The term “micro-wedding” is being thrown around more and more. So, what is it? And what are the pros and cons of having one? We’re here to help answer the questions surrounding this popular trend that’s making its way into the wedding scene.
What is a micro-wedding?
We like to think of the micro-wedding as a happy medium between a big blow-out wedding and elopement. The guest list can range anywhere from 5-50 guests. If you’re looking for the simplicity of elopement but still want to celebrate with your favorite people, the micro-wedding is the perfect middle ground.
Stay on budget (or don’t)
The most obvious pro of having a micro-wedding is the lower cost. With the smaller headcount, your budget can go further in perfecting the details. You might even be able to spring for things like an open bar or a live band. But sometimes, savings is not the goal and couples choose to spend their big wedding budget on their smaller-scale nuptials so that they still have the special day of their dreams. Our Director of Catering Services at Omni William Penn (and micro-wedding pro), Lora Peluso, says it this way, “Every bride and groom wants to remember their wedding day as something special. They may be on a budget, but they still want that special experience.” Just because your wedding will be smaller than the standard, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the things that mean the most to you.
Going small with the guest list means you can go grand on style and flair for a day that everyone will remember. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or a lavish 5-course meal, pick the vibe that suits you and your better half. And just because you go small with your wedding doesn’t mean you have to go small with your wine-ing.
It’s been said that picking a wedding venue is harder than picking a spouse, but since your guest list will be much smaller than a typical wedding, your choices for venue options are endless. With no need to worry about accommodating hundreds of guests, get creative with your ceremony and reception location. The back room at your favorite restaurant, the rooftop of that cool bar downtown, the front 9 of the local golf course, or the winery you and your beau frequent, all are fun alternatives to the ballroom extravaganza or traditional chapel ceremony.
The biggest perk of an intimate wedding that’s budget-friendly is… more money to spend on the honeymoon. Your wedding day can be a blur, but the honeymoon gives you time to take a step back and be present—don’t forget to give it the attention it deserves. Go ahead and splurge on first-class, you know you want to.
Be selective with your guest list
Arguably the largest con of throwing a micro-wedding is the short guest list. You won’t be able to invite all of your sorority sisters, your future mother-in-law’s coworkers, or all of your grandma’s bunco players (we know you’re just heartbroken over that one). Typically, the list is limited to immediate family only plus any close friends you’d like to be included in the festivities. But the benefit of the small guest list is that you will get to spend quality time with each guest that’s there to celebrate with you. Instead of worrying about making sure you say hi to everyone and express your thanks, you can just enjoy the moment with those closest to you, and actually get to eat the food at your own wedding. Some feelings may get hurt in the narrowing of the list, but just imagine how easy the RSVP process will be—not to mention the seating chart, if you even need one.
Incorporate personalized touches
Since your guest list will be at a manageable size, you will have the opportunity to personalize their experience before, during, and after your wedding with unique and thoughtful touches. Our wedding guru, Lora, says that flexibility is key and personal touches really make the experience intimate and one-of-a-kind. Instead of printing invitations, consider hand-lettering or customized calligraphy. Some other ideas to make your guests feel special: Give everyone a personalized name card at their table or on their seat, hand out goodie bags with party favors from your favorite local shops, or create wedding weekend welcome baskets with special notes to each guest coming in from out of town.
Some of our favorite things to include in welcome kits:
- Snacks! You can be fun with this and include items that you and your spouse-to-be love or even include locally crafted items for that extra special touch.
- Bottled water
- Itinerary for the weekend: providing this for your guests makes it easy for everyone to find their way and be on time to each special event!
- Champagne (the mini bottles are great for this)
- Lip balm
- Deck of Cards: a must-have for sitting around and hanging out with friends and family.
Hotels and venues are catching on to this recent style of wedding and they’re creating packages to accommodate needs and streamline the planning process. It’s the wedding version of an all-inclusive resort. Décor, food, drinks, cake—even sometimes an officiant—are all included. We know your crazy uncle is proud of his online certificate, but now you have an excuse to tell him that his services are no longer needed.
Micro-wedding packages are the fail-proof way to say goodbye to the infamous and sometimes unavoidable stress that comes with wedding planning. Take care of the details all at once! And if you want to bring in your own cake or photographer, you still can. Lora stresses the flexibility of micro-weddings, “Unique spaces and flexibility are very important. The bride and groom want to feel that their wedding is not just thrown together or one of many. It still needs to be thought-out and customized.”
The basics that make a great wedding: food, libations, and good music. Start with a package that has these and sprinkle in your own flair to make it a day you’ll truly love. Lora puts an emphasis on identifying what’s important to you and communicating with your venue to ensure that the experience is uniquely yours. Micro-wedding or not, it’s your day.