Micro weddings are all the rage right now, and for good reason! Even apart from the coronavirus pandemic, couples have been leaning more and more toward smaller guest lists for quite some time, opting to invest more of their hard-earned budget money on the aspects of the wedding that are most important to them instead of a large guest count. Over-the-top floral installations, luxury paper goods, or that incredible high-end photographer they’ve been eyeing on Instagram are now only the beginning of what couples are seeing as more attainable wedding day options.
So… what exactly is a micro wedding? Well… it’s essentially exactly what it sounds like: a micro wedding is, in essence, a very small wedding. More simply put, it’s a wedding with a small guest list. How small, you ask? There are differing opinions, but according to Junebug Weddings, micro weddings typically have less than 30 people – often less than 10 – including your vendor team. But since you’re the ones running the show, you have the power to determine exactly what micro means to YOU! 10, 30, or even up to 50 guests can all be considered micro-sized weddings, especially if your all-inclusive guest list was originally over 250!
No matter how you slice it or exactly what your final guest count ends up being, the long and short of it is this: micro weddings are small and intimate affairs.
Micro weddings have always been on the radar, but they’ve really started making a splash in the past few years with pop-up weddings: intimate weddings that take place within a short time frame, and often back-to-back with several taking place at the same venue on the same day. This style of micro-wedding (also known as a “mini-mony”) traditionally invites guests to join the couple for a short and sweet ceremony, often followed by a champagne toast to the newlyweds and sometimes a quick cake cutting. Usually taking place within one to two hours, it’s a short and sweet way to say, “I do,” that’s reminiscent of an elopement, but includes a small group of guests instead of only the couple, their officiant, and their photographer.
A micro wedding is more like the perfect marriage of a pop-up and luxury wedding – that isn’t on the clock! While the guest list is kept to an intimate group, the day itself, for the most part, flows just like a more traditional wedding would and allows the guests to mix, mingle, and enjoy a full wedding celebration as opposed to just a quick toast together following the wedding ceremony.
So! Now that we know just what a micro wedding is… what do you say we talk about the pros and cons of having one?
PRO: SO MANY UNIQUE VENUE OPTIONS!
Your backyard definitely is not the only option for hosting one spectacular soirée! Some of the prettiest and most unique spaces around town (think: art galleries, breweries, wineries, rooftop patios, and even your favourite hole-in-the-wall restaurants) aren’t usually able to accommodate overly large groups. I’d say that makes them pretty darn perfect for hosting an intimate wedding celebration!
CON: SOME VENUES WILL STILL HAVE MINIMUM SPEND REQUIREMENTS
Unfortunately, not all venues are able to accommodate smaller groups, and we’re still seeing traditional large wedding venues requiring a minimum catering spend or guest count. But never fear! If a wedding planner is worthy of their trusty fanny pack, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of a perfect venue that not only works perfectly with your vision, but also within your budget.
PRO: YOU CAN HAVE IT AT HOME YOU WANT TO
Always dreamed of saying your vows underneath the oak tree in mom and dad’s back yard? Now’s your chance! Backyard micro weddings have become very popular throughout the summer and fall of 2020 as we soldiered on through the coronavirus pandemic, and I don’t see that changing any time soon! For many couples, having their wedding at home can feel like the most special and intimate way to celebrate with your loved ones. Having your wedding at home also allows you to be a little bit more flexible with your plans and timeline for the day.
CON: BACKYARD WEDDINGS ARE A TON OF WORK, EVEN IF THEY’RE MICRO!
It probably goes without saying, but…planning a wedding is a lot of work! And planning a wedding at home can be even more stressful – even with a micro-sized guest list! Apart from the rentals and décor you’ll need to bring in (and set up!), you’ll also have to have a back-up plan in place in case of inclement weather. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to make sure you have enough fully-functioning restrooms for your guests, and you’ll also need to have a solid plan in place for your parking situation.
And we haven’t even made it to the food and bar service part of our chat yet! That’s a whole other ballgame and it comes with its own licensing and serving requirements due to good ol’ covid. The best advice I can give you is this: don’t try to take everything on yourselves, and invest in quality help for your day. A licensed caterer and a wedding day manager or coordinator (it doesn’t even have to be me… but, I mean, I’d love to help!) will make all the difference in the world in helping to make sure your day goes off without a hitch. Trust me on this one!
PRO: MORE QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR GUESTS
With all of the usual goings-on on an average 150-person wedding day, most couples find that they don’t have more than a quick moment to interact with each of their guests. But having a micro wedding means you get to slow things down and take your sweet time! Having a smaller guest count means that there will be so much more time to interact with each one of your guests individually. Depending on just how small your guest count ends up being, you may even all be sharing a dinner table! Even with as many as 50 guests, you’ll still be looking at a far more manageable number of tables to visit during your mealtime. With a smaller guest count, you can fully immerse yourselves in the conversations and happenings around you during your reception, which will only contribute to making more beautiful memories of your day.
A smaller guest count also makes it easier and more attainable to ‘pamper’ your guests and give them a truly memorable and truly “you” wedding experience. Organizing a welcome dinner, a farewell brunch, or even a special activity during the day of, before, or after the wedding can be an extra special touch that gives your guests a peek into your authentic love story and allows you to spend more time with your loved ones and build on the experience that you’ve already created for your wedding day. One thing that’s for certain: you will never regret investing in the people that you love the most!
CON: IT WON’T BE THAT GREAT-BIG BLOWOUT YOU’VE ALWAYS ENVISIONED… AT LEAST NOT JUST YET
Especially right now, some couples are feeling the “guilt” of not having all the people they care about at their wedding and are concerned about what those who aren’t invited are going to feel or say. Let me just say that if you’re dying to marry the love of your life and that’s the only thing holding you back, you can always have a big party to celebrate with everybody later!
On the other hand, if certain people just don’t understand your priorities and that you simply don’t want to have a large wedding… well, that’s just too bad for them! This is YOUR wedding day, and nobody gets to make you feel bad for wanting what you want. When it all boils down, all you have to decide is whether you will be happy saying your vows in front of a smaller crowd. If your answer is yes, then that’s all that matters! Be confident in your decision, and others will respect it.
PRO: YOU’LL SAVE ON SOME OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
It’s basic math… smaller guest list = smaller amounts needed! One thing that’s great about having a micro wedding is that you can definitely expect some savings from certain vendors that you’d be ordering from based on how many guests are attending. Catering, bar service, and rentals are, of course, the “big three,” but you may also see some savings in the floral, paper goods, and cake departments as well, depending on what you select.
Another “nice to know,” is that some officiants also offer “elopement” or intimate wedding ceremonies. If you’re big fans of keeping things short, sweet, and right to the point, this might be an option for you to consider.
CON: BUT YOU WON’T SAVE ON ALL OF YOUR SERVICES… BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT… IT’S STILL A WEDDING!
A common misconception is that having a micro wedding means that it’s going to be less work for your service-based vendor pros, but my friends, I’m here to tell you that this just isn’t the case! Photographers, videographers, entertainment, venues, and wedding planners generally won’t come with cost savings because the work they do doesn’t really change based on the size of your wedding. However, depending on the flow of your day, you might still be able to scoop up some savings by booking shorter packages with your photographer, videographer, DJ, and sometimes even your venue!
PRO: MORE FLEXIBILITY TO CREATE INTENTIONAL DETAILS
The savings from the last PRO on our list leads us here! We’re back to that good old simple math again… this time to say that you can do a heck of a lot more with $40,000 if you have 40 guests than if you have 100! Since less of your budget will be going toward the “big three,” (food, bar, and rental items,) you now have the ability to focus your resources on incorporating more beautiful little details that represent you and tell your love story!
Whether you choose to make your day special with catering from your favourite restaurant, dreamy tablescapes, keepsake paper goods, or luxurious floral installations that wow, it’s investing in the things that excite you and bring you joy that will allow your unique love story to really shine through. Your guests will love these personal and intentional touches that you add to your day, and you will always look back on the unique work of art that was your wedding day as a celebration that was truly and authentically YOU.
PRO: NO WAITING REQUIRED
2020, amIright? And let’s face it… who really knows what’s in store for 2021?! One of the best things about having a micro wedding is that you can plan it without having the constant fear of having to postpone your day lurking in the back of your mind. The smaller your guest list, the easier it is to make quick adjustments based on last-minute challenges (like changes to social gathering restrictions) without completely disrupting the flow and feel of your day!
Another plus? Micro weddings are easier to plan within a much shorter time frame. So, if you’ve been engaged for a while and just want to say, “I do!” already, or if you put a ring on it over the holiday season, there’s nothing stopping you from throwing one unforgettable soirée in 2021. PS… I still have a few wedding dates available in 2021 – click here to say hello!
SO… WHAT’S THE FINAL WORD?
For couples who can’t imagine getting married without having everyone they care about there to celebrate with them, a micro wedding might feel like a big let down. But for many, the total opposite is true! For these couples, the silver lining in all of what’s gone on this year is that the pressure to invite people to their wedding out of obligation has all but disappeared.
Gone is the pressure to invite co-workers, extended family, and acquaintances. What remains is a new style of wedding: one where a more luxurious, high-end feel is attainable for every couple, and where more and more couples are choosing to invest their time and resources into the people they love most and the details that truly bring them joy.
For me, it’s always been about the authentic and personal little details and bringing my clients’ love stories to life… so I’m definitely a big fan of the direction we’re headed in with these much smaller, much more intentionally designed weddings. And honestly, I’m grateful for this shift that we’ve seen! Because if 2020 has given us anything, it’s that it’s brought back the true essence of what weddings are really about: the love between two people and their commitment to one other.
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