what is a minimony

Let's talk MINIMONY – and how to plan one

COVID-19 has definitely changed the way we celebrate weddings. This year, many couples found themselves having to postpone their big day or cut down their guest list. Some had virtual Coronavirus weddings. Others eloped, with the promise of a big party when the time was right. However plans have shifted, the important thing to remember is that love is never cancelled. As a KZN wedding planner, it’s been phenomenal to see how creative and resilient couples have been in reimagining their nuptials – and we’ve been right there with them! And now, even though our communities are slowly opening up again, many brides and grooms are still choosing to move forward with more intimate weddings (at least for now). Along with all these changes, some new terms have popped up: minimony, micro wedding, and sequel wedding, for example. But what do these terms mean? And what are the differences between the various types of events?

What is a minimony?

So, exactly what is a minimony? In short, it’s what the word sounds like: a mini ceremony. Minimonies are a great option for couples who want to honour their original wedding date or need to move forward with their ceremony for legal reasons. They usually involve an exchange of vows (you can decide if you will have a legal ceremony or just a symbolic one – legal ceremonies will of course require an officiant) attended by a very small group of friends. Typically the guest list is limited to around 10-15 people, depending on social distancing measures. After the vows, some couples celebrate with a tiny version of their planned big day, including cutting a mini cake, a first dance, and small versions of their floral arrangements. But what really makes a minimony different is that it is followed by a second event: the sequel wedding. This is a follow-up celebration with all the people and details you originally planned, which will take place after the Coronavirus pandemic has been resolved.

However plans have shifted, the important thing to remember is that love is never cancelled.

In contrast, couples who choose to have a small celebration now but don’t plan on having a larger follow-up party can choose from micro weddings or elopements. An elopement is a wedding just between the two of you (plus your celebrant, photographer, and wedding planner). It’s often (but not always) performed in secret and announced afterwards. And it definitely has an air of spontaneity and romance! A micro wedding, on the other hand, has a guest list of around 50 people. It’s an intimate occasion that gives you the opportunity to focus on personal details and special touches, and really spend quality time with your guests. Even before COVID-19, micro weddings were growing in popularity as a cross between an elopement and a traditional wedding.

Tips for planning a minimony

In many ways, planning a minimony is like planning any wedding, just on a much smaller scale. But what you might not know is that they are so much fun! We’ve loved putting them together for our clients over the last few months, and making sure that each was special and unique in its own way. (Like the one for Matt and Kendall pictured here, with its flower-decked getaway golf cart!) Here are my top tips for planning yours.

  • Limit your guests to immediate family. A minimony should be very small, and the easiest way to limit your guest list is to keep it to immediate family only (and possibly your best man and maid of honour, if you can’t imagine getting married without them!).
  • Invite everyone else on Zoom. It’s up to you if you share the news of your minimony with guests, but if you do, why not allow them to attend virtually? Set up a few tripods in the wedding area and consider wearing microphones so the vows can be heard.
  • Wear your wedding dress or suit. Yes, I know we’re all married to our yoga pants now. But this is your wedding day, so don’t be shy about wearing what you’d planned. You can wear it again at the sequel wedding. Or, if you’d prefer to keep it under wraps, be sure to choose something special that you feel amazing in, and splash out on hair, makeup, and accessories.
  • Just because it’s a minimony doesn’t mean you can’t make it special! As I said, this is your wedding day! That means you can still have beautiful décor, a special ceremony (with or without personal vows), and meaningful wedding traditions. Think about what means the most to you, whether it’s a unique (preferably outdoor!) location, good food, impactful flowers, or a first dance.
  • Hire a photographer and a wedding planner. While a minimony can be simpler and more pared back, it can still take a lot of stress off your shoulders to have a wedding planner on board. We can also ensure that the details are cohesive between your minimony and sequel wedding. And definitely ensure you hire your photographer for a couple of hours. You’re going to want pictures to keep and share!

Planning a minimony may not be what you originally had in mind when you got engaged. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that it’s the bond between you that matters most. And if you’re ready to say “I do”, why wait?

Top image by: Behn Photography