, and a long table dinner with their family to follow, these two had such a chill + fun day spending time with each other and their loved ones.
“My favorite moments from my wedding day, was during dinner and our reception. Since we had an intimate wedding, all of our guests could fit at one table, which was so special. I really felt like I got to spend time with everyone there, and I think that really helped me enjoy the day.”
Any tips for couples planning an intimate wedding, or changing plans to an intimate wedding?
“The beautiful thing about planning an intimate wedding is you get to plan it exactly the way that you want. There is less outside family pressure, since there is less people involved. My tip would be to sit down with your finance and think about the things that are most important to you and then plan them into your day. For us, we really wanted to get married outside. It ended up pouring rain on our wedding day, but since we had a small wedding we were able to move our ceremony under the porch of our venue so we still felt like we got married outside and the photo’s turned out beautifully.” – Melanie+James
“Really focus on what you want deep down and what really matters. For us having a small intimate wedding was so memorable and we really got to enjoy our time with everyone that was able to attend. We got to relax a lot more and enjoy the day where some brides say that it seemed like such a blur because you are more rushed through the day.” – Brianna+Nicholas
Why did you decide to have an intimate wedding?
“We decided to have an intimate wedding because we wanted to keep it to what was most important to us – making our commitment to each other and celebrating our relationship. We can also easily get caught up in others expectations so having an intimate wedding meant we could focus on what we want.” – Sam+Jordan
What did you love most about having an intimate wedding?
“Having a small intimate wedding was amazing. It seemed a lot less stressful and we got to get married in one of the most beautiful places where if we had a large wedding we wouldn’t have been able to do. It was such an experience overall and friends and family still talk about it to this day.” – Brianna+Nicholas
“What we loved most about our intimate wedding was how enjoyable the whole day was, there was no rushing and no worrying. We got to take as much time as we wanted with you (Taliah) without feeling like we needed to be anywhere else which was so much fun (and somehow amounted to you and Jordan agreeing to a 2km hike! Haha). We hired a private chef to cook us an amazing dinner which was so much fun and truly one of our highlights. Most importantly, we got to spoil our parents on our whole adventure which felt so good.” – Sam+Jordan
If you have questions or are planning your intimate or destination wedding and still need a photographer, I’d love to hear from you! I am currently booking local+destination weddings for 2020-2021. Feel free to use the contact form here or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.