A micro wedding is a small and intimate wedding ceremony and/or reception with a list of 30-50 guests. As more and more people avoid having large weddings, either due to financial restrictions or the pandemic, such gatherings to celebrate this special day are becoming more and more popular.
There are many who believe that planning a wedding is a stressful and complicated process. And especially in the case of a small wedding, it means you have to go for contemporary choices and compromises. In both cases, this is so not true. There are plenty of unique, fun, unconventional, and cost-effective ways to organize your dreamy (micro) wedding.
Here are some ideas for every step of the wedding planning process so that you can easily plan your special day while staying on budget and enjoying the whole process.
Set Your Budget
The benefit of having a micro-wedding is that since you have a smaller number of guests you have much more money per head to spend. But still, you don’t want to overdo it and start spending recklessly. Plus, there are cases where even on the micro-wedding scenario the budget is quite limited, especially for young couples.
Think of the must-haves for your wedding and make a list of your priority items. Ditch anything that is not important and find alternative options. For example, if you have a friend who’s good at taking photos – and with a good camera – ask them to be your photographer. Or, instead of hiring a hairstylist or a makeup artist ask a friend to do your hair and makeup or do it yourself. And don’t forget: DIY is here to save your budget. Why pay a fortune for your wedding bouquet when you can easily make it yourself?
Once you have your list of items, set a budget based on the money you wish to spend on each of those and of course, the number of your guests – typically micro-weddings have a guest count of maximum 50 people. The fun thing here is that you can mix a low number of people with luxurious and expensive choices, like feeding your closest friends with caviar, or the other way around, offer a homemade wedding meal to 40 guests.
You can reduce or increase the cost as much as you like, but make sure you won’t miss anything you desire for your special day while at the same time saving some money to splash on other things as well, like your honeymoon.
Choose Where & When
When choosing a location for your small wedding the choices are endless. Just let your imagination fly and go beyond traditional ideas for wedding venues. Consider having your wedding on the beach, on a mountaintop, a microbrewery, a cottage, even your own backyard. In fact, you can pick a place that has a special meaning for you and your loved one, or a sweet memory of yours. Imagine getting married at the restaurant where you had your very first date or the park where you had your first kiss. How amazing would that be?
And remember, you don’t need to have your ceremony and reception at the same place. This will limit your choices. You could have your ceremony on a mountain top and then move on to a small reception at a cottage nearby.
- Pro tip: Don’t let COVID-19 get in the way of celebrating this beautiful day of yours. If the pandemic makes you anxious and you want to keep things super safe, consider having a virtual wedding, with only you, your loved one, and the officiant being present and your guests joining you through video call.
See also: How To Plan A Zoom Wedding
As for the time of the wedding, budget gets in the game. Most weddings are normally taking place during weekends, evenings, or the summer, and that’s why those are the costliest times to have your wedding. Plus, with so many people probably wanting to get married during those periods all available options in terms of places and dates will be limited.
Think outside the box and consider going off-season, like a morning wedding or one during a weekday. This way you’ll both be able to save money and increase your options. And it might suit your guests better as well.
- Pro Tip: If you’re planning to have your wedding outdoors don’t forget to think about the temperature, cause it may affect your outfit, makeup, what your guests will be wearing, and their comfort. The time of day is another important factor, especially for your photos – sunrises and sunsets are the best hours in terms of lighting.
Send Out Your (E-)Invites
Invitations are another category where you can both stay in budget and be unconventional. So instead of asking a graphic designer to create your invitations and then dealing with potential post office delays to have them sent to your guests, you can do it all by yourself.
How about designing your wedding invitations on your own? There are multiple tools online, either totally free or with a small cost, where you can play out with different templates, create your invitations the way you like, and then send them out online. Simple, quick, and totally creative.
If you like the idea of going digital but don’t want to spend time on design you can send an email to each guest letting them know of the special event and asking them to join you. Or create a calendar event where you’ll invite all your guests by adding their email addresses. They can either accept or reject the invitation, so you can keep track of the number of people attending the event and, for those who accept, it’ll be added to their mail calendar – you can also set a notification for then so they’ll be reminded a few days before.
Especially for younger couples who love social media, another fun idea would be posting a – private – Facebook event. Apart from the fact that again people can respond whether they’re coming to the wedding or not, they’ll be able to post any questions they may have, like directions for the location, how can they get there, etc. Plus, you can post any info about the wedding or any fun stuff to increase the excitement before the big day!
- Pro tip: If you want to make sure most of your guests will make it to your wedding you can send out/post a poll with your e-invitation/on your event. Give them a list of potential dates and ask them to vote which dates better work for them. This is a nice way to inform people in advance about your planning, especially in the case of a weekday wedding since they might need to (re)arrange their schedule.
Keep in mind that you might still have to send out some traditional printed invitations for your elderly guests or some that are not familiar with technology. And since they won’t be a lot, you can spend some money on a print shop to have them made for you. But if you still want to stay in budget, DIY is always there to save you. Besides, hand-made creations are always more sentimental.
Pick Your Outfit
When it comes to small wedding outfits there are no rules. Especially since it’ll be only you, your fiance, and your closest friends and family there’s no pressure to make an impression. Of course, this doesn’t mean you cannot wear the lush gorgeous wedding dress you’ve always dreamed of.
You can choose anything from a simple white dress to an expensive wedding gown – and since you’ll be saving money from other things you are allowed to spend something extra on your outfit. But if your budget is still quite tight you can wear something you already have or, even better, design and make your outfit yourself. If you feel you don’t have the skills, ask a friend or a relative who’s good at sewing to do it for you – we all have a grandma or an aunt who’s an expert at dress making. This way you’ll have the dress you’ve always been dreaming of with no cost at all!
Feel free to wear whatever you like, as long as it makes you feel amazing and pretty.
- Pro tip: Would you like to make it even more fun? Choose a theme for your wedding, like the 30s or a favorite movie, and choose your outfit based on it. You can ask your guests to get dressed accordingly as well.
Include Unique & Meaningful Details
A nice thing about small weddings is that there’s more room and time to make it more intimate and personal, adding simple but special touches. Choose the most beautiful linens, make handwritten ‘Thank You’ cards for your guests, prepare a customized menu, let your dog walk you down the aisle. Make an entrance to the reception driving a golf cart or a vintage school bus.
Go for an unconventional and unique decoration, like creating a round seating with guests seated on for sides or replacing traditional chairs with wooden benches, sofas, and armchairs or blankets on the ground – if you’re having your ceremony on a mountaintop you can place large comfy pillows on the rocks. Especially during pandemic times, placing the seats in the round is also a good way to maintain a safe distance between your guests. Also, if you’re planning to live-stream the ceremony for those who won’t be there it’ll be easier to shoot without interrupting anybody’s view.
Also, incorporate interactive elements during the ceremony so that your guests can get involved. For example, put the chairs on a spiral and give your guests a flower to hold as they sit for the ceremony. Then collect those flowers while you’re walking around to the center to say your vows. By the time you reach your loved one, you’ll have a beautiful bouquet in your hands.
Whatever you choose to make your celebration more meaningful and fun, make sure all those special elements of your wedding will be captured in your wedding photos. Let your photographer know in advance about your overall wedding decoration so that they’ll be prepared not to miss a single detail.
Go for Unexpected and Special Food & Drink Choices
Just because you’re having a micro wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have a rich gourmet dinner after the ceremony. But how about trying something different like a brunch party or a picnic, especially if it is a morning wedding? That’s certainly something none will expect and it’ll definitely be a wonderful surprise.
If you’d like to try something entirely different and unusual for a wedding, set up a food truck where guests can order anything from tacos and fried chips to ice creams and cotton candy. Or instead of the traditional wedding cake create a stack of donuts, cupcakes, pancakes, or anything sweet you like, decorated with whipped cream and sprinkles or chocolate sauce. This way it’ll also be easier for your guests to take a small bite as they pass by. As for drinks, you could replace champagne and cocktails with soft drinks, tropical juices, or smoothies.
In all cases, it would be nice to include some more intimate food details as well. For example, you can customize your menu with dishes or cocktails named after your most special moments, like your first kiss or the first dinner you had together as a couple, including your most favorite ingredients and flavors. Also, if you’re both coming from different cultures, including traditional dishes and tastes on the menu would be a wonderful and meaningful addition to the menu too.
Invest on Entertainment
And by invest, we don’t necessarily mean spending money. There are multiple ways to have fun and make your wedding reception an unforgettable party without spending a penny.
Take music for example. Book a Dj or your favorite band could be quite costly. Of course, none said you cannot go for it; it’s all up to you. But if you still want to keep things cost-effective, how about making your own Spotify playlist including all your favorite songs and let it play all night long!? You can make it as long as you want, adding songs that you and your friends are crazy about, the ones you love dancing at parties, your anthems, or the ultimate love song that most represent your love.
If you want to make the party even more fun, you can organize some group games, like question games, musical chairs, limbo, or skittles – especially if you’re partying outdoors. And even better: you could arrange a dance or a karaoke battle for you and your guests with a very special prize for the winner.
Whatever you decide to do or include for your micro wedding the number one rule is to have fun and relax. Small weddings are meant to be less stressful and more intimate and personal. Do your research, choose the elements that can make your wedding day a dream while staying on budget. Do whatever makes you feel happy!
And if you ever feel that you need some help or advice by a professional feel free to reach us. At Rachel Cho Floral Design, we always love to pair a passion for an original design with a commitment to superior customer service. We’ll collaborate with you to capture your vision with dynamic, unique arrangements.