Micro weddings are a creative and resourceful way that couples are dealing with an industry upended by the pandemic – and Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore is the latest bride to embrace the trend.
TV presenter Laura Whitmore unveiled a first glimpse of her secret wedding to Iain Stirling on Instagram this week (below), revealing a fun yet low-key day for the happy couple. The pair tied the knot in a small ceremony in Dublin in November, in a “magical”celebration attended by just a handful of guests.
Whitmore wore a chic, slightly retro two-piece suit and golden platform heels for the occasion, setting the tone for an experience she describes as personal and perfect; and one that she and her new husband loved “having to ourselves”.
Whitmore’s peek of the ceremony suggests that she and Stirling are early adopters of a major new trend for 2021: the micro wedding.
Named by wedding website Hitched as one of the concepts to watch in 2021, micro weddings have emerged as a result of the major changes that have rocked all our social plans in the past year; not least saying “I do”.
From couples who have lost huge amounts of money calling their big day off at the last minute for their guest’s safety, to those who have swapped tying the knot in the venue of their dreams for the local registry office – plus all the people who still don’t know when they’ll be able to get married at all – coronavirus has hit the wedding industry hard.
The trend for micro weddings recognises this, while also transforming the entire concept into something altogether more easygoing and manageable.
Micro weddings have been considered chic for a while. The term simply refers to a wedding of less than 20 people and we’ve seen examples of it in films like Sex and the City, when Carrie Bradshaw famously married Mr Big at New York City Hall with only her three best friends and their partners to celebrate with.
Sarah Allard, editor of Hitched, says: “Micro-weddings are set to be popular for 2021, but that’s not to say you can’t still celebrate in style – in fact, minimising on guests gives you an extra excuse to splurge on that incredible designer gown or the honeymoon you’ve always wanted.
“It also means more quality time spent celebrating with your nearest and dearest in an intimate setting. Having less guests will allow you to really splash out on people that matter and create an unforgettable experience for them,” she adds.
Rosie Conroy, wedding stylist, events planner and co-founder of Lavender & Rose agrees, remarking that a smaller wedding doesn’t mean less fun.
“Let’s be honest, small weddings have always been cool. They’re the sure sign of a confident couple who are willing to set aside the shackles of convention and just gather together their prized pals and most loved family members for an intimate and personalised party,” she says
As many of us worry about job security and the state of the economy, micro-weddings also take off some of the pressure to cater for 100 or so guests – in all aspects, from food and drink to wedding favours. This potential to save eye-watering amounts of cash is another reason why Conroy believes micro weddings can be a great idea.
“The positives of holding a micro wedding are – we think – infinite,” she says. “With Hitched reporting that the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was £331,974, imagine how much further your pennies stretch as you reduce headcount?
“If you want that ceremony arch of your Pinterest dreams, likelihood is you can have it if you cut off your other half’s work friends you’ve never met. It also opens up all kinds of possibilities in terms of venues. You can host smaller wedding celebrations in cool restaurants if you’re big foodies, in a quaint, old church hall if you’re into the idea of a DIY day or even in your family home if you have treasured memories there.”
It also means prioritising those you love the most, which – as social distancing continues to be enforced – is a practical must. You could also say that this time of isolation has made many of us ruminate on the things that are most important in life; and therefore those we truly miss when we’re not able to see them.
This newfound clarity could mean couples become less enthusiastic about spending a lot of money on a big party, but instead want to spoil those closest to them; and actually get to spend time with those people.
“Nobody who has a typically-sized wedding actually gets to have meaningful connections with every one of their guests,” says Conroy.
“If you pick a micro wedding you can expect memories of dancing all night with your best friends, spending quality time with your other half without the guilt that you haven’t said hi to great-great-aunt Margaret yet and looking round the room at the most beautiful view of all your most precious pals in one place. Bliss!”
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