With the latest restrictions in Australia to encourage social distancing all weddings have been reduced to just five people present. For some this sounds outrageous, but for many in the industry this is a regularly occurrence and a large portion of the 120,000ish marriages that are conducted every year*.
The general public might only see the weddings with 80+ guests, aisle, flowers and “I do” but many couples decide to be married with a celebrant and two witnesses for many reasons.
So why would YOU want to get married without a wedding? Here are ...
Weddings can be expensive. While there is definitely value in all of the services and products available to every couple when they plan to get hitched, what often starts as a “just what we need” can quickly morph into a “everything we have ever seen on pinterest” type of affair.
Guest lists are just one of the elements of a wedding that seem to increase beyond the original estimate. I often hear;
"Well if we invite x we probably have to invite y ...and Y's husband ... and Y's sister. Oh man, if Aunty Maude finds out we invited x and y and not her she will never speak to mum again!!"
By getting married with just two witnesses you can really strip it down to the elements that are most important to you and will find it much easier to stick to the budget you had planned.
100 of your family and friends can’t all stand on top of a mountain… but we can. I have been part of some amazing weddings at stunning locations which just would not have been possible with more than the 5 of us. Over the years that has included waterfalls, mountain peaks, ocean lookouts and even the couple’s favourite store like Sexyland.
Selecting a location that is significant to your relationship can add extra meaning to your nuptials. Not to mention that unlike many venues, you can return anytime to your favourite riverside spot, park or restaurant.
Many of my amazing couples have chosen to be married with just two witnesses present because their loved ones are simply too far away. Just yesterday a couple were married while the groom’s parents watched via facebook live from Italy. There were tears, cheers and well wishes. It was not lost on any of us how lucky we are to have these technologies available during this time. Rather than gather and pay for a group of people you hardly know why not narrow it down and still share it with your loved ones.
Standing in front of 100s of people declaring your love for someone is not everyone’s idea of a fun experience (apart from the MAFS ‘stars’ obviously). Many couples chose to get married with just two witnesses because they are completely freaked out by public speaking, public displays of affectionate or just generally being the central of attention. There is no reason this fear should stop you from getting married if that is what you want.
Having a wedding is a public declaration where you share your commitment with a group of people as your witnesses. Getting married doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes couples are married in private because certain family and friends are not supportive of the marriage or want to get too heavily involved. I remember years ago conducting a ceremony for a couple who felt their adult children had started going overboard with planning a wedding. Instead the couple came to me, we got them married in a café with two random witnesses and when their kids arrived for a family dinner that night there was a marriage certificate sitting on the table. Boom!
Other times couples prefer to keep this commitment to themselves for privacy. Words spoken, vows made and gestures exchanged can be quite intimate. At the end of the day, when the party is over and everyone goes home - it all comes down to just the two people in the marriage.
So maybe you have been thinking about getting married but you couldn’t find the money or perfect venue, narrow the guest list or the nice words to tell Aunty Maude she's not invited – NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. We can make that happen amidst all this craziness.
In the words of Jackie Deshannon,...
* Statistics from ABS https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0