Lauren & Sam’s Elegant Micro Wedding
In late May I photographed my first intimate ceremony of 2020. Lauren and Sam postponed their large celebration to next year, but wanted to be married on their original wedding date. So, they embraced the idea of holding a small celebration, or micro wedding, with their parents as their only guests. They held the ceremony and a celebratory dinner at Sam’s childhood home. This was wonderful because it eliminated the need to try and find a venue, allowed for most of the events of the day to take place in one spot, and was full of sentimental moments by the nature of being the home where Sam grew up.
Lauren and Sam and their families all leaned into the intimacy and special opportunities that holding such a small celebration allowed for. The number one lesson I took away from their joyful day is that it’s all about the attitude you bring to it. They were genuinely happy and excited and they had the BEST day because of that.
These micro weddings unfold a bit differently than a full wedding day does. Instead of eight hours of photography, I was only with them for three hours. With the help their amazing planner, Renee of Urban Soiree, they made several really smart decisions. Those decisions allowed them to make the most of the time and money they invested in the day.
Their love story and celebration was actually recently featured in Boston Weddings Magazine! You can find the full feature here.
Today, I’m sharing five of the smart decisions they made. I hope they help you if you’re in the midst of planning your own intimate celebration this year.
1) Find Creative Ways To Include Your Wedding Party
Lauren’s bridesmaids each recorded video messages wishing her and Sam well. The messages were then compiled them into a slide show. Lauren was surprised with the messages right before she put on her dress. Later that evening, Sam surprised Lauren by arranging for their wedding party and some friends to meet them on the beach wearing masks with sparklers in hand. Whether its pre-recorded messages, a parade of cars driving past to celebrate, or finding a public outdoor space big enough for an in-person gathering, keeping the wedding party involved in some aspect of the day will help keep the day really special for you and for them.
2) Live Stream The Ceremony
It was amazing to have both sets of parents present for the wedding festivities. But Lauren also wanted her grandmother to be “present” in a way that would also keep her safe. So, before the ceremony began, Grandma was logged onto a video chat and a laptop was set up. She was able to watch the full wedding ceremony from home. It worked out really well! As Lauren and Sam recessed down the aisle they stopped to share a few quick “I love you’s” with Grandma. Live streaming so loved ones can join remotely is a great way to include more people in the ceremony while keeping your in-person guest count low.
3) Dance Your First Dance
You can still incorporate the traditions you love in a micro wedding! After the ceremony, the newlyweds flowed into their first dance with their parents looking on. Lauren and Sam decided to hold their first dance in the same beautiful spot on the deck where they had just said their vows. This allowed for a quick transition. The bonus was that the flowers that accented the ceremony doubled as a beautiful setting for their first dance. They brought out a small speaker before the ceremony and had the song queued up and ready to go to make the first dance happen easily.
4) Capture Some Formal Portraits
We were in view of the water all day, so it was only natural to make time for a quick ride to the ocean for portraits. The portrait session was such a fun way to memorialize the day and now Lauren and Sam have wedding photos they can share right away. Plus, it made them even more excited for round two with their full wedding party and extended family next year. Because micro weddings generally mean a shorter timeframe for photography, it’s important to choose a portrait location that is close by so time isn’t lost in travel back and forth.
5) Share A Special Meal Together
Lauren and Sam had the dining room table set with crisp white linens for a celebratory dinner to round out the evening. The ceremony flowers were repurposed into a stunning centerpiece, and they had a meal catered and dropped off to keep prep as easy as possible. All they had to do was take a few minutes to plate each course. Lauren and Sam also printed personalized place cards for everyone and provided personalized masks. They wore ones that said bride and groom, and then each parent got one describing them as “father of the groom”, “mother of the bride” etc. The masks served as a way to keep everyone safe between courses and were a truly unique memento to mark the unique celebration. Even though you won’t have a reception room filled to the brim with guests, you can still have a special meal with the close family who are present. Think about ways to make it easy, beautiful, and special.