I have known Sarah for many years as she works in the wedding industry herself, so it felt doubly unfair that after years of helping hundreds of couples bring their day to life Sarah’s own wedding was the source of so much stress and worry for her throughout 2020. Sarah and Jake postponed their original October 2020 date to March 2021, and almost postponed again when they made a U-turn and decided they just wanted to get married whatever the day looked like. So they began making plans for a micro Christmas wedding in the Cotswolds at beautiful Lapstone Barn.
Their priority above all else was getting married, but as a complete wedding nut (much like myself!) Sarah didn’t find it easy to let go of her big dream wedding. We had many a chat on the phone about what the day should look like. Initially she didn’t want it to feel like a ‘proper’ wedding as they might have a big party later on which she didn’t want to spoil. And so I was thrilled that after much soul searching they threw caution to the wind, and embraced the situation and went all out with their very micro wedding – with just fifteen guests.
In the end they had an incredible wedding. I’ll admit I shed a little tear to Sarah walking down the aisle to the theme from ‘Home Alone’ – it was magical. The feel of Christmassy nostalgia, mixed with how special and intimate an occasion it was after such a terrible year was very moving indeed. Everyone knew they’d over come so much to just get to that moment.
Not even the pouring rain, which continued ALL day dampened Sarah’s spirits. I wasn’t sure she’d be up for venturing out with an umbrella for a few photos but she did me proud hitching up her skirt, all of us howling with laughter. The fun captured in the resulting images is infectious.
Have a scroll through their photos and Sarah will explain more about their journey planning a micro wedding in her own words. I should add, all of these images were captured in just 2.5 hours of coverage, if you’re having a midweek micro wedding I’m happy to offer hourly coverage rather than a full day package.
“we didn’t want to keep putting our lives on hold”
Why did you decide to go ahead with your wedding instead of postponing?
When our first lot of invites went out the week before the first lockdown when we were naively confident that this would all be over by our October 2020 wedding! From October 2020 we postponed to March 2021 and were just about to have to make the decision to postpone our March 2021 date to October 2021 when we decided to ‘just get married’ and take back some control.
“we decided to ‘just get married’ and take back some control.”
The stress of moving everything is huuuuge, not only do you have to go through the whole cycle of having conversations with the venue and worrying if deposits would be lost or prices increase, but you then have to co-ordinate and hope that all the suppliers who are on the journey with you are then free for the new date, whilst also then having to contact all the guests to let them know too – I felt so much guilt that our guests had booked and then cancelled annual leave for our midweek wedding twice and some had moved hotel and Air B n B bookings for us twice too!
After my husband planted the ‘just get married’ seed there was so much to consider and it took me a good few months, and lots of tears to finally get my head round the idea that our day was going to be different……it sounds dramatic, but I felt like I was grieving for a day that I had always dreamt about, but at the same time we didn’t want to keep putting our lives on hold and feeling so stressed about not knowing!
“it took me a good few months, and lots of tears to finally get my head round the idea that our day was going to be different”
Everything felt against us for a while, but as we got closer we got more and more determined we wouldn’t let Covid win and stop us becoming Mr and Mrs! My beauty lady ended up having to self-isolate a few days before so there was a last minute frantic rush to find a new appointment somewhere else, and when we lost some of our guests to the tier changes a few days before, at that point we made a decision that whatever happened, we would just do it the two of us. Luckily, the tier window aligned just long enough for everything to happen!
“I would now not change anything for the world or have it any other way!”
Are you happy you decided to have a micro wedding?
Sooooo happy, in fact I would now not change anything for the world or have it any other way!! We are living in a newly married bubble, probably the only people smiling through January and our chat at home is totally back to normal, rather than always talking, stressing and second guessing about the what ifs of a wedding we could no longer control or really plan.
We were showered with so much extra love from all of our friends and family who couldn’t be there with us, it was truly amazing and everyone truly spoilt us with the most heartfelt cards, messages and gifts! We were truly blown away by the support, and everyone I spoke to genuinely made me feel like we had made the right decision.
I thought with all the stress leading up to the day, with announcement after announcement the week before and the heightened emotion of such a big event, that I would be so emotional on the day. I thought that the sense of relief would get me and I would blub my way through the vows, but I don’t think I stopped beaming the whole day!
One of my biggest covid stresses was walking down the aisle to see my family in masks, I even asked Lydia to make sure there was no memory of the masks by asking her not to photograph the guests at the ceremony, however I am so glad she talked me round to capturing those precious ceremony moments, and on the day I just didn’t care or even notice.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Uuuuum I feel like I should have something to say here because I am so picky, but honestly nothing! Not even the torrential continuous rain that we had ALL day…..it actually made us laugh that the weather was so hideous.
“our chat at home is totally back to normal, rather than always talking and stressing about the what ifs of a wedding we could no longer control or plan.”
What was the best thing about having a micro wedding rather than postponing your day?
So many…..firstly I had so much space in the venue to really swish around in my dress! How special all of our suppliers made us feel as they were just so excited and happy to be at a wedding! I smiled during the drinks reception that Lydia knew all of our guest’s names off by heart, it was like she had known them for years too! It also felt like Lydia and the Abi and Kate from the Barn were like extra bonus guests!
Because there was only 13 of us, the Barn team were so lovely and let us have our dog (Mylo!) off the lead and trotting about all day with us, just as if he was a real guest. He was treated like total puppy royalty which would never have happened if there had been 80 of us there!
Despite what was going on with the world, we managed to have a family meal altogether right on Christmas which would never have happened otherwise! It was enough for us to make Christmas feel complete….
What was the hardest part of planning a micro wedding?
Boris and his constant surprise tier announcements!! I ended up having to do a late-night trip to pick my dress up from the seamstress as her shop went into a Tier 4! Thankfully she was amazing, and got there as soon as the announcement was made to finish off the last bits and steam it ready for me!
Apart from Boris, deciding which two of my six best best friends and bridesmaids could come! I was heartbroken at making that decision as we have all been friends for so long and all been a huge part of each others’ wedding days. In the end I asked them to decide who was coming for me which took away the pressure of me having to choose.
On the day I didn’t have any official bridesmaids as such, it didn’t seem fair so we are saving that fun for when we can do it all together later on.
What were the main things you changed about your plans for the day?
Not a huge amount except we didn’t have any official bridesmaids, ushers or our bestman!
I debated long and hard about wearing my actual dress, and whether it was the right thing to do, but after speaking to some really supportive people including Lydia, I decided to wear ‘her’ and that was the second best decision I made, after deciding to ‘just get married’….
We had a choir, photobooth and videographer already booked for our ‘big’ wedding all of which we are saving our deposits with to use again in the future as it didn’t quite feel right or fitting to have them there for 13 people!
“We cannot wait to hug all of our friends on a dance floor, but the best bit is that we don’t have that date pressure behind us, we can just pick it up whenever the world is ready!”
Are you planning to have a bigger party later or are you ‘done & dusted’?
Absolutely!! My dress is already with the dry cleaners so ‘she’ is back and ready to be worn again!! We cannot wait to celebrate and safely hug all of our friends and family in a messy heep on a dancefloor, but the best bit is that we don’t have that date pressure behind us, we can just pick it up and do it whenever the world is ready!
Do you feel your wedding was any less special than a ‘big’ wedding?
Totally the opposite, as I walked down the aisle that day, I knew I had made the right decision, everything just felt so right, although everyone says it; it genuinely was about us getting married and we will still have that ‘big’ day to come! We now have a really special day to cherish that was just with our closest family and friends.
In the end after all the tears, stress and heartbreak I actually think covid and the restrictions have given us the opportunity to do something unique! How many other times in your life do you to swish about and wear your wedding dress again? Or cut two cakes, and feel like a total Princess twice!?
My advice would be to go with your gut (always!), and take your time in coming round to the idea; we had no idea would our micro wedding would look like when we made the decision to go with it, I found it so hard to envisage how the day would look and feel but every time one little thing got sorted or ironed out it slowly all took shape!
“As I walked down the aisle that day, I knew I had made the right decision, everything just felt so right; it genuinely was just about us getting married.”
Venue: Lapstone Barn
Dress: Morilee at The Mousetrap Boutique
Seamstress: Lovelace Atelier
Flowers : Eden Blooms
Hair & Make Up: Totally Flawless