What Is a Micro Wedding?
There’s a lot of confusing and conflicting information about micro weddings online, especially since they’re so closely related to what we’d refer to as an intimate wedding. In fact, micro weddings are intimate by nature. So, what gives? To start, micro weddings typically have less than 30 people—often less than 10, including vendors.
From Hollywood dramas to online forums, the world probably has you thinking that getting married is complicated, stressful, and expensive.
If you’re planning a big, traditional wedding… they’re pretty much right.
If you’re planning a small, contemporary wedding… they’re very wrong.
Putting together your own microwedding can be straightforward and affordable. And while everyone’s special day looks different, below are the primary components that go into planning a small, intimate wedding.
Planning A Micro Wedding:
- A micro wedding gives couples the ability to keep similar elements of a traditional wedding with a much smaller guest count.
- Invite the people who are closest to you both—the ones you see or talk to on a regular basis.
- Get creative with decor ideas and pamper guests with a delicious treat or surprise entertainment.
- Wear something fun—or totally traditional. It’s up to you!
- Plan a timeline with plenty of room for enjoying memories with your loved ones.
- Hire a rockstar vendor team to achieve your dream wedding.
Wedding planners and coordinators exist for a very good reason. But if you’re planning a laid-back ceremony in a park, you can probably handle it on your own. On the other hand, if your microwedding is a detail-driven day with a fully-catered dinner and formal reception, I highly recommend finding a professional wedding planner in your area. (And do keep in mind that some planners offer “day of” packages that are perfect for small weddings.)
How to Personalize Your Micro Wedding
Micro weddings were created for couples who were forced to forgo any traditions or “must-haves” due to COVID-19. The change has created a beautiful opportunity for all couples going forward to focus only on the things that best represent their love. Whether you choose to make your day special with catering from your favorite restaurant or a scavenger hunt for your guests (I love this idea), it’s sure to be a day where you make extraordinary memories spending quality time with those you love most.
The Budget / Guest Count
Deciding your budget and guest count are you first steps. Are you planning a simple mountaintop elopement, and trying to create the cheapest wedding possible? Or you planning on feeding your three dozen closest friends caviar? Once you have these numbers estimated, you’re ready to dive into the other details.
A major bonus of microweddings is that you’re not limited by the travel-plans of 300 guests. There are exciting and unique places across the United States––and around the world––that are perfect for intimate weddings. From beaches to mountain-tops, let your imagination run!
In the wedding world, there are: seasons, days, and times. Wedding season (roughly May - October), weekends, and evenings are the highest demand. The higher the demand, the higher the price, and the more limited the venue/vendor availability. If you’re flexible with your scheduling, consider working with off-season dates, weekdays, or mornings/afternoons. It’s a great way to save money and opens up a lot more options.
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, don’t forget to factor in…
- Temperature––which may affect makeup, outfits, comfort, etc.
- Time of day––which will impact your lighting for photos (near sunrise or sunset is best; noon is the worst)
Once your ceremony is pinned down, plan the rest of the day accordingly. You don’t want to leave your guests in limbo for five hours between the ceremony and the reception. (We’ve all been to a wedding like that, and it wasn’t fun.)
Wedding venues are a dime a dozen, but venues willing work with small weddings aren’t quite as common. Beyond the traditional spots, try looking for public parks, mountaintops, breweries/restaurants with event space, and rental homes (Air B&B's can make amazing locations!) with beautiful backyards.
Venue Pro tip:
Trying to find a venue that’s ideal for both the ceremony and reception radically limits your options. Keep in mind that you can always hold the ceremony at the top of a mountain or in a local park, and hold your reception in the private event room of a restaurant or brewery nearby.
Religious or secular? Unity candle or whiskey-blending ceremony? Guests standing or sitting? And who walks down the aisle first? If you have a wedding planner and/or a competent officiant, they should help you figure these things out.
Venue Set Up
Of course a small church or wedding venue can work; but remember, microweddings are flexible, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Mountain-tops, art museums, and breweries are all great options.
Seating / Decor
As a rule of thumb, I’ve found that ceremonies with less than 20 guests don’t require seating. In these cases, setup doesn’t have to be anything more than your group finding a nice spot in a local park.
With more than 20 guests, I recommend seating. If you’re at a venue, they should take care of it. If you’re in a park, search online for a rental company that will drop off and pick up chairs. Beyond the seating, some couples opt for a wedding arch, flowers, decorations, etc. But if you have an outdoor location with its own scenery, this really isn’t necessary.
Microphone / Music
You generally don’t need a microphone at smaller weddings. If you’re doing a processional, I do recommend having some music play when you walk down the aisle. Assuming you don’t have a professional DJ, you’ll want to have a trusted cousin man a Bluetooth speaker.
For small weddings, the primary vendors are the officiant, photographer, florist, and some way to feed people. The next ones on the list would be hair stylist or videographer. Small weddings generally don’t need DJs, but a live musician for the ceremony can be a nice touch.
I’ll say it again: planning a small, simple wedding doesn’t need to be stressful. Do your research, give yourself plenty of time to talk to vendors/venues, and remember to breathe. If you do find yourself feeling buried, reach out to a local wedding planner. Whatever they charge, it’ll be worth avoiding an anxiety-attack blackout on your wedding day.