Unfortunately, the situation with COVID-19 in the world is still dangerous, and not much has changed since last spring, so a lot of couples who hoped to have a wedding this fall are forced to either postpone it further or have a micro wedding. If you’re in a situation when you have to shorten your wedding guest list in order to have a legal wedding ceremony, here are a few pieces of useful advice for you.
In many countries, small gatherings are allowed but not more than 10 or 30 or 50 people. And there are other restrictions, especially when people are gathered indoors, which is a typical situation for a wedding. Those couples who planned to have a grand marriage ceremony with several hundreds of guests need to decide if they want to postpone it to 2021 or even 2022 wedding season or have a much smaller wedding. So, the question arises, how to shorten a wedding guest list to turn a grand wedding into a micro wedding.
There are always options, even if they’re limited. You can have an elopement wedding with just the two of you and wedding witnesses. Or you can organize a small homey ceremony with only the closest people. It is hard but you’ll have to decide who are the most important people in your life and you can’t celebrate a wedding without them.
A few tips for you. Take the number of people you’re allowed to gather. Remember that the bride and the groom are included in that number, so there are -2 wedding guests. You absolutely need witnesses to sign the legal papers. Also, you’ll need an officiant or whoever will perform the ceremony – another -1. The rest of the list will include your wedding guests. At first, think about people who you absolutely want to be there: parents, siblings, best friends. Sometimes, couples divide the vacant places in a list of guests equally, but it’s not always the best option. So, you and your loved one have to sit and decide whom to invite to your wedding. It might be not the lightest and funniest of talks but it needs to be done.
Remember to notify those guests you’re inviting that they can’t bring a +1. Most of them will understand that naturally, but you still have to remind them that the guest list is very limited. Also, talk to your parents and explain that they can’t invite those relatives who aren’t on the list – you simply can’t legally gather too many people.
At the same time, be ready for a reversed situation when a potential wedding guest you fought so desperately for with your honey won’t agree to come to your wedding. Some people try to travel as little as possible these months, others don’t want to risk their family’s health and go to a gathering, still others might even get ill just before the wedding (something as simple as a running nose today makes people avoid contact with others) and pass up on your invitation in the last minute. So, our advice is to create a sort of a B-list with people whom you want to invite but couldn’t squeeze in the A-list of wedding guests. And if someone declines your invitation, you just move to the next name in the B-list.
Talk with your relatives that aren’t invited and explain the situation. They probably will understand, so make sure to have a conversation with them and tell them that you would, of course, invite them but can’t. You can promise to have a large wedding party later, in a few months or years when the pandemic is over. In the future, you’ll have a chance to gather all your relatives and friends and celebrate together.
What to do if you’ve already sent invitations and now have to uninvite people? Again, most of them will understand – we all watch and read the news and know the situation in our city or country. But the best option to uninvite people to your wedding is to talk with each of them personally. Don’t just e-mail them or send a message or write on your wedding website. Call them or meet them if they’re your close relatives and explain the cancellation of your invitation to each person. Tell them that you’re concerned about their health and want them to be safe. They will feel much better than if they just read a dry message from you.
While canceling the invitations of your guests, try to organize a live stream of the wedding for them or some other option so that they still could see your ceremony and be present, though virtually. For a lot of your relatives, this will be enough to feel needed and involved.
Very important right now is to be up to date with the legal regulations the government gives. You need to know what you’re allowed and not allowed to do at the moment. So, follow the info from your local government. You will be able to find out how many people you can gather, on what conditions, what additional measures you need to take (do you need to provide your guests with masks? do you need sanitizer stations? etc), and so on.
In general, don’t be afraid of micro weddings or small weddings. They can be so much more intimate and romantic than our usual big and fancy weddings. You might get even more pleasure from a small event than you would from a large and noisy one. So, don’t be upset if you’ve always imagined and planned your marriage ceremony to be different – an elopement wedding or a micro wedding can surprise you. Think about it.