I’m going to show you a few photos first, then go through a few more things about smaller, more intimate weddings!
I think the first thing you might notice is these weddings don’t look that small at all! Yet both were shot under the government number restrictions for Covid19 earlier in 2020.
We in Ireland love our big weddings, and honestly, most of the weddings I photograph usually have somewhere around 200-350 guests! While 2020 is undoubtedly the year of the intimate wedding due to pandemic restrictions, that absolutely doesn’t mean your wedding has to change much! While I haven’t shot a lot this year, the few weddings I have photographed have been stunning with bride & grooms surrounded by close family and some friends too.
You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.
The above quote I seen at Enya & Steve’s wedding sums up this year! They had a beautiful wedding in Sligo over the summer, and was the second wedding I had this year where they had a marquee out the back of their garden. Enya still got ready at home in the morning, they still had a church ceremony, followed by a small socially distanced drinks reception right next to the church in the sunshine, before we went and got some photos in Rosses Point. After that it was back to their garden where everybody had a fabulous time.
Going back to the first two reception images at the top of the page, one thing hotels are good at is decorating their rooms to make the rooms themselves feel more intimate. There’s not a single reception room I’ve been in this year where I’ve thought it looked sparse or empty. Having a smaller wedding also makes your choice of wedding reception venue much larger and if you wanted to go down that route, alternatives to hotels do exist! In Sligo I know there’s a new barn venue that looks lovely, but some people might also have the option of the marquee at home.
Do you remember the last wedding you were at as a guest…question, was it beef or salmon!!! Having your wedding at a different kind of venue, or marquee could mean you can change up the menu! Mairead & Fergus went with a BBQ meal which everybody raved about!!
In terms of suppliers, if we’re working, we know how to protect everybody. Nearly all suppliers that have been at weddings I’ve been to have had masks on. I myself wear two masks, just because it helps eliminate condensation on my camera viewfinder from breathing! As a photographer also, I do try to keep my distance a little bit more than normal. I’ve said before, from my background in Formula 1, I’ve always shot on slightly longer lenses anyway, so yes, there are certain parts of a wedding where I have to use a wide angle lens, but for the most part, you won’t notice a change in my style just because I’m standing a little further away!
Getting back to the intimate wedding and details of the day and how they are different, well, of course there’s fewer guests, but after that, almost everything is very similar. Getting ready in the morning is the same…bride’s will still have their bridesmaids helping out, celebrating, close family around. We’ll still grab a few bridal portraits in the morning, and of course some quick family shots!
The bride will still walk up the aisle and everybody will turn around to watch that special moment. It might be in a conservatory like the image below in Kilshane House, or it might be in a glorious church like Ballintubber Abbey in the second image.
Vows will be said and you’ll be married!! And of course, you’ll get to walk down that aisle again but this time as husband and wife! You’ll get to chat to all your guests, family, friends, because there’s definitely less time constraints for the most part. Speeches will still be emotional and possibly embarrassing! And finally, you’ll still have your first dance with your family and friends lined along the dance floor looking on!
So do I like intimate weddings? Absolutely! For sure I can’t wait to get back to bigger weddings, but for now, anyone who decides to get married at the moment, I couldn’t be happier for you! Hopefully I’m your photographer, but even if I’m not, I can guarantee you’ll have a day you will not forget!