Like so many things in 2020, weddings — and pretty much everything about the $55 billion wedding industry — have been turned on their heads this year. These gatherings, so sacred and beloved as a rite of passage, have been put on hold in most cases due to social distancing protocols and the need to keep each other safe.
Nevertheless, couples still want and need to formally tie the knot, so these strange times have given rise to a now-popular trend: the “minimony.” Though not entirely new, these small weddings that were once a niche custom are now happening all the time.
Of course, it makes perfect sense. When hosting a minimony, only a few people gather in-person, while others can “attend” virtually to see the couple recite their vows. For brides-to-be who always dreamed of a giant gathering with hundreds of loved ones, this may sound a little defeating. But it can certainly be a fun and worthwhile celebration and offers a much more intimate way to start a marriage.
To help out anyone thinking about having a minimony — in our current unprecedented times or even afterward — the following breakdown will help you understand what it’s all about and how to host one.
What Is a Minimony?
What is a minimony? It’s right there in the name: a mini ceremony. There’s no hard and fast rule about exactly how small it has to be to qualify, but something around a dozen or so people is a good baseline.
These are the guests you will host in-person to witness and celebrate, although a Zoom call or other video feed is often set up so that loved ones from all over can be part of the festivities.
Why Have a Minimony?
These days, due to COVID-19, safety factors, and restrictions on the size of gatherings are the main factors driving the minimony trend. Simply put, if you want to get married responsibly and don’t want to delay things, this is a great option.
Beyond that, it’s rather easy to host. That’s one reason why minimonies were a trend before 2020. Not to mention, these types of celebrations tend to be rather inexpensive and can be held in a backyard, garden, or nearby park. This allows newlyweds to put their money toward a new home or another goal, rather than spending tens of thousands on a one-day event.
Lastly, some people just love the intimacy. Having so many people at a wedding can, for some couples, take away from the true purpose of forging a lifelong bond and beginning their lives together.
How Do You Host a Minimony?
Compared to a traditional wedding, a minimony is rather seamless to pull off. It doesn’t take much beyond setting the date, inviting the right people, picking a location, serving quality food, and putting on some nice clothes. Truthfully, it’s almost more like throwing a dinner party rather than a wedding.
Still, one factor to consider is ensuring everyone who can’t attend understands what’s taking place. Typically, this isn’t a huge problem. If someone isn’t invited to a 300-person affair, they may feel a bit disappointed. When it’s just the immediate family and inner circle, however, there are usually not many hurt feelings.
However, you still want to send out a save-the-date to invited in-person guests and virtual attendees. This is a great compromise that allows more people — including close relatives who may be out of town — to enjoy the experience.
Is a Minimony Right for You?
A minimony isn’t for everyone. A lot of couples right now are simply choosing to delay things by a year or so, and that may be a better option for some people.
Others, however, are discovering a minimony is even better than “the real thing.” It’s cheaper, it’s easier, it’s smaller, and it’s more intimate. If that sounds like something that fits you and your partner, why not give it a try?