Recently engaged? Congratulations! Your engagement is an exciting time! But, the time between proposal and wedding can be stressful as well. If you’re not interested in all of the challenges that go along with a large wedding, why not plan a micro wedding? A micro wedding keeps all of the traditions of a traditional wedding, but with a small guest list – often fewer than 20 people! Having a micro wedding is a terrific way to say goodbye to the stresses of planning a large wedding. You will still likely have the same number of vendors, but you will be able to forgo the needs of a large wedding, like a large venue, transportation, and food costs. With the savings from hosting a small number of guests, you will be able to spend significant time with everyone in attendance and personalize your wedding day. Here are 10 tips for planning your micro wedding.
The first thing to do when planning a micro wedding is to determine your priorities. You’ve chosen to limit your guest list for a reason – why? Is it because you want to get married at home with your immediate family only in attendance? Do you want to have a micro wedding because you want a destination wedding as well? Is spending time with each and every person at your wedding really important to you? Whatever the reason for having a micro wedding, be sure to keep that reason top of mind when you make a budget, create a guest list, and choose the date of and location for your wedding.
Sometimes, hosting a micro wedding is budget-dependent. You and your partner may prefer not to spend so much money on one day. (Did you know the average cost of a US wedding was $28,000 in 2019?!) Other times, you and your partner may find that a micro wedding aligns with your priorities (see #1). When planning a budget, you should allot certain amounts to each element of your wedding like location, food, band, attire, etc. One of the great things about a micro wedding is the many options you have. You could rent cabins and host a wedding weekend. You could hire a personal chef to cater an intimate wedding dinner at home. With your small guest list, you have the ability – and flexibility! – to spend your budget on those elements which you value most.
Building your guest list can be a challenging step when planning a micro wedding. If you and your partner come from large families or each have a large group of friends, then someone will not be invited. Consider your friends and family as circles: first, your immediate family; then, your extended family. Next, your close friends; then, your not-as-close friends. Add those circles to your guest list until you reach the magic number, whether 10, 20, or 30. If any circle busts your guest list total, leave the entire circle off the list. You can always celebrate with those family or friends at a later date!
When choosing a date for your micro wedding, there are a lot of things to consider. A great place to start is looking at special dates for you and your partner. You may want to get married on the day you first started dating or you may want to get married on the anniversary of your engagement. Many couples begin with a season to get married. In many US states, and in New England especially, fall is quickly replacing spring as the most popular wedding season! Even if your exact date is important, try to be flexible with the time. Many locations have discounts for “off-peak” times, like weekdays or Sunday brunch, and will be flexible working with you on a price point.
After you’ve chosen a date or a season for your micro wedding, the next step is to choose a location. This is one of the best benefits of hosting a micro wedding: you don’t need to worry about the maximum capacity of a venue or the cost of catering because of your small guest count! You can also be extremely flexible with traditions when choosing a location. You and your partner can opt for a chic restaurant, famous landmark, private residence, or special destination instead of an event venue. If you’re an outdoorsy couple, perhaps you want to choose an outdoor location with incredible views but is accessible for any less outdoorsy guests. If you’re a couple who gardens, consider a beautifully landscaped private home or your city’s botanical gardens. The options are practically endless when it comes to a micro wedding’s location!
Once you know the date and location of your micro wedding, then it’s time to set up your wedding website. A wedding website is an easy and efficient way to share information about your special day with guests. On your wedding website, you can share how you met your partner, tell your engagement story, give out details about the wedding day, and share a link to your wedding registry (if applicable). If your micro wedding is also a destination wedding, your website is a great place to share travel information, itineraries, and attractions in the area. If you’re a couple who values conservation of resources, you may want to send out e-invitations to your guests and link them directly to your website. If you’re a couple who wants to send traditional paper invitations, include your website’s URL on the invitation to encourage guests to view additional information and RSVP online.
As with so many aspects of a micro wedding, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing attire. Perhaps you and your partner prefer to keep the traditions of white dresses and tuxedos. But, you can also choose to go your own way and wear something unexpected, like a stunning cocktail dress or shimmery suit jacket. The date and location of your wedding also play a large role in choosing your attire. If you’re having a winter wedding, consider a long sleeved gown or faux fur wrap. If you’re getting married in the summer, consider a seersucker suit to keep cool. Flats or low heels are helpful for outdoor weddings or indoor venues with a lot of stairs! Keep these factors in mind when selecting your bridal party’s attire as well.
Your wedding invitations can be casual or formal which is a great way to reinforce the look and feel of your wedding. In most traditional invitations, the bride's first and middle names are included with the groom's first and last name. These traditional invitations often include the parents’ names as well. More modern invitations include just the couple’s names. But how you phrase your invitation is all up to personal style and the formality of your event. In addition to sharing the theme of your event, invitations are the primary way to confirm your event details, like date and time, location, how to RSVP, and attire.
When keeping all of the traditions of a large wedding for your micro wedding, you will likely have the same number of vendors: officiant, caterer, photographer, band or dj, hair and makeup artist, and florist. Before hiring your vendors, be sure to do research! Seek out reviews and recent event recaps on a vendor’s website or social media. If you have family or friends who recently got married, ask for their recommendations. If you’re hosting a destination wedding and aren’t familiar with vendors in that area, look on a local wedding planner’s website. They will often highlight their vendor team which could give you some great ideas for who to hire. The two most important things when working with your wedding vendors is communication and trust. Without this, your stress levels will be high!
Most importantly, have fun during the wedding planning process and on the day of your wedding! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the details, consider hiring a wedding planner, either from the beginning or just for the wedding day. Leading up to your wedding, get enough sleep and drink lots of water. On your wedding day, give yourself more time for hair and makeup, travel, and photos than you think you will need. If anything goes off the rails, you’ll appreciate the buffer. Talk to your caterer or venue staff to coordinate when you will eat during the dinner. And, don’t forget to find some alone time with your partner – after all, it’s your day!
We hope that with our 10 tips for micro wedding planning, plus our all-in-one event website and online registration, you can turn what might be a stressful process into a fun experience. EventCreate makes it easy to create a beautiful, professional-looking event website in minutes using our easy-to-use website builder. Get started by choosing one of our event website themes, each handcrafted by our award-winning design team. No coding skills are required and no server setup is needed.
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