By Brittany Jorgenson
What is a micro wedding?
A micro wedding (also seen spelled as microwedding or micro-wedding) takes the big wedding concept and shrinks it down to a miniature event of only about 20 people or so (give or take a few). Think of it like a combination of the traditional elements of a large wedding and the affordability and intimacy of an elopement, plus a few friends and family involved (though not always). If you can get past having a small guest list, this is an amazing alternative to a large and often costly event.
So could a microwedding be the right fit for you?
That depends! If you are…
- Looking for an event that is laid-back and low pressure
- Are an introvert, or at least feel like having a private and intimate occasion
- Want an event that’s nice but affordable, and something that won’t put you or your family into debt
- Want something genuine and meaningful to you and your partner
- Are ok with only having a handful of your nearest and dearest there to witness your I Do’s
…..then a micro wedding may be the perfect option for you!
Microweddings can save you lots of money (which you can spend on other things)
According to yearly research done by the popular wedding planning website TheKnot.com, in 2017 the national wedding cost averaged in at $33,391.00! That doesn’t even include the honeymoon!
Couples are spending a lot of that money on their guests, on average $268* per person, which is an increase from previous years. On the plus side, if you were a wedding guest in 2017 then you might have experienced a pretty awesome time! On the minus side, if you are a couple planning an event that can get very expensive, since the average number of wedding attendees is 136* guests. (*as of TheKnot’s 2018 report on 2017 wedding costs)
If you have a lot fewer guests adding to your final costs, then you will still have money to “treat yo self” (and/or your guests) with a high quality event without going into debt.
Spending less money on the sheer number of guests also lets you splurge on other experiences you may not have been able to with a large event. Plus, you will have more time to enjoy those experiences. Just think of how nice pre-wedding massages or an outing for everyone at that new wine and painting studio could be. My brother was able to treat all 20 of his wedding guests to a private ghost tour of Williamsburg the evening before his micro-wedding, which was a totally cool and memorable experience!
More options are available with smaller sized events
A 10-25 person event has a lot more options open to it than a 100-250 person event in terms of where you can actually have your event. Maybe you want to have your ceremony at that small gazebo at the botanical garden that you proposed at, or perhaps you can book a room at your favorite restaurant for your reception. Small groups can fit nearly anywhere!
Awesome for Introverts
Do you hate being in the spotlight? Or do you get overwhelmed around lots of people easily? If so, a micro wedding might be your kind of event.
A few years ago we had a groom that hated the thought of being the center of attention for such an important life moment. So he and his bride booked a wedding for just the two of them. They were able to get married in private in a small garden, had some cake and fun taking adorable wedding photos on our retro tandem bike, and spent a lovely stay doing outdoor adventuring in the area. When they returned home they planned a casual get-together for all their friends and family, which was a great way to include those they loved in the celebration without all the added pressure. It was perfect for them and their need for an intimate and low stress event.
Even if you are an outgoing person and don’t mind being the center of attention, weddings can bring a lot of stress and pressure from outside sources. The more people are involved the more complicated things can get, especially with certain people having set ideas about what a wedding should be.
Ideally, your day should be what you want it to be and not what others expect. But if you are prone to feeling pressure from others’ expectations (like the majority of us), then that can cause a lot of tension.
The good news is that micro weddings are more “outside of the box,” and so are a great way to throw whatever traditions you want out the window, keeping what elements you want or creatively reinventing the rest. There is a greater chance that the people close enough to you to be invited will go with the flow you’ve created. The rest won’t be there to judge.
Makes for a great Destination Event
Want to do something a little bit different? Then pick a destination and go! Whether it is a favorite vacation place or somewhere you haven’t been before, micro weddings are a great way to create an awesome and affordable wedding experience with your closest friends and family. Make it into a long weekend occasion with outdoor adventures and cultural outings. Explore a new place, or just hang out somewhere relaxing and have a good time celebrating with those closest to you.
Micro Wedding packages can save you time and energy
Unless you have oodles of time to spare, or have been planning every detail of your wedding since you were 5 years old, chances are that you are a busy person with lots of other things going on in your life. Whether this is your first or third wedding, or even a vow renewal, it is likely that you want some help with bringing your event together.
If you can find a place that does micro wedding packages, providing anything from lodging to ceremony plus reception dinner to full coordinating, then you are already most of the way done with your planning! For example, at Storybrook Farm we offer packages that include ceremony, reception, cake, flowers, food, officiant, decorations, complete event set up and take down, planning assistance, and optional lodging. Nice and easy.
A limited guest list may cause hurt feelings if not handled with care
Sometimes it can be a real struggle to tell someone “no, I’m sorry but you’re not invited,” especially if you are a part of a close-knit community or have a huge family. If so and you can’t not invite all your cousins or your whole work department, then a micro wedding might not be the right solution for you.
However, if you still really love the idea of a small event and want to make it work, then here are couple of helpful links and tips for trimming your guest list and letting people know that even though they aren’t invited you still love them.
- This OffBeatBride article, “Guest list rules to help you keep your wedding small,” has some great advice for choosing your guest list for a small event, including the recommendation that you only invite the people that you both know well. One of my husband’s friends did this recently. He had actually been a groomsman at our wedding, but when it came time for us to expect the invitation for his wedding he had to let us down gently. They were going with a micro event and only people that both he and his fiancee knew were invited. We had never met her before, so while we were a little bummed at first we understood. He still loves us, and we’ll get to meet her some day!
- Be tactful. This OffBeatBride article, “10 blunt-but-loving ways to tell people they’re not invited to your wedding,” shares some tips on how to tactfully tell people they aren’t coming to your wedding, including my favorite: blame it on the venue!
One size does not fit all. Which is the best fit for you?
Disclaimer: I totally understand the need to invite the people that think you should, or that others think you should–I did that exact same thing for my wedding. My husband (who is a big time introvert) really wanted to have a micro wedding. My older brother had one, and it was intimate and amazing. However, we were getting married on the family farm and I felt like I couldn’t not invite all of our extended families, neighbors, and long-time family friends. While our wedding was still amazing it was also one of the largest of the family weddings, at 125 people. We hardly had any time to spend with each other, let alone all the people who traveled to be there to help us celebrate.
All of this isn’t to say that having a large wedding is a bad thing. It can be a great thing! Being surrounded by lots of people who care about you and reveling in a large-scale event centered on you and your affianced during one of the most significant moments of your life can be a wonderful and thrilling experience.
But it is to say that there are alternatives open to you if a traditional and/or large wedding is not your thing. If any of the points above resonate with you, and you have the opportunity to go with a smaller event, I encourage you to take it. By having fewer people at your event you get to spend more quality time with those who mean the most to you, your wedding funds can go further, and you might even have more time and opportunity to enjoy your own wedding without feeling pressured. It is a special day for you and your partner and you should do what brings you joy and peace of mind.
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Featured photo credit: The Modern Heart Photography
Brittany Jorgenson is the Venue Director at Storybrook Farm. She has worked in the wedding industry since 2013, and has been helping couples plan meaningful small events since 2015. She believes that having an open, down-to-earth, be-prepared-but-go-with-the-flow mindset leads to the most fulfilling and genuine life experiences.