Blessings of a Small Wedding-An Encouragement to Pandemic Brides


Ten years ago, my husband and I were engaged and trying to figure out what kind of wedding we wanted to have. Initially, we thought we would have 50-60 guests and host a lovely outdoor summer wedding. As the date approached, we began to feel discomfort about the plans we had put into place. It wasn’t our relationship; we knew we were still meant to be together, but there were a few reasons why we could never seem to get comfortable with the wedding that we were planning. During that time, the state of our economy was also not great, and both of us were still building our careers and finances. Times were a bit uncertain, not unlike where we are living today. It ended up that we decided to put a stop to the plans (before we sent invites, of course!). We postponed the wedding by a couple of months and rethought the entire thing. We settled on just inviting immediate family and keeping it a minimal affair. We had a total of 19 people at the wedding only two days before Christmas. We got married in a beautiful old building on the grounds at Park Tudor, in front of a fireplace with our closest family. We dined at our favorite restaurant (Ambrosia in Broad Ripple) and savored each moment. It was intimate, cozy, and romantic, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Amid the current pandemic, many engaged couples are facing the challenge of being either forced to cancel wedding plans or alter them, so they meet their state’s guidelines for group gatherings. I know this can seem very disappointing, so I wanted to share my experience to encourage couples that if you had big plans and are now being forced to change them that a smaller wedding can end up being a true blessing. I hope that instead of being frustrated, you will be able to see the positive side. Here are three positive outcomes for our very small wedding-

1. Quality over Quantity 

Looking back, I see how we had true quality time and interactions with our family, who were there to support us. We didn’t spend time greeting our parents’ “friends of friends,” or second cousins once removed that we were obligated to invite. Instead, we had meaningful conversations and were able to be truly present in the moments we shared. My husband and I were also able to enjoy one another and remember so much about the night. It was truly an event about us as a couple and a celebration of the joining of our families. Our families even got to spend more time closely with one another. This may be an obvious benefit, but we (meaning our families and us) saved a ton of money. No travel expenses, tux rentals, pricey bridesmaid dresses, large catered meal, etc. But as a bonus, our family did support us financially, and we didn’t end up spending a dime on the affair. We had still already registered for gifts which other extended family graciously fulfilled for us, and they were very understanding about our wishes to have a small guest list. I will add that if you have to downsize your event, I may suggest going a little bigger on certain items. For example, I splurged big on beautiful flowers from my dream florist; I bought more expensive shoes than I had initially planned, among other “upgrades.” I’m not saying money can buy happiness or replace what you had planned, but for me getting to have some of those higher-end touches brought me extra joy along with a few great photo ops!

2. So much less stress

In my past life, I planned events for a living. I know what it’s like to execute a party for a large number of people. It’s challenging to “participate” when you are concerned with everything going as planned. So when it came to my small wedding, it was such a relief even to do something as simple as sit and eat my dinner and genuinely enjoy the food, drink my favorite wine, and just relax!  I also planned the wedding in about six weeks before the date we chose. The planning was super easy, and making the decisions came very quickly. All of a sudden, all my stress melted away, and I figured out all the pieces in no time!

3. It strengthened our relationship 

Without the stress and emphasis on planning a larger wedding, I think it forced us to examine our desire to be wed. There was no “big game” to cloud our judgment; it was just about us. What better way to begin your new life than keeping the focus on what really matters? From day one, our relationship was about prioritizing each other and nothing else. It almost feels like we carved out a sweet pocket of time just for us. Over the years, it’s even put our lives into perspective. Our wedding is for sure a momentous occasion that we treasure very much, but when I look through my “rearview mirror” and see my wedding back on the horizon, it’s just another piece of the beautiful landscape God has drawn for our lives.