Smaller Weddings in a Time of Social Distancing

April 17, 2020

Photo by: Ronan Jégaden

It’s no secret that these are strange times we’re going through right now, and there are many couples out there with weddings set in the near future who are left feeling uncertain and concerned about their futures. While that’s understandable, it’s also important to remember the reason you’re getting married in the first place; not for the grand celebration, but because you love each other and want to be together.


You’re in this position now, about to get married, for a reason. Surely those feelings, the desire to be together, don’t just go away in times of crisis. What is it they say about love? Surely we can quote a dozen songs telling us all we need is love and that no matter what happens, it’s our love that will keep us together. Well, there’s no time like the present to prove the strength of those feelings.

Photo by: Lyndah Wells, Bahamas

If you’re ready now to walk down the aisle and promise a future “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer,” then there’s really nowhere to go but up from here, proceeding with the wedding of your dreams with the one you care about most, and the rest is less important. You can do your wedding small, and you can do it on a budget. Why cancel or postpone something you’ve been waiting and working for and looking forward to for so long already?

For those of you out there willing to try out something a little unconventional in order to preserve this important day, be leaders; step up, be bold, have your wedding your own way and others will follow. Don’t hunker down and let fear interfere with your plans of committing yourself to your partner for life.

Photo by: Lyndsey Goddard, London, United Kingdom

None of this is to say, of course, that we shouldn’t be cautious, but for those who have been dreaming of this day for who knows how long, certainly there are better, safer ways that would allow you to still be able to marry the one you love exactly when you planned to.


Instead of trying to impress your guest list with fancy reception goodies, impress them with your extreme commitment to being committed. Cut down where you can in both size and scope, and instead plan for a wedding that is totally unique and unforgettable but also safe and comfortable. Plus, there’s no law saying you can’t have the big celebratory bash later on. For now, you just need to focus on fulfilling your dream together, and there’s plenty of time for the rest to follow in the future.

Photo by: Lisa De Domenico Pacor, Trieste, Italy

So, as you do consider cutting down on size, who or what are the necessary factors? You may someone to officiate the ceremony, but who else? Maybe you’ll invite a few close family members as well, but who’s going to take the pictures?

While it might seem at first like a good idea to entrust a family member to record the event with their phone, you can’t really rely on their consistency, or even their abilities. Your friend may offer to take some photos on their digital camera, or maybe your hired officiant even said they can take some snapshots of the two of you on their phone after the ceremony, but this doesn’t mean they are gifted at capturing romantic and funny moments, and there’s no guarantee on quality.

Photo by: Nicky Byrnes, California, United States

It’s also important to remember that small weddings sometimes mean that the limited number of guests will also be playing roles in the ceremony, and they will certainly not be relaxed if the additional pressure of documenting the event is on their shoulders.

Instead of risking the quality, and even quantity, of the photos of the most important day of your life, especially if you are keeping it small and were hoping to share photos with friends and family later, a talented wedding photojournalist can make even a small, backyard event look spectacular.

For instance, nothing says “romance” more than a unique and charming wedding ceremony in the quiet alleyway next to your apartment followed by an urban portrait session. For two people who are so in love that they just can’t wait any longer, your photographer is just the person to showcase you and your relationship. After all, some of the most powerful images ever captured are those of people enduring and still sharing a love for one another even when times are tough.



Photo by: Darren Hendry, California, United States

Photo by: Shea McGrath, Colorado, United States

Photo by: Milan Lazic, Illinois, United States

Photo by: Alessia Bruchi, Siena, Italy

As wedding photojournalists, it’s our calling to roll with the flow on the day of the event. We’re not frightened when the weather changes, or when the plans, schedule, and location are not firm, or are unexpected and unique, which is why, no matter how you plan to proceed with your special-circumstances wedding, your WPJA vetted photographer will help you make the day unforgettable.

Photo by: Kate Crabtree, Maine, United States