Wedding planning is a major undertaking and an even higher cost, so modern couples are conflicted about whether it’s worth it. The average cost of a wedding nowadays is well over $30,000, and the number of guests? Even if the number of guests is shrinking,
most couples continue to celebrate with nearly 150 of their closest friends and family members (which hardly qualifies as “nearest and dearest”). You and your partner may have joked about eloping, but if you know you won’t be able to break with tradition, a mini wedding is an alternative.
MEET THE EXPERT
- Annie Lee is the principal planner at Daughter of Design.
- Jove Meyer is the owner and creative director of Jove Meyer Events.
What Is a Micro Wedding?
A micro wedding is a small gathering of people with less than 50 people. However, they still include time-honoured wedding rituals, albeit on a much smaller scale. That sounds great to us! So are you ready to go micro? For the planning advice you’ll need to make this small-scale gathering as memorable as a ballroom bash, we turned to the experts.
Don’t Sacrifice the Chance to Celebrate
Annie Lee, the lead planner at Daughter of Design, says, “I’ve prevented so many folks from just heading down to the courts.” “Why would you pass up this chance to accomplish something unique?”
Let Your Imagination Run Wild
Jove Meyer, owner and creative director of Jove Meyer Events, argues that fewer guests come with less effort, fewer opinions and people to please, less funding necessary, and more possibilities in celebration places. “You open up a world of unique venues that larger weddings are unable to reach. Cafés, restaurants, pubs, parks, galleries, and pretty much anywhere else you’d never consider for a major wedding can be rented out.
They’re already wonderfully furnished, so you won’t have to spend money on décor, and they might even have their own tables and chairs, so you won’t have to rent them.” Keep those savings in mind when hiring a complete area (which may appear expensive on paper), and you’ll likely find it to be fairly cost-effective.
Pick a Venue First
It’s easier to choose a venue and then trim your guest list to match, rather than inviting everyone and then realize you can’t find the perfect place, whether your wedding is huge or small. “For example, if it’s your favourite restaurant, find out the capacity of their private dining room, then reduce down your guest list till there’s enough room at the table for everyone,” Lee suggests.
Cover the Basics
“Great food, music, and alcohol are three elements that should be present at all weddings, regardless of size,” Meyer says. “Weddings are festivals, and people love to gather to share a meal and dance, so these three components are essential.
The foundation is food, drink loosens everyone up, and dancing adds to the fun!” Meyer appreciates flowers, stationery, and décor, but they aren’t necessary for a party. “Start with the essentials and add those things to enrich the evening and create a feeling that inspires joy and love,” says the designer.
Get Dressed Up
“It’s really amazing to be gussied up in apparel just for the occasion, no matter how large or little your wedding is,” Lee says. “It doesn’t have to be a big ol’ gown and tuxedo; it simply has to be something special.” Your grandchildren will look back on the images in 50 years and exclaim, “Wow, you both looked great!”
Hire a Photographer
“Please, please hire a photographer for your wedding, no matter how tiny it is. “No matter what happens, you’ll want to document this day,” Lee says. However, this does not necessitate an eight- to ten-hour package or a second shooter. “A smaller guest list equals a smaller shot list, so talk to your photographer about customizing a package for a shorter period of time,” Meyer advises.
Turn to the Pros
“Things like renting linens, hiring a florist, and getting a cake are all still options,” Lee notes. Look for someone who can make what you want, but keep in mind that they might not be a full-fledged “event designer” or “wedding cake baker” with minimum expenditure. Instead of ordering a cake for 50 guests, be creative with your local bakery or favourite sweet shop. Your local florist, who may specialize in single arrangements rather than bouquets and floral arches, is a terrific resource for a smaller table.
You can still use a planner if you want to! Many (including Lee) charge hourly fees, which would be ideal for a small gathering that doesn’t necessitate the same level of planning as a larger wedding.
“Talk to a florist about picking up a couple of flowers rather than having them deliver a dozen,” Meyer suggests, “which will save money while still making the place beautiful.” “With only a dozen people, you’ll only need one or two tables, so you won’t need a complete production team for setup and breakdown (unless you adore flowers and want to go all out!).”
Make It Meaningful
Lee says, “I’m a major fan of personal vows in any context.” “Especially when it’s a smaller wedding.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to exchange words and pledges with each other in the company of those who are truly closest to you. Lee also enjoys including meaningful aspects in her weddings, such as wearing your grandmother’s brooch or having your dog walk down the aisle with you.
Create a Personal Experience for Your Guests
Consider including those special touches for your visitors while you’re at it. “Write handwritten messages to each guest and leave them at their seats,” Meyer advises. “Alternatively, instead of having them printed, consider hand-painting each invitation.
” It’s a lot easier to add those extra unique touches to a party of 12 than it is to a party of 200! And, because you’ve gone to the trouble of cutting down your guest list so far, you’re guaranteed to have a close relationship with every one of them, making those small gestures all the more significant.