EXPERT ADVICE FROM THREE OF OUR FAVOURITE SUPPLIERS ON PLANNING YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING
2020 threw plans in the air for many couples, yet for some it has presented an opportunity for a more intimate celebration. In this blog, we address some of the most commonly asked questions about planning an intimate wedding at Boconnoc, with the help of some of our wonderful suppliers.
How can we reduce our guest list when we have already planned for numbers over 100?
Reducing your guest list is unlikely to be your favourite wedding planning task, but this is an essential reality for many couples in the current situation. First, do not get hung up worrying about what people will think, or if they will take offence if you can no longer have them attend – they should understand completely.
Go through your list and mark the people who you can’t get married without being there, then if numbers allow every extra guest you can invite outside of this list will feel like a bonus. Of course, it will be specific for each couple but often the most obvious people to cut would be plus ones, work colleagues, any vulnerable/ at risk people and those who would need to travel internationally.
Spend the time to create a guest list for different number allowances, for example, 15 people and 30 people. This way, if the legislation changes you have your list ready to suit the current situation.
When it comes to informing your guests, rather than sending a round robin email – take the time to send them a personalised message, whatever platform that is on, or better still, pick up the phone. Explain that due to the external factors outside of your control, you have had to reduce the guest numbers. They will no doubt understand and wish you a wonderful day.
Relationships, relatives, and expectations are tangly things. This is normal. Also, this pandemic is anything but normal, which means that generally people will be more understanding if they are not invited to be physically present.
Sometimes a physical approach is less emotive. The exercise we would share is one that puts the problem ‘out on the table’ between you. That way you can both focus on finding a solution.
Cut your printed list into individual names. Clear a table and put your names at one end of the table. At the other end, agree on the person or people that you would least miss if they weren’t able to make it to your wedding.
Now, add all the names to the line in a continuum, from those closest to you to those at the other end. If there’s a disagreement, remember to listen to why your partner thinks they should be elsewhere on the line. If you get stuck, put that name aside and come back to it later.
Choose to see the common ground you’ve found. Once the names are in a line, you’ll see your guest list in a new light. It may not answer all your questions, but it will help towards decision-making.
Mark and David
This is no doubt the hardest decision to make about your wedding day. Reducing your wedding guest list is not an easy task, however with the pandemic being part of our every-day lives, guests will understand your decisions, and after all, it is your big day!
For a small wedding, how can we involve all those we wanted to invite but were unable to?
Check the WIFI connection at your venue, if it is strong you could organise a live stream of the wedding with the guests that can’t attend in person. They could dip in and out at different parts of the day to feel included in the whole celebration.
If that’s not feasible on the day, arrange it for afterwards and share photos and memories of the day with them. You could also ask guests to prepare messages for you to play on the day, this could be pre-recorded or on the live stream and play them during the speeches.
You could send them a gift hamper in the post, this could include some local Cornish produce which you will be serving at the wedding, for example a bottle of Camel Valley, some Cornish Yarg and a mini wedding cake from your cake maker.
When my parents got married in 1969 in South Africa, only my mother’s sister was able to attend from her Scottish side of the family. A little like today, not everyone could make it to the marriage celebrations. Still, everyone got involved.
From a brother-in-law organising a local Piper to pipe mum down the aisle, to the gift of white Heather and Scottish thistles that were created in sugar by her cake maker to intertwine with the South African Protea. They were evidences of the love of those far away for my mum. Well over 100 thoughtfully drafted, personal telegrams were received from friends near and far. They were presented in a ribbon-wrapped bundle of congratulations and well wishes for them to read through at their leisure.
From a cake-maker’s point of view there are new and old ways to involve your friends, family and colleagues. For on-the-day joy, we offer a celebratory “cake-for-a-crowd” letterbox service in which we bake and beautifully package slices of gourmet cake and sweet treats to send across the UK (and beyond – if you opt for fruitcake).
This means virtual guests can literally tuck into your wedding cake at the same time you do! Or you can go old-school, and like my mum and many before her, have leftover cake wrapped, boxed to family and friends miles away, perhaps with the order of service, much love, and wedding photographs.
Mark and David
A lovely idea is to post something special to them to open on the day of your wedding such as a wedding favour, a card with a poem or your vows written inside, even some food items (that can be posted/delivered) for them to enjoy on your wedding day.
Wedding cake companies are offering portions of cake, beautifully wrapped sent in the post. Flowers can be sent from your florist so your guests will enjoy the same arrangement as you.
Ask a videographer to record your wedding day with a live link which family and friends who are not attending can join remotely (i.e. via zoom).
Ask guests who aren’t coming to write some lovely words which can be read out and incorporated into your day, perhaps by your Best Man, Bridesmaid or a close family member.
Photos: Debs Alexander Photography, Tim Lowe Photography