7 Ideas to plan a close, private, intimate wedding post COVID- 1916 min read
The big fat Indian wedding industry is in a huge crisis as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced postponements of weddings across the country. Wedding planners, hotels, caterers etc are seeing 45-80% weddings getting postponed or cancelled. Most of them fear things will only go downhill from here on.
Almost all international weddings are getting cancelled due to the COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) and are moving to domestic locations. Some are also choosing to go with close weddings with limited guests.
“We believe that post-COVID-19 weddings will be about being close, private & intimate”
While all of us are hit down hard by the current lockdown situation in the country, we understand its unarguably tougher for the soon-to-be brides and grooms who had been planning their dream weddings for a long time now.
However, one thing is for sure that the situation is going to get better real soon and you ARE going to have your dream wedding, just the way you wanted, with the person you love and amongst your loving friends and family – just not at the time you had planned.
Five years down the line, when you’re happily married, and busy stargazing in rooftops, cooking, dancing and laughing with the love of your life, the postponed dates will be the least of your concerns.
Your day will come, and trust us when we say that it will be the most amazing thing in your life. When we can all come together and celebrate, there will be nothing else like it!
Keeping in mind the current lockdown situations and the restriction on the maximum number of people attending a social event in almost all countries, it’s most likely that we will see more of the close and intimate wedding events in the near future as opposed to the big, fat Indian weddings we’re used to. To help the couple and the family maintain the rules of social distancing alongside planning a marriage event, we’ve compiled our complete list of how to have a private, intimate wedding:
1. Take Control Of Your Guest List
This is the most important and crucial part of planning an intimate, personal wedding. We cannot stress this point enough. It’s however important to understand that it’s very, very difficult for an Indian wedding to have limited guests and therefore, we’ve added several points and measures you can take to control the guest list & we’ve only listed the ideas for the same, to follow or not is the choice of the couple and their family. It’s a fairly long point (as it’s the most important) but you can choose to move to the next point in case you don’t want to/ have a control on the guest list. The lesser the number of people, the more intimate affair it’ll be. However, it’s always a challenge to cut down on the number of guests in an Indian wedding as most parents are cognizant of the fact that because they attended somebody’s marriage too, they have to invite them to their son/daughter’s wedding. However, with the collective effort of the bride and the groom, convincing the parents won’t be too much a task. And, only the closest, connected and loving people will be a part of the most important day of the couple’s lives.
Who should you add to your wedding guest list?
• Your direct family – parents and siblings, like, of course, duh!
• An extension of your immediate family – this includes both your grandparents, your aunts & uncles, cousins, their partners and children.
• Extended and distant family members – If you’ve got family that you do tend to keep in touch with and would like at your wedding, be sure to add them to the list. Your parents will have such lists too, apart from you, which is important to keep in mind.
• Your Friends – Of course they have to be on your list, start with your closest friends, then the ones you speak to regularly, list down friends from schools or college – if you’re still in touch with them.
• Neighbours – Especially if they have been your neighbours for long!
• Current or past work colleagues – Depending on how long you’ve worked for the company, you may want to invite your work colleagues or even your boss to your wedding. This can be a tricky decision to make considering the kind of relationship you have with your colleagues. If you’re not too sure about it, it’s best to invite them all in the reception and not the marriage.
• Your parent’s friends/ family friends – You may or may not be close to them, but they matter to your parents.
• Your siblings’ friends – They might like to call someone too at the wedding, because their friends called them at their siblings’ weddings too, so add them to the list too.
• Faraway forgotten relatives – Indian parents tend to invite them too, so discuss with your parents whether this is something that’s feasible or not.
Things to keep in mind while making the guest list:
• Instead of working by hand on paper, keep everything online. We believe it works best when we use Google Sheets and make a spreadsheet with properly marked columns and rows. You can maintain serial numbers, guest names, phone numbers, addresses (for postcards), travelling from destinations (handy for outstation guests), arrival and departure dates, mark when the invitations are sent and mark for follow-ups as well.
Share this list with others who can see real-time changes to it. Maintain a copy daily so that you have a back-up in case the original get’s messed up somehow (hope that doesn’t happen *fingers crossed* but it’s always, I repeat, ALWAYS, better to have a back-up!
• It’s best to keep things fair from the bride and groom side when it comes to the total number of guest numbers for each of your families.
• Discuss this with your family and don’t just out of formality verbally invite guests that do not feature in your original list. This is something which may cause disappointment or embarrassment later.
Now, the most important part, how to cut the guest list shorter:
Pro tip: Only Invite the A-Listers
Most couples start plotting their guest list by divvying family and friends into A, B, and C tiers. For a small wedding, stick solely to the A group to ensure just those you’d really love at your celebration receive an invitation. As you go on to have a bigger celebration, you can move to lists B & C.
People who fall in A-lists:
Extension of immediate family, you can restrict to only the elders who are married after discussing with your parents.
Really close friends of the couple.
Really close friends of your parents.
People who fall in B-lists:
Extension of immediate family, your cousins, their better halves and children.
Close friends of the couple, people who you’ve studied with-in school or uni or worked with.
Close friends of the parents, colleagues in the office, business associates or members of the regular kitty party.
People who have been neighbours for 10+ years.
Your siblings’ friends.
People who fall in C-lists:
Extension of immediate family, families of your cousins.
Friends of the couple who are not very close, like friends of friends.
Friends of the parents who are not very close, like friends of friends.
Your siblings’ friends and their relatives.
Faraway forgotten relatives, who you probably don’t even know existed.
The whole idea is to cut down your guest list and there might be added tips which might be a little rude, but these points will surely help you get a crisper guest list, but before you go ahead make sure both parties agree to it.
• Rule 1: If both of you haven’t spoken to or met them, or even heard their name before, don’t invite them.
• Rule 2: If both of you haven’t spoken to them in three years and they aren’t related, don’t invite them.
• Rule 3: If you’re inviting anyone only because of sheer guilt- maybe because they invited you to their wedding or you have a lot of mutual friends, don’t invite them.
• Rule 4: For each person, you take off your in-laws’ or parents’ list, take one off your own as well- it’s only fair.
Throw Expectations Out the Window
It may sound harsh, but you’re really not obligated to invite anyone. Not your college roommate you haven’t spoken to since graduation or your second cousin who invited you to her wedding a few years back.
Set Boundaries Early
Most parents already have an idea of whom they’d like to invite on your big day, it may be news to you but they have it in their mind for a long time. The best way to deal with is telling the parent that this is the number of guests you can invite – you can decide on a number – 10 or 50 – whatever it is you’re comfortable with and make sure that you stick to that number so you don’t feel that extra pressure to not invite people close to you.
Consider your Guests
If you’ve guests travelling especially for the wedding, you must handle their conveyance and stay. However, if you have maximum guests who are primarily local, it’s best to communicate with anyone and understand the total count of people and if they need any help with the conveyance. A fair idea on this will help you to book venues and vendors at least 8-12 weeks in advance and then you can also begin to send out invitations.
You can also get in touch with us at The Wedsite Company to get a wedding website invitation to your wedding. We can get you an amazing personalised wedding website in under 48 hours.
PHEW! Moving on to the next point.
2. Break Your Budget
Some people want a small intimate wedding to cut down on budget while some want to have a lavish one with limited people. Understand what your budget is and break it down into percentages – like how much do you want to spend on the venue vs. the decor vs. the food and so on. This will help you pick your vendors and see what can be deleted.
Know what you need:
Every wedding, no matter the size, will need a venue, food, servicemen, some décor, and entertainment, so keep those basics in mind as you’re making plans.
“It’s also a great idea to hire a wedding planner/designer, even if it’s only for the day when you have the maximum event, you’ll want someone there to facilitate the flow of the day so you and your family can enjoy the wedding instead of worrying about the small happenings of the event. This will allow your parents to greet the guests and maintain hospitality during the wedding.”
Speaking of flow, having a timeline for your wedding is also something you can’t forget. The guests must always be aware of the timings and the event details throughout the event. Especially in close, intimate settings, it is important that the service must be over-the-top excellent!
“So much thought goes into the details of a wedding, whether large or small, and a good timeline provides a framework that helps tell your story.”
Skip what isn’t important:
As you’re determining the details, decide what is important to you and your partner and skip the things that don’t matter.
“Know your guests and replace it with an activity everyone will enjoy, like an ice-breaking session (plan interactive games and activities) between the bride and the groom side.”
Activities like these will get you to interact on a one-to-one level with your guests and make everybody a part of the wedding.
3. DIY (Do It Yourself) Things
From guest gifts to wedding favours, you can DIY a lot of things to cut down on your budget. This will also be personal and on a level, not many people can manage. You can go out of your way and make handwritten letters for all your guests and mail it out to them. The lesser the number of people, the easier it will be to work it out. Do remember, however, to not to go overboard with DIY-ing everything that you know (or see on Pinterest!) because you want to enjoy your wedding, and not be stressed about your DIY décor on your wedding day! You can assign a family member with this task and let him/her handle it.
4. Personalise Your Wedding
If you are opting for an intimate wedding, the chances are high that you are opting for this because you want to interact with all your guests personally. So why not add personal touches to every bit of the wedding? You can leave a personalised note with your wedding invite inside guest rooms, or maybe have a small message for all guests on your food tables. You can get personalised responses for RSVP and understand what the guests like.
Like, I prefer apple juice over orange and some may prefer Bira over Hoegarden. Insights on guest preferences will be crucial to surprise them with their favourites. These little gestures will go a long way to make your wedding even more memorable.
You can accept RSVPs on your wedding website by TWC. This makes it interactive and personalised responses add a flavour like no other.
5. Intimate Pre-Wedding Events
Have a welcome brunch or post-wedding dinner party before the actual start of the wedding events so that you can have fun and also be introduced to the other side of the family in a more casual, informal setting. Even if you have an intimate wedding, chances are high that you will be busy with rituals and immediate family on the day of the event. This is a great idea for both the families to interact too! This idea is highly recommended given that this will bring closeness and everybody gets to know the near-and-dear ones of the couple!
6. Pick The Right Vendors
People usually just talk to the vendors over the phone (sometimes not even that!) and book them. If you are looking to add your touch to this intimate wedding, do your research on your vendors, meet them, communicate your plans to them and only when you feel that they can execute them within your vision and budget, hire them!
7. Wedding Website by TWC
With a wedding website by TWC, you can always Broadcast your Wedding Live on your own couple website for *all* your relatives to see if you wish so. There is also so many things you can do with a wedding website, one such example of a website we’re making for a couple who were supposed to have their wedding in May’20 but the lockdown messed up the dates – Sourav & Divya.
They’ve asked us to add the following on their wed-site:
• the event details,
• wedding date & time,
• venue location & how to reach there,
• include a paragraph or two of the bride and the groom,
• put an option for their guests to write messages for the new couple,
• accept RSVPs and customised responses of the guests,
• exhibit their pre-wedding shoot pictures,
• to showcase your wedding pictures post-wedding.
You can even password protect your intimate website so that only your close guest list can access the site. Half of the weddings in developed nations like the US, UK, Canada, Australia have a wedding website and it’s about time India grasps to the concept and go digital with wedding invites.
Hey, thanks for hanging on till the end, we have an additional point for those who clung on till the end, as this is a wedding type that will be seen more and more in the future:
Q. What is a Micro Wedding?
Ans. A micro wedding is an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests. They still feature time-honoured traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale.
Don’t Sacrifice the Chance to Celebrate:
Instead, we encourage our clients to make the most of it—even if they have a gorgeous destination wedding in the works. “Get your marriage license, hire an officiant, and grab a few friends, then get married somewhere you could never have a typically-sized wedding. Whether it’s in a small village near Amsterdam or your parent’s native place, take advantage of the small size and go somewhere you couldn’t go otherwise!”
We were a part of one such wedding in India, where a couple from Canada had come along with 3 of their closest friends and had the most intimate wedding we were a part of ever. Obviously, with a wedding website, their family and friends could see the events right on their mobile screens and be a part of the event, virtually.
Intimate weddings or private ceremonies are going to be the next big thing in the coming times, and website wedding invites is going to be a trend soon! We’ll be one of the biggest rooters of micro weddings in India. a. If you or anybody close to you is getting married soon, we would love to make a wedding website invite for your guests, visit our website or simply hit us up on WhatsApp or call us on +919903981525.