Love in the time of Covid – planning an awesome intimate socially distant wedding while still complying with government guidance!

202o, eh? What a year… what. a. year. Whenever anyone asks me how I’m doing, I go into my head voice and tell them that I’m ‘ok-kind-of’. I am and I hope you are too, and that the stress of changing your wedding plans, along with any other fall out from living through a global pandemic isn’t too hard or too much. In many ways it’s wonderful that rules are relaxing and we can get back to at least a little bit of normality. In other ways normality is fairly terrifying and I can only imagine that trying to work out what to do for the best when it comes to wedding planning comes with a lot of big decisions.

If you are thinking about an intimate socially distant wedding, I’m here to help. Over the years I’ve photographed loads of tiny and medium-sized celebrations. From elopements with just six people, to micro-weddings where the couple and their closest people go off to a remote destination to celebrate together. I thought I’d share some of my favourite small and intimate weddings today, so you can get inspired if you’re planning to get married in the coming months, or even if you’re just up for a celebration that’s compact in size but big on feeling special and romantic.

Bride and groom with confeti intimate socially distant wedding

Making sure you’re compliant with guidelines and rules

There are three main things you’ll need to consider. Government guidelines, your venue’s rules and requirements, and the steps other suppliers are taking to protect themselves and you.

Government guidance is subject to change so you’ll need to keep checking it. There’s a possibility of a second wave and area-specific lockdowns, so it’s really, really important to make sure you know what the latest rules are. You can find the ‘COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships’ here.

Your venue will be assessing risks in line with government guidance and may have their own specific rules or requirements, so you’ll need to keep this in mind too.

You should also note that your suppliers will also need to be compliant with government guidelines. If you are not following the guidance your suppliers have every right to refuse to work.  As well as potentially putting ourselves at risk if we do work, we also potentially invalidate our business insurance coverage.

That’s the heavy stuff out of the way, let’s chat about the fun stuff and the ways that you can potentially have an awesome intimate socially distant wedding.

Real small or intimate weddings for inspiration

I think one of the best ways to show you how awesome small weddings can be, in this new Covid 19 world, is to show you some of the lovely intimate celebrations I’ve photographed in the past. These are all couples who chose to have a small celebration before it was required and they all had awesome days.

A London Elopement

Jacquline and Henry were married at the beautiful, Art Deco Hackney Town Hall. They had two of their close friends act as witnesses and they then processed through the streets of East London with a guitarist serenading them. We took some pictures around London Fields and then stopped to drink Champagne in a local pub. Jacqueline and Henry then hopped on the Eurostar to Paris for their honeymoon!

Couple in front of East London grafitti intimate socially distant wedding
Check out more from Jacquline and Henry’s East London elopement here.

An intimate bandstand wedding

Elizabeth and Alison had their closest friends and family present for their beautiful Myatt’s Field Band-Stand wedding. They followed this up with a party in their back garden, with street food and a DJ. Their party was the same day as their ceremony, but you could hold your party later. You could even re-do your vows with a humanist or celebrant led ceremony.

Two brides at band stand wedding intimate socially distant wedding
Check out more from Elizabeth and Alison’s Myatt’s Field Band-Stand wedding here.

An intimate destination wedding in Ireland

Sarah and Daniel wanted a small wedding in a beautiful location, and Westcove House in Kerry was absolutely magical choice. Sarah and Daniel and their friends and family stayed at Westcove House and then held their beautiful wedding ceremony right on the water. After their outdoor ceremony, they made their way back up the hill for oysters, Guinness and dancing. Perfect.

Ireland destination wedding covid
Check out more from Sarah and Daniel’s Westcove House wedding here.

A fine dining wedding for 7

Laura and David get two pictures because it would be remis of me not to show you their food. They very (very, very!) kindly invited me to join them for dinner at Aulis after their intimate Islington Town Hall wedding and it was one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. If you’re looking to blow the budget, why not take a small group of your nearest and dearest for an absolutely amazing dining experience?

A montage of dishes from Aulis London
Black and white image of bride and groom at Islington Town hall

Check out more from Laura and David’s Islington Town Hall and Aulis wedding here.

A country house wedding party

Jessica and Bill were married in the US. They weren’t able to have many of their UK friends or family present. Because of this, they wanted to have a killer celebration on this side of the Atlantic. Their wedding is an excellent reminder that if you do have to scale down your actual nuptials, you can still have an amazing celebration at a later date.

intimate socially distant wedding bride and groom
Check out more from Jess and Bill’s festival wedding celebration here.

An intimate Surrey wedding

Sarah and Lauren also did their legal bit in the US. They also decided to celebrate with some of their favourite people here in the UK. They had an intimate outdoor ceremony at Smallfield Place, followed by drinks, alfresco dining and dancing.

Check out more from Sarah and Lauren’s Smallfield Place wedding here.

More resources to help you to plan your intimate socially distant wedding

More info about eloping can be found in my How to Elope post and if you’re looking for London specific ideas, check out my London Elopement Ideas post.

If you’re looking for some face masks that are sufficiently beautiful to wear to a wedding, check out this, this and for something extra special this.

Check out this post by my friend Lydia who planned her own small wedding in six weeks, so her terminally ill mum could be there with her.

This post by Valentina at The Stars Inside talks about the future of weddings.

I’ve heard so many couples talk about wanting to infuse their day with purpose, intentionality, and meaning. That really does make my heart sing! This dedication to creating heartfelt, quality moments of togetherness is, in part, a result of how much we all miss one another right now, and how deeply we’ve all been impacted by the removal of in-person socialising.

Annabel at Love My Dress has been so considered in her Covid coverage. She’s balanced the needs of couples and their wedding plans with the issues faced by wedding industry suppliers. You can check out her coverage here.

Finally, if you want to read a bit more about my business and how I’ve been impacted by Covid, you can do so here. And this post has my most up to date information about what happens if you’re working with me and need to postpone or cancel your wedding.

Get in touch to chat about your intimate socially distant wedding photography

I’ll wear a cool mask and wash my hands ALL the time, I promise. Get in touch here.


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