Gloucestershire Wedding Photography: Five Reasons Why an Intimate Wedding Won’t Actually Suck

July 27, 2020

Gloucestershire Wedding Photography

2020. Well haven’t you been a darling of a year?! Literally every plan that has ever been made for this year has been postponed, cancelled or downscaled.

The unthinkable happened. The world stopped. We stayed home, we took stock, we rolled with the punches. That is if we are lucky enough to not have been ill or lost someone dear to us. But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t REALLY SUCKED at times.

I’ve been in tears over my business, my 2020 wedding couples, my son losing half of his last year at infant school, the three chins I’ve gained, and much more. I had emergency surgery in the midst of the pandemic in May. That certainly wasn’t great timing (apart from the fact I had no work on!)

I’ve cried on the phone with my brides, then we’ve stuck out our chin (or chins in my case) and made new plans. Then, with some unlucky earlier couples, we’ve had to make them again.

But in all of this, the one thing I know, is that LOVE ISN’T CANCELLED. So to the postponed couples, to the ones going ahead with decreased numbers, and to the cancelled weddings, YOU’VE GOT THIS. TOGETHER.

My Wedding Story

When I was planning my wedding to Mr Oobs back in 2010, we had some life changing news that meant we moved our wedding FORWARD a year and planned it on 8 weeks notice. We eloped and got married all alone on a sunset beach in Florida. I’ve been asked many a time if I have any regrets, and my answer is yes…just one. I didn’t research our photography and I hate 98% of our photos. I didn’t know a thing about photography those days. Apart from that, no. As much as I love to photograph weddings, the idea of planning one filled me with dread. I wore a relaxed dress, no shoes, a flower in my loose hair and a small posy of flowers. We got ready together and walked down the ‘aisle’ together.

Our plan was to have a vow renewal in 2021 and I had booked an amaaaaazing photographer who was flying in from Chicago to shoot for us. BUT this time, we have also had to postpone due to Covid and my wedding workload next year.

So what’s so good about intimate weddings anyway?!

I spoke to five OobaBride’s about their feelings about intimate weddings. Rachel and Chris were always going to have a small wedding, Helen and Matt were my first postponed couple that are now going ahead with a small wedding. Kirsti and Rob, Nic and Mark and Sarah and Charlie all chose small and intimate Gloucestershire weddings last year.

“Throughout the last few months, our wedding has continued to be the light at the end of the tunnel and something for us to focus on”

As someone that hates being the centre of attention we were always planning to have an intimate wedding with a big party in the evening to celebrate but COVID had other ideas!

When lockdown hit, we both continued to go to work and I picked up extra shifts to help cover for my team in the NHS. With all of this in mind, we started to think about what was most important to us and we realised that for us, it was getting married and having our favourite people come together to join us.

Throughout the last few months, our wedding has continued to be the light at the end of the tunnel and something for us to focus on. We will still have our small ceremony as hoped and currently we can have a sit down meal with our close family and wedding party, just not the big party in the evening. We may decide later to have another party or we may just have a great excuse to have lots of meet ups and celebrations with all the friends and family that won’t be able to be with us! 

It might not be what we had originally planned but it will be perfect for us, and more importantly we can finally become Mr and Mrs!

Rachel & Chris

“This arrangement means I get to wear my wedding dress twice!”

We were supposed to be married back in April, and back then nobody would have imagined that the disruption would last more than a month or two, so we thought September would be safe! Now, we know differently. But we’re going ahead, with a small ceremony, because despite all the things that COVID has taken from us (all of us, not just me and my hubby-to-be) it has not taken away our desire to be married. We have already waited a long time and we are so ready to start our married life together. Plus this arrangement means I get to wear my wedding dress twice! Not many brides can say that!

Helen & Matt

“It was the perfect way to confirm our commitment to one another and to share the day so closely with our families”

From the moment we got engaged, we both knew we wanted a small, intimate ceremony with just our nearest and dearest present. Weddings can be a really stressful time for couples at the best of times and from what I understand, a lot of this is due to the politics of who to invite and who not to invite! So to avoid any of this, we made the day solely about us and our closest family members. We had a party with friends a few days later, which gave us the opportunity to drag out our celebrations a bit!

We were lucky in some respects, in that neither of us come from big families so on the day there was us and just 10 guests. To us, this was perfect. All too often, I’ve heard from friends/colleagues that they found they didn’t get a chance to speak to all of their wedding guests and they felt that they missed out on conversations taking place or moments between guests whereas we felt that we were involved in our special day from beginning to end. We got to chat to everyone and most importantly, we got to share in the memories made by each guest and we can now all speak of our special day collectively, rather than from individual memories.

Many women have been dreaming of their “big day” since they were a little girl and they want the full on day with hundreds of guests, but for me, I am not great at being the centre of attention but more than that, the idea of having to orchestrate everything on a large scale, filled me with dread!! This way, I got to enjoy the planning, the build up and the day!

Since our wedding, I’ve been asked a number of times whether we would do things the same way, if we could re-do our day. My answer to this every time is “absolutely!” and without any hesitation! We were lucky to find Sheryl who, whilst offering an intimate package, also happened to take incredible photos!! Despite only having her with us for a few hours, she captured the most important moments of our day including me getting ready with my Mum, candid snaps of the family during and post-ceremony and the all important cutting of the cake!

Intimate weddings won’t always be for everyone and that’s ok, but from our experience, it was the perfect way to confirm our commitment to one another and to share the day so closely with our families.

Kirsti & Rob

Dumbleton Hall

“Use the money you will have saved on a larger wedding and book the most amazing photographer”

We had a more intimate wedding so we could spend time with each of our guests and everyone could talk around the dinner table – which is rare to get everyone together and never really never heard of at larger weddings. The money we saved by going fully exclusive on the venue, allowed us to really push the boat out on menu choices and fine wines. We could have our dream venue, we could stay in the very best suite in the hotel and we also went Bespoke throughout from rings and outfits (that we made ourselves) right through to the cake! We also got to talk about our day and relive the experience by sharing photos online with those who weren’t able to join us – so use the money you will have saved on a larger wedding and book the most amazing photographer. Sheryl was worth every penny!

Nic & Mark

The Painswick

“We sat together on a sweetheart table for the wedding breakfast being able to take in the day just the two of us.”

We wanted to have a small ceremony with close family and friends, with a few more guests arriving later on, to create an intimate and relaxed feel to the day.

Sheryl was a fantastic choice, on the day she provided so much laughter and made us feel at ease. Her photographs somehow contain all the emotion of the moment, like mini time capsules that we can relive over and over again.

A downpour of rain during our outdoor ceremony just as we had our wedding reading, meant everyone huddled inside the open-sided barn to finish the ceremony. It was so cosy and relaxed.

We sat together on a sweetheart table for the wedding breakfast being able to take in the day just the two of us.

Sarah & Charlie

Lyde Court

There you have it. Whether it was your first plan, or your new plan, just make sure you do you. If you have got through 2020 as a couple so far, you’ve made a fab start!!

If you are making new plans to have an intimate wedding between September 2020 and February 2021, I have now made my half day package available seven days a week. Please get in touch via my contact page to discuss availability.

Lots of Oobalove,


If you liked reading this blog about Intimate Weddings in Gloucestershire, please click here to read about two marvellously cosy Christmas weddings at The Painswick.


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