As couples plan for wedding celebrations in 2021, we at Amrit Photography urge the community to rethink the big fat Indian wedding and reflect on the health risks of hosting big celebrations. Weddings planned in 2020 were most significantly impacted; however, weddings next year may experience limitations on guest count as an ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID‑19 and protect vulnerable populations. Even as things get better, it may be safer to opt for a micro wedding, which give couples the ability to keep similar elements of a traditional wedding with a smaller guest count.

Many of our clients this year went through the challenge of readjusting their plans so that they could still celebrate in 2020, and they found a silver lining to micro weddings. Most found the experience to be better than their original wedding plans. Their top 13 reasons for encouraging couples to choose a micro wedding are listed below:

1. A More Personal Experience

A smaller guest count means that you will be surrounded by only your closest loved ones. Think of all the big Indian weddings you’ve been to where the bride and groom spend hours sitting for shagan and then moving table to table at the reception trying to get a few minutes in with each guest. With so many people to greet, this task can be exhausting, and newlyweds often miss out on the meal and other details they have spent months planning. They don’t really get a chance to spend any substantial one‑on‑one time with individual guests. A small wedding enables the couple to interact with their guests on a more intimate level. The wedding becomes a closely‑knit affair where everyone is drenched in the joy of you getting married; the wedding actually revolves around 'the couple'.

H+S’s backyard Sikh wedding is proof that the ceremony is just as special and meaningful whether in front of 50 or 500. The bride recalls standing before her big entrance and being so appreciative that everyone awaiting her were all familiar faces of those she loved and admired.

2. Less Stress

You will be eliminating elements of stress that come along with planning a grand Indian wedding. Planning an event for close family and friends is less demanding than coordinating one for hundreds of guests, many that you don’t know well. The couple and their families can focus on being present for the precious moments in an intimate wedding as opposed to hosting and catering to a large number of attendees. The most fun part of any Indian reception is towards the end of the night when only the close family members and friends remain at the venue. There is this unspoken feeling of freedom to finally celebrate wholeheartedly. Why not feel this way the entire time? Having only a few loved ones at your wedding gives you the freedom to be your authentic selves from start to finish. There is no formality to be taken care of, nobody judges anyone, and your wedding becomes a celebration that no one wants to leave.

3. Creative Venue Options

When you are working with a smaller guest list, you have the flexibility to explore less conventional venues that create a unique wedding day experience. Couples can choose a venue that is meaningful and holds value to them. Keep in mind that the nicer the venue, the less you need to spend on décor! In this way, it becomes easier to have your dream wedding. With a smaller guest list, our couple below were able to have their ceremony at Tunnel Mountain Reservoir in Banff National Park.

See our blog post for a list of unique wedding venues.

4. Save Money or Splurge on What You Value

At some point of planning, you may find yourself contemplating the tough decision of either compromising details of your day in order to accommodate hundreds of guests or cutting the guest list and having everything as you initially hoped.  By choosing the latter, you maximize your budget to make your money stretch further so that you can plan your day without having to cut corners. The money you save on catering fewer guests can be allocated to other aspects of your budget, whether it’s the outfits, venue, fresh flowers, a live band, DJ, decor etc. With the ability to pay more attention to details, you will be able to give your guests and yourselves a truly unforgettable experience.

5. No Right or Wrong Way to Do It

J+J’s wedding was scheduled for the end of March right around when Covid‑19 first hit British Columbia. At that time, even a micro wedding wasn’t a possibility as the whole province went into lockdown. Therefore, they cancelled their wedding plans and signed their marriage certificate with just their immediate family. The couple still wanted to have bride and groom portraits, and we were excited to capture these moments for them a few months later once it was safe to do so. When it comes down to deciding what your big day will look like, always remember that the most important detail is the promise you’re making to each other. 

6. More Time With Your Photographer

At a micro wedding, a couple has more time to focus on what they want out of the day, like capturing more creative shots during their portrait session.

7. Micro Weddings Can Still Have a Macro Style

Despite the small size of the event, J+P dressed to the nines and created a macro impact with their décor and lavish details. Even with a smaller guest size, they still wanted their day to be a one‑of‑a‑kind experience, which they definitely achieved!

8. Unique Backdrops for Wedding Portraits 

With micro‑weddings this year, our couples were able to book unique venues and experiences for their wedding portraits which aligned perfectly with their vision for their special day.
The Orpheum served as a majestic backdrop for our couple’s stunning images that they will now cherish forever!

9. Authentic Reflection of Your Personalities and Values

When planning a micro wedding, couples are amazed at how personalized they can make their big day. With all couples intending to only get married once within their lifetime, making sure it’s special is key. So let your creativity and imagination run free!

10. More Time for Family Photos

We love that micro weddings provide us time to do creative group/family photos. These photos also end up being favourites because how often do you get dressed up like this with your family members!

Three generations of gorgeous women in one photo (bride, mother of the bride and grandmother of the bride). 

11. Eco‑friendly

One thing that many don’t consider when planning a wedding is the aftermath of waste and impact on the environment. The average wedding produces 400 lbs. of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. This number is amplified for our large‑scale Indian weddings, where we see greater amounts of tossed paper goods, excess food thrown away, etc. By planning a smaller wedding, with fewer guests, you can reduce the impact of your big day on our planet.

S+H tied the knot with an intimate ceremony of 12 guests comprised of just their immediate family members. It may not have been the tropical wedding they originally had planned for in Mexico, but it definitely proved to be more eco‑friendly, and just as special and memorable.

12. The New Norm

Although a small Indian wedding can seem bold and non‑traditional, many have embraced this style of celebration. Micro weddings are becoming more common and better understood and accepted in our community. The hardest part will be managing familial expectations of a grand wedding and being prepared to have uncomfortable conversations around why certain invitations were not sent. There will be occasional hurt feelings, but being honest in your approach should not damage your relationships. Likely others will follow in this style of celebration, especially given that the top priority is the safety of you and your guests.

Sohal from Blue Rose Artistry had an intimate, traditional Sikh ceremony at Bancy Farms. She has shared many planning tips and suggestions on her page.

13. Health and Safety Is of Utmost Importance

The COVID‑19 pandemic has highlighted how rapidly infectious diseases can spread in large gatherings, especially when vulnerable populations and travelers are in the mix. Let’s take precautionary learnings from this outbreak, so that we can do our part to enhance safety going forward. The benefits of a small wedding have a deep focus on public safety, the environment, and ultimately creating a more enjoyable, personal wedding experience. These are considerations to implement once the outbreak is stable. At the moment, please continue to follow the safety and health protocols to stay home and away from public spaces.

The health and safety of their guests was of utmost importance for A+G, who opted to give their guests a pre‑packed take home meal after the ceremony rather than having everyone gather to eat together. The meals were veggie‑packed, nourishing bowls and wraps from Tractor in Vancouver. The couple not only did their part to enhance the safety of their guests, but they supported a local family run business during a time when most small businesses are struggling to survive the pandemic.

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