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Love Finds A Way - How To Have a 5 Person Wedding in Isloation

UPDATE: Many places around the world are now in full Lockdown so weddings and gatherings or ANY size are on hold while people are advised to stay home.

" I've been saving and planning my dream wedding for two years and now it's a month away and our venue have just contacted us to say they're canceling the booking! They've offered us a date for next year!! I am so low now and can't stop crying. I don't know where to start canceling and rebooking not to mention family and friends who are traveling and paid for hotels and more. It's a nightmare. What do I do I still want to get married, especially now when it's all going crazy...."

These are the familiar words of brides we are seeing on our Low Budget Wedding Group.

As the reality of Coronavirus is sinking in and governments are closing things down and implementing strict isolation measures, couples who have been planning their dream wedding to celebrate with family and friends are now faced with the very grim prospect of having to scale down, cancel, rebook, postpone. Money will inevitably be lost and disappointment, anxiety and stress will be high.

"With all this going on a joyous event could be what we need to lift our spirits, not a postponement! How do we pull off a small wedding now we have to comply with isolation rules?"

There are lots of resources online to help brides with going about the process of canceling their larger scale wedding. This post is going to focus on what to do when planning your smaller wedding in isolation.

It's important to note that none of us are experts in planning the perfect isolated wedding so all tips and advice are welcomed from those going through or who have recently been through the process. Please share your stories to help other engaged couples at this time, when stress is high.


I'll start with a checklist of what I believe the basics are, please DO add to them in comments and I'll edit the article accordingly. This advice does not replace any official guidance, rules and is just the view of the author.

  • Check to see what the latest information, restrictions, government guidelines are for YOUR area. 

They will have different rules in place for different countries, states and so on. This will apply to courthouse and registry offices, are they open and if closed how long for?

Some may have some services operational and others not. Some may have changed the way they operate. Call or email the relevant legal body for obtaining your marriage license to find out what current rules are in place. In the UK (as an example) 5 people are required to perform a legal marriage. The couple, two witnesses and the officiant. At this time it can't be any fewer than this.

  • Your chosen guests can still join you via LIVE STREAMING

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology you can now allow your guests to watch online as you say your vows, exchange rings and sign the register and party afterward!

For DIY live streaming a wedding you need:

  1. An internet connection
  2. Ideally a high-definition camera with a mic to ensure good volume so guests can hear you saying your vows etc. 
  3. A site to host the Livestream. 
  4. Facebook, tweet, email, message the Livestream link to the guest list. Keep it private so the whole world doesn't see it unless of course you want them to!

  • Set up a wedding website to keep your guests in the loop

You can keep your virtual guests informed re the wedding details via one of the many FREE WEBSITE apps that help you to plan, discuss your wedding with guests. You can also set up a social media group via Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger, etc.

  • Send out live streaming wedding invitations and save the dates 

livestreaming wedding invitations budget template
You can still send out save the dates, change the dates, we're doing it, we did it, we're eloping paper/card invitations to add a sense of ceremony to your proceedings and to keep things as normal as possible. 

Simply amend your wording to show the website details and details of live streaming and how to log on etc. People unfamiliar with this process (me) will need some guidance regarding that. Hopefully there's a teenager nearby who can help ;) My kids are great at keeping me present and future-proofed!

Nothing Fancy Just Love Wedding Reception Invites

  • One of your witnesses can be your photographer and the other witness can be your videographer

Having these two service providers act as witnesses at your wedding, means you'll be creating solid memories with the help of professionals who can capture and record your day.

  • Know the rules for social distancing

Even with 5 people the isolation and virus protection rules regarding personal space and contact should be adhered to. Make sure all in attendance know what they are. It may be the case the officiant dictates what these should be.
Your officiant, Priest whomever is marrying you will not shake hands, kiss the bride, or hand anything to you or accept anything from you. Avoiding contact with each other and items one may transfer the virus to is imperative. 

If you and your partner are not yet living together you may also want to take the added precaution of limiting physical contact and increasing physical distance. If you each live with other people and one of you contracts the virus, you risk spreading it via each other and back to their families. 

If you're going to be living together afterward however this is different and every situation will be so follow the rules for your area and make the best decisions you can for your self and others.

  • Consider having the wedding outdoors

If you have the wedding outdoors in an open space, you can more easily keep those distances and hopefully have a great backdrop for your wedding photos. It also avoids the need to sterilize and disinfect everything you might use for decoration or come into contact with.

If having the wedding indoors, keep decor to the bare minimum. Have hand sanitizer nearby and use as often as recommended along with handwashing. People with any symptoms or caring for a vulnerable person should (sadly) not be in attendance. The same goes of course for vulnerable people.

  • Have a blessing, party, reception at a later date when things return to normal

Not having parents and grandparents witness your marriage can be a big blow for you and them, hence the importance for live streaming and recording the event and if possible when things return to normal, have a blessing, reception party at a later date where they can be greatly involved.

You may be very unhappy your elderly loved ones can't be there. It is very important (as the over 60's are in the highest risk group) that they do not have any non-urgent contact with anyone who is not themselves uninfected/immune. At this point, we don't know who either of those groups are! Follow the Coronavirus advice and protocols for your area.

I am gathering more tips and advice, please DO contribute your ideas, experiences, stories in comments below.

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