Are you considering a smaller, more personal wedding or civil partnership following the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions on guest numbers?
An altogether more personal post as we begin to look forward to the return of weddings.
Is it possible to still have a wedding day celebration with current restrictions! It’s a question I get asked often, and on this post I’m going to answer some of the most recent FAQ’s, whilst also sharing the essential edit from this fabulous Civil Partnership of my unbelievably gorgeous best friend.
Let me introduce this incredible couple. They mean the absolute world to me, I love and adore them and if any couple were meant for each other these two were without any doubt. There was also never any doubt that Jane and I were destined for one of those rare and unique lifelong friendships. We are the perfect partners in crime, I really would do anything for her, but when it came to planning her long awaited important day she really didn’t need any help from me.
A super stylish couple their journey to making a legal commitment was never going to be a traditional one, they always wanted a free hand to create a day that was uniquely them. The notion of a wedding in every sense of the word was most definitely not the big dream for Jane and Bob.
As government had marked the change for same sex unions allowing legal civil partnerships back in 2004, heterosexual opposite sex couples were excluded. This meant that unless you chose a traditional wedding you were not able to enter into a civil partnership which afforded the same benefits as married couples with regard to pensions, tax and inheritance. Jane campaigned, challenged, and supported a change to the law to make this legal for all couples, and when in December 2019 the government reviewed the Civil Partnership Act allowing mixed-sex couples to form a non religious union the planning began. A modern interpretation of a traditional wedding was all about a small intimate ceremony, private dining, followed by a fabulous big party for everyone. This was absolutely what they wanted and would perfectly reflect their relationship.
Unfortunately we all know what happened next! A pandemic was to put all the plans on hold but they were super chilled about it. The most important thing was always going to be the legal bit for them, but we understand it’s not the same for all our couples. The idea of not having the day you have always dreamt of has caused heartbreak and sadness for many as wedding days have been postponed, and postponed again. My advice has always been to do what is right for you, right now. In an ever changing and unpredictable world never before have we been reminded more to live in the moment. What’s really important is now, we can’t change what has already happened, and worrying about the future won’t change today. We only have the now assured, and to this end I believe we should not put our life on hold. And making the most of what you are able to do when we are able to do it is exactly what Jane and Bob did. They went ahead as soon as restrictions were lifted in the summer of 2020 and they had a sensational, albeit very wet, intimate Civil Partnership ceremony at Leeds Town Hall.
One thing this sassy, charismatic couple are not is totally comfortable in the spotlight. The very thought of old school formal wedding photography had them in a mild panic. The plan was to have family capturing relaxed amateur shots of the day, but I had just the photographer in mind for this modern classic.The night before the big day I shared my secret for the celebrations to be captured on film by Leeds based photographer Tim Dunk https://timdunk.com/
Tim is an incredible, fearlessly creative photographer, whose style, calm and relaxed personality, and visual perspective was perfectly aligned with them both. It was a priority to get someone I knew and trusted to not only capture images as a lifetime record of their momentous life event, but a guy who would make them feel comfortable, allowing them to shine without any awkwardness or contrived unrealistic and uncomfortable posing.
Photography really is king for recording special moments in our lives. It is the number regret of so many couples when they have chosen not to commission a professional photographer.
Photography was Jane and Bob’s biggest fear but became one of their greatest memories.
A truly unforgettable day.
And for those of you still hanging on to the dream of your long awaited special day, and for those of you new to planning your fabulous wedding celebrations, below are just a few of the words of advice for the questions that I regularly get asked.
Should we wait until we can have the big party we hoped for? Look at all the options, and be guided by what’s right for you. You can always have a big party on your anniversary.
Should I wait until guest numbers are increased? This is a tough one as often the biggest consideration is not being able to include older family members, but also if the BIG day surrounded by all your family and friends has been your dream it is understandably a more difficult decision. Once again you have to do what’s right for you and seek advice from a professional wedding planner to look at alternatives. Thankfully we now have a roadmap with provisional dates including a guide to the increasing guest numbers, and I guarantee if you can hold tight it will most definitely be a wedding day worth waiting for.
Can we get married legally just the two of us, and still have a ceremony and the day we planned at a later date? Absolutely you can. When register offices reopen you will be able to have a legal wedding ceremony just the two of you and two witnesses. Followed by a ceremony conducted by a celebrant with all your exciting plans, family and friends included.
Are there wedding venues that cater for smaller weddings? Don’t be afraid to reach out to Wedding Planners and Wedding Venues as there are so many incredible options which can include your symbolic ceremony, your wedding breakfast, and your fabulous wedding after party. Flexibility has been key throughout these changing times and now you have more choice than ever.
Please do ask away in the comments below if you have any questions or are just looking for some expert advice.
I’ve felt privileged and honoured to write this post and enjoyed every moment as I relived the joy of one of my very favourite peoples special day. I’ve loved talking about fabulous weddings in Yorkshire again, and cannot wait for the day to come when I’ll be back working with loved up couples on their luxury wedding plans here at home, and abroad.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to my wonderful friends for allowing me to share their incredible day, and to the man himself Tim https://timdunk.com/ for capturing it all in his own completely brilliant way.
Much love Pamella x