We’ve all had to make some big changes to our lives over the past few years. However, not all of them have been 100% bad. With many of those changes has also come an awareness of what (and who) is really important to us. If you’re one of the lucky people who has recently gotten engaged, congratulations!
Planning your wedding day doesn’t have to be a huge, stressful undertaking. Many people have shifted their sights to micro weddings, allowing for a more intimate (and safe) celebration with the people you love the most.
What Exactly Is a Micro Wedding?
Before we get into the myriad of benefits of micro weddings, we wanted to give you a basic definition. Although everyone’s micro wedding looks different, they typically involve a guest list of fewer than 50 people.
Micro weddings are different from another similar idea, the minimony. While both are smaller-scale versions of the more traditional, larger wedding ceremonies, minimonies are more of a symbolic gesture that couples have used during the pandemic to honor their original wedding date.
People who have a minimony are doing it more of a placeholder, with the intent to have a larger wedding at a later date. In contrast, micro weddings are a more intimate version of the traditional ceremony.
Why Micro Weddings Make More Financial Sense
Let’s start with some cold, hard facts. In 2021, the average wedding (including the actual ceremony and following reception) was estimated to cost around $28,000. Take that in for a moment and think about everything you could do with nearly $30,000. For instance, that’s a good chunk of a down payment on a house or could pay off most people’s personal or student loan debt.
When you consider everything it takes to put together a traditional wedding, those costs are broken down into a few different categories:
- Your marriage license
- A wedding planner
- Hair and makeup
- Wedding attire
- The rehearsal dinner
- The reception venue
- A florist
- A wedding photographer and/or videographer
- An officiant
- Music (usually a live band or DJ)
- Transportation to and from the venue and reception (especially if the ceremony and reception are at different venues)
- The wedding cake
Obviously, costs can add up quickly, and your wedding can get financially out of hand before you know it. It can be challenging to separate societal expectations of what your wedding should be from what you actually want. Many people agree to things they may not necessarily want in an attempt to keep up with what they think their wedding should look like.
You can still have a beautiful, meaningful wedding when you plan a micro wedding. The difference is that you not only scale down the costs significantly, but you can also ensure that your private celebration happens with the people you hold the dearest. Although every wedding is individual, it has been suggested that micro weddings cost at least 50% less than traditional weddings.
Keep in mind that just because you choose to have a micro wedding doesn’t mean that you have to spend less money! Some couples decide to spend the same amount of money on fewer guests. This allows them to truly indulge their guests in a way that wouldn’t be possible with a guest list of 200 or more.
Micro Weddings Allow for Social Distancing
Although weddings should be about your love for each other, one other factor is crucial to consider when discussing the benefits of having a more intimate wedding. While it appears that we are slowly moving out of the pandemic and have been allowed more freedom when it comes to masking and social distancing, it’s essential to remember that we’re not entirely in the clear yet.
If you have close friends and family members that are immunocompromised or more at risk for developing complications from a COVID-19 infection, planning your wedding should also involve keeping them safe. Micro weddings are a much easier way to do this, as far fewer people will be attending.
If you want to be extra precautious about being safe on your big day, keep your guest count as low as possible. An outdoor wedding is also helpful, as mask-wearing is no longer required for safety in outdoor event spaces. You can plan your seating accordingly as well, allowing for more space between guests and tables.
Micro Weddings Are Far More Intimate
As we said, micro weddings allow for a far more intimate ceremony than traditional, big weddings.
Our personal relationships are incredibly important to us. There are even studies that have shown that having strong relationships can be a factor in helping you to live a long, healthy life! The people we allow in our inner circle can impact our stress levels, mental health, and even our blood pressure.
When you choose a smaller wedding with fewer people, you can share one of the most memorable days in your life with the closest people to you. It takes a lot of the pressure off of you to know the people there with you are the ones you love and trust the most because this reduces the likelihood of any explosive, unnecessary drama.
Close your eyes and picture what you envision when you say, “I do.” Are you surrounded by hundreds of people, including family members you haven’t seen or talked to for years? Or is it just you and a handful of your loved ones? There isn’t a right or a wrong answer, but it’s essential to determine what it is that you really want.
What About Wedding Venues?
Does committing to a micro wedding mean you have to have your wedding ceremony in some dark, dingy room? Absolutely not! There are still plenty of wedding venues available to people looking to scale down that don’t mean giving up on atmosphere.
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has significantly shifted how we look at the world. This has translated into feeling most safe in their home environment for many. If you have the space and you plan to keep your wedding small enough, you can even have your ceremony in the privacy of your own home.
Regardless, in terms of planning, it’s crucial to put choosing your wedding venue at the top of your list. Your venue is what will dictate many of the remaining decisions. Popular micro wedding venues include national parks, restaurants, small churches, and local historic landmarks.
You Can Still Get Dressed Up!
Just because you’re not having a large wedding doesn’t mean you have to scale back on your wedding attire. If it’s always been your dream to get married in a beaded white mermaid wedding dress with a long, flowing train, nothing is stopping you! On the other hand, if you have always envisioned laid-back nuptials where you and your partner wear jeans and Chuck Taylors, you can absolutely do that too.
One of the best parts about micro weddings is how easily customizable they are for each couple. You can get as dressed up (or dressed down) as you want without feeling like you have to explain your choices to anyone. After all, isn’t that how weddings should be?
Planning Food for a Micro Wedding
Another way that micro weddings help you have a more intimate experience is in the food you serve. If you’ve been to many weddings in your life, you’ll know that the food situation can be hit or miss. Often, the bigger the wedding is, the more likely you’ll end up eating a generic, mediocre meal.
An intimate wedding allows you to make more specific, unique choices on what you want to serve. You can even splurge on having a fancy meal catered by your favorite restaurant!
Another fun way to make the ceremony your own is by planning for a signature cocktail. If you’re creative, you can develop one on your own. If you’re not creative, there’s nothing wrong with choosing your favorite cocktail and making it your own.
Apéritifs are a great option in this regard, as they are made to be sipped instead of chugged quickly. When you choose drinks with lower alcohol by volume (ABV), you reduce people's likelihood of getting out of control. You and your guests will also feel better the following day because who wants to head out for their honeymoon with a hangover?
If you’re unsure what apéritifs to serve at your ceremony, here are a few suggestions:
- Lemon Lavender spritz - Mix three ounces of Lemon Lavender Haus with two ounces of prosecco, a splash of sparkling water, and a twist of lemon. Serve over ice in a wine class. This apéritif is excellent for warm, outdoor summer micro weddings.
- New Fashioned on the rocks - For an easy apéritif perfect for cooler weather, just pour New Fashioned Haus over ice and serve.
- Ginger Yuzu cocktail - If you want a slightly spicy twist that pairs especially well with sushi, try mixing two ounces of Ginger Yuzu Haus with one ounce of tonic or soda water. Serve over ice.
And don’t forget the cake! The wedding cake, and the traditions surrounding it, are one of the most quintessential parts of the event. Have you ever been to a wedding where they didn’t cut the cake?
Wedding cake cutting and, depending on how you feel about it, the traditional smashing of the cake into each other's faces is something you don’t have to miss even with a small wedding.
Micro Weddings Make Party Favors and Thank Yous Much Easier
People who choose to have micro weddings don’t do it because they’re lazy, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t substantially make your life easier anyway. No matter how big or small your wedding is, having small favors and writing personalized thank you notes is generally expected.
When you have a micro wedding with a smaller guest list of just your closest loved ones, you give yourself more time to do something more personalized. For example, why not write a handwritten note for each guest and place it at their seat? You can even take the time to hand-write or design your wedding invitations.
And the most exciting part is that, after the wedding, you won’t have to worry about using your entire honeymoon to write thank-you notes. Instead of just a generic line or two about how you’re grateful that they were able to come (and bring a gift), you can write them a more personalized, in-depth thank you that will really make them feel cherished and appreciated.
Why Not Just Elope?
For some, the idea of planning a wedding at all seems overwhelming, and it feels like it would be way easier to just run down to the courthouse and get it over with. While we’re not here to tell you what to do, we want you to reconsider why you feel that way and what you’d be missing if you did that.
We’re also not saying that elopement is a bad thing. For some people, the only way to get married in a stress-free way is to do it without the extra burden of wedding planning.
However, there are also options that allow you to have a ceremony without stressing yourself out unnecessarily. Don’t make a hasty decision or base your celebration on what you think other people want or expect from you.
For centuries, brides have been told that a small wedding was somehow less valid than a much larger, more expensive event. However, as we’ve pushed through the pandemic, many of those old traditions have fallen away to make room for newer, more meaningful ones.
Micro weddings have emerged as a way for people to share their special day in a smaller, more intimate way. At Haus, we embrace anything that helps bring us closer together and reminds us to slow down and smell the roses. Congratulations on your engagement!