Thanks to COVID, most unmarried adults are now open to a ‘micro-wedding’

LONDON — A big wedding is something most couples and their families remember forever. However, thanks to COVID-19, many people are planning for their “big day” to be a lot smaller. A new survey finds the pandemic is causing many single adults to rethink having a giant ceremony, with 53 percent now willing to consider a “micro-wedding” instead.

Micro-weddings are ceremonies with as few people in attendance as legally possible. Many couples around the world have had to downsize their nuptials due to social distancing mandates over the last year.

At the end of the (wedding) day, a poll of 2,000 unmarried adults in the United Kingdom finds 70 percent just want to be surrounded by their closest friends and family now. Respondents say they feel this way regardless of whether or not lifting COVID restrictions will make a bigger event possible. Pre-COVID, about one in five adults would have invited 90 or more guests to their wedding. Today, though, the average guest list is down to just 52 names.

A wedding in a bar?

This shift in matrimonial thinking is also leading people to different wedding venues as well. Close to three in 10 adults are now willing to tie the knot in their local pub.

“The pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate many aspects of our lives, and weddings certainly haven’t escaped this,” says Liane Hunt, spokesperson for Greene King Inns, in a statement. “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.”

Much of this may seem like a negative, but many people are finding the silver lining in micro-weddings. For instance, 72 percent say they believe a smaller, more intimate ceremony is actually better when it comes to spending time with loved ones. Other perks of a small wedding include more opportunities for mingling, less pressure for speech-givers, the wedding is quicker to plan, it’s cheaper, and less worries over dietary requirements for guests.

Another 52 percent like the idea of not having to invite people they barely speak to, or even like for that matter. Meanwhile, 45 percent even admit that the pandemic has given them an “excuse” to have the small, intimate wedding they’ve always wanted.

Among respondents who have already attended a micro-wedding, 56 percent report it was a great experience and enjoyed it more than larger affairs. However, 47 percent of adults also say they worry about offending some people who may not make the guest list for a micro-wedding.

For what it’s worth, respondents estimate that a post-COVID wedding these days in the U.K. will cost just over $8,000.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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