A Guest List Of 200+ Down To Just 30
Earlier this month I spoke about some of the experience that I have had druing this Covid Pandemic and how restrictions had made it really difficult for those brides and grooms planning a wedding. One of my brides has kindly agreed to share her experiences of how her wedding went from a guest list of 200+ people, right down to 30 people and the impact that that had.
Wedding planning during a pandemic certainly wasn’t what I had dreamed it would be like but I am so glad we went ahead with our plans. Adapting our wedding plans was not easy as we moved from one location to another to another (Yes, 3 different places we planned for) but we learnt lessons in the process and we still cling to what really mattered. It reinforced what the most important thing about a wedding day is – actually getting married! In our culture, there can be lots of pressure to put on a perfect day but I thinks its making the promises that really matters. Our wedding day was wonderful because I got to marry my best friend which was witnessed by our family and friends – some in person but many more virtually. Don’t get me wrong, we were gutted that we couldn’t have a big party or the guests that we had planned to share our day with but I’m so glad that we didn’t postpone. We can (and will) party later but we declared our vows to each other and they will stand whatever the season. Our lives changed completely on the day we married. Suddenly, we were one household, a new family and we were facing all that was to come as a team.
We got engaged in September 2019 on Blackpool beach and were married 11 months later as planned. When the first wave of the pandemic hit in March 2020, weddings were not allowed. We had to pause our wedding planning which was difficult, I cried a lot! We were living in different cities as key workers; myself as a doctor and Dan, a teacher. I learnt patience and we both learnt to look forward to our future with hope. Weddings were allowed again in July 2020. With the invaluable support of our parents, friends and family, we restarted our wedding planning with the wedding day growing ever closer. In order to do this, I had to let go of things and delegate. We went from a 200+ guest list to a wedding party of just 30. Scaling down the wedding list was certainly the hardest part!
We live streamed our wedding online and were so touched at the hundreds of friends, family and colleagues who tuned in to witness us take our vows. We loved reading all the heartfelt messages that people posted. The service was beautiful. Our vicar welcomed everyone so warmly and was so happy to be marrying us! Our family were closely involved in the service. My niece was our flower girl, my mum and Dan’s mum each did a reading, Dan’s sister and my youngest brother were our witnesses for the signing of the register. Dan’s Best Man and my Maid of Honour prayed for us which meant so much.
For the thirty guests that could come, we ensured that everything from the seating in the church to the refreshments were COVID safe (however face masks were not mandatory at this stage). For our reception, we hired a local company to do individual picnics with locally sourced ingredients and they were delicious. We had a wedding cake made by a family friend but gave our guests individually packaged cupcakes.
I love our wedding photos! Abraham captured our joy in being able to get married and the happiness of our close family and friends. I look at the photo of us beaming as we made our vows and grinned widely at our family and friends as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife.
Due to the COVID restrictions, we were limited with what we could do at a socially distanced reception so our reception finished quite early. This gave us the opportunity to return to my home beach for a couples shoot with Abraham. I love the photos where we are walking along the beach. Neither of us wanted to pose too much. Abraham made us feel at ease. Many of the photos show us laughing and I love that. We have several photos up at home and they remind us frequently of what a precious day it was. Abraham put together a wonderful album with a modern format which really captures the story of the day with such attention to detail. We purchased parent albums too which were a lovely gift to give as a small thank you for all their help & support.
After such a long time, we still don’t know how long it will be until we get back to some sort of normality. The numbers allowed at a wedding may change but I sincerely hope that weddings continue to be allowed however small. It’s an amazing thing to make life-long promises in the midst of hard times.
I am so thankful to Amy for writing this blog and for all that she shared about the planning. It was an emotional rollercoaster which I supported them throughout and provided them with the assistance and advice they needed. That is what you get with me, when you book me as your photographer, I don’t just turn up on the day, I’m always at the end of the phone and available to offer advice and assistance where necessary. I give full support to all my brides and grooms from first meeting through to completion and delivery of your album.
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