Our UK Legal Ceremony ~ Advice For A Small Wedding Celebration

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue

As you may know, Oli and I got married in Menorca in September 2019 – a few months before COVID-19 was a part of anyone’s verbiage.

Prior to heading off for our Balearic wedding, as a requirement ahead of time, we enjoyed a small legal ceremony with our parents and siblings in the UK. (Bar Oli’s brother Max who was living in Vietnam at the time.)

Though completely different to our wedding in Menorca, our UK legal ceremony was still an incredibly special occasion, and one I look back on with such a full heart! 

Given the events of 2020, almost every couple I know due to get married this year has had to postpone their wedding, or change their plans.

My heart goes out to all couples in this position in a BIG way!

If you are thinking about a small wedding ceremony (followed up perhaps by a larger one next year), I hope that an insight into our small ceremony can help you to plan yours.

The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from getting married, is that your wedding day is truly the very start of your marriage together, and that however you celebrate, it is so so special.

Our UK Legal Ceremony ~

Advice For A Small Wedding Celebration

THE VENUE

Winchester Register Office

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue

Winchester Register Office played host to our legal ceremony here in the UK. If you’ve not visited Winchester before, it’s a beautiful Cathedral City which Oli and I both grew up in and around. 

The register office buildings are beautiful and historic on the outside, and so were perfect for some post-ceremony photos with Charlotte. 

The honey-coloured stone in the register office building echoed the colours of our Minorcan venue too! A happy coincidence!

In terms of room options, we went for the simplest of packages, since our group was small. 

It worked perfectly for us, and I loved how intimate it felt. Plus, I can’t tell you HOW lovely everyone at the register office was during the whole process of planning. They made it so easy to do, and a true pleasure.

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue

My Legal Ceremony Dress

White Wedding Dress For A Small Ceremony | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

When I was thinking about the UK ceremony, I knew that I wanted to wear a white summer dress.

I wanted to feel feminine, elegant and bridal, without taking any of the attention away from my ‘real’ wedding dress in Menorca. 

I wasn’t even actively ‘looking’ for my ceremony dress, when I stumbled across a Temperley piece at Bicester Village which fit the bill perfectly!

Funnily enough, I was actually shopping with my Mama, and Oli’s Mum Fiona, for their wedding outfits for Menorca, when we found my UK dress.

Nudged along by both Mums, I tried the dress on and immediately agreed that it felt like ‘the one’ for our legal ceremony.

White Wedding Dress For A Small Ceremony | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

I feel like you can be a little bit playful with a small ceremony. I love it when the bride wears a suit, or a cocktail dress! Whatever feels like you.

If you are thinking about hosting a small ceremony, I encourage you to think about an outfit which reflects how you want to feel on the day, and your personal style.

I’ve popped some options below, available now, which would work perfectly for a small celebration! 

Wedding Outfit Options For A Small Ceremony

Hair & Makeup

Natural Glam Bridal Makeup by Bobbi Brown | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

For my makeup, the team at Bobbi Brown generously offered to introduce me to their brilliant Global Pro Artist Amy Conway, and I couldn’t type my “yes please!” back quickly enough!

Amy came over to ours bright and early, and created a soft smokey eye look, with pink hues. 

Bobbi Brown has an incredible array of products which are perfect for bridal beauty looks, and I can’t recommend working with them enough!

If by the time you are reading this it is possible to book a bridal makeup tutorial at a Bobbi Brown counter, I highly recommend doing so! 

Otherwise, this easy-to-follow guide shows you how to create a classic, peachy and glowing bridal makeup look.

I’ve linked as many of the bridal beauty products from Bobbi Brown as I can below.

My Bobbi Brown Bridal Makeup Products

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue

Since Oli and I both wanted to keep our legal ceremony low-key, I decided to do my own hair. And kind of winged it on the day – ha!

In the morning I washed my hair and added some loose waves in, with a deep side parting. I then twisted a section back on one side and fastened it with some bobby pins.

I knew that I was going to wear my hair up in Menorca, so I wanted something different for the UK.

Accessories

White Wedding Dress For A Small Ceremony | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

I wore a pair of simple gold Dune London sandals for our legal ceremony. I actually ordered these originally as an option for my wedding shoes in Menorca, but they didn’t work with my dress. 

Rather than returning them, I decided to wear them for our legal ceremony instead. I love a simple strappy sandal so I knew I’d get a lot of use out of them in the future.

Dune London has the best array of well-priced wedding shoes I’ve found (and I did a LOT of research), so if you’re on the lookout I suggest checking them out.

White Wedding Dress For A Small Ceremony | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

My Katie Loxton ‘Love’ straw clutch makes me smile every time I look at it. So simple, with a nod to our Mediterranean wedding day. I love re-wearing it now, thinking back to this day together. At the moment it doesn’t seem to be available online, but this Katie Loxton ‘Mrs’ clutch is a VERY cute option.

As for my earrings, I decided on these on the day! (So organised I know, ha!)

Once I’d done my hair and makeup, I tried these on and they just felt like the right fit. Crystal earrings work well for bridal looks since they reflect light onto your face, and frame it well. I couldn’t even tell you where they’re from since they’re years old, but I’m glad I was able to rustle them up!

I’ve rounded up some lovely bridal earring options below.

Bridal Earrings

Flowers

White Hydrangea Wedding Bouquet | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

My favourite local florist — Wild Bunch — is where I normally buy all of my flower arrangements for shoots, and our home, from, so I trust them implicitly. When I popped in to share my thoughts on a bouquet — white flowers, with a few sprigs of eucalyptus — they immediately ‘got’ what I was looking for.

When browsing their array of flowers I was struck by the beauty of the big bountiful white hydrangeas they had in at the time, and decided then and there to make hydrangeas the centrepiece of the bouquet. 

I love how it turned out! Wildbunch were able to create the most beautiful bouquet with only two days’ notice (again, organisation ????)! THANK YOU!

Brunch

Our UK legal ceremony was at 10am, so an early start! And we decided to book a brunch (my favourite meal!) in for afterwards with our family. 

The brunch felt so joyful, and celebratory! Though we wanted to keep the day low-key, I’m so glad we booked in to have a meal with our family afterwards. It was so special. 

Beach Time!

White Bardot Swimsuit | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

After the ceremony and our family brunch, Oli and I headed to the beach for the rest of the day.

We then stayed overnight at his family’s holiday home. And it was the perfect way to celebrate our low-key legal date!

We even got into the sea, and I wore my now-favourite white swimsuit from Figleaves for the occasion. On the menu for the evening? Italian takeaway. YUM.

OVERALL

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue

Whether you are choosing to have a small ceremony out of personal preference, or you have had to alter your plans due to COVID-19, you can absolutely create a day you’ll treasure. No matter how big or small.

If you have any questions about how we organised our legal ceremony (or anything else on this subject!) please leave them below or drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you and help if I can!

Happy planning!

Love, Monica x

Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash,

bar the makeup and swimsuit pics which were taken on my iPhone

Advice For A Small Wedding Ceremony | Monica Beatrice Wedding | The Elgin Avenue White Wedding Dress For A Small Ceremony | Monica Beatrice | The Elgin Avenue Blog

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