Micro Weddings are all the Rave – Is It Time to Skip the Big Wedding? was written by Victoria Cornell and originally appeared on Savoteur. It has been republished with permission.
The last two years have really impacted weddings and how they're enjoyed. Micro weddings are all the rave now and here's why.
Remember when you were little and dreamt of your Wedding day?
Picturing your wedding day, you wore a beautiful white gown with a flowing veil, a diamond tiara, and a cascading bouquet of white roses. You had all your best girlfriends and cousins stand up for you (12 to be exact) as your bridal party, all wearing the same color dress and carrying a stunning bouquet.
You dreamed that your reception would take place in a grand, ornate ballroom. Three hundred of your closest friends and family members all raise a glass of champagne as you waltz into the room with your handsome groom, ready to take center stage and finally put into play the waltz that you have been practicing and perfecting for weeks up to the big day.
And like a speeding car screeching to stop at a red light, reality swooped in, and bam! Just like that, the truth came crashing in.
You start to plan your big day and realize that the cost of having something so grand is more than you thought it would be.
You also begin to think about the house you want to buy, and the current bills you have to pay and think maybe having a big wedding is not worth the drama.
Throw in a pandemic and restrictions on the number of people you can have in an enclosed space, and you realize you need to pivot and do something different. Something that will still be memorable and just as unique as you dreamed it would be.
Enter the Micro Wedding
A recent article on Brides.com talks about how more than 80% of couples say that their expectations and plans for their wedding have changed since the pandemic. As a result, more and more wedding planners plan smaller weddings for couples who still want to get married but make the most of the current situation.
What are Micro Weddings?
Micro weddings are just what they sound like, smaller-scale celebrations involving around 50 people. Don’t get me wrong, just because you have a more intimate wedding does not mean your wedding can’t be epic. Adjusting your guest count can be very beneficial.
Having a smaller celebration allows more room for creativity when executing your vision. Micro weddings are exactly like your typical wedding because you are still getting married, followed by a reception with food and drinks and maybe even some dancing afterward.
Micro weddings are a bit different than another event gaining popularity over the last few years, the MiniMony. The MiniMony incorporates the legal and or religious commitment ceremony to have the big blowout celebration later.
What is the Average Cost of a Micro Wedding?
The average cost of a Micro Wedding is anywhere between 1500.00 to 10,000.00. The basis of the Micro wedding is more of a minimalist feel. A smaller budget does not mean you need to skimp on any details.
On the contrary, couples look at the micro wedding as an opportunity to up the menu. Adding gourmet items, such as caviar or chateaubriand or providing top-shelf alcohol to their guests is something they may not have been able to afford if they had to accommodate 200 people.
Overall, spending less on your wedding day allows for creativity regarding floral and décor and venue options.
And that couture dress you tried on, fell in love with but was over your budget? Well, a micro wedding may allow room in your dress budget to purchase that gorgeous couture gown.
Micro Wedding Ideas
A micro wedding opens doors to venues that you may have thought of but couldn’t afford or that weren’t big enough to host a grander celebration.
Venues such as Museums or Art Galleries can accommodate smaller celebrations and provide a unique setting for your nuptials.
Small, intimate settings such as Inns, farmhouses, or wineries add romance and whimsy to your wedding.
Or for the adventurous at heart, hot air balloons, rock climbing, and even surfing micro wedding packages are available. They can provide transportation, accommodation, and experience for you and a smaller number of guests.
Themed weddings are another benefit to having a micro wedding. Because you are spending less than you would on a traditional wedding, imagine being able to bring your Harry Potter theme to life with colored dresses representing the different Hogwarts houses and eclectic wizardry décor?
Instead of a formal dinner, why not opt for an interactive tasting menu paired with wines or specialty drinks? The conversation will indeed flow with lots of questions and comments about the unique experiences your guests will enjoy.
Instead of a DJ, consider musicians or dueling pianos or even a Mariachi depending on your theme and mood. Live music is always such a treat.
Seating your guests at one long farm table is an option for a more intimate wedding feel. However, if your venue is outside, maybe in a backyard or farmhouse, draping the chairs with pashminas or soft blankets can serve two functions-to keep your guests warm and as a thank-you gift for celebrating with you.
You can splurge on unique wedding favors that genuinely represent each guest. Maybe it’s their zodiac sign hand-painted in a custom frame or luggage tags engraved with their names on it. You can even have a DIY floral bouquet station where your guests can make a bouquet that they take home with them. Enlisting the help of a local artist to commission a miniature painting that your guest can take home is also a lovely idea.
Creativity can reign supreme with micro weddings; however, you always want to make sure you stay on budget and within the plan. Going overboard can be very easy because you aren’t spending the same money on a traditional wedding.
Tips on Planning a Micro Wedding
Just like with a regular 200-person celebration, you still need to plan and set boundaries for things such as budget, guest list, and attire. Here are some things to consider when planning for your micro wedding.
Your budget should be a number agreed upon by you and your significant other. It can be very easy to get carried away because you aren’t spending as much. Micro weddings usually run between 1500.00 and 10,000 but can go as high as 30,000.00. Sticking to a budget might be challenging, but you must do so.
Your guest list could be a point of contention between loved ones and family; however, keeping in mind the many restrictions and your budget for the guest list is essential. The good news is most of your uninvited guests will completely understand that during these crazy times, having a 200-person celebration is not feasible. But also, most people are aware that traditional weddings are costing so much more these days. So having a small gathering at a nice restaurant or a backyard bbq inviting those not included is one way to continue celebrating after the fact.
Most micro wedding venues do not occur in your typical reception hall space. So, there will be many things to consider before booking a room.
- Does your venue offer catering?
- Do they have somewhere that can house an outside caterer, their crew, and their food prep? -Can you bring in an outside caterer, or do you have to go with the in-house company?
- Is there a tasting menu offered?
- Can alcohol be served?
- Do you need a separate liquor license?
- Can outside alcohol be brought it?
- Does your favorite restaurant offer catering?
Generally, venues book a year in advance, keep that in mind and always have an additional 2-3 spaces in mind just in case.
Make sure you come prepared with as many questions as possible and remember there are no stupid questions!
Food and Beverage is an area you may splurge on since fewer people will be accommodated. Considering a three-course meal instead of a five or six-course meal will allow for delicacies such as lobster, caviar, or filet mignon. No matter the menu, always keep in mind any food allergies or substitutions for the guest if their palate is not as sophisticated as yours is.
Here you can also consider a signature cocktail or serving a favorite vintage wine, whiskey or champagne.
Insist on sample tasting menus so that you know how your food and drink should taste on the day of your celebration.
Don’t forget to think about your wedding cake too.
Your scaled-down celebration may now allow for a custom-made suit and dress or those Christian Louboutin wedding shoes you have been dreaming of. Keep in mind custom dresses and suits need to be ordered well in advance of your wedding day. And if your day is themed, you may need time to ship costumes, etc.
Floral and Décor
Certain flowers are not available throughout the year. You may have dreamed of a bouquet filled with dahlias or peonies, but your wedding is in January. Unfortunately, these may not be an option in the wintertime. You may have to compromise on certain things, and that’s okay. It is essential to be clear in your vision and budget with your floral and event designer to understand what they have to work with to bring your vision to life.
Another area that you can splurge on or keep within budget. Always read reviews, look at their work on social media pages, and always ensure a contract is in place. Just like with venues, these vendors may be fully booked on the day you have chosen as your day. So, make sure to select at least three options for each so you are not scrambling to find someone that can accommodate your day.
A Wedding planner is something to consider when planning your celebration. Most have connections to vendors that you might not have thought of and have probably planned micro wedding celebrations in the venues you love. They can also help navigate some of the planning areas that you might be too busy to do on your own.
There are so many great benefits to having a micro wedding. They allow space for creativity, an opportunity to splurge on higher-end menus or drinks, and are, most importantly, an intimate celebration of your union.
Micro weddings are here to stay.