Most weddings involve months of planning. Costs add up quickly. In fact, the average cost of a mid-sized wedding, with about 150 guests, was $30,000 as of 2018. While some couples see their wedding as a day to spare no expense (and that’s totally awesome) not everyone wants of a big wedding.
There are plenty of reasons why… Some couples are more reclusive and private. Other couples have their hearts set on a venue that’s too small for huge crowds.
Whatever their reasons, more couples are opting for smaller affairs, known as micro weddings.
We aren't talking about eloping, where the couple are married in private, and sometimes in secret. Micro weddings are still full fledged ceremonies, with guests. They still retain the beauty, structure, and glamour of a traditional wedding and reception. The only difference is, they do it on a smaller scale. These weddings are characterized by their intimacy, with a guest list that barely reaches the double digits.
AMM talked to some of our ministers that have officiated micro weddings to get their advice on planning your own micro wedding. Here’s what they had to say.
Your wedding should always be a celebration.
Don’t miss this opportunity to create something special. A visit to the court house is a practical way to have a quick and cheap wedding, but it’s not a substitute for a wedding ceremony. If that’s what you want, then a micro wedding is the way to go.
Once you picked your officiant, all you need is a few friends and your imagination. AMM minister Sharnise Sears has officiated several smaller weddings. She told us that, “micro weddings are so intimate and magical. You can literally feel the presence of love exuding from the couple as well as the guest when everyone is so close together.”
Don't forget that your wedding is a celebration!
Fewer Guests Means More Options.
The obvious benefits of having a shorter guest list is there is less work and a smaller budget. Another benefit is that you can hold the ceremony and reception in smaller venues that wouldn’t normally work for a wedding.
Do you have a favorite café, restaurant, or bar? Check to see if you can have your ceremony there. You can also use parks, public beaches, or a friends spacious backyard. Fewer guests makes it possible to have more one-on-one time for the guests and the couple. Whatever the size of your wedding, it's always a good idea to pick the venue first, then make the guest list accordingly.
Figure Out The Essentials.
You and your fiance have to sit down and figure out which aspects of the wedding mean the most to you. It could be the dress, the food, the music, or even the alcohol. Maybe it’s the cake. This is an opportunity to talk about whether you are planning for yourself, for other people like family, or tradition.
“It’s your wedding,” explained AMM minister Helen Fleming. “Trim away whatever strikes you as non-essential. For some people, going casual isn’t a big deal, and not all weddings need alcohol. Ask yourself, do you really need a DJ?”
Do we really need a DJ?
Even if people are not invited, they are still your family and friends. They love you and are happy that you are beginning a new phase in your life. Many will still want to give you a gift. Being registered will help them pick out something you will enjoy. It’s always a good idea to register for wide amount of items across different price points. This will give people a better selection.
Expect Some Pushback
As happy as you might be with a micro wedding, not everyone will be thrilled. Be confident and firm when you tell your parents and family. They might need some help understanding why your wedding is going to be less traditional. Explain to them that it’s ultimately your decision, why you made your choice, and that despite their apprehension, the wedding will still be fun for all.
People that don’t make the guest list might have hurt feelings, but here too, a rational explanation will go a long way.
When the big day comes arrives, don’t second guess your choices. It’s your day and it’s going to be memorable. A smaller wedding might also end up being a less stressful wedding. AMM minister Rachael Tanner has officanted plenty Microweddings and she told us that, “The couples are more relaxed because there is much less to fuss about and prepare for, so they are free to connect with their guests or do as they wish.”