A little bit about some recent weddings
I have been honoured to photograph 4 couples in the last month or so, and I just want to give you the insight into how the days went and what the couples had to say both before and after. I can also chip in my opinion on 15 guest weddings, as myself and Steph had a wedding with 15 guests, sure it was abroad, but the whole feel and flow of the day was similar to those I have photographed recently.
Each of the couples had indeed planned bigger days, with lots of guests and lots of things going on. But as we know, they weren’t able to happen and each had their reasons why they wanted to proceed with their big day.
“We aren’t putting our lives on hold, we are getting our house in a few months and then we want to start our own family”
“We dont know how long this will go on for, I dont want to have more grey hair and more wrinkles on my wedding photos”
“COVID could last for years, some of our guests we have here today may not be with us for much longer and we wanted them to see us get married. All of our friends know that and completely understand that”
“We just cant be arsed with anymore of the stress, time to get on with our lives. If we have a party next year, thats great, if not, life goes on. We will just be having a lot of dinner parties next year to celebrate with those who couldn’t be here and show them the photos and the video. All of our friends have been extremely understanding and we haven’t felt one bit of guilt about the lower numbers. Thats what proper friends and family are all about”
For myself and Steph, we just wanted to get married, we had chosen our date, our location and would have gotten married had it only just been the two of us and our babies. We both agreed one evening late last week, that we wouldn’t have done it any different, even if the actual wedding was to be here in England. But again, we totally understand that most people want their weddings to include all their friends and family on one big kick ass day!
Each of the days I have photographed have all been different in certain ways. Thats probably because they happened at different stages in the pandemic. From a photographers perspective, all the ‘core elements’ of a wedding day can still happen at present. Getting ready, ceremony with ring exchange and the first kiss, photographs with friends and family present, speeches, more photographs and a first dance. Dont get me wrong, there are times when masks will have to be worn, but as one grooms Dad said to me “Thats a sign of the times and a COVID wedding is pretty damn unique”.
In terms of photographs, you guys know who is in your bubble etc and we can take it from there. We photographers do have to innovate to fit the rules, but thats our job and we will do it safely. As will venues, wedding co-ordinators are the people that really make the weddings work. Each and every single guest I spoke to absolutely loved the wedding day. It was less frantic, more time to be able to sit and have time with the Bride and Groom whom under normal circumstances may not get that much quality time with them
One couple said to me a few days after their wedding, they we were in the moment all day long, not being dragged here there and everywhere, not feeling the pressure of having to make sure they have spoken to everyone. They felt they could sit with all of their guests and enjoy the day with them rather than a quick kiss, cuddle, thanks for coming and probably bump into them on the dance floor later on. Nothing at all was rushed, more people requires more accuracy with time and a structure to the day. They did absolutely want the bigger wedding with more people, but a COVID wedding was a superb replacement and they saved loads of money and upgraded their honeymoon haha!!
Each of the couples said they of course had the best day ever. Sure they absolutely missed all their friends and family who couldn’t be there, but they had so much more time to be able to give to their VVIP’s. I refer to COVID guests as VVIP’s (Very very important people) they have to be if they made the cut hahaha! They also loved getting to spend lots more time with each other. Thats something I feel strongly about, I always take the last Bride and Groom photo as far away from the venue as possible so they can have that time together walking back on their own. That time together on a wedding day as Husband and Wife is priceless.
Myself and Steph sat on our little balcony, babies in bed, drink in hand and just chatting about the day. Now when we had our party, it was a different ball game. All of our friends and family were there and we wanted to see all of them, and Steph, well Steph was hammered!! She did warn me she would be and she didn’t let me down! There are some funny stories like hacking away at our cake with a plastic spoon and going around feeding everyone, not quite sure where I was, but we didn’t do an official cake cut haha. But that was absolutely fine, its how we wanted it, we had had our big day with our nearest and dearest, had lots of time together as a couple and also a family, and when it was party time with our friends, thats exactly what happened!
So thats it, if you are on the fence, the above may have helped to make a decision for you. We cannot hide from the fact that you cant have all the guests you wanted, a piss up and party at night. That just isn’t going to happen any time soon. That may not even happen next year, who knows? All of us in the industry want the big weddings back and believe me we are making some noise about it, but for now, they’re on ice.
What you can have is a steady paced, relaxed wedding day with lots of time to spend with your VVIP’s and also your new Husband or Wife. Time to sit with your Grandparents for half an hour, time to go off with your kids and celebrate as a family. Dont feel guilty if you decide to go for a COVID wedding, those who love and care for you will absolutely understand. You will have also gotten married during a pandemic which is something to tell the grandchildren!!
Do what you want to do, whether thats the Big Wedding or a COVID wedding, its your day and you should do it your way
My last words are “Time waits for no one”, you dont have to look too far for real life examples of this.