Micro weddings. What is a “micro wedding” and why has it become such a talked about thing? We know that event planning has had to adapt to the changing culture of weddings during and in the wake of this pandemic. BUT, that isn’t a negative thing! It is in fact, quite awesome!
Micro weddings refer to your guest count (usually under 50) and timeframe with your venue. That’s it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have an over-the-top wedding or you have to cut out vendors or decor you’ve dreamed of… it simply means you keep the guest count slightly smaller and instead of inviting the world, you invite those that mean the most to you. Then, you work within a slightly shorter timeframe on property with the venue you love.
What does this mean for you? This means that you get to get married. You get to have your close friends and family watch you say I Do. You get to dance with your new spouse as newlyweds. You get to have those you care the most about send you off in style as you start your life.
Ok maybe you have to shift a few things around at your venue… BUT silver linings folks! So, it is a smaller guest count then you expected (silver lining: you can splurge on the extra hors d’oeuvres since your catering guest count is smaller). You may have some out-of-town folks that can’t make it (silver lining: those hotel goody bags can be swapped for a late-night snack for guests).
Logistics example: Your venue has a ceremony space that can, with the new regulations for the foreseeable future, only fit 50% of your desired guest count. Silver lining: the reception space at the venue is PLENTY big.
- Solution 1: have your entire event in the reception space and flip the room (meaning set up for ceremony gets flipped to reception set up with the help of perhaps a few extra staff and a creative cocktail hour).
- Solution 2: you keep your ceremony guest count smaller and everyone else joins in for the reception fun. Both solutions have loved ones witnessing your “I Dos” and both solutions involve your loved vendors and space.
How to make the most of it? The amount of time you have at your venue, and your access to use of the property will be different depending on the venue. Here are a few tips on how you can maximize the time you have on property at your venue:
- Hair and makeup: consider getting your hair and makeup done OFF property. That way a significant amount of time at your venue won’t be spent with you and your bridal party sitting in chairs. Recommendation: find a hotel room or salon close by your venue so that you don’t hit traffic and possibly delay what time you do have.
- Utilize off property photography time: Ok so we couldn’t NOT include this! This could be done multiple ways. First, get everything done off property (think hotel room/salon), then take some individuals (bridals/groom’s shots) and separate wedding party pics OFF site but nearby the venue. THEN when you land at the venue, do a first look immediately so that you can do “newlywed” pictures first. That makes the timeframe normally spent getting ready, being pictures instead. You could even consider doing all of the family photos beforehand also.
Then after the ceremony, the cocktail hour/family photos would transition more quickly to reception resulting in a streamlined timeline and more time with your guests. Second option, an after- shoot. We love these! This means after your exit, you meet the photography at another designated location and, if it’s nighttime, get some night photography… or crash a Whataburger… All exciting ideas that can be explored OFF property.
- Skip the formal cake cutting: Please note I did NOT say to skip the cake! The cake is such a beautiful and delicious way to add décor and tradition to your event. BUT, you don’t need to have the DJ announce that you’re cutting the cake, then wait for everyone to gather around, then cut it and everyone claps. Let your photographer and parents know that you’ll be cutting the cake at the end of this song, then go do it. May seem trivial, but it will likely save 15 minutes that could be dance, dance time.
- Seated dinner: Think about it… you took a loooooooong, deep breath thinking about catering for 200. Now, you only have to think about feeding 50. This means that you now have it in the budget to splurge with a more intimate, seated meal. It also means that the time it would take for your guests to walk through a buffet line can be spent listening to toasts or mingling instead.
Side note: If you’re concerned about some guests you would have included not being able to come, whether that be due to a reduced guest count or necessary travel to attend that just can’t happen right now, consider streaming the event or at least the ceremony portion. We’ve seen so many options from creative streaming by a professional videographer (Brockstar Videos being one example) to Facebook Live events in a private group, this is one way to get creative with a bit more inclusivity, minus the headcount.
Micro weddings do not mean a small wedding experience. The saying, “Less is More” is true for a reason! A micro wedding is perfect for the couple that wants to focus and spend most of their time and budget on the details, which they would not be able to do with 200 guests. Micro weddings are not events to cut corners and reduce the experience, but rather an opportunity to get the designer dress you were eyeing or have the top tier, plated dinner you wanted. Micro weddings are planned with intimacy and experience in mind.
If you’d like to hear more about micro weddings, elopements, minimonies and sequel weddings, check out our conversation on the Life as Art podcast. There are so many choices for weddings, including the size and overall style of your wedding day. As we ALWAYS say, keep it true to you and your forever person and it will be perfect!
Images from featured micro wedding at Silver Sycamore