Small Wedding Photography Coverage
Small wedding photography doesn’t mean less. In some ways, it can mean more.
Capturing a small wedding in photographs often results in a much more intimate result. The focus being on fewer people than with a big crowd, it can give the coverage more depth. More time for a photographer to explore the relationships, the emotions and the moments in front of the camera. Although the photographer cannot ‘disappear’ into the crowd in the same manner, as with 150+ guests, with the right, subtle reportage approach, their presence is soon forgotten. There is still an insightful story to tell, within a small wedding, even with just two or three hours coverage.
Small weddings have often been part of my work for years. The smallest was just six people, at a wedding in Devon. (The largest 500+ at a wedding in Birmingham – the groom told me to forget about three-quarters of them though). Weddings of just a dozen people or thirty to forty. Weddings in which the numbers are limited to key family and friends. This size of a wedding has taken on more significance since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. With couples having to downsize, due to the prevailing regulations, the fear could be that it would be a lesser day for it. That the photographs would be less impactful in return. It’s not true.
Small weddings at The Mayor’s Parlour, Islington Town Hall
The majority of the small weddings I have photographed have had a wedding ceremony in this small office in Islington Town Hall, The Mayor’s Parlour. A couple of chairs, a few leather sofas, the mayor’s ceremonial robes on a coat rack and a maximum capacity of just twelve people. The smallest ceremony room at Islington Town Hall. As they say, ‘a place where many dignitaries have been received and entertained over the years and is now licensed for ceremonies. The room is oak panelled and furnished luxuriously in red leather. The centre-piece of the room is the built-in fireplace, in front of which couples can make their vows. For those seeking an intimate ceremony in a grand setting, there could be no better choice than the Mayor’s Parlour’.
Small wedding photography at different wedding venues
Small weddings often work very well in quirky venues. Venues that are often small themselves. A couple of cinemas spring to mind. One in historic Bath and one in North London. Certainly the cinema in Bath is tiny, with this wedding on a Monday. But this gives the ceremony an intimacy that the camera can capture – even in the dark of a cinema. Along with these different venues comes a more casual feel to the day and certainly the camera lens picks that up. A small, intimate wedding, with a very select guest list, lacks the stuffiness that can come with grandiose affairs. People often seem more relaxed when the day is more informal, the size of the party helps towards this I feel.
One venue that suits small weddings is the very unique chapel at The Lost Village of Dode, in Kent. The size of this old chapel dictates smaller groups. The venue is simple with straw strewn on the floor. Hay bales to sit on for dinner at long wooden tables. It’s a venue that wedding guests will not forget. Not a sterile hotel environment.
Small weddings due to Covid-19
Clearly smaller weddings have come to attention more because of the restrictions due to the pandemic. They may well be a greater feature of UK weddings for some time to come? Will the day be any lesser for those couples that choose to perhaps downsize their plans and have a wedding with 30 or even 15 guests in total? As the groom put it from this wedding in 2020, the date was changed, the party was reduced to just under 30 people (my coverage was for eight hours) … ‘in hindsight, even if we could have a bigger wedding and had to do it all over again, we’d keep the numbers small. We had our nearest and dearest there and everyone got to know each other. And we got to spend quality time with everyone there. It was just fantastic!’
A key goal for reportage wedding photography is capturing the wedding day’s intimacy in the storytelling. With a smaller wedding, it comes hand in hand. Less can be more. Small wedding photography has a purpose, to capture the unique intimacy of a smaller wedding day.
A few more images from small weddings.
Photography of smaller weddings
If you are considering a smaller wedding, whether downsizing original plans or just looking for a smaller, more intimate wedding day, please do get in touch about this reportage wedding photography approach to capture your day? Coverage can be quoted whether for just two hours or eight. There is still a narrative to capture, a story to tell. Small weddings still mean good pictures. There is no loss in quality in small wedding photography.