Due to COVID-19 many couples are opting for an elopement or a micro-wedding. Often, once this decision has been made the next question is, “what can we do to include our friends and family?” Luckily, necessity is the mother of invention and there are so many creative ideas coming from the wedding industry to answer this very question. Read on to learn more about these styles of weddings and how to bring your friends and family into the festivities even when you cannot be together.
What Is A Micro-Wedding?
Even before COVID-19 gathering restrictions made people rethink their entire wedding plans, micro-weddings were happening. A micro-wedding is just what you would think it was—a small wedding. This wedding style still has all the traditions and features that a larger wedding has, with one key difference: guest list. Micro-weddings typically are no larger than 50 people, and that includes the bridal party.
A Micro-wedding is a small-scale affair with big pay-off opportunity as fewer guests mean your budget can go further. Plus, many brides and grooms prefer to share their special day in a smaller, intimate setting.
What Is An Elopement?
Gone are the days of an elopement being a quick run down to the courthouse to get married. (Although that still happens and those are fun memories!) These days, elopements don’t mean you’re bound for a no-frills, fast and furious, “Do you? Do you?” sort of experience. An elopement is like a planned destination wedding. It is a simple event in a fun/special/gorgeous place where you and your fiancé don’t incur any major rental or planning fees.
That said, just because you don’t have the planning or big venue fees, an elopement doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t budget a bit. Especially if you do a destination elopement, you may need to plan on travel, rings, honeymoon, and your clothing for both the wedding and honeymoon, so they range in price based on your needs and vision.
How To Include Your Friends And Family In Your Elopement or Micro-Wedding
Here’s the hard part of an elopement—how to include your friends and family. Particularly if you’re doing a destination elopement, asking even your closest friends or family to fork out big bucks for travel is difficult. Also, the point of an elopement is that it is just you and your fiancé, so if you go this route it is likely that your loved ones understand they are not invited.
With a micro-wedding, where your guest list is already small, how do you include your friends and family without making uninvited friends and family feel excluded? This is a much more delicate situation. Some people will make your guest and some will not, be sensitive to the fact that you may have some hurt feelings to deal with, but if you have a plan to include your friends and family it will make everyone feel better.
Luckily, there are several ways you can include your friends and family in your elopement or micro-wedding. The COVID-19 pandemic has made smaller gatherings and elopements a necessity in many instances and that has meant coming up with some creative ways to keep include your family and friends.
If you’re converting your already-planned larger wedding to a smaller micro-wedding, many brides and grooms are choosing to live stream the ceremony for those pared from the list. The reality is that while it may hurt your heart to cull your list down, many will be relieved not to have to worry about travel or hurting your feelings if they don’t attend. A live stream is more and more common, and a really fun way to include anyone and everyone to share in real-time.
Additionally, you can have friends and family participate with a little more technological innovation. At some micro-weddings and elopement sites, couples are setting up interactive webcams so people can log in in real-time. They can sing and dance and enjoy the moment virtually.
For close friends and family who can’t make it, you can still do something to include them. Some couples are sending little party boxes—complete with wedding party colored confetti, some sweet treats, a playlist of reception music, and the information on how to tune in with the live-stream if they’re able.
When planning an elopement where a very few guests will be invited, many couples opt to still host a reception for friends and family after they are married. This doesn’t have to be anything lavish and you can send them a save-the-date to include them in the anticipatory fun.
Whether you plan an elopement or a micro-wedding, there are definitely ways you can include your friends and family. Figure out what will work best for you, and then enjoy your dream day!
Please note that this post was written in May 2020, in this everchanging situation new guidelines may be in place. Please check all local and national rules and mandates in terms of holding your wedding.
Check out our other posts about planning your wedding during this challenging time