This blog post is for you if you’re interested in having a micro wedding but have nagging worries about things like:
I define micro weddings as anything under 50 people. I also use the terms micro wedding, intimate wedding and small wedding interchangeably. Other sites will have slightly different definitions, but it really doesn’t matter – there is no micro wedding rulebook. The term is just a way of describing a smaller event.
I blog a lot about micro weddings because I honestly think they are the best way to get married for most people.
Micro weddings still let you have your closest friends and family in attendance, but keep the expenses down and are typically less stressful than a big wedding.
For more about what is a micro wedding read this blog!
If you’re curious, I did not have a micro wedding and my wedding was still really fun. We had about 85 people and my brother officiated and we danced to Bollywood music at my reception (yes, I am white born-in-USA – but my mother-in-law is from India and so were a lot of guests because that side of the family is a whole lot bigger than mine.)
But I was really stressed out in the months leading up to the wedding. On my wedding day I was so nervous that I felt physically sick. A little bit of nervous, totally normal! Nervous to the point of throwing up? Probably not.
I wasn’t nervous about getting married, I was nervous about being the center of attention and being vulnerable in front of people I had never met before.
Once the ceremony was over and the reception started, we had a really good time. And if you are like us and your “family and closest friends event” is 85 people, then that’s totally fine! But if I was going to do it again, I would change the structure a bit so the vulnerable part could happen in front of a smaller group.
And that’s the beauty of micro weddings, you can really do whatever you want to do to prioritize the things that are important to you.
So, let’s dive into the five misconceptions.
Okay, it’s a possibility. People get really invested in an event that isn’t about them.
Here are a few tips to navigate guest lists, though.
Pick a small venue that can only accommodate a certain number of people. Then blame it on the venue size and the budget. The combo is hard to argue with.
“Hey! We ended up going small because we have a pretty small budget for our wedding. The venue actually only accommodates 40 people so we weren’t able to invite extended family.”
Draw a clean line in the sand – don’t invite one aunt but not the other one. If you are inviting two members of a five-member friend group, you probably need to invite the other three. This is also how guest lists spiral up quickly, though, so sometimes it is better to go super small (closest of the closest only) rather than getting in a situation where you suddenly have 125 people on your guest list when you were hoping for 50.
If your parents have really strong opinions about your guest list, sit down with them (in person if possible) and have an open discussion about why you want to keep it small. Ask them why they are so passionate about inviting the people they want. Sometimes just laying out expectations and hopes in a non-judgemental way helps arrive at a resolution.
If you are seriously considering a micro wedding, then no, I honestly think you’ll be glad you avoided a big wedding.
That’s because there are probably real, legitimate reasons you are pondering going small.
Maybe you don’t like being the center of attention.
Or you have a specific budget you want to stick to.
Maybe planning a big wedding is really stressing you out and it becomes not worth it.
Or you want something that feels unique and intimate and authentic and isn’t like what other haves done.
Whatever your reasons, they have a basis and are valid. In fact, if you are strongly considering a micro wedding, and end up having a big wedding, you may end up with an aching regret in hindsight.
Absolutely! In fact, it may end up being more special for you. That’s because with fewer guests you can spend more intentional time with the ones you do invite. You can afford custom decor or splurge on really good food. You can make a weekend out of it and include activities for your guests rather than it being a one-day thing.
Going small actually opens up the possibilities of what your wedding can be. Having participated in multiple versions of big and small weddings, I think the micro approach is freeing, less stressful, more intentional and (often) less expensive.
Of course! You can include any traditions you want! In fact, most of my couples do include at least some “normal” American wedding traditions.
Some do a first-look. Some get married in a church with a vineyard reception. Others have the entire thing at a funky urban venue. There may be a first dance and parents dances. Some people have speeches and an open dance floor at their reception. Some people have a dinner party and no dancing at all.
The traditions that “speak” to you are the ones to include in your micro wedding. No more, no less.
Most micro wedding days look pretty similar to big traditional wedding days. You get your hair and makeup done (if that’s your thing), hang out with your wedding party (if you are having one), get dressed, get married, have a reception.
But sometimes the day can look pretty different than a “normal” wedding.
For example, some of my clients opt for a private first-look in Shenandoah National Park at sunrise. They might say private vows during this first-look or have a breakfast picnic together.
Then the participants return to wherever they are staying and take a nap, before getting ready for an afternoon with their friends and family for a more “traditional” timeline.
Others might have a family-only ceremony on one day and then a reception the next day among a much bigger group than attended the ceremony.
Some have an intimate ceremony with their family and friends at an Airbnb followed by a catered dinner party.
The best weddings are those where your well-being and your comfort – both psychologically and financially – take priority.
Just as soon as you get in touch!
The Ultimate Small Wedding Planning Guide and Checklist