How to Downsize Your Wedding Quickly

With the past 12 months and living through a pandemic, the postponement of weddings has hit us all hard. It’s a strange one, because we want to get back to doing what we love and yet we also want everyone to be safe. With conditions changing all the time, we’ve certainly been kept on our toes and I’m so grateful to all my couples who have been so patient with making the necessary changes. If you need to downsize your wedding quickly then read on….

OK so you’ve got the news, if you want to have the wedding on your chosen date, you need to downsize your wedding plans quickly. 

You can still have a beautiful day, the smaller weddings I photographed last year were all very lovely and very special. You can also potentially save on your budget by having a smaller wedding. But there are lots of other things to think about when doing so.

Where on earth do you start? I’ve been photographing weddings for over 10 years and also photographed a number of weddings last year that had been downsized, so I’ve been there, lived it and seen it all! I thought it might be helpful to share my top tips on how to downsize your wedding quickly.


For small wedding inspiration, take a look at Cynthia & Panawat’s Pembroke Lodge mini wedding…

Intimate micro wedding happy couple walking down confetti isle

1. Check with your suppliers

If your wedding plans change, then please get in touch with your suppliers to check that they can still do what you need them to do on the date with the latest conditions in place. By being in touch with them as the first port of call, you’re going to save yourself a lot of potential work! They can also help with advice and guidance. 


2. Speak with your family

Of course your family is the next point on this list – check with them (especially if they’re contributing money, ideas or DIYing something for you) that they can all support the two of you with your updated plans. They also need to be aware that certain family members or friends may not be able to come, so be clear with them that you’re going to have cut the guest list.


Check out Madeleine & Sam’s intimate Marylebone Town Hall wedding with a Bob Bob Ricard wedding reception…

London wedding photography the happy couple at Marylebone Town Hall London wedding photography micro wedding at Marylebone Town Hall

3. Be completely open with your wedding party (bridesmaids + ushers)

Get your gang on board to support you with the changes, the updates and the potential extra work that’s needed to make your new wedding plans work. They’re your closest friends, and they want to help, do not try and do it all on your own!


4. Cutting the guest list

Of course, as strange as it may be, you have to cut the guest list to downsize the wedding. Who could you not get married without? They’re your VIPs.

Think about who would need to travel from overseas or who is outside the local area? Get in touch with them. They should be aware of the restrictions and it’s unlikely they will be able to travel. You can let them know of other ways they can be involved. Haven’t spoken to some of your guests in a while? You don’t need to include them as priority people on your wedding guest list. 

You can create B list, C list, D list, depending on whether things change in the lead up to the day. There are no hard and fast rule of etiquette on these things. Everyone knows the situation and why you’re doing it. Get in touch with the guests you can’t invite and explain, they will understand.

Who is vulnerable / shielding? It’s important to keep everyone safe, but you can involve older relatives or those who are most at risk by sending them flowers on the day, sending a special wedding photo to them after the wedding, or even visiting them in your wedding outfits. 


Hazel & Mat had a small intimate wedding in Bromley with their closest friends…

Laid back mini wedding at Bromley London wedding photography Intimate wedding at at The Old Palace at Bromley Civic Centre natural wedding photography

5. Have More Virtual Guests

With guests not being able to join you in real life, there are lots of virtual options. You could set up Facebook group where people can share their favourite memories of you two as a couple. I’ve seen this work well no matter the size of the wedding!

You could set up a Zoom meeting or do online streaming where guests can join to watch the ceremony and celebrations from the comfort of their sofa. Maybe ask your virtual guests to get dressed up and have the fizz on standby, so they can feel a bit more part of the party? You can have a camera set up in the corner or better yet, get one (or more) of the wedding party to walk around with the camera to give people more of an experience of what it’s like there.


6. Consider a two day wedding

I love this idea and have seen it work well for lots of different types of weddings. Some couples choose to have a small ceremony one day and then a big party later down the line. This could work well for you if you’re keen to crack on with the wedding ceremony, you could have a lovely meal afterwards with your VIP guest list, and then have the bigger celebration on a later date. Maybe you do the party on your one year anniversary? There is no limit to the ideas on how you celebrate your day!


Be inspired by Cordi & Simon’s stylish two day London wedding with intimate church ceremony and big pub party…

Urban London wedding photography bride walking down isle Urban London wedding photography the beautiful newlyweds

7. Remember what’s important

I know it’s tough to make these decisions but at the end of the day, remember what’s important. That you two want to take this step and get married, to celebrate your love. Your family and friends will understand if tough decisions need to be made and they can’t be there for your wedding. It just gives an amazing excuse to have more celebrations at a later date. 

If you want some more small wedding inspiration take a look at intimate weddings in London I’ve photographed, or you can also have a browse through some of these mini weddings:

Rebekah & Andrew’s Islington Town Hall elopement was small and beautiful. I ended up being one of their witnesses, which was so lovely…

Intimate elopement wedding photography ceremony in Islington Town Hall Intimate elopement photography the happy couple


Laura & Steve had a very intimate wedding at Pembroke Lodge, with just the two of them and two friends as witnesses…

Intimate micro wedding London wedding photography the ceremony London wedding photography intimate micro wedding the ring ceremony London wedding photographer beautiful imagery at Pembroke Lodge

For pure inspiration take a look at this Gorgeous Tulip Fever inspired shoot for a small wedding…

London wedding photography beautiful table decoration Beautiful wedding table decoration London wedding photography

If you need any more guidance, you can check out ‘How to plan a small wedding in 10 easy steps’.  You can also see some wedding planning top tips with ‘Five ways to beat wedding planning overwhelm’. Very useful if it all feels a bit much from time to time.

I hope this helps if you need to downsize your wedding. But I equally hope that we are getting closer to wedding plans not having to change quite so much!

Thanks for popping by and feel free to share if this has been useful

Fiona x