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10 Micro Wedding Ideas to Inspire An Intimate Ceremony

Published Monday, Oct. 18th, 2021

The bride and groom kiss on the wedding day, surrounded by a large group of friends and family members lined up for the photo. They are wearing sundresses and casual suits, standing in the sand at the beach. Everyone is turned to face the couple as they kiss, the children jump and cheer happily
Plan a ceremony that's truly YOU

Micro weddings are small-scale weddings with a guest list of about 20 people or less -- a sweet, intimate way to say, “I do!”



Because of its smaller size, a micro wedding ceremony (also called a minimony) gives you the freedom to get creative and plan the ceremony you really want, without the expectations or obligations that come with a big traditional wedding. 


Smaller ceremonies can be planned on a smaller budget, so you can put your money toward the parts of the wedding day that are most important to you. 


And you can hold one almost anywhere! 



Here are 10 micro wedding ideas we love.



1. Day at the beach


Small beach weddings come with gorgeous views, open skies, and calming waves that bring a unique magic to the marriage ceremony. Place a few chairs in the sand, or keep things casual with decorative umbrellas and blankets. 


Marrying along the shore has been part of wedding traditions since at least the Middle Ages, when couples and their guests tossed blessing stones into the water to bless the union with happiness and joy. A sand blending ceremony is another popular choice for a beach wedding unity ritual, and will give you a sweet memento to remind you of the special day.   




A wedding ceremony at the beach, the couple turn to watch as their loved ones and friends cheer as they walk down the aisle during the processional

Love with a dash of sun, sand, and surf


2. Weekend at a winery 


Invite a few close friends and relatives to join you at a local winery for a weekend of merriment, then sit back, sip some wine, and toast to a happy future together! Keep things simple by asking one of your special guests to officiate the wedding, and make the moment unique with a personalized wine blending ceremony.  



One of the best parts of hosting your wedding at a winery? Returning every year to celebrate your anniversary!  



friends and newlyweds toast at their wedding ceremony

Casual, classy, lots of conversation, and no clean up


3. Backyard blast


Backyard weddings are finally getting the attention they deserve. With a handful of twinkle lights, a DIY wedding altar or traditional chuppah, and a table filled with delicious drinks and desserts, your backyard is easily transformed into the venue of your dreams! 


These intimate family-friendly ceremonies are an authentic and affordable alternative to oversized weddings of the past. Save money on an officiant (and double the sweetness factor) by asking a best friend, parent, or another loved one to get ordained online to marry you. 




A backyard wedding ceremony, there are chairs set out in the grass for the micro wedding, a small wedding arch, and surrounding trees and a small house

True love with all the comforts of home



4. Cabin in the woods


Mother Nature makes the perfect wedding host! Gather your favorite folks together and head out of town to a romantic cabin, lodge, or campsite. Lush forests and stunning mountain views can make a simple outdoor ceremony feel like a spiritual experience.


Add a dash of ancient magic to the mix with a handfasting or tree planting ceremony (or tree watering and blessing). 




a wooden sign that reads, this way to the "i dos", next to a tree




5. National park adventure


Planning a destination or adventure wedding during the coronavirus pandemic can feel like a challenge, but national parks offer safe thrills and a break from the ordinary while staying close to home. And many national parks offer lodging and special permits for small events like micro weddings, so guests of all ages and tastes can feel comfortable.


With 423 national parks and over 6,600 state parks to choose from, you’ll find the perfect setting for a one-of-a-kind wedding experience --  whether you’re looking for waterfalls, glaciers, active volcanoes, winding caves, acres of wildflowers, or breathtaking coastlines.




a couple kiss outdoors surrounded by mountains on their wedding day

Mother Nature still offers the best venue of all.



6. Boat, bus, or train


Micro weddings give us permission to get creative! Non traditional small ceremonies can be held anywhere, including ferries, sail boats, public buses, or train cars… Just remember you might need permission or a permit to gather more than one or two people in a public place. 


After the ceremony, celebrate at your destination in style!



A young couple get married on a vintage bus

Love to travel? Take your ceremony on the road... or rails!


7. Ghost town getaway 


For an offbeat and off-the-beaten-trail style micro wedding venue, consider one of the country’s unique ghost towns. These once-bustling mining towns were abandoned over the years, leaving historic architecture and a dash of spooky atmosphere that’s perfect for quirky couples in the mood for something unusual. 


Whether you’re planning a Wild West themed wedding, want to take your vows in a haunted hotel, or just love that classic Americana vibe, ghost town weddings are unforgettable. 



A ghost town, inspiration for a microwedding!

An unusual venue for an unforgettable ceremony


8. Romantic restaurant


Celebrate your next chapter with a five-star feast! Restaurants with a spacious patio, private courtyard, or private dining room make a natural fit for micro weddings, by offering a low-stress combination of ceremony and reception all-in-one. And if you’d rather gather at a low-key local deli or cafe, go for it!


Start by reserving the number of seats or tables you’ll need, then ask a friend or family member to get ordained online to officiate. They’ll stand with you to exchange your rings and vows, before sitting down to a few courses and cocktails.


As an added bonus, friends can split the check and there won’t be any after-wedding clean up!



Friends toast at a large restaurant table

Vows over brunch, lunch, dinner, or drinks!




9. At the drive-in


Ready for the spotlight? Drive-in weddings combine retro style charm with practical needs (like social distancing and accessibility for friends with disabilities) making them a recurring micro wedding favorite. 


Plan a theme wedding suited to the setting (think B-movie cult classics, film noir, zombie flicks, or Silent Movie romance and comedy classics), or simply take advantage of the spacious center stage to design a creative, modern ceremony. 




A drive in movie theater, photo taken from high above, as the sun sets in a romantic display of colors

A unique way to exchange vows in front of friends and family



10. Moonlit themes


Micro weddings are creative departures from traditional weddings of the past -- which means none of the old rules for weekend dates or ceremony times apply, either!


Hold your wedding at night to give your ceremony instant atmosphere, and decorate with candles, strings of lights, lanterns, and glorious moonlight, to set the mood.






A young couple embrace at night during a moonlight micro wedding

Night weddings are incredibly dreamy!




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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