Harry and Meghan certainly did it in style…
On Saturday, but the thought of 600 actual guests and millions more across the world tuning in to watch would turn the stomach of most people! The love shone through, but how many of those guests were true friends?
The trend for more bespoke, unique weddings is rife, with people opting more and more for smaller, more intimate affairs. People are gradually moving away from 200 strong receptions with even more guests arriving for the evening bash. In an age of public ‘friending’ and following, are people starting to think more about who their true nearest and dearest are? And when it comes to getting married, is there more focus on being surrounded only by those who really matter; letting the hangers-on and ‘B-listers’ experience it only through your Instagram feed? Perhaps Harry & Meg would have loved to avoid the pressure and have just such an arrangement!
Phil Fanning, the owner of Paris House Restaurant in Woburn, has seen a 200% uplift in wedding bookings in the last 12 months – his establishment seats just 36 people. “Brides-to-be seem to be turning away from big bold weddings and are asking us more and more to help them plan intimate, bespoke affairs that really capture the essence of who they are and focus entirely on their very closest family and friends,” says Fanning. The result is a lot less stressful, and some would argue an awful lot more special.
Wedding photographer, Binky Nixon, is a big fan of these intimate affairs. “I love shooting smaller weddings, they always feel so special as every single person in the room knows the bride and groom intimately and wants their day to be just perfect – it makes the bride and groom so much more relaxed.”
There is also an ever-increasing demand for those who do still want to ‘go large’ on the big day, to have an intimate pre- or post-wedding celebration with their immediate family. “Post-wedding lunches the following day for 10 or 12 people are wonderful affairs. We love the buzz as people ‘undo’ the big day and the bride and groom enjoy being able to catch up properly with the people who really matter.” says Paris House’s Events Manager, Natalie Stevenson.
Creative and unique wedding suppliers are tapping into this trend as well. Owner of www.mrandmrsunique.com Erica Willoughby-Smith has seen a rise in customers planning smaller bespoke weddings. “It’s all about being unique and creating a wedding that reflects the personality of the bride and groom rather than going for something off the shelf. Many couples are choosing to invite fewer guests but are then really spoiling them.”
So don’t go thinking going small necessarily means that the average cost of weddings will reduce. But the Instagram feeds of the wedding world are just going to keep on getting better.