6 Secrets to Planning a Wedding During COVID

Guest Contributor (Do Not Delete)

September 24, 2023


5 Min Read


How one bride turned her big day into an intimate backyard ceremony, and why she wouldn't change a thing.

Written By Holly

When Luke and I got engaged on the North Shore of Minnesota in the spring of 2019, we could never have predicted how our wedding planning experience would play out. We had all the big decisions finalized by the end of the year. We knew we were going to invite 200 of our closest friends and family, and get married at Rapid Creek Cidery. We had our photographer booked, our save the dates sent, and the wedding dress was purchased.

But then, COVID hit and, suddenly, everything was up in the air. 

Photos Courtesy of Grace T. Photography

When we started to realize that the pandemic was going to be around for the foreseeable future, it was clear that we needed to decide about how to proceed with our wedding. Honestly, it was an easy decision for us.

The most important factor was that our friends and family were safe and that we did our part to help protect our community that we love so much. The wedding day was never going to be more important than our love for one another or our life together, so we decided to move forward with throwing out our original plans, and got married in the backyard of my childhood home with just our immediate families. 

Luckily, our vendors were amazing to work with despite everything they were faced with. We were able to plan a reception date back at Rapid Creek for our one-year anniversary, so that we can still party properly when it is safe to do so! 

Photo Courtesy of Grace T. Photography

Even though we missed having our “big” day with everyone there, looking back, we would not have changed a thing.

Here are the top reasons why we loved having an intimate ceremony and would recommend it to any COVID couple:

You can still have your big party at a future date!

It was important for Luke and me to have the big celebration with all our friends and family, so we worked with the event coordinators at Rapid Creek Cidery to move our venue reservation to a future date. We plan to host cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, and drinks! And because we kept our videographer for the ceremony, we plan to play our wedding video as well.

Photo Courtesy of Grace T. Photography

You get to wear your dress twice (if you choose to 😊)! 

This has been a very exciting perk to the whole situation. Traditionally, we spend so much money on these dresses we love and adore only to wear it for a day. Because we chose to split up the ceremony and reception on different days, I get twice the fun in my dress.

Thoughtful thank you notes.

This was an unexpected outcome of a downsized wedding. Because we had such a small guest list, we didn’t have the endless pile of thank you notes to complete. This allowed us to take the time to be thoughtful in our messages back to our loved ones and express our gratitude in a sincere and meaningful way.

Photo Courtesy of Grace T. Photography

It’s less expensive. 

When it comes to weddings, the more people invited the larger the wedding budget needs to be. We choose to keep it simple with 10 guests, takeout from Rapid Creek Cidery, and my parent’s backyard as the venue and were able to save a lot of money in the process. 

It’s relaxing.

Maybe it’s our personalities, maybe it’s a small wedding, but we didn’t have the usual stress and bustle we see in larger celebrations. The morning of our wedding we took our dog for a long walk and we napped later in the afternoon. Our dogs got to be running around throughout the day, and there’s less pressure to keep up images or have everything be perfect. Everyone there loves you unconditionally and all the little things don’t seem to matter as much.

Photo Courtesy of Grace T. Photography

People still shower you with love and support.

Even though we cut our guest list we still felt unbelievably loved and supported in our marriage. We were able to zoom the ceremony for our wedding party and extended families, we received many cards and thoughtful text messages, and our amazing friends put together a video of well wishes that made the day feel extra special. 

A small ceremony might not be for everyone, but it was perfect for us. We were able to celebrate our love, stay true to who we are, and focus on what was most meaningful to us. And at the end of the day, that’s all that truly matters.