Micro Weddings: How To Plan The Perfect Intimate Celebration

Planning a micro-wedding is really a ‘cake and eat it’ scenario because you get to indulge in all your favorite things, with all your best people, without the hassle of organizing a whole bunch of people. 

But, is it right for you?

During the last 18 months, many trends have come and gone in the wedding world. Far more than usual. Most were linked to the need for couples to keep numbers down during their big day. This down-sizing led to a wave of weddings taking place with no guests, or a couple of guests, or a handful of guests, depending on where said couple was and what restrictions might be in place. 

For couples fortunate enough to invite some guests, a new phrase was coined; a ‘micro-wedding.’ A micro-wedding is a celebration somewhere between an elopement and a small wedding. These micro-weddings proved to be very popular during the pandemic, with couples finding that they were actually pleased to have to restrict the numbers of invitations.

As regulations begin to relax and ‘normal weddings’ start to resume, we’re confident that the micro-wedding will become a path many couples choose, even when they’re free to celebrate like it’s 2019! 

But if you’re wondering, “what the heck is a micro-wedding anyway?” or maybe “I don’t want a micro anything on my big day,” we’re here to help. Because we believe a micro-wedding is a wonderful way to exchange your vows and celebrate. And today, we’re going to explain why while also exploring if it’s right for you. 

Micro Wedding

What is a Micro-Wedding?

A micro-wedding is a small, intimate celebration and vow exchange with under 50 people in attendance. These invitees usually are immediate family members and close friends. So you’re free from weird relatives and clingy co-workers that keep you chatting during your reception!

The micro-wedding differs from an elopement, as there is no secrecy involved, and you have a 10-plus guest count, unlike most elopements. It’s also a carefully planned occasion, which can still include traditions or faith-based ceremonies, just with fewer people involved. 

Why are Small Weddings Becoming So Popular? 

It’s always good to try to see the positive side of things. And that may seem difficult when you think about the ongoing pandemic because it’s been just awful. But, with every cloud, there is a silver lining. 

And for us, that has to be people’s renewed understanding of what is important. Because what did we all miss the most during the lockdown? Restaurants? Going to see a concert? Or a football game? And who is involved with all of those activities? Your friends, your close family. 

Many of us realized that we didn’t miss going to the ball game or the local pizzeria during the lockdown. We missed the friends we went there with. And no amount of Zoom calls can ever match that feeling of sharing something tangible with them. 

And this is why we believe the micro-wedding has proved so popular, even after restrictions have eased. Couples want to celebrate those they missed the most during the lockdown and not waste any money on those guests they don’t even know. 

Besides the above, a lot of the popularity surrounding the micro-wedding comes down to cost. The pandemic was brutal on all of us and badly affected many of us financially. And so, couples are coming out the other side of lockdown, with less in their wedding day budget than when they started. Therefore, this has caused them to rethink their grand plans, scale back their invitations, and maybe celebrate in a more intimate style.

Even couples who were not financially affected by the pandemic have been rethinking their wedding budget in favor of a ‘less is more’ approach. And this trend began well before Covid-19, with the average spent on weddings falling year-on-year, pre-2020. 

The micro-wedding’s rise is undoubtedly linked to this new spending habit, as smaller celebrations typically require less budget. With under 50 people in attendance, you can even get away with not hiring a special event space and simply celebrate in your favorite restaurant! 

The Pros of a Micro Wedding

You Control the Costs

By the very virtue of having a smaller headcount, you’ll have more budget to go around. What this means is that if your invitation list is below 50 people, you may be able to splurge on that designer wedding dress you’ve always dreamed of. Or you may be able to feed the guests at your micro-wedding Michelin starred menu choices or serve them vintage champagne? Whatever constitutes luxury during a wedding day for you can be realized, and that includes post-nuptials! 

Because even if you serve your guests high-end meals and award-winning drinks, you’ll probably still be saving overall on your budget-friendly ceremony and reception. And this means you have extra in the budget for your honeymoon! Suddenly, you’re not flying economy to Hawaii. You’re jetting off first class to Thailand! And why shouldn’t you?! It’s your big day, and your honeymoon should be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so spend that budget on yourselves! 

Less Hassle

This is a biggie for us because as we all know, weddings take a lot of planning…! And if you’re throwing a larger wedding celebration for 200+ people, you’ve got a serious task on your hands. But when you scale things down and start to consider a mini-ceremony and a more intimate affair, things begin to feel a lot more manageable. 

Ability to Offer a Unique Experience

When planning intimate weddings, you’re often able to provide your guests with entertainment that is slightly different from the norm. In fact, you can tailor the entertainment to your, or your friends’, particular tastes. 

For instance, maybe you’re all into fine wine (or you pretend to be), and you’d like to organize a tasting for your guests. You can do that. 

Or, you could all be into a specific type of music, a genre that maybe grandma wouldn’t like, but you’d love to get down to on your wedding day, no problem! 

Be it a rave, a wine tasting, or a life drawing class, the world of entertainment is open to you with a micro-wedding. 

Spend Quality Time With Your Loved Ones

How many of you have attended a wedding and barely even spoken to the newlyweds? Most of you, we would imagine. It’s not the fault of the marrying couple; it’s just that there are so many people to see and not enough time to see them all. And if they do get a chance to speak to you, it’s often only for a moment, never really getting the opportunity to spend any quality time with you as their guest.

A micro-wedding offers the perfect compromise between a full-on wedding and an elopement. It gives the newlyweds the freedom to enjoy their evening with the ones they love the most, without fear of being pulled this way and that by well-meaning relatives. Instead, couples can be present with their guests and enjoy an authentic, genuine experience with each of them. 

Freedom to Customize and Personalize Your Dream Venue

With a larger guest list, traditional weddings typically only allow for a low level of personalization because customization costs money and time, pure and simple. You may be able to hand-write place cards for 200+ guests, but would you be able to leave them all a unique, handwritten note each? Probably not. 

And if you want to really personalize the decoration for a larger wedding, you’ll find out pretty quickly that your costs will double. Meaning you’re forced to keep every table the same, with decoration likely identical to the wedding party that was there before you. 

However, with a micro-wedding, you can break away from the monotony of bulk buy wedding favors and standard floral arrangements and instead create an original wedding that has never been seen before. 

You can offer your guests a glimpse into your world by sharing your unique culture, and family traditions, in ways that you could never accomplish with larger weddings. You can also show your appreciation to your dearest friends by making them feel special with individual touchpoints throughout the celebrations through your wedding planning choices and the ability to opt for more luxurious ways to spend your budget. 

That could take the form of filling guests’ gift bags with luxurious items, paying for their accommodations, or pampering them with personalized details. 

The Cons of a Micro Wedding

Before you start prowling the web for Instagrammable venues to host your luxury mini wedding, it’s important to consider if a micro-wedding is right for you. 

There Will Be Fewer Guests at Your Wedding Reception

If a wedding is not an event for you unless it has more than 50 guests, we’re surprised you scrolled this far because there’s no escaping the fact that a budget-friendly micro-wedding will have fewer people than your standard affair. 

And having to cut down a guest list from 150, to say, 25, can be difficult for some people. Who stays on the list? Are you closer to your cousin or your co-worker? Do you want your parents to be there? Grandparents?

Considering these tough questions and attempting to cut down a 100+ guest list is the best way to decide if an elopement wedding or a smaller celebration is right for you. If you’re getting upset at just the thought of not having certain school friends or family members there on your big day,  imagine how you’ll feel during it. 

You Will Upset Some People

When planning a larger-scale wedding, it’s much easier just to slip an extra guest into the mix so as not to upset them or Mom. But that becomes impossible with more intimate weddings. And this will upset some people. 

Your wedding is an exciting event for many people in your life, and one they may well have assumed they’re invited to. So, when they find out they’re not, and a certain someone else is, that may lead to some unwanted stress and possibly bad blood between you. 

Hurt feelings certainly happen, but not always, and you may find that your loved ones support your plans and are actually a bit jealous that they didn’t do the same! So don’t discount any smaller wedding ideas for fear of upset because it might not even happen. 

It’s important to remember that this is your wedding day. And if someone’s nose is a little bent out of shape because they didn’t get invited to your wedding, so be it. You do you. 

Will the Bank of Mum and Dad Be Happy About it?

We’ve discussed, during this post, all the ways you could be spending your budget and how much freedom a micro-wedding will offer you financially. But, this falls at the first hurdle if the backers of your big day are Mom and Dad. Because if they’re not down with your new trendy wedding plans, and they already have a long list of people they need to invite, you’re screwed. 

In this situation, it’s probably best to come to some kind of compromise while also sharing the benefits of a big day with limited guests. For instance, cost. When your parents find out they can take two extra vacations this year because you’ve opted for an easy-going small wedding and not some lavish affair at the golf club, they might be a bit more keen on the idea. 

It Can Be More Expensive

‘Look, honey, we’re saving a small fortune by not having a full-sized wedding. Let’s splurge on some ridiculously indulgent wedding celebrations with our friends!’ This newfound budget freedom can make a pair of rookie wedding planners go crazy and start planning the most lavish wedding, but for 20 people. And in turn, leave them with less in the bank than if they’d planned an average cost, larger-size wedding, with a traditional ceremony and reception. 

Be sure to care for your micro-wedding budget. Remember that by saving money with a smaller celebration, you’re unlocking extra funds that you could use for a house deposit, new car, or an adventure trip of a lifetime. So be wise, and only spend if you’re financially free to do so. 

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