Micro weddings: what's the deal?
— By Raashka Mannie
09 July 2021
Wonderful things can come in tiny packages - who says weddings have to be an exception?
Celebrating with your nearest and dearest on your special day is a time-honoured tradition across the globe. However, in recent times, given the growing costs and safety issues, the usual size for a wedding has made people question the way we do things and why. In New Zealand, the average cost of a wedding is around $35,000. Couples across the country have turned to the idea of micro weddings - a simpler, safer way to enjoy your big day with added perks.
A micro wedding is an intimate wedding of no more than fifty guests. They’re all about taking the usual aspects of a wedding and downsizing, which is what sets them apart from an elopement. You’re awarded the chance to stroll down an aisle, cut a cake and exchange lovey-dovey vows in front of a carefully curated guest list. It often means less pressure and more freedom in light of its flexibility. These are all great things if you’re planning a wedding because, as a couple, there’s nothing quite so demanding.
If you’re still undecided on the type of wedding you’d like to have, from glam and traditional to a cosy elopement, we’re here to bring micro weddings to the table. You can have the best of both worlds.
Image by Dearly Beloved Photography
"What are the benefits of a micro wedding?"
In these ever-changing times, it’s good to put safety first. Keeping COVID-19 in mind is still a vital factor when wedding planning, which is what micro weddings lend themselves to so effortlessly. If you still have the chance to raise a toast to the good things in life with the people you love, why not go for it? Micro weddings are adored for the level of safety and privacy they bring, allowing you to social distance and tailor the guest list accordingly. You’ll be keeping yourself and all of your loved ones safe and sound with a micro wedding. Outline your safety procedures, hand out masks and make sure there’s plenty of hand sanitiser available. You can even check in with health professionals to make extra sure that your micro wedding is an airtight affair.
One of the most welcome aspects of micro weddings is the cost reduction. Catering to twenty or thirty guests is significantly easier than a hundred or more, especially when looking at it from a price per head basis. You can save a ton of money when it comes to décor, catering, styling and more. Alternately, it also means that you can pour more into curating a more luxurious, personalised experience for your lucky guests. The beauty of a micro wedding is how it adapts to be whatever you need it to be, whether it’s cost-efficient or glamorously indulgent. Some couples decide to spend their budget on hiring out venues or having weekend-long weddings; other couples cut back and have cute celebrations in their backyards beneath fairy lights.
Peace of mind
The world of wedding planning can be a hectic place. There’s a reason there are polished professionals that take care of all of that. Micro weddings inherently reduce the stress of wedding planning by lightening the load. There’s just less to do - less invites, less questions, less favours, less menus. You and your partner will be breathing a sigh of relief when you realise how easy planning a micro wedding is. On top of that, the pressure of the big day itself is removed credit to the small number of guests. There’s no more worrying about potentially hundreds of people as you exchange vows or cut the cake. It’s just you, the love of your life and the people that think the world of you - even if you do happen to lose your rhythm during your first dance.
Image by Zahn
Styling & planning
You wouldn’t believe how much fun you’ll have when styling your micro wedding. Everything about micro wedding styling and planning comes down to one word: doable. It’s all so very doable. Pick out comfy mismatched chairs for guest seating; choose individualised menus for your guests; cover your cosy wedding space in flowers from wall to wall, just because you can. All these things are possible when the stress is off your wallet, and you’re only planning for a handful of guests. Get as creative as you want with your ideas. We promise your guests will have the time of their lives knowing that they’re part of a day that you excitedly put together from scratch.
With that in mind, it’s the personal touches that pull a micro wedding together like nothing else. You can go the extra mile when you have fewer people to look after. It’s not just about personalised catering, but individualised favours, place settings and more. You can have everyone’s favourite drink waiting; you can set aside time to talk to each person at length; you can handwrite notes of gratitude - it’s all possible. Your guests will already be feeling extra special at having been invited to your micro wedding, so all these personal touches are sure to have them floating around on cloud nine. On top of that, you get to express your love for them in absolute freedom. It’s a total victory!
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits to a micro wedding is how flexible they are. We’re talking dates, we’re talking times, we’re talking how small you want it to be, we’re talking menus, we’re talking attire - everything is flexible. You get to have whatever type of micro wedding you want in a relaxed style, all while picking and choosing the traditions of weddings you prefer. The key to micro weddings is adapting to what you want and why, so don’t hesitate to toss out ideas with your partner to find that sweet spot. You can celebrate your marriage however you want to, and micro weddings are the perfect avenue for that.
Image by Liv and Remember
"What are the cons of a micro wedding?"
A micro wedding means a micro wedding. There’s no ifs or buts about it. If it’s over around fifty guests, you can’t really call it a micro wedding anymore. When cutting down on who can come and why, it can lead to some heartache. You’ve got to make some tough decisions when putting together your micro wedding, but sticking to your guns is the only way to follow through. It’s for the sake of safety, budget and an experience like none other. That said, you sort of knew this one coming in, didn’t you?
For some, this might be a bitter farewell to traditional weddings. You can’t bring parts of them to micro weddings, which may feel like a sacrifice. Micro weddings are still an unconventional choice for many, so it makes sense that people don’t always know what to make of them. With that in mind, this is less of a con and more of a matter of perspective. As the world changes, so must we - and micro weddings are now a rapidly growing part of the wedding industry.
Image by Rebecca Goddard Photography
"What’s essential for a micro wedding?"
Wedding videography & photography
We cannot emphasise this enough: wedding videography and photography. Now more important than ever is the ability to preserve your special day in stunning quality. Not only do you want breathtaking imagery to look back on for years, but videography of all those moments in motion. Wedding videography is a booming part of the industry, with tons of specialists that will make your big day look like something out of an Audrey Hepburn film.
Wedding videography is not just for you - it’s for all the guests that couldn’t make it, all the loved ones too far away, and the ones close to your heart that want to appreciate you in your joy over and over again. Wedding videography has developed into an essential part of micro weddings for how they bring your big day to everyone that desperately wanted to be with you but couldn’t make it for one reason or another.
In a similar vein, the blooming facet of live streaming weddings is also crucial. There are now several companies that focus on live streaming weddings, engagements and related celebrations. You can laugh and cry alongside your loved ones all over the world as you glide down the aisle and exchange vows. They get to be a part of your micro wedding just like any other. Wedding live streaming services often offer unlimited viewers, custom URLs, copies of the micro wedding and more.
Image by Latitude Photography
The right venue
When choosing a venue for your micro wedding, what do you think of? Your backyard? A plush lounge? The pretty garden down the street? We’ve got great news for you: these are all viable. The right venue for your micro wedding means the right wedding venue for you. As micro weddings emphasise safety and individuality, it’s up to you to choose a venue that brings out those things.
Unique micro wedding venue options include flower fields, safely between rows of lavender or near bubbling streams. Another is boats, from yachts and ferries to riverboats and sailboats, with their limited space and unusual feel. If you prefer to stay on dry land, why not keep it simple at your home? Other couples opt to push the boundaries and exclusively hire out cute wine bars, restaurants or bistros for their micro weddings, ensuring privacy and a backdrop they already approve of. You can get innovative at theatres, art galleries, and museums that allow the same air of seclusion in their hallowed halls - especially because hosting your micro wedding amongst art and artifacts is beyond cool.
Even more extraordinary micro wedding venue options include Christmas tree farms, greenhouses, conservatories, warehouses, orchards, private beaches, national parks, rooftops with a view and secret gardens. Our personal favourite? Long, weathered docks. Your micro wedding will be floating over glassy waters in supreme fashion. It’s as charming as it is chic. Micro weddings allow you to let the venue/setting decide the atmosphere and tone of your big day in all the best ways, so get fabulous with it!
"What do I have to keep in mind when planning my micro wedding?"
It breaks down into uncomplicated steps with micro weddings. You can take everything one task at a time without having to worry about doing too much. Essentially, it’s like planning a traditional wedding, but on a smaller, more manageable scale - and isn’t that the dream?
When deciding your budget, you must stick to it. Sure, you’ve got some wriggle room when it comes to unplanned events, emergencies and whatnot, but it’s good for you to stick to remain steadfast. Having a fixed budget in mind helps you to make more efficient, better decisions when wedding planning. A wedding budget is the framework for your planning; it gives foundation to every what, why and how. Micro weddings are more flexible than traditional weddings, which is one of the many reasons they’re a growing favourite, but that doesn’t mean you should dive in without sound structure.
Who gets to come to your micro wedding is one of those big decisions on your plate. Some micro weddings downsize to less than ten guests per celebration, while others whittle it down to fifty and call it a day. Whatever decision you make, remember that the ‘micro’ part of a micro wedding is what matters. The loved ones that get invited will feel touched and special to be invited to something as thrilling as your big day - particularly when it’s so exclusive.
Image by Dana Ann Photo
Dressing up & down
Believe it or not, micro weddings mean that wedding attire can take a back seat if that’s what you prefer. You can go as casual or luxe as you like, with the former being the more interesting of the options. With the laid back nature of micro weddings, some couples are easing up on the dress code and letting the day unfold in relaxed celebration. It’s fun to toss confetti in the air while wearing a breezy summer dress, after all. Given the small number of guests, some couples even employ colour palettes as coordinating is a cinch. Let us tell you, it makes for great photo ops!
Havin' a ball
Let’s get innovative with the entertainment. Micro weddings have helped in getting unusual entertainment at weddings going. Fortune telling, caricatures, lawn bowling and more have taken up residence at micro weddings. Why? Because it’s so much easier to plan out fun, fascinating wedding entertainment for fewer people. You’ve got more time and money to put into entertainment for micro weddings while also having a smaller amount of guests to accommodate. It couldn’t be any easier!
That's all, folks
Yet another thing to thank micro weddings for is how much easier wrapping it all up will be. Hosting a wedding on a smaller scale results in less catering, cleaning, styling and the works. You’re awarded more time with the people you love and less time stressing, planning and worrying - how’s that for a win-win?