Whitehall historic home is holding micro weddings in February
The COVID-19 pandemic put a hard stop on the large-scale wedding Lindsey Kleyer and her fiancé Junseong Choi had planned for June 27, 2020. But rather than allowing the shutdown of large gatherings to crush their dream, the young couple, like thousands of others around the world, revamped their expectations and went ahead with a micro wedding.
“Our small wedding turned out to be a gift in ways we never would have expected,” Lindsey Kleyer Choi told the Courier Journal. “I was worried a very small wedding would be awkward or it wouldn’t feel special but the opposite happened. We look back on the day and say we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Three years later, even though the pandemic has started to slow down, micro weddings are turning out to be more than just a fad. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Whitehall, a historic mansion at 3110 Lexington Road, will hold a series of six micro weddings similar to the ceremony the Chois experienced in 2020.
The cost for February’s Whitehall micro weddings is $500 per ceremony. Like a traditional larger marriage ceremony, each wedding will include an officiant, cake and champagne, and a complimentary wedding portrait with the option to purchase additional photos. Up to 20 guests may attend. Couples may also choose to renew their vows
“We sold out all six-time slots within a couple of hours,” said Whitehall Executive Director Kristen Lutes. “Based on the popularity, we will be offering another series of micro weddings in May and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
One positive outcome of the pandemic is that it has given couples permission to choose the size of wedding that feels the best for them and fits their values, lifestyle, and budget.
There were more than 1.9 million traditional weddings held in 2022. According to The Wedding Report, an industry research company, the average cost for each wedding was $27,063.
A significantly reduced price tag was a fringe benefit of Lindsey and Jun Seong Choi’s scaled-back affair but in their case, the cost wasn’t the catalyst. Social distancing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus was the primary reason for their smaller, yet elegant ceremony and reception.
“The pandemic made it impossible for some of our guests to travel so there were only 18 people including our bridesmaids and groomsmen,” said Choi. “Everyone still dressed up. I wore my wedding dress, and the bridesmaids were in their gowns and the grooms in suits.”
Like the wedding attire, the couple decided to keep the marriage ceremony similar to what they had planned for their larger wedding. Members of the wedding party read passages of scripture and the pastor delivered a short sermon prior to the vows.
“Junseong and I both sing, we met through a vocal group. Since our wedding was so small, we decided to provide the music ourselves at our own ceremony,” Lindsey Choi said. “Junseong played the guitar and I sang and we printed out the words so the guests could sing along, too. It was very special, very sweet, but I don’t think it would have felt that intimate at a larger wedding.”
While traditional weddings aren’t going away, small, intimate wedding celebrations, the type the Chois experienced in 2020, are having a moment.
“So many people told me before our wedding that the day itself would be a blur because of the number of things that needed to be done,” Choi said. “However, since the wedding was smaller, I could really live in the moment that day. I was able to enjoy talking with my family and friends and enjoy my reception dinner.”
After their garden ceremony at Whitehall’s historic mansion, the Chois and their guests proceeded to a private room at a nearby restaurant. Nearly everything aspect of their wedding day was dictated by safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lindsey and Jun Seong Choi said the changes to their original plans turned out to be a sweet blessing in disguise.
“The memories from our day are very special,” she said. “Because there were fewer people, I had much less to worry about and I could really focus on the reason we were there. The day didn’t feel stressful like I had anticipated. It was sweet and intimate and turned out to be an unexpected surprise we will treasure for the rest of our lives.”
Reach features reporter Kirby Adams at email@example.com.