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If you are one of many couples who have decided that postponing your wedding is not for you (you have waited long enough to marry the love of your life!) and you are opting for a modified version of what you originally had in mind, there are still lots of ways you can make your wedding day truly special and unforgettable.
When the guidelines changed from 30 guests to a maximum of 15 guests it left many brides and grooms upset and disappointed. But for many couples it was a wakeup call which changed the perspective of why they were marrying in the first place. It made some realise that the importance of the day is not the big flower arrangement or long guest list – it is to celebrate an extremely special milestone in your life and to have the most important loved ones there with you for it.
So why not take the opportunity to make it really, really special and unique. Splash out on the details that you probably wouldn’t have spent money on, had you also had to spend thousands on feeding an extended guest list, decorating bigger or more tables, evening entertainment etc.
1. Get bespoke signs made up which make the message to guests to socially distance a little less intimidating and strict – it’s your chance to make it playful and it will guarantee a smile on your guests' faces.
Cute sanitising stations for guests to use is another little addition that will just make the day a little more fun and the guidelines a little less tedious.
2. Provide a fancy cocktail for your speeches instead of the typical glass of bubbly now that you have the chance to make the day a little bit more interesting in terms of food and drink.
3. Make extra time and effort for your wedding snaps! You may have a little more time to kill if you have an earlier ceremony and whilst you are not able to have a lengthy drinks reception why not make the most of it and have some amazingly unique wedding pictures taken. Here at The Swan, we have endless of places to go for some extraordinary backdrops. Gummers Howe is probably the closest and most quickly accessible high point to the hotel and it provides absolutely stunning views over the whole of Lake Windermere and the rolling hills beyond it. It may seem a bit of a trek to go for a few wedding shots but believe us it will be so worth it!
4. Design your own wedding rings! The rings are already such a significant part of your marriage and so why not make it extra special by visiting a jeweler and together make your own customized rings. There are loads of suppliers that offer this service and we think it’s a really wonderful way of showing your love to each other.
5. Treat yourself to a beautiful face-covering especially for the wedding day and why not even match the bridal party’s outfits with personalised masks for them with their wedding roles on!
6. Take the time to make extra personalised wedding favours for your wedding guests or make name tags something for them to take home – Plants, especially succulents, are extremely trendy at the moment and everyone loves edibles!
7. Plan a socially distanced activity for your guest to part-take in. Whilst you can't have a traditional evening do with all that comes with it, you perhaps still want to have something for your guests to focus their attention to once the mean has come to an end. Organising a pub quiz or playing a board game that you can enjoy from your tables will get the party going and old school games such as charades and themed bingos can seem cliche but it will guarantee many laughs amongst the group. If you want to go all-in, why not create your own version of your favourite game show - anything from Countdown to Catchphrase will be sure to enthuse your guests and create a great atmosphere!
8. Get a caricaturist or an artist to capture the day. Have a drawing made of your ceremony to take home and treasure for many years to come. It’s a lovely alternative to wedding photography – but there is no one to stop you having both; that's the beauty of a smaller wedding!
9. Live background music – ditch the DJ for a singer or acoustic musician! We love music here at The Swan and although you are not yet able to have a full-on evening reception with all that comes with it, we would recommend getting a single or a couple of musicians to provide some entertainment during your meal. It will make a lovely focal point during the meal and the time after when you would have typically started getting excited for the big evening do.
10. For smaller weddings, the smaller things become more important – why not write personalised messages to all your guests and order them to be bespoke made together with the other bits of stationery such as menu cards, table names and order of service cards. It could be your fondest memory with the guest, a silly joke or a poem based on your relationship to that guest.
11. Plant a tree as a symbol of your wedding day and marriage. Because contrary to what many married couples may say, love grows 😊
12. Do it twice! If you do decide to go ahead with your smaller, adapted version of you wedding day, but still feel like there is more celebration to be had, why not plan a second, larger party for when restrictions and guidelines are a thing of the past? There are many perks to this – you get to wear and show off you wedding dress again for one, and you may choose to have a second ceremony in form of a blessing which can be lead by a friend or family member to make it less informal – plus you are legally already married and so there will be less nerves involved a second time around!
13. Fill the venue with pictures of guests who cannot attend. Make it feel like you’re not just the 15 in the room by spreading out lots of pictures of friends and family who have had to have a sudden “un-invite” or elderly loved ones who are vulnerable and are not able to attend for those reasons.
In light of seeing a lot more smaller weddings being planned, we have put together a brand new package for intimate weddings that we are super excited to share with you! For more information visit our weddings page and get in touch for a wedding showaround today!
Take a look at our Lake District wedding venue.
View our new intimate wedding packages
After all this planning for a perfect wedding day, you'll probably want to unwind, as one of the highest regarded spa hotels in the Lake District, you'll be able to relax with a pamper session for you and your partner.