Have you heard the buzz about micro-weddings? If you were planning a wedding in 2020—we know you have.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 changed the wedding industry.
From forcing couples to change their wedding plans to a surge of new terms such as “micro-wedding” and “virtual wedding,” teams are navigating uncharted territory while planning a micro wedding.
We’re here to help.
Hosting a micro wedding demands a different way of organizing than planning a more significant affair.
Micro weddings differ from traditional weddings because they typically don’t require quite as many vendors, which can save you a reasonable amount of time and money throughout the wedding planning process. Need help planning your wedding? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.
Learn below what vendors should be on your “must-have” list when planning your micro wedding.
What Is a Micro Wedding?
There’s a lot of confusing and conflicting information about micro weddings online, especially since they’re closely related to what we’d refer to as an intimate wedding.
Micro weddings are intimate by nature.
So, what gives? To start, micro weddings typically have less than 30 people—often less than 10, including vendors.
As the couple planning the wedding, however, you have the power to define what micro means to you.
It’s more about a mindset than a precise number of seats at the dinner table. The flexibility and intimate experience are precisely why we love it!
Planning a Micro Wedding
- A micro wedding gives couples the ability to keep similar traditional wedding elements with a much smaller guest count.
- Invite the people closest to you both—the ones you see or talk to regularly.
- Get creative with decor ideas and pamper guests with a delicious treat or surprise entertainment.
- Wear something fun—or traditional. It’s up to you!
- Plan a timeline with plenty of room for enjoying memories with your loved ones.
- Hire a rockstar vendor team to achieve your dream wedding.
Must-Have Micro Wedding Vendors
Some vendors are an absolute must for your micro wedding, as explained below.
The officiant performs the wedding ceremony, essentially making them the only required vendor. Traditionally, people picture a minister filling this role, but a quick online search reveals a range of officiants who offer wedding services of all styles.
An option for small weddings is to have a friend or family member officiate the ceremony.
Let’s be honest; if you’re having a wedding, you’ll want some photos.
Although you could certainly ask a loved one at your wedding to take photos for you, having a professional photographer makes it a lot easier. It will likely result in better pictures of your special day.
They may not be able to enjoy the celebration.
Your family members will likely be so concerned about getting good photos during your wedding that they won’t truly get to celebrate your special day with you.
Invest in a photographer to make your day as seamless as possible, to ensure every moment is captured on film, and to allow all of your guests to enjoy it and be present in each moment with you.
Wedding photography isn’t the same as Instagram selfies.
Unless they’re an experienced wedding photographer, it’s hard to style, orchestrate, and edit good wedding photos. (And since it all happens at the moment, there are no redos.)
Luckily for you, there are tons of talented photographers out there.
The usual wedding directory sites are an excellent place to look, but be wary that many of the top-listed results are photographers who won’t be interested in offering a micro wedding-friendly package.
So be sure to do some digging, and don’t forget about social media. Instagram is a great way to browse different photographers and get a feel for your preferred style.
How much photography you need is up for debate.
If you want photos during the ceremony, group/family shots, and a couple’s portrait session, you shouldn’t need more than 1-2 hours of the photographer’s time.
Florists are the obvious (and usually the best) choice.
Even if you’re not having a ton of decorations or won’t have many tables to decorate with centrepieces at your micro wedding, it doesn’t mean you won’t need the help of a florist.
Find a few good reviews in your area, then send out some quote-request emails with a few photos of bouquets you like.
Oh, and don’t forget the “boutonniere” (the flower worn by the groom).
At the minimum, a florist will be the perfect person to create your bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres.
Many small wedding groups will head to their backyard or rental home for the “reception” and prepare their food.
If that doesn’t appeal to you or you are at a venue that requires the food to be made in a commercial kitchen, traditional catering options may work.
A caterer is essential for almost any large-scale event, and this includes micro weddings!
Choosing a caterer that will work closely with you to provide the right food for your celebration will make your wedding that much better.
Depending on the number of guests you’re having, you may want to do a multi-course meal, or you may be going with something way more casual, like a barbecue buffet.
Whatever you choose for your big day, a caterer helps make the event more seamless.
But be wary that many venues and caterers have minimum guest counts.
A preferable option may be ordering takeout or catering from a local restaurant, hiring a food truck, or dining in a private room at a local restaurant.
Your drink plans will rely heavily on your reception venue.
Many small event spaces require alcohol to be served by a licensed bartender, which is something to consider, like your budget.
For receptions held at a restaurant, they will likely provide drink options for you to choose from.
While backyards are almost always BYOB friendly, many public parks limit or restrict alcohol consumption, so it’s essential to do your research beforehand.
If you stumble around online looking for photos of wedding cakes, you’re bound to find some you like.
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, reach out to local bakeries. When you send them an email, include the flavour, colour specifications, and a few attached example photos.
A great way to save money, and add a touch of personalization, is to get the cake without decor and add your topper and flowers.
There are many beautifully unique cake toppers on Etsy.com, and your florist will be able to provide some matching flowers to decorate with.
Keep in mind: you don’t have to have a traditional cake. Cupcakes, doughnut walls, and macaroons are all great options as well!
Other Vendors to Consider
Some vendors are also considered that aren’t must-haves but that you may decide you want to include in your micro wedding.
If your wedding consists of a dozen friends and family, a ceremony on a mountain top, and a reception at a local brewery, you probably don’t need a planner.
But if your guest count starts to creep into the 30s, and you want your time to be as stress-free as possible, you can always hire someone to help you put your day together.
In this case, we recommend reaching out to a local wedding coordinator.
Be sure to explain the size of your day to them.
Many offer a simplified “Day of Coordinator” package that helps organize the primary logistics.
Coordinating a micro wedding is typically less stressful than coordinating a large-scale wedding, but that doesn’t mean a planner or wedding coordinator couldn’t be of great help! You may decide you want to allot money from your wedding budget towards this vendor (or you can quickly go without!).
Musician or DJ
Smaller weddings don’t necessarily need to have a DJ or band performing to entertain your guests.
Instead, you may just use a good sound system with music playing from someone’s phone.
Again, this is up to personal preference and entirely depends on the priorities you have for your event.
One option, which is a bit of a middle ground, is to have one musician there to play music, such as a guitarist who sings or plays classical music.
If your wedding is a casual celebration with 30 of your closest friends and family, you likely won’t need a DJ. Still, that doesn’t mean your special day needs to be devoid of music.
Hiring a live guitarist for the ceremony or having a friend man a Bluetooth speaker for the processional/recessional is ideal for intimate settings.
Walking down the aisle in silence is not recommended, so you’ll want to plan for some music during the ceremony.
Even with a small wedding, you may want to find a DJ if there will be a formal reception with a seated dinner and dance floor.
These guys don’t just control the music––they orchestrate the evening and keep things running smooth.
Like all weddings, no matter the size, a videographer is a vendor you may want to include or that you may want to skip.
While hiring a videographer can be pricey, it could be worth it to capture more memories from your unforgettable day.
This is another vendor that’s up to personal preference and is worth considering.
Most wedding videographers do massive weddings, record hours of footage, and charge a small fortune.
However, some offer “elopement-style” packages that are perfect for micro weddings.
This work style is simple, affordable, and still provides a magical way to remember your day.
If the videographer you like doesn’t list a small package, request a quote for 1 hour of coverage, with a 2-minute highlight video—you should be able to find it for around $900.
Hair & Makeup
Search for stylists in your area. By checking out their social media accounts, you’ll be able to find someone with a style you like. Our top list of Wedding Stylists will help ease the stress of organising your magical day.
Let them know what you’re looking for, and make sure you confirm:
- That the stylist is experienced with style you’re looking for (send photos)
- If you need a trial session done before the ceremony.
- How many people you need services for (bride, bride’s maids, mother of the bride, etc.)
- If the stylist can travel to your area.
Benefits of Hosting a Micro Wedding
Micro weddings are perfect for daring, creative ideas.
Although you can go as big or small with a micro wedding as you want, there’s no reason you can’t have all the great details—like stunning flowers—and also splurge a little on photography or videography because you’re saving money on the food bill.
We completely agree.
Hosting a micro wedding also allows for more organization, venue possibilities, and more time spent with each guest. There are only benefits when considering a micro wedding.
Guests Benefit from Micro Weddings Too
The smaller guest list means you can host in more personal locations and take the time to create an experience that you and your guests will remember fondly forever.
Having fewer guests means being able to invest a good part of the budget in other aspects, such as the set-ups, the photo/video service, the dresses, and the entertainment of the guests.
You can ‘pamper’ your guests more by organizing some surprises for them (for example, a tourist visit, a welcome dinner, a brunch, a tasting) during the days before or after the wedding.
Also, you can choose any location, which would be impossible to achieve for a classic wedding.
Tips for Creating Your Micro Wedding Guest List
Whether you’re trimming your wedding guest list because of COVID-19 or planning a micro wedding from the get-go, we know it might be challenging to choose a small number of guests.
There is also beauty in only having the people closest to you celebrating the special day together.
You will never regret investing in the people that you love the most. A wedding is just the day that signals the start of your marriage.
Enjoy it with those you love the most.
Now that most everyone is comfortable using Zoom, you can live to stream your ceremony for family members and friends who aren’t on the guest list.
What to Wear to Your Micro Wedding
While you’re in a mindset to break tradition, it might be fun to think about wedding outfits that would best reflect your styles.
We love a fabulous backyard wedding dress or jumpsuit—and any outfit can be made unique to your day.
Dress in a lime green suit or choose to thrift your entire wedding look. We can’t wait to see your creative wedding outfits!
How to Personalize Your Micro Wedding
Micro weddings were created for couples forced to forgo any traditions or “must-haves” due to COVID-19.
The change has created a beautiful opportunity for all couples going forward to focus only on the things that best represent their love.
Whether you choose to make your day special with catering from your favourite restaurant or a scavenger hunt for your guests (we love this idea), it’s sure to be a day where you make extraordinary memories of spending quality time with those you love most.
Micro Wedding Ideas We Love
- Make your micro wedding last longer than a day (for example, you can rent a house and have all your favourite people stay with you for a week to make love and fun last longer).
- Plan a fun adventure or activities with your guests like a boat ride, helicopter ride, hiking, fire camp, karaoke—of course, that will depend on your budget, number of guests, and what you enjoy doing.
- Have people write you letters of what they wish for you in the future in a sealed box for you to read on one of your anniversaries.
- Make a spiritual ritual during your ceremony.
Things You Might Still Need for a Micro wedding According to Experts.
Even with a short guest list, wedding planning checklists don’t go out the window.
There are still many planning aspects you should consider to help your day be as relaxing & joyous as you’d hope.
Even with a small celebration, it’s better to have plans, a few vendors to help & even the loosest timeline to ensure you’re not “working” on your wedding day.
Face Masks for You, Your Fiance, Your Bridal Party & Your Guests.
No matter the current mask-wearing rules in your local area, we can’t help but suggest ordering masks for everyone involved in your wedding day plans.
And while your guests may likely bring their own, we think providing cute masks to all of your guests as a wedding favour is a beautiful gesture showing guests both generosity and a compassionate “we care about your safety!”
A Plan to Live Stream Your Wedding.
Perhaps your original wedding plan was much more significant? If you still want to include those previously guests or those who can’t currently travel, consider lifestreaming your wedding.
There are so many simple ways to go about it, from DIY set-ups to companies with all the bells & whistles that take care of most planning.
There are so many simple ways to go about it, from DIY set-ups to companies with all the bells & whistles that take care of most planning. Livestream is a personal favourite at Bridal Musings!
A Flexible Mindset.
Our advice to couples planning a micro wedding is to stay flexible but lose sight of the details!
It’s best to be both easygoing and steadfast.
It’s rare during these uncertain times for plan A to be pulled off perfectly. Allow for some things not to go exactly as planned.
For example, you might have your heart set on a particular vendor who might need to limit their services as a result of the pandemic.
If you remain flexible and open-minded, you’ll have a more relaxed attitude as you approach your wedding day.
Keep the Traditions (That You Like).
The setting, colour palette, and personalized touches are just a few of the unique details that make your special day authentic and entirely yours.
Even with a smaller scale wedding, couples can still incorporate all the traditions and pretty details they had their heart set on!
Keep your focus on what’s most important.
For example, if table settings are vital in making your micro-wedding a success, focus on florals, menu cards, place cards, and linens or if you always had your heart set on a statement-making piece, then focus your attention on an eye-catching seating chart or backdrop for photos or even dessert.
Narrowing down the vendors needed for your micro wedding saves you effort and energy on planning, not to mention money in your wedding budget! The sky truly is the limit. Just stay true to yourselves as a couple, and your wedding day will shine. Boutique Events Group has proven itself to be an iconic wedding venue and function centre in Melbourne. Book today so you don’t miss out.
All of these are pluses and make the entire process less stressful. This allows you to focus on the root of your wedding: the love you and your future spouse share.