Lily Allen shocked fans when she revealed she had tied the knot with Stranger Things actor David Harbour in an intimate Las Vegas ceremony this September. Her daughters Ethel, eight, and Marnie, seven, who she shares with ex-husband Sam Cooper, were the only guests, and she broke with tradition by wearing a short Dior blazer dress.
The Smile singer, 35, just proved that you don't need to blow the budget on big venues, expensive meals or on your bridal party. Hell, you don't even have to have one. There's never been a better time to rip up the rulebook and focus on what really matters – you and the groom.
In light of the UK government's new rules that weddings are limited to just15 people, intimate weddings are going to be the way forward for quite some time, according to Holly Poulter, Founder and Creative Director of Revelry Events. If you're planning a major shake up to your dream wedding, read on for some major inspiration from Lily's big day…
Intimate wedding inspiration: the dress
Lily Allen wore a gorgeous Dior blazer dress to wed David Harbour
Lily's choice of dress caused a real buzz. Ditching the traditional long hemline, full skirt and glittering embellishment, Lily's short, doubled-breasted Dior dress is the perfect choice for the post-COVID era.
She teamed the casual number with black suede platforms heels – and it's got to be one of our favourite bridal looks in recent years.
"If there was ever a year to throw out the idea of a conventional wedding dress, 2020 is it", Holly tells HELLO!.
"With small weddings and elopements happening all over the country, we're seeing brides go for a Lily Allen style level of comfort and style, but we're also seeing brides go for more colour, bold designs and creative styles - because, heck, all bets are off right now."
Intimate wedding inspiration: the venue
Lily and Stranger Things star David married in Las Vegas
It seems fitting that quirky couple Lily and David's whirlwind romance culminated in them walking down the aisle at the famous Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The pair said their vows while an Elvis impersonator serenaded them.
Think outside of the box when it comes to the venue – you'll save a ton of cash and your big day will be all the more special because it will suit your personalities.
Holly suggests: "A wealth of venues opens up to you when your guest list hits 15, including venues that may not typically be considered wedding venues.
"Restaurants are always a good shout for smaller weddings - unique spaces with everything you need already there (as long as you already like what they have). "Smaller hotel suites also become more affordable and can be a super stylish blank canvas. But then you have anything from gardens to galleries, wine bars to cinemas, or even your own home."
Intimate wedding inspiration: the food
Lily and David treated themselves to In-N-Out burgers
Lily and Hellboy star David ditched the traditional sit-down meal in favour of their favourite takeaway, In-N-Out burgers. The couple gorged on French fries, cheeseburgers and fizzy drinks following the main event – while still in the car park of the chapel.
If you're keen to save cash on the food, a takeaway could be the perfect solution. Holly says: "If you're headed out to something like a restaurant then you don't have to worry about ordering the right two options and hoping all your guests will like one of them - go a la carte and let loose.
"If you're going super informal, why not order from your favourite takeaway (especially since all your favourite restaurants are now takeaways anyway). We can't imagine there's a wedding guest in the world who wouldn't be happy with a couple of artisan pizzas and a good drink!
"Instead of a big cake, go for a smorgasbord of all your favourite desserts and treats for people to pick at after their meal."
Intimate wedding inspiration: the guests
Lily ensured her daughters Ethel and Marnie took centre stage
We love that Lily and David only had two guests – her daughters. Lily naturally chose to make her kids a central part of her special day, dressing her girls in cute matching flower girl outfits.
Inviting just your immediate family obviously cuts costs, but is also a practical solution when the UK government guidance for weddings is likely to change again.
Unsure how to cull your guest list down to 15 people? Holly suggests: "Trimming down the guestlist for a micro-wedding can be a challenge, but this year has given all couples the perfect excuse to go small.
"If you're struggling to cut it down, you can try the three-month rule. Go through your texts and WhatsApps and write a list of everyone you have actually messaged or heard from in the last three months (more important than ever now we haven't been able to physically see as many people).
"Anyone not on that list, maybe with a few exceptions, is not invited. Cut and dry rules like no kids, no plus ones or no family outside of the immediate family make it easier to keep feelings from being hurt."
Intimate wedding inspiration: the flowers
Lily didn't waste any cash on flowers - instead opting for designer labels
The spend on flowers is usually in the region of 10 per cent of the total wedding cost – but do you really need such extravagant floral décor?
We love how understated Lily went with her floral arrangements, carrying a simple bouquet of roses in pretty pinks and oranges, allowing her to spend on other items instead, like her gorgeous Ganni coat.
"With flowers, you can go one of two ways - splurge on all the amazing floral details you've been dreaming about with the money you're saving on costs, or literally just have a (potentially elaborate) bouquet for photos and nothing else," Holly says.
"You can more affordably achieve that wedding styled-shoot level of detail if you only have a handful of tables to decorate, and create some truly Instagrammable and unforgettable designs with flowers.
"But on the other hand, it may not be your priority and this is another opportunity for you to just get rid of anything that isn't important to you (a boatload of candles, and you're all good). It's good to have something to hold for photos and for your aisle walk, so going for a bouquet that you can also hang on to to press for a keepsake is a good idea."
Intimate wedding inspiration: the small details
The singer prioritised the small details
Lily opted for a fun mode of transport for her young daughters, rocking up at the wedding chapel in a party Limo. She also treated herself to the most gorgeous wedding manicure we've seen, giving her bridal look a quirky, personal touch.
Holly's advice? "When you're only hosting for a handful, you have more time and money to get super focused on the details. Going for heavy personalisation of place settings, for example, with handwritten names or even monogrammed favours is more affordable with smaller guest lists.
"Splurge on transport for the day - rent a fancy car for the two of you, a vintage bus to tour everyone around the local area for part of the day, or even a boat for your post-dinner entertainment!
"If the space allows, set up one long family-style table for your meal. It will make the wedding feel more intimate and inclusive, and everyone's on the couple's table."
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