Why two brides chose a small wedding

September 25, 2020

Weddings have been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Understandably, there have been a lot of restrictions in the industry with the rules changing often. Currently, you’re allowed to invite 15 guests and this looks to be set in place for the next 6 months. 

I totally understand why couples would want to postpone their wedding until the world looks a little better. However, small weddings can be just as lovely. Micro weddings, a smaller guest list and a shorter day, have long been a thing before Covid. However are getting way more airtime at the moment. 

I have photographed weddings with 10-30 guests. All of which I would describe as ‘small weddings’. In 2018 I photographed wedding planner Natasha’s wedding from We Are The Bazeley’s and it 2019 Stephanie’s wedding to Jonathon. Both of their wedding’s were in Ostuni, Italy, with 25 and 30 guests. I am pretty sure you’ve seen their wedding photographs on my Instagram (they’re been on there a lot!). I interviewed Natasha and Stephanie on their small wedding’s and why they chose to have one.

Natasha

Why did you chose to have a smaller wedding?

We decided on a small intimate wedding from the outset. I (Natasha) have no siblings, with only a few family members and Nigel too, has a very small family. 

We chose to elope with our nearest and dearest to the beautiful La Città Bianca – The White City of Ostuni, Puglia. No formal bridal party, just us and whoever was free to join. 

The original plan was to marry in June 2019 but on a trip to Puglia the year prior, we ended up booking it whilst on the ground leaving 6 months to plan! I guess at this point we were prepared that our chosen day, our chosen way wouldn’t suit all our guests… 

We just wanted to be married and our family all share the same family name – love always wins (knowingly or unknowingly)!

Was it hard to pick who to invite?

Being a small family meant we had the freedom to invite more friends, so we did not feel like we had to pick as such. We invited our immediate families and jointly selected friends who we were very present in our lives. There wasn’t any, “but what about Uncle so and so from Scotland” and “my mum’s, sister’s, daughters, daughter and her husband and three children!”

We opened up for children to come along as we have a daughter ourselves, but we totally didn’t register that early September would be school children’s first week back at school!

In all we were blessed to share our day with 25 guests (including our epic Photographer!) 

Do you think you saved money?

Absolutely! We spent more where it mattered to us. We wanted to take our guests on a journey with us that day. They toured the Old City streets with us, ate and drank like true Italians in a Michelin Star restaurant. In all, we spent thousands less than most. Quality over quantity any day!  

Was there anything you feel like you missed out on in having a smaller wedding?

I wouldn’t say we missed out on anything being a smaller wedding, in fact, I feel like we gained so much more in terms of memories and moments. Both of which you can never re-create. 

Of course, being in the industry means I’m inspired by other weddings daily so there’s always things I’d tweak or change – that’s the inner creative in me. The only big thing that I regret is not booking a Videographer. At the time, it didn’t fit in to the budget with only six months to plan and save.

Was it hard to choose a venue with smaller numbers?

Similar to the kind of weddings I like to plan, I chose to ignore all the rules with weddings. We began looking for traditional “wedding venues” but I felt like I was bringing all our family and friends away for them not to see the beautiful City of Ostuni that we knew. 

We were open minded and it organically became the most magical day. From being married by the Town Major in the Town Hall, Aperitif on the Piazza amongst the locals and tourists, to being paraded through the Old Town streets with a traditional brass band. 

We found a hidden gem in the heart of the city for our guests to enjoy an evening meal with panoramic view across the City. We then bar hopped our way back to our Bridal Suite Villa where we hosted our evening reception. 

Essentially, we were creative in how we planned our day. Booked a table for 25 and an insane Villa – voila! Smaller weddings can mean so many more options with less logistics to plan and pay for. [Here’s my plug] If you’re looking to elope or plan a destination wedding then I’d be absolutely delighted to share that journey with you to style, direct and create a wedding day personal to you! @wearethebazeleys www.wearethebazeleys.com 

Did you have an evening reception?

We opened ‘The Bazeley Bar’ on the terrace at our Villa! A playlist on Spotify and we danced the night away under the moon, stars and lemon trees – perfection! 

We also decided not to host a wedding reception on our return from Italy. We personally felt like we wouldn’t be able to recreate that day and again, saved more money. 

What was the biggest plus in having a smaller wedding?

For us, it was probably being able to spend the entire day with ALL of our guests. There was no separation of the bridal party whilst we ate, we ate like one big family. We were able to talk and dance with all of our guests. 

Advice for future couples considering a micro or smaller wedding?

Break the rules. Be open-minded. If your budget suits, instruct a planner where their creative minds can rustle up something bespoke. Follow your heart. Do what’s right for you. 

Stephanie

Why did you chose a small wedding?

Ok so I always wanted a small wedding, the thought of having hundreds of people staring at me walking down the isle was not something I looked forward too haha we had had a 70 person engagement party and even with that amount we were constantly being pulled from conversation to conversation (all with people I actually wanted to see and speak too) but it was really tiring. I also barely saw Jon all night.

Was it hard to pick who to invite?

For our legal ceremony her in Sydney we just had my grandma and grandpa (who couldn’t make it to Italy) and the pastors that married us. It was SO special. To be honest the guest list was the hardest part for us. To say it happened drama free would be far from the truth.

But once we decided to actually focus on exactly what we want it was a lot easier, it was our day and after always putting other people first, this was the time to put ourselves first. We chose immediate family and our closest friends.

What are the biggest pluses for having a small wedding?

The biggest plus was that I got to spend my wedding day having the best conversations with all the guests and it was just an intimate party, there was no obligatory conversations with a distant great aunt or second cousin of my second cousin. These were all people that we could be completely relaxed around.

Advice for future couples considering a micro or smaller wedding?

My advice would be put yourselves first, you won’t get another chance to do this (we hope) be respectful of those who may miss out and share your reasoning. There will be many more chances to celebrate in the future!

 

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