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Who needs a big wedding? Couples are now eloping or planning a micro-wedding

The pandemic has increased the trend of couples choosing to tie the knot by eloping or arranging a small wedding with just a few very close friends or family.

“Small weddings offer extended time with closest family and friends, something we’ve all taken for granted in the past but value so much more now,” says Jane Caterer of Petite Weddings  She says micro-weddings offer couples a more heartfelt and personal celebration, and the chance to stay in a beautiful property and celebrate their unions with just their nearest and dearest.

It’s an opportunity that’s proving hugely attractive to more couples than ever with enquiries at Petite Weddings climbing 32% in the last year.

For some it’s a question of cost. Jane points out that small weddings are less expensive and are therefore highly attractive to the many couples facing financial stress with job loss or career uncertainty as the UK economy takes the double hit of Brexit and COVID 19. “With international travel being difficult, risky and increasingly expensive for some time to come a UK-based destination wedding seems a fabulous alternative,” says Jane.

It’s also popular with people planning their second wedding. “We have a lot of people coming to us saying we don’t want a big wedding like we had the first time, this time we want to do it our way,” says Jane. Often couples simply want to avoid the pomp and circumstance associated with traditional weddings.

The site offers a range of venues across the country which couples can book for the wedding of their choosing, whether it’s just for the two of them or even for a part of 30 or more. “We have properties available that offer the wow factor, whether it’s a wonderful location or the stunning accommodation, and we can help arrange everything from wedding planners to flowers and caterers,” Jane says.

The rise in demand for smaller weddings means the company is looking for more venues to join their platform. The demand varies from one-bedroom properties – for couples who elope and want a private wedding – to six bedrooms or more, to people who want their closest family or friends to stay with them. Venues don’t even need a wedding licence as ceremonies can be held at a local registry office and the celebration back at the property.

“Holiday homeowners will soon be able to have wedding ceremonies on their properties without needing a licence through a new law going through parliament,” Jane points out. When that happens, she reckons the popularity of micro-weddings will climb even higher.