wedding picture Photo by Sofia Hernandez

Micro-Weddings: Would You Get Married With No Guests?

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Will this pandemic-prompted mini wedding trend continue?

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Many couples spent the last two years postponing and rearranging their weddings as Covid restrictions changed. Fed up with waiting, many have opted for ‘micro-weddings’, with just a handful of friends or family present, or even opting to elope (as far as travel restrictions allow) as a couple. Less stress, a smaller budget, no family dramas, speeches and best of all, no seating plan; we think this is a trend that might catch on. With less travel, resources, materials and waste involved, smaller ceremonies are an eco-conscious choice, too. Sold? Here’s what you need to know about throwing a tiny wedding celebration.

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Where To Say ‘I Do’

As travel restrictions lift, destination weddings are back on the cards, so those that have been dreaming of getting married are finally able to do so. But the chances of getting everyone gathered in one place and one time in a far-flung destination still feels fairly unlikely, so how about leaving the guests behind? Some venues are creating packages to cater for mini weddings for exactly this purpose.

Looking for London wedding venues or country wedding venues? Check out our guides. 

With intimate weddings looking to be the way forward for the foreseeable, and destination weddings very much still high on couples’ wish lists, villa wedding venues are also a popular choice for 2022, with many destinations offering wedding packages that mean everything can take place in one setting. What do you think; would you get married without the guests? Will the micro-wedding trend outlive social distancing mandates? An intimate eco-friendlier fuss-free ceremony in a beautiful far-flung (or not-so-far-flung) spot sounds like the perfect start to any happily-ever-after. And if you want to stay close to home, we’ve rounded up the best destinations for micro-weddings right here in the UK.

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The UK’s Best Destinations for Micro-Weddings

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Tylney Hall Wedding

Tylney Hall

This Victorian Grade II listed house sits amongst an impressive 66 acres of gardens, boasting an uninterrupted view of the Hampshire countryside. Tylney Hall prides itself on offering the perfect venue for an intimate wedding celebration, with the Mansion House comfortably accommodating up to 40 guests. Alternatively, take the party outside to the Italian Gardens, which has a beautiful view over the lake – perfect for photos!

Rowallan Castle Estate

Rowallan Castle Estate

Home to not one, but two impressive Scottish castles, this East Ayrshire estate (just 2o minutes from Glasgow) makes for an idyllic wedding venue. For those favouring a smaller ceremony, the historic Old Castle – dating all the way back to the 13th century – hosts up to 20 guests and sleeps eight people.

Pale Hall

Palé Hall, Wales

An impressive country estate boasting 18 elegant bedrooms, Palé Hall is ideal for intimate weddings – think lavish lounge rooms, beautiful landscaped gardens, and delicious seasonal cuisine curated by Head Chef Gareth Stevenson. For extra exclusivity, the venue is also available to hire where you and your guests can enjoy the entire country home – including all 18 bedrooms – for 24 hours.

Careys Manor - Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Careys Manor Hotel

Say ‘I do’ at this characterful Hampshire hotel, where you’ll experience top-notch dining (from a choice of three onsite restaurants), treatments at the award-winning SenSpa, and luxuriously ample country suites. The Brockenhurst venue’s ‘Love in a Bubble’ intimate wedding package caters to those desiring a smaller celebration, which features a six-course tasting menu (or four-course meal), venue styling, overnight stay in the Four Poster Manor Suite and more. What’s more, newlyweds can enjoy a complimentary 1st anniversary overnight stay.

Oulton Hall

‘Every wedding is big to us,’ says Oulton Hall. The West Yorkshire hotel – complete with its own spa, Champagne Bar and 27-hole golf course – has created a special package tailored to more intimate weddings (max 30 guests), including a traditional four-course wedding breakfast, drinks reception and canapés, and overnight accommodation for the newlyweds in one of the luxury hotel suites.

Gilmerton House

Gilmerton House

Fall in love with this spectacular Georgian Mansion situated within East Lothian, Scotland. Boasting a rich history, the recently renovated country estate has been the Kinloch family residence for an impressive sixteen generations, and boasts an series of sophisticated reception rooms, ten sumptuous double bedrooms (plus a three-bedroom cottage) and spectacular grounds. You’ll be well looked after at this Grade A listed venue – local caterers and suppliers will be called in to help, whilst a number of nearby churches are available for ceremonies.

Forter Castle

Forter Castle

Micro-weddings don’t get much better catered for than at this 16th century highland gem. Ideal for those looking for a more unique, intimate wedding venue, Scotland’s Forter Castle is a cut above the rest. The historic venue – situated within the picturesque village of Glenisla and featuring resplendent interiors designed by none other than Katharine Pooley – can host up to 24 guests for a day event, providing catering, flowers, a Ceilidh band, bag piper and more. The castle (which also sleeps up to 12 guests – plus three dogs) even boasts its very own chapel.

Honorary Artillery Company

Honorary Artillery Company

Say ‘I do’ at this six-acre historic estate in central London, the oldest regiment in the British Army, which comprises a charming Georgian manor house, a prepossessing Artillery Garden and contemporary, event-tailored Prince Consort Rooms. For intimate ceremonies, the Armoury House offers a range of characterful, licensed rooms, where top-quality catering is provided by Britain’s oldest catering company, Searcys.

The Montagu Arms – Beaulieu, Hampshire

The Montagu Arms

A charming country house hotel situated within The New Forest, The Montagu Arms provides the perfect setting for an intimate and traditional English wedding. The 17th century hotel’s Petite Gourmet wedding package is of particular note for foodies, including a seven-course signature tasting menu designed by head chef Matthew Whitfield and wine pairing by Head Sommelier Sergio dos Santos. First-rate cuisine aside, guests will adore the English gardens and cosy, country-esque bedrooms.

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Pennsylvania Castle Estate

Pennsylvania Castle Estate

Located on the Isle of Portland overlooking the Dorset coastline, Pennsylvania Castle Estate has a little something for everyone, blending contemporary accommodation with traditional grandeur in a beautiful waterside setting. Wed in the splendid neo-gothic castle, langour in the Italian Gardens, and enjoy an overnight stay in the estate’s array of accommodation, ranging from elegant castle bedrooms to luxury clifftop lodges which provide spectacular sea views.

Photo: Jim Stephenson

Featured image: by Sofia Hernandez