As the world slowly returns to some semblance of normalcy after the fallout from COVID-19 and the mass quarantining that took place all around the country, it is becoming clear that there may be a “new normal” taking effect in some areas of society.

One in particular is in how we conduct wedding ceremonies. Up until now, we took it for granted that most common and traditional wedding ceremonies crammed dozens, if not hundreds, of people into small areas such as local churches, hotel dining halls, and other such venues, and expected them to hug, share food, and in general enjoy themselves without a care for such things as social distancing.

Now however things are a bit different. We’re seeing the first signs everywhere, from new ways in which schools will be conducting business to how airports and local retail outlets operate. Social distancing, at least for the foreseeable future, might be here to stay in one form or another. Some businesses and social mores may change forever, with everyone’s new heightened awareness in terms of smart and safe hygiene practices.

But then, what does this mean for the wedding industry? Of course, with the advent of the Coronavirus, weddings and elopements in general came to a screeching halt. 2020 will be known worldwide as the year most couples simply forgot, with a supreme lack of wedding and even dating options available. Many of these restrictions for wedding venues and planning are expected to lift later this year or early next year, but it begs the question, will things really return to normal?

Are couples and their families really going to feel safe being in cramped little churches with a hundred other people, including many of whom would be considered “high-risk” due to their age? Is this really something we’re going to be seeing as early as this winter?

While for some, it’s to be expected that things will chug along as normal. After all, there are already beaches opening around the country, with oversized crowds that make it seem like these past few months never even happened. For others however, going back to the old way of doing things may just be one step too far.

This was already the trend anyway: the past couple of years have seen an upswell in the amount of couples getting happily eloped, as well as holding more intimate wedding ceremonies that include up to a couple dozen people, if that. These small weddings are beneficial in a variety of ways, which is ideal if you are a stressed out couple who wants to get the messy stuff over with and would prefer just to get on with the honeymoon, thank you very much!

In terms of smaller weddings, they are much easier to plan, far more friendly and intimate, require less people-managing, cost less, and are more adaptable. You can hold smaller weddings at a larger variety of venues, and in general they are much easier to make come together.

Smaller weddings also are much less pressure for the bride and groom. Stress is a massive problem for couples leading up to their big day. Between the planning and the financial side of things, many traditional weddings can seriously put a damper on things.

Elopements and intimate weddings were definitely the trend even before COVID-19 reared its ugly head, but now we’re seeing more evidence that traditionally larger weddings may be a thing of the past in a certain sense. While they will always be the preferred way to get married for many couples, others see the practical side of smaller weddings and with the added threat of Coronavirus floating around, they may just be the smarter choice overall.

In an uncertain world that also requires a bit of social distancing to ensure proper health standards, it makes sense that smaller weddings would be the answer. Couples are going to want to make sure everyone gets a proper amount of space, that no one feels cramped and that there is plenty of room to mingle without being crammed into corners or feeling hemmed in. Room for proper social distancing in lines, and in seating arrangements, will come into play as well.

These are very real circumstances that will have an effect on the way weddings play out for years to come. With that in mind, it’s important to take a look at the benefits of small weddings and realize that they may be just what you’re looking for on both the practical and romantic fronts.

Benefits of Smaller Weddings

Less costly and potentially far more intimate, small weddings may be the way to go in 2020 and beyond. Couples are already seeing the benefit of holding smaller ceremonies because doing so provides an array of key benefits.

One of the largest hurdles in holding a wedding is in the planning. Oftentimes, a wedding ceremony is a massive planning endeavor, requiring multiple people and a ton of scheduling, collaborating, and luck just to go off without a problem. Even when everything is going right, they can still be stressful.

Reducing stress leading up the ceremony is one of the best parts about small weddings. This adds to the air of romance and also improves the quality of the ceremony itself. With less stuff to worry about, you can focus on making the ceremony amazing.

This stress issue is also related to the cost as well. Smaller weddings are significantly cheaper, due in part to things like catering costs and decorations, which can add up if you book larger venues and have to appease 100 hungry mouths. Deciding instead to wine and dine 20 of your closest friends and family is much cheaper, and can allow you to spice up the menu with more options as well.

Speaking of which, smaller weddings permit a larger variety of venues and events. You can bring a lot more magic into your ceremony when you don’t have dozens of people to manage and think about. When the venue is smaller and everything happens faster, you are open to holding your ceremony in a larger variety of places and perhaps add other parts to it. You certainly have more leeway to make your ceremony your own and do what you want with it when you have less restrictions and don’t have to worry about so many different factors.

The last major benefit of smaller weddings would be in the intimacy itself. Many couples don’t like how formal and on-display a traditional wedding can feel. Couples don’t even get to spend all that much time together in these ceremonies, whereas with smaller weddings, they typically include much more casual events, including before the ceremony photo shoots and an increased emphasis on romance and intimacy rather than tired formalities.

Though COVID may have greatly impacted our daily lives, it’s not going to stop couples from getting married and having the wedding of their dreams!

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