Virus Puts New Twist on the 'Micro-Wedding'

Couples are opting for few guests (or none) in social distancing event known as a 'minimony'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 13, 2020 2:53 PM CDT
Virus Puts New Twist on the 'Micro-Wedding'
This photo shows the wedding of Renee and Ryan McCarthy in March 2019 at Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, Calif. The couple had 24 guests, feeding a trend toward micro-weddings that has grown stronger since the coronavirus pandemic sent millions into isolation.   (Monique Bianca Photography via AP)

Couples trying to salvage weddings put on hold by the coronavirus are feeding a fresh trend in the bridal industry: the "minimony." Rather than wait, they're getting hitched alone or with a few local loved ones looking on at a safe social distance as other guests join virtually. Then they plan to reschedule larger celebrations when allowed. "We were about to put a $15,000 deposit down on a venue when [the] coronavirus hit," Kate Whiting, 35, of Lake Almanor Peninsula in Northern California, tells the AP. "Why would I want to wait to marry my best friend?" The 300-guest wedding of her dreams, and those of her 40-year-old fiance, Jake Avery, will happen once a COVID-19 vaccine is in place. For now, a close friend recently ordained will marry them in their yard June 6.

Their approach, born of necessity, is a play on "micro-weddings," the first choice for some couples looking for a more intimate experience or unable to afford splashier affairs. Before the pandemic, 20,000 to 30,000 US weddings happened each weekend, with more than 550,000 originally planned for April, May, and June this year, per data from Worldwide, 93% of couples whose weddings are impacted by the virus are rescheduling, with only 7% canceling altogether, the site said. Vendors focused on micro-weddings and organized elopements have seen an uptick in interest since the virus struck. Nicole Ochoa and Brad Wilkinson, both 27, had an initial guest list of 200-plus before choosing to go micro for their July nuptials, with fewer than a dozen guests. "We just really wanted it to be personal," Ochoa says. "I hope ... other people can pause and consider this as an option."

(Read more weddings stories.)

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