getting married in 2020

love will prevail

getting married in 2020

love will prevail

planning a wedding in 2020 has not been what you expected it would be

You had planned a big ceremony, even bigger reception and a maybe an overseas honeymoon…

We all know what happened next.

But the question on the lips of many a bride/ groom is… what now?

For so many the affect of all the uncertainty is paralysing indecision.

To postpone until it’s all behind us? Will it ever be behind us?

It seems the more time passes, the more couples are asking ‘should we just elope?’

You know who can’t help you make this decision? Vendors, other couples in the same situation as you (planning a pandemic wedding) or other couples who got married before this sh!t storm.

But you know who is perfect to get advice from? People who have done it. People who have decided to have a small wedding during the restrictions…

So, we asked all our recent couples what advice they would like to pass on to couples like you.

And the results have been amazing!

We hope they help….

how did you initially feel about downsizing your wedding (because of covid), before you made the decision?

We asked this question kind of knowing the answer. We had been speaking to couples who were devastated that they didn’t get to have the wedding they had planned.

For many couples it was because their wedding was meant to be in March or April, and the first lockdown closed their venue and stopped ceremonies having more than two witnesses.

As everyone banded together and tried to stay positive, couples were hurting.

Some of the feedback from our couples, on how they felt at that time:

“It was a kick in the guts ,especially since we had planned and paid for our wedding and were in the middle of making the final touches to it”.

“Sad, disappointed”

“Nervous about having people not be able to come due to borders closure and restrictions”

“It was disappointing that the wedding we wanted would have to be put on hold – but we felt grateful that we were able to get married at all!”

Soroor & Jack (and their witnesses) socially distancing, 90’s boy band style – married at our Caves Beach location.

how did you feel, once you made the decision?

We loved the answers to this question.

Some of our couples are just hilarious.  Many saw a very silver lining, and said it was a great excuse to have a small wedding, which they would never have been able to do otherwise due to family pressure. Some loved that it meant they wouldn’t have to invite their huge families, or spend all their hard earned cash.

Of course it also brought the romantics out in great numbers, with everyone who got married during this time so adorably committed to being married and starting their life together, despite not being able to have all the trimmings. These couples were wonderful to work with, as their marriage was more important than their wedding.

It has been a very rewarding time for the celebrants at Just Married.

Some of the comments from our couples:

“We have been together for 22 years and throughout those 22 years we had 6 kids together. Deciding on having our marriage ceremony to be small during the epidemic we felt it was an intimate ceremony between us ( bride & groom) with our kids, which made it extra special to have our kids witness our special day.”

“We were excited because we were happy to get married, however also a little sad to think our family wouldn’t physically be there with us”.

“We made the decision to take advantage of having Covid as a reason to limit our guest list. We are both from big families and would have felt pressure to invite everyone- but this was a financial step too far for us!”

“Blamed size of wedding on ScoMo. Saved $”

“We were actually happy to be able to have an excuse to make it more intimate making sure its only our loved ones invited and others will be understanding coz of restrictions”

Ashley Hokai and Samuel Madigan (and Pooch) at our Adelaide Beach location. Pooch couldn’t wait for mummy and daddy to make it official.

what were you most concerned about, when deciding to have  a small ceremony?

Like you probably are now, our couples’ heads were spinning when they were trying to decide what to do….

From our survey, the biggest worries were that they might be sad on the day, without their family and friends there (42% of respondents) and worried that they might upset their family and friends (33% of respondents).

For some couples, they were worried about regretting the decision later, when  the dust has settled and life is ‘back to normal (16% of respondents).

Another worry was financial, as for some people the decision might mean losing the deposits they had already paid vendors for their bigger wedding (2% of respondents).

what factors made you decide to have a small ceremony instead of waiting for a bigger wedding after covid?

So there really are only two  options, have a small wedding now, or wait to get married after the pandemic ….  But making that decision is affected by so many different considerations.

For the couples we surveyed, the biggest factor that made them choose to go ahead with the small wedding was the belief that they would probably be waiting a really long time to have the wedding they would have otherwise planned (34% of respondents).

Other big considerations were border closures, particularly the national border and the probability that it will be a really long time before international guests could attend their ceremony (18% of respondents).

Additionally, many said they just couldn’t wait (21%), as they were starting a family, moving overseas or, for at least two of our couples – being deployed overseas as part of the defence forces!

In addition, 9% of our couples were worried about the health of their guests if they had a big wedding, not wanting to hold an event that might spread the virus.

And, quite tellingly of the times, 6% of our couples had lost jobs or had work hours reduced due to the pandemic, and 9% were very worried about the economy, so were tightening their belts (and wedding budgets) as a result.

Some comments on this question:

“We were planning to wed overseas and my now wife is working overseas and to this day we still don’t know when we will see each other again .This was the single biggest factor in why we wanted to do it. Pandemic or not we wanted to show that our bond and the plans we had made will find a way.”

“We wanted it to be very private. “

“We just believed it was just time to tie the knot.”

“Moving to New Zealand and wanted our Australian family and friends to be a part of our day.”

“We decided it was about “us”, it was OUR day and thought it exciting and romantic to elope and tell family and friends after the fact. The date was very important to me as it was my 60th Birthday that day and I knew that it was impossible to celebrate that, so why not make the day extra special by marrying my love.”

“We just wanted to be married!”

“Really never thought on a BIG wedding. It was perfect timing”.

how did your family and friends take the news?

So many people worry about what they family and friends will say, if they choose to have a small ceremony rather than the bigger celebration they would otherwise have had.

So, we asked our couples what their nearest and dearest said about their decision. Thankfully, most people were incredibly supportive, and more than happy to celebrate with them later.

In fact, we have only heard one example of a couple whose family didn’t take the news well.

Some of the answers from our couples:

“They understood ,given the circumstances ,and were happy for us regardless”

“They were ecstatic that love was going to overcome all. Pandemic or not we chose to seal our love. With a kiss viewed by those present and those watching thousands of miles away, we were able to share the bond of marriage to those whom are closest to us.”

“They were supportive of our decision, they understood why we changed our minds and opted for a small ceremony.”

“They were not happy at first but due to current situations, they agreed as well.”

“Some were disappointed that they weren’t able to be there, we only invited our parents and our very closest friends and then had our 2 daughters attend”.

“ [a small ceremony was] always what we wanted, but covid made it easier to explain”

“No one knows we eloped to this day”

“They’ve been supportive and understanding.”

“There were a few that were angry they couldn’t come and few that decided to end the friendship.”

“They were excited [for us]”

“Pretty good. They actually said now is a good time for it”

“They had mixed emotions but explaining it to them they understood our intentions.”

“They blamed the government”

“Our friends and family supported our decision – they knew that the reason we opted for the small ceremony was out of our control.”

“We did not tell anyone other than those 6 we had as guests. Everyone else found out after the fact, it was perfect for us this way”

did you / will you do any thing to adapt your celebrations to the pandemic?

Rolling with the punches, couples are doing the best they can to share their ceremony with the people they love. A large proportion of our couples are filming their ceremony (usually just on a phone) to share with their peeps later (60% of respondents).

About 17% have been live streaming. The best way we have found to do this is to set up a Facebook group and live stream to that group (using a tripod!) – so that you aren’t dealing with everyone dropping in and out of a Zoom call and asking to be admitted again. Everyone seems to cope with Facebook far better than Zoom, especially those older relos (assuming they have Facebook!)

About 45% of our couples are planning on having their ‘reception’ when restrictions are eased. Our tip for this is to definitely show the video (consider getting a professional videographer) at the party, to get everyone in the mood to celebrate your love, and remind you what you are celebrating!!

17% of our couples plan on having a vow renewal ceremony and reception later, to share with their loved ones.

And a sneaky 2% of our couples are planning on having a ‘fake wedding’ later (never telling anyone they are already married!)

Some further advice from some wise couples:

“This is just the beginning. This is not the time for a fanfare whilst people are suffering, rather we choose to have an intimate gathering after with those close to us who could attend. But rest assured, we will plan for a bigger event in a safe manner when the time is right”

“Have a small party with friends and families after this pandemic over”

“We won’t do anything else. We are super happy with our choice [to have a small ceremony]”

“We announced our elopement to immediate family and shared photos on social media afterwards”

Supathra Khaothamma (who maried Per Anderson at our Maroubra Beach location) zooming mum in Thailand – check out how mum is also dressed up.

how did you feel on your wedding day, and what advice do you have for other couples considering having a small ceremony or eloping?

This is the big question – how did our couples feel on their wedding day?

We knew the answers, as we have been part of these magical moments,  but to put other couples at ease just look at these glorious results.

72% of our respondents answered ”We loved it, wouldn’t change a thing, it was exactly what we always wanted” and 28% answered  “We didn’t think we wanted a small ceremony but we loved it so much we are glad we did it”

And so far, not one of our respondents has chosen the other option in our survey “We kind of wish we had waited until we could have a bigger ceremony”.

Happiness, so much happiness!

Some more advice from these beautiful newlyweds:

“it was still such an amazing day, after having a small ceremony I wouldn’t do a big one, less stress and we only had the people who meant a lot to us there”

“This wasn’t the right time to be too fancy. Parties can wait. What this pandemic has taught us is that we need to cherish each day we have with those we love. Technology has come so far in this new world that those living on the other side of the world are able to witness and participate in this celebration of love. They made not be there physically, but they are definitely there in spirit”

“It was such an amazing day we are both so happy with how it turned out and to now be Husband and Wife!!”

“If you are even remotely considering a small, intimate wedding, definitely go for it! Just Married Weddings took all the stress out of things, and made it very easy for us to have a beautiful day, albeit without all our family and friends.”

“We absolutely recommend Just Married Weddings because it is exactly what we wanted. It was intimate and cost effective. We were married on the shores of Sydney Harbour and we could not have imagined a more perfect setting, with the most wonderful celebrant”.

“We always wanted a small intimate wedding. Initially we had wanted to save up and travel and get married overseas and travel around. We saw COVID as a silver lining for us in making us closer than before. Marriage is about being a strong unit and building to become better together, so nothing was going to stop us.”

“we have always talked about how we wanted to get married. It was always “we won’t have a wedding”. In the end, we decided last minute to have a small ceremony with JMW and we couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. My honest advice is just to go right ahead and do it. Invite who you want or don’t invite anyone at all! Either way, it’s about you and your fiancé/soon to be husband/wife. We have absolutely no regrets in how we got married and we can always celebrate later with family.”

“At the end of the day it’s about celebrating your love for one another. That’s all that matters.”

“I felt like it was the perfect time to get married and had exactly what we wanted with those closest to us without all the high $ spending.”

“Best service, wouldn’t have a wife without it ”

“We definitely won’t asked for more as our SPECIAL day has been MAGICAL and SIGNIFICANT not because of how small/big it is but because of how our loved ones helped us maximise and turned the small celebration to a GRAND MEMORABLE one!!!”

“We loved it. THIS AGENCY ROCKS. Made our day complete”

“The only thing we could not do was celebrate together afterwards as we [due to restrictions] could not have a sit down meal anywhere. We ordered fish and chips and ate it in the car before leaving to head home. It will always be memorable for those reasons.”

“Marriage is important and special, treasure it.”

“Our wedding was perfect, so much better then we both expected. Our celebrant was fantastic and made us feel so welcomed it was truly “meant to be”. I couldn’t of asked for anything better so thank you Just Married Weddings.”

“Don’t hesitate on doing it. If small, intimate event is what you are after, there’s no better option!”

Celebrating iso-wedding style. Size does not matter.

top take-away tips

The top messages coming from our glorious covid-iso-pandemic newlyweds are these:

  • Now is a great time to break all the rules and have a tiny wedding or eloping, saving money all the while keeping it romantic and intimate.
  • You can still share it with your loved ones, live streaming it and having a big party later on. Your family will understand.
  • You won’t be sad on the day, it will be joyous. A small ceremony will just add to the romance and memories that is the beginning of your lifetime together.

JUST us. JUST love. JUST married.

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