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Simone Anne Photography - Destination Wedding Photographer

California & destination | weddings & Elopements

COVID Wedding Ideas

COVID Wedding Ideas for Pandemic Times

During pandemic times, as weddings have been rescheduled and cancelled in favor of big weddings next year, smaller weddings this year, or both, COVID wedding ideas have become more and more valuable.

Here’s the good news: Intimate weddings and elopements are incredibly special and forgoing or delaying a big wedding to celebrate with just your partner, your family or chosen family, or a small group of favorites, can actually be a big win. Smaller groups mean lots of sweet emotions, an intimate feel to your wedding day, and a true focus on why you’re there: Celebrating your love and committing your lives to each other. The pandemic is making all of us focus on these things more than normal: Your COVID wedding might be the perfect opportunity to craft the dream wedding you didn’t know you wanted.

Invite Only Your Favorite Guests

Narrowing your guest list down to only your favorite humans in the world might sound like the toughest choice you’ve ever made, but when you’re trying to have a smaller day with only a handful of guests in attendance, you’ll be forced to really narrow down the day to only those who matter the most to you.

Can I let you in on a little secret? A smaller wedding with only your absolute favorites will feel more relaxed, be easier, and add a lot of meaning to your day.

Big weddings are super fun, sure, but there’s nothing like a wedding where everybody knows you very well and none of your guests ask, “So are you still at the same company?”

It’s pretty magical to have a wedding where everybody in attendance loves you more than anything. Choose that.

Choose an Epic Outdoor Wedding Location

Smaller weddings, especially tiny weddings, mean you can really say your vows almost anywhere. Some outdoor locations will require permits, but if you’re only having five guests, chances are you can say your vows almost anywhere, even without a permit (National Parks will always require a permit).

Have your wedding ceremony somewhere stunning, somewhere overlooking the ocean, the mountains, or your favorite lake. Say your vows with views that would rival any postcard and add a level of “nature’s cathedral” to any wedding ceremony.

Want to get married in the redwoods? I’ve got a list of 25+ Best Redwood Wedding Venues right here. Some are still available and booking for weddings during COVID-19!

– Looking for other epic spots to say your vows outdoors in California? My list of the best engagement photo locations in California can also double as a great list of places for where to say your vows outdoors in California during COVID.

– Thinking of getting married in Yosemite? Here’s a Yosemite elopement guide.

Rent an AirBnB for Your Wedding Venue

There are so many magical AirBnBs that would be wildly inappropriate for a full sized wedding, but would work well for a small wedding with only a handful of guests. With a small guest count, suddenly you have 10x the venue locations available to you.

Take advantage and make it a weekend getaway for you and your family/very close friends that will live down in infamy.

I’ve put together a list of my favorite AirBnBs to rent for small weddings here!

Have an Outdoor Adventure

Forget all of the trappings of a traditional wedding and just have a really damn good day. Say your vows in a magical outdoor place that means the most to you two, adventure along cliffs, down onto beautiful beaches, and through the woods. Get your boots on for a muddy hike up to see an insanely gorgeous waterfall or a jaw dropping vista and then say your vows with only the scenery as your witness.

There’s nothing like some time outside to put you in a wonderful mood and there’s nothing like seeing the sunset, the sunrise, or the moon cresting over the hill to make you feel like the world is a magical place. Bring that kind of energy to your elopement and instead of feeling like your guest list is small, you’ll feel like the world is an immense and magical place and your love got the backdrop it deserves in the world.

Get Married on a Backpacking Trip

Want to get married with the most insane and magical views you’ve ever seen? Backpack in to an epic location and have the most beautiful views all to yourself.

Stay up for sunset and say your vows as the sun disappears behind the mountain. Snuggle up in a hammock with your new spouse and watch the moon rise over an alpine lake. Wake up for sunrise to watch the pink of the mountains as morning alpenglow lights them up, and then relax as the sunshine warms the rocks and you look over to your favorite human and see the ring on your finger sparkle in the sunshine.

A backpacking elopement is the perfect adventure, full of fun, full of beauty, and all ready for wedding vows in the most perfect natural cathedral the world has ever seen.

(And yes, of course, I love to backpack! I’d love to help you capture the adventurous and beautiful wedding day of your outdoor backpacking dreams!)

Host a Private Outdoor Dinner

Hire a chef or three to bring your ultimate dinner experience to life. Set a long (short) table outside or a host of tiny tables for your small guest list and treat them and yourselves to a meals you’ll never forget. If you’re skipping the DJ, it only makes sense to invest in the food, and a tiny wedding with an impeccable menu will be a beautiful, memorable, and super fun intimate wedding.

Host the wedding dinner of your dreams in your backyard, your mom’s backyard, or check out local farms to see if they’ll rent you some space to set up a small table. Fresh food, twinkle lights, and a speaker playing soft bluesy music will set that dusky vibe full of magic that will make all of your wedding dreams come true.

Browse Other Intimate Weddings and Elopements that I’ve Photographed

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