COVID has reduced the environmental impact of weddings by 93%

COVID has reduced the environmental impact of weddings by 93%
March 7, 2021 Sandra Henri
Wedding at Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge.

Laura and Isaac’s micro wedding in Freycinet National Park. Image by Sandra Henri for Sophie Sullivan Photography.


COVID has had a silver lining when it comes to weddings. With many guests unable to travel to attend, couples have opted for smaller weddings or elopements, and often in beautiful local destinations. In fact COVID has become a handy reason to have a more intimate wedding…introverts rejoice! Our surveyed couples stating;


“COVID has given us an excuse to have the wedding we really wanted to have – small, sustainable and financially viable”

“Our families had expectations that we should have an all out event, but we only wanted a small and simple wedding. Now we can blame “restrictions” to help justify some of our choices”


COVID has reduced the environmental impact of the average Aus/NZ wedding by 93%


Better yet, COVID has reduced the environmental impact of the average Australian/NZ wedding by 93%, as revealed by our Wedding Footprint Calculator (created by Edge Environment for Less Stuff, More Meaning). This is thanks to fewer guests and especially the reduction in air travel.

“2020 saw a butt-tonne of weddings cancelled and rescheduled. But a whole heap of them scrapped any plans for big celebrations and opted for runaway elopements or registry weddings at instead, which I dig the hell out of.” Says Benjamin Urquhart, Photographer from Kings & Thieves.


Image by Kings & Thieves


So here we share some COVID wedding stories that will warm your heart…and show that maybe intimate weddings are here to stay!

“Shilpi and Darshan never wanted the huge indian wedding of 500+ people over multiple days and all its extravagance, so what they did here was way more ‘them’ – beers, pizza and sunset. They found themselves locked down in Sydney (they both live and work here now) and decided they wanted an elopement instead”. Images and words by Kings & Thieves.



“High school sweethearts Chris and Ruby eloped in Bellingen. They didn’t want to plan a big event with heaps of eyes on them, rather to be married somewhere quiet and beautiful, with no distractions and no fanfare. There they whispered their vows to each other, before signing on a tree stump and sipping champagne by the river. Sweet, simple elopement perfection!” Married by Leonie Watson, images and words by Nic of Fox & Kin.



“We always knew that a small wedding would be a lot of fun (we have created our own fun as a couple from day one) but after travel restrictions prevented almost all our bridal party from attending, we said what is the point of having the other 80 guests if the people that mean the most can’t be there? We changed venues, stripped it right back and took only our parents – it was the most memorable experience and completely STRESS FREE! We were completely relaxed and we enjoy every moment of it, it was incredibly special to be sharing it with only 5 other people. The ceremony was intimate and the evening was spent in an outdoor tub under the stairs with a bottle of bubbles,  just how we like to celebrate – just the two of us.” Sarah and Kristian, at Pumphouse Point. Married by Rachael Calvert, images by Sandra Henri for Sophie Sullivan Photography.



“For Kate and Karsten, having a small intimate wedding was the perfect solution.  After being together for many years, and having a family together, they literally wanted to be married.  For them it was about their love and their family – and not about having a huge event with a lot of fuss.” Married by Celebrant Kerry Sorensen of EcoWed NZ. Images by Soul Sisters Photography.



“Mel and Jewlz met when Mel was instructing a cycling class that Jewlz attended. Mel was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. Jewlz was taken aback by how she made her feel, and when Mel came up to speak to her afterwards, her palms were sweaty and she fumbled over her words. It was foreign territory for both of them, but after some time spent hanging out together, Jewlz sent Mel a text, courageously telling her how she felt, and that she was sure they were meant to be something. That was the start of their love story. And three years later on that same date, they were married, feet in the ocean, wind in their hair, still as madly in love with each other as ever. They chose to elope with only their two daughters and Mel’s sister present, officiated by sunshine personified @wed_by_fred at their local beach. As they descended the stairs from the headland for their ceremony, Mel’s sister Amy sang accompanied by Angus on guitar, and soon the girls and Fred joined in too. It was the most surreal feeling watching them enter the ceremony that way. Afterwards they set up a gourmet picnic (courtesy of @theplattereffect) on the headland and watched the late sun trickle over the surfers below. It was a warm afternoon and they mentioned they would’ve loved to swim but didn’t bring any togs, so I half-jokingly suggested that they just jump in anyway. Then, without a pause, they all raced to the waters edge and stripped off, laughing and splashing with exhilaration. It was such a glorious moment and reminder that a wedding day can be anything you want it to be.” Words and images by Nic of Fox & Kin.


Thank-you for sharing your stories, and Team Less for contributing to this piece.
Find your like-minded wedding vendors in our Eco-Ethical Wedding Directory. Less stuff, more joy!
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