Brits are swapping big weddings for intimate ceremonies – even after lockdown

The pandemic has seen many change their wedding plans.

Many Covid-hardened Brits have ditched lavish parties for more "intimate" ceremonies instead, research reveals.

A study of 2,000 unmarried adults found 70% just want to be surrounded by their nearest and dearest on their special day, despite the lifting of restrictions allowing for larger gatherings.

Around one in five respondents, pre-Covid, would have invited 90 or more guests to their big day, but now the average figure tops out at just 52 guests.

The smaller wedding sizes are causing a shift from traditional venues, as 27% of people would now consider tying the knot in their local pub.

And more than half (53%) would even consider a ‘micro-wedding’ – with as few people in attendance as legally possible.

Liane Hunt, spokesperson for Greene King Inns, which commissioned the research, said: "The pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate many aspects of our lives, and weddings certainly haven't escaped this.

“Thousands have had to delay their celebrations until they have been able to fit everyone in again.

"But over the last 17 months or so, it appears the wedding goalposts have been moving as people consider downsizing from a Covid-safety perspective, but also to keep costs down."

The study also found 72% of those polled believe a smaller, more intimate wedding is better for actually spending time with ones you truly love.

Other benefits of smaller weddings include guests mingling better rather than spending time in their own ‘groups’, less pressure on those giving speeches, and the event being even quicker to plan.

For 52%, however, the main positive of a smaller wedding is not having to invite people you barely know – or even dislike.

But 45% even went as far as to admit that the pandemic has given them a great excuse to have the intimate wedding they secretly always wanted.

And of the one in four adults who have attended a ‘micro-wedding’ during Covid restrictions, 56% enjoying it more than bigger dos attended previously.

Despite all the perceived benefits of a more low-key wedding, 47% worry they’d upset people who didn’t make the cut for the guest list.

Although as a result of planning smaller wedding ceremonies, respondents estimate their post-Covid nuptials will set them back just £6,089 on average, according to the OnePoll research.

Liane Hunt, from Greene King Inns, added: “Of course, in an ideal world we’d all have everyone near and dear to us present at our weddings, but Brits are brilliant at looking on the bright side of life and finding silver linings in some of the darkest clouds.

“Despite this new lean towards smaller weddings, Greene King Inns offer plenty of places to tie the knot with wedding packages that cater for both large and small affairs.

“Swapping your lavish wedding day to a smaller venue with a more exclusive guest list may not be for everyone, so large or small – if anyone wants their special day in their local, they just have to get in touch.”

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