The story of a marriage not a wedding- Vic and Spencer canvelled their big wedding and opted for a small intimate wedding in Italy. Read all about it on the Fabulous Functions UK blog

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day

Covid-19 might well have surpassed the British weather as our number one topic of conversation. For sure we’ve written about Covid’s effect on wedding planning on this blog several times now. So in this blog we tell you about an intimate Italian wedding day – albeit with a little twist. That twist being that this wedding happened well before Coronavirus came and changed everything.

A marriage not a wedding

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day - Victoria and her fiance in Italy

Back in March, as the UK went into lockdown and people’s best-laid plans tumbled like the walls of Jericho, we wrote a blog called Your Marriage or Your Wedding? The central message of that blog being, that the MOST important thing is you and your partner joining together in marriage. The rest of it is a party – and that can happen whenever. And this idea of the marriage being the part that matters, lay behind the decision taken by Victoria Wolf of Marlborough’s Willoughby and Wolf bridal shop, and her fiancé, to upend their original plans.

The Italian Job

Says Victoria: ‘three years ago, I married my best friend in a small and intimate ceremony for 11 people and us two. The whole thing was a complete and utter fairy tale with three amazing days of partying, dancing, drinking, eating – all with so much fun and laughter.’

But this wasn’t what we ‘d planned at all.

To begin with we did what every couple planning to wed does. We sat down and drew up a list of potential venues and possible guests and began to go through the motions of planning a wedding. We had the ups and downs. Then the politics started – as family politics do. And soon the whole thing began to feel less about us and the love we felt for each other and more about entertaining people and sacrificing the things we most wanted.

This was the second time round for both of us. I wanted masses of fresh flowers – he wanted masses of food – we both wanted live music. ⁠But our needs were getting subsumed – and it happens all too often.

So, you know what? We pulled the plug. We cancelled the venue viewings and decided instead to get married in Italy with only our immediate family and one friend and their partners present. And you know what else? We had absolutely the best time ever. We didn’t miss anything that we’d planned to have. ⁠It was such a joy.

What’s more, we grew as a family and our friends still tell us it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. They even remember our anniversary and that’s a rare thing!

The moral of Victoria’s story?

Again, here’s Victoria’s own words:

‘If your plans need to change and you’re limited to smaller numbers, work with your venue, your florist and your caterer. Small weddings are beautiful and the intimacy of a small wedding means that you don’t have to compromise on anything. They can be liberating and they’re fun!’

An Intimate Italian Wedding Day - flowers down centre of a table setting with glassware, cutlery and candles.

Whatever the size of wedding you’re hoping to have, whether it be an intimate wedding setting, or a minimony and sequel wedding – we’re here to help.

There’s several ways of getting in touch with us to chat about what you have in mind.

You can drop a note to us on: hello@fabulousfunctionsuk.com Or fill out our web form on our contact page here. And, if you prefer, you can call on: 07511 842 45.

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A bride and groom chose to have an intimate destination wedding in Italy instead of a big wedding at home. Visit our blot to get the low down.
Sequel weddings what it is and how to do it -Fabulous Functions UK

The Sequel Wedding: What it is and how to do it

August 2020

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to exercise us all – in and out of the wedding industry. We’ve already tackled aspects of the situation a couple of times on our blog in our article about changing wedding plans and a feature about creating a Covid-friendly intimate wedding set-up.  But the buzzword now, to work around the restrictions we have, is the sequel wedding. So, in this post we’ll have a look at the sequel wedding – what it is and how to do it.

Covid-Compliant Weddings

So, we have to embrace the reality of weddings with fewer than thirty guests in a Covid-compliant venue. The reality is that for the moment, no wedding can have as many as thirty guests.

Let’s examine why:

Say the capacity of the Covid compliant ceremony room is going to be around 25 people. Remove the registrars from the equation and you’re down to 23. Then there’s the photographer – now you’re at 22 people. And that number has to include the entire wedding party – bride, groom, witnesses, bridesmaids and guests. 

But there is a way to get around this problem – and that’s the sequel wedding.

What is a sequel wedding?

The sequel wedding simply refers to a couple hosting several sequential ceremonies/celebrations.

This isn’t a new concept however. Many other cultures and religions have had such a system since … well since for ever. But now, with our pandemic restrictions, British couples are embracing the idea. Indeed, we’re doing this very thing in our own family. My son had his marriage ceremony late August and his wedding celebrations will be at the start of September in 2021.

An intimate wedding- close family attended the marriage ceremony and wedding breakfast. The sequel to be held in 2021
Image courtesy of photographybysallyanne

And that’s an important distinction to make in any event, as we wrote in this blog, Your Marriage or Your Wedding, earlier this year.

The sequel wedding concept shows every sign of being the new norm for 2020 and into 2021 too. Following so many months of being unable to see friends and relatives in person, few are now willing to limit the joy of a wedding celebration to one event.

Thus, we’re going to see more and more of what Hitched.Co.UK describe as ‘minimonies, micro weddings and elopements joining big reception celebrations for a sequel wedding.’

It’s typical then for the marriage ceremony to have only the closest of family and friends present, with a larger guest list invited to a second ceremony. And following up those two is a large reception.

Irrespective of Covid, some couples have elected to follow a pattern something like that anyway. A small church or registry office marriage followed a small gathering to mark the occasion. Then a larger party, on a different day, at a chosen venue.

And now, in the midst of Coronavirus, there’s a rising trend of couples opting to host, as described above, a minimony or micro-wedding on their original wedding date – or later this year on a re-arranged date. And then they’re planning for a bigger, sparkling, sequel wedding celebration in 2021.

The new wedding jargon

Now for definitions of these new wedding words – so you’re clear on what we’re talking about.

Minimony

This is a cut-down version of your postponed wedding. It’s your legal ceremony or commitment ceremony held by a celebrant your vicar, priest or registrar. You’ll have your minimony in the presence of a few loved ones – either in person or virtually. 

Everything will be as you planned it for your original date. You’ll make your vows, have your first dance, have a photographer for a few hours and even a put a knife in to a cut-down version of your wedding cake.

With a minimony your guest list has enforced and severe limitations on it. So the guests you had to cull get an invitation to a follow-up wedding when large groups can meet once more.  At the follow-up event you’ll have another ceremony, where you’ll walk down the aisle and exchange your vows, this ceremony can be conducted by a celebrant, followed by a reception.

The sequel wedding - couple at table signing register
Photograph courtesy of Twirly Girl Photography

Micro-wedding

I’ll forgive you for wondering what the difference is between this and a minimony.  Yet bear with me – there is one. 

Whereas a minimony is a Covid-compromise, a micro-wedding is a wedding with fewer than 20 guests by deliberate design.

A common feature of a micro-wedding is the absence of a reception at a later date. The couple concerned are simply choosing to have intimate wedding day in the presence of their very nearest and dearest. 

Though of course, many couples are feeling the desire to host a big party in celebration of being able to reunite. Often, they don’t have another ceremony but they do have a ‘sequel reception’ with the emphasis on ‘party’ rather than a second wedding day.

Get in touch

Are you planning a minimony or a micro-wedding? In either event, we at Fabulous Functions UK are here to help. Why not get in touch and arrange a no-obligation consultation?

And if you want to get an idea of how we work and what we do checkout our Instragram and Facebook feeds for inspirational images.

Featured photograph curtesy of Steffen Milsom Photography

The sequel wedding, what is is and how to plan one - Fabulous Functions UK
When Plans for a Destination Wedding gets-a rethink due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic from Fabulous Functions UK

When Wedding Plans Must Change

Here’s the story of one couples dream of a destination wedding and how their plans may change due to the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Wedding plans get changed for all sorts of reasons. Some changes are forced upon us and we have to make the best of them. 

Here we tell how one couple are coping with enforced changes to their dream of a destination wedding. 

Lauren and Phil’s Wedding Plans – and when wedding plans must change

Cliff top views of Ponta da Piedade in Portugal  a gorgeous locations for a destination wedding

It was a beautiful day as we stood absorbing the stunning cliff top views at Ponta da Piedade in Portugal when Phil popped the question!  After a heart stopping moment of taking his words in – I said ‘Yes’.

She said 'Yes' to his proposal at Ponta da Piedade in Portugal


After much discussion we decided to start our wedding planning and the idea of a destination wedding took shape. We wanted to recreate this scene from our engagement location for our wedding ceremony but the location had to accommodate our family and friends without the risk of falling over the edge and into the sea. 

Our original plan

We’d planned to travel to Portugal, view venues and wedding planners and start to make decisions about what we wanted for our wedding at the start of April 2020.

The plan, in my head, was to finalise our colour scheme and look at creating & sending out the Save The Dates by the end of April/ May.

But my original wedding timeline is now ALL over the place!

We had planned a wedding reception at the Vale del Rei Hotel. Chilled out atmosphere, good food and time to relax with family  and friends.

Portugal/ COVID-19

Having a wedding in Portugal was going to be about confirming our commitment to each other in the first instance. With celebrations with our family and friends, the guarantee of glorious weather, the views, the chilled-out atmosphere and the fabulous food and drink.

Our destination wedding was to incorporate the wedding and a large family holiday. 

Also, cost was a big factor. We’ve got a budget of €10,000. At the time that meant we could afford to go over budget slightly with the good exchange rates. However, with COVID-19 this could and probably will, all change.

We’ve been in talks with two different wedding planners in Portugal. One has held our potential dates at the ceremony and reception venues up to 15th May. Other than that, we’ve got nothing booked so our wedding plans are currently on hold! But we’ve been assured that we can still organise a wedding for June 2021.

Backup plans

Blog, how the current situation of the Covid-19 has changed her wedding plans. When plans for a Destination Wedding must change-Fabulous Functions UK

I did, course, have a backup plan in case Portugal wasn’t possible. One that encapsulates the theme (beautiful view, outside ceremony, with a focus on food/ drinks) of our Portuguese venue but in the UK.

The Sandy Cove Hotel is beautiful – but much more expensive! And with so many weddings being rescheduled,  most dates are booked up already. We wouldn’t be able to get married on the date we originally wanted and we’d probably have to get married on a Friday. And that would mean further expense.

How am I feeling?

The main thing for me, is the HUGE AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY!!!

  • Will I be able to travel after all of this is over?
  • Can I afford a wedding abroad after this is over?
  • Will we be able to view the venues in Portugal?
  • What if the venues aren’t how I imagined?
  • Should I book it all now anyway
  • Will everywhere be booked up by the time I start booking?
  • What if my suppliers go bust by the time this is over?
  • Can we organise a wedding & a post-wedding party in the time given?
  • Will anyone want to go abroad for a wedding after this?

Portugal has beautiful views overlooking to the ocean and really great food. So Phil and I wanted to go for venues with the same kind of feel. The ceremony venue has exactly that with great views of the ocean. And the reception venue contains the best food – or so we’ve been told.

For me, a few things will influence whether we will go with the UK alternative:

The Suites Alba Hotel has stunning sea views and the perfect location destination wedding
  1. If, by August 2020, we’re nowhere near Covid-19 ending for both the UK and Portugal.
  2. The view of the economy and the outcomes (i.e. the recession and the exchange rates) – in other words, if we can afford a UK or Portugal wedding.
  3. Our guests view of the wedding abroad, their safety and if they’d still be able to travel.

I’ve looked into the backup wedding and their available dates for next summer and we’ve found a potential date that we both like. But, a destination wedding remains our main preference. Yet, until we know more we’re not confident in making a decision.

The one thing we know is that we want to get married and build our future together. And Covid-19 won’t stop us doing that!

Destination Wedding plans may change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Blog by a couple thinking about their plans and how it might change- Fabulous Functions UK

If you enjoyed reading this blog then check out our blog with helpful tips on the questions to ask and things to think about during your wedding venue search. Venue Walk Through Questions