The current pandemic has turned the wedding industry upside down and there is still so much uncertainty about whether big events will be back this Summer. Thousands of couples have had to postpone their big day up to three or even four times with the ever-changing rules, restrictions and lockdown measures that seem to have become ‘the new normal’. So, if you’re feeling unsure about whether to wait for the big white wedding of your dreams or just go straight ahead, Sarah Barrett, Creative Director at top British Bridal Designer Lyn Ashworth shares her top tips for planning an epic micro wedding in 2021.
“In many ways, this pandemic has taught couples the beauty of living in the moment together and planning a wedding should be fun, allowing a couple to focus entirely on each other. I’ve seen lots of brides over the last year who have decided to go ahead with their dream wedding or civil partnership – despite the restrictions and a micro wedding can be just as special. There are so many tips and tricks to create your dream day whether it’s for 15, 30 guests or more. However, I am extremely optimistic and believe we will all have a fabulous summer and beyond.”
Big weddings can be heaps of fun, but so can smaller weddings. You will be sharing your nuptials with the people that mean the most to you and there is nothing more important than that. With the numbers restricting your venue choice, you will be able to look at all sorts of different options from beautiful hotel venues to smaller quirkier ideas.
Plus, you’ll have the budget to create an amazing atmosphere. I’d stay stick to your dream wedding goals and all you to do is adapt depending on numbers. If restrictions ease and you can go big – brilliant, but if not, still go for your perfect venue and of course your dream dress!
2. It’s all about YOU
With a smaller wedding it’s your chance to really focus on you as a couple – what you love and both enjoy together. You can incorporate this into your day with a micro crowd. Your budget will stretch further so you can focus on fun elements such as the wedding breakfast – foodies can create an elaborate menu reflecting all their gourmet passions.
Look at your hobbies and bring them on board. Make your ceremony super personal with poems, handwritten vows and invite your nearest and dearest to speak. There’s a reason you choose to get married despite the restrictions and that’s a powerful message!
3. It’s all in the detail
A huge part of the fun of organising your dream day is in the detail, think flowers, stationery, décor, venue styling and which dress you choose. This doesn’t have to be restricted just because your numbers are. In fact, I’d say go bigger and bolder. There are so many amazing suppliers out there that can create incredible table and floral displays on a small scale – something your guests will never forget. You will also have the budget to consider adding more drama. Wedding Planner Bruce Russell created this amazing styled shoot with florist Amie Bone based on smaller wedding parties:
‘For the Opulent Shoot, I wanted people to see that small intimate celebrations don’t have to be boring and can be created in your own backyard. I encourage people to celebrate anything, anytime, anywhere, and do it in style! Taking the dinner party outside doesn’t have to mean a BBQ or a picnic – it can still be sophisticated and chic’
4. Say YES to the dress!
At Lyn Ashworth, we’re renowned for creating beautiful wedding gowns perfect for big weddings, but we do also cater for smaller, more intimate ceremonies. I definitely think a bride should never compromise on her dress of dreams, just because the size of the wedding party may be restricted. In fact, I’ve seen brides throughout the last few months going for a more dramatic dress compared to what they would have chosen if they were having a bigger wedding. One bride said to me “I now have the budget to go for the dress of my dreams. If we’d had a bigger wedding, my dress budget would be been far less.” Another bride told me “If everything else is going to be restricted, I want my wedding dress to be bigger and more beautiful than ever!”
Obviously, with the everchanging restrictions, the intermittent closures have been really tough on both us as a brand, our wonderful stockists, the wedding industry and of course couples wanting to plan their dream wedding. However, we are excited and captivated by our fearless and brilliant brides – they have inspired my new collection for 2021 which will be dropping throughout the year. This is a sneak peek of the first piece from the collection – the evolving edition of our Champagne Blush gown – the ultimate showstopper dress. Each voluminous tier connects each detachable layer, allowing for multiple styles for the bride and creating a design that can be worn and loved beyond the wedding day. This modern take on romanticism encapsulates movement, mixing ‘elements of couture’ whilst evolving for the woman today and allowing a woman to draw on her inner style and beauty.
5. Look to sustainability
A big trend for this season is sustainability, whether or not you are having to plan a smaller wedding. It’s a wonderful opportunity to look for local suppliers and have a sustainable approach to your civil partnership or wedding. When it comes to choosing your dress, the design emphasis should be on sustainability, creativity, and craft – there are lots of exceptionally talented British bridal designers who design and create consciously and thoughtfully. It’s something particularly close to our heart at Lyn Ashworth; we aim to create evolving collections, hand crafted in England that stand the test of time. You will be amazed when you look at what’s available both in the UK and immediately around you, from seasonal foraged flowers to food grown in an organic and sustainable way.
6. Pick a fab photographer and videographer
Wonderful pictures are a necessity and whether you’re planning a day for 15 or 500 – you will still want to look back on those memories. Plus, a micro wedding means that those missing the day will want to see the shots! A brilliant photographer is worth every penny and will ensure you cover all those important pictures with your nearest and dearest.
I tell all my brides that a videographer is a must too- as when looking back on your wedding video it allows you to be transported back within a moment in time. The laughter and glancing gaze of a loved one and that loving hug that may seem a million miles away as time passes. It brings all those memories to life, including your most beloved family members.
7. Get a cracking team on board
From your dress designer, picking a likeminded florist to hire a wedding planner, this is your chance to draw on the best talent that your budget and the UK has to offer. You may also have the resources to consider not only a bigger dress but that dream florist or a fabulous wedding planner to bring all the elements together and make your day even more stress-free. Essentially, never feel you have to compromise on anything when it comes to your wedding. Whatever your budget and restrictions, there are always options to make your day incredible!
By Sarah Barrett, Creative Director Lyn Ashworth
Every Lyn Ashworth gown is meticulously designed and crafted with love in Staffordshire on a made-to-order basis for each individual bride by the dedicated creative team. Lyn Ashworth gowns are also stocked nationwide at various bridal boutiques. For more information visit www.lynashworth.com