On August 20 this year, Lauren Maybank made the most important Zoom call of her life – to her parents, who were isolating in lockdown.
It wasn’t any old catch-up – but the chance to watch Lauren tie the knot to fiance Robert in a hastily-arranged ceremony which was the fraction of the size she had originally planned.
‘I was alerted to a few cancellations cropping up at Chelsea and Kensington Town Hall, and we saw an opportunity to go ahead with a legal ceremony, one with six guests and my parents on Zoom, and then invited a few friends to a private room in a pub near the venue,’ says Lauren, a brand consultant from Leigh-on-Sea.
‘It was so fun and relaxed, and our friends went home with fuzzy heads and full bellies. Nothing felt compromised, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.’
Lauren planned her big day in just four weeks – booking a local black cab driver to take her and on the driver’s recommendation, a pub for post-nuptial celebrations.
Now that Covid rules have impacted how we can wed, with limited numbers of guests allowed to witness the ‘I do’s,’ couples have seen it as a chance to break free from tradition and embrace the micro wedding.
These intimate gatherings might’ve emerged out of necessity, but they put the focus back on the couple, not the pomp and ceremony of large-scale weddings. Think Lily Allen and David Harbour’s Las Vegas wedding, Sean Penn and Leila George’s Zoom ceremony and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s gathering behind closed doors at Windsor Castle.
‘Your day doesn’t have to be big to be beautiful,’ says Maximilian Laurence-Gutteridge from Your Wedding Live. ‘It’s the day a couple celebrates their love and devotion to one another, a day that marks a significant life event and opens the door to a lifetime spent together. Nothing changes that whether there are 10 or 100 people to witness the nuptials. The most important people on the day are the couple being wed.’
Roma Popat and Vinal Patel made headlines recently by hosting a drive-in wedding in Essex where guests watched the ceremony on a large screen from their cars.
While that’s more ambitious than many couples might opt for, ‘the use of technology to bring people together will be here to stay,’ adds Maximilian. ‘Couples can invite people to be a part of their day and ask them to do readings and speeches online. Even after restrictions start to relax, couples can use these ideas to bring friends and family together from all over the world and include people who might not have been able to celebrate with them in person.’