“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need” – Vernon Howard
So the big day has arrived and you’re walking down the aisle in the wedding dress of your dreams. But instead of being present in the moment, all you can think about is the hundreds of eyes on you. You look to the crowd for a reassuring smile only to see a sea of faces of you don’t even recognise. People you’re paying for, and people you certainly don’t remember inviting…
Weddings are stressful enough as is, nevermind having a gargantuan “dream” wedding with everyone and their second cousin twice removed attending. More guests mean more space, more food and more dosh spent. Isn’t this day meant to be about you and your partner’s love and commitment?
To avoid the fuss of big weddings, more couples are turning to micro weddings. No, micro doesn’t mean insignificant or less special. In fact, in the age of minimalism, micro weddings are the new ‘it’ thing. If the thought of having a massive blowout on your wedding day gives you cold sweats, and an elopement is just way too extreme, perhaps a micro wedding is the option for you. Here’s how to go about it in all the right ways.
Limit the Number of Guests
Possibly the most important aspect of having a micro wedding is having a fewer number of guests. How few? Well, that’s totally up to you. There’s no strict definition on how many guests are allowed to attend for it to still be micro, but if you’re really looking for a small-scale do, keep it less than twenty. If it’s a dozen and below, even better!
The beauty of having a shorter guest list is that you don’t have to feel guilty for not inviting people you would otherwise feel obliged to. Once you’ve made it clear from the beginning you’re having a micro wedding and only inviting your closest friends and family, acquaintances you never even see can’t be mad for not making the guest list.
Having fewer people at your wedding also means more intimacy. You’ll actually get a chance to chat with each guest, take photos with everyone and thank them personally for that thoughtful wedding gift they got you.
Short and Sweet
Micro weddings mean doing things on a smaller scale – and that includes the time frame. These days, it’s not uncommon to be invited to a wedding that’s spread over a whole weekend or even an entire week. While it can be fun to share those other special celebrations like the pre-wedding festivities and post-wedding brunch, it can put some added financial (and emotional) stress on both you and your guests.
In the wonderful realm of micro weddings, things are kept short and sweet. No need to hire a marriage officiant and put your guests through hours of babbling on the sanctity of marriage. Rather get a close friend or family member to share a few short words that are more personal and meaningful. In fact, feel free to keep the entire ceremony and reception as short as you want it. With fewer guests, there’s less chance of having to usher out those inebriated stragglers off the dancefloor so you can go home.
Venue, Venue, Venue!
Venues are arguably one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, but also one of the most crucial. With a micro-wedding, the options for wedding destinations are practically limitless as you don’t have to worry about finding a large enough space. Sunny beach, shaded woodlands, local chapel or that cosy restaurant where you had your first date; suddenly everywhere is an option!
A smaller, exclusive-use venue also gives you a lot more free reign when it comes to decor. No need to follow the strict decoration rules that come with many large-scale wedding venues. You have the freedom to really set the atmosphere and totally transform the hired space into the venue of your dreams.
A big plus of having a compact wedding is being able to add those extra personal touches that transform what would be a generic package wedding into the intimate wedding of your dreams. With a dozen or so guests, you can do things like design handwritten place-cards, make personalized speeches and cater to your guests’ specific dietary requirements.
Everything can be as you want it from the food down to your wedding dress. Instead of hunting down a caterer capable of feeding hundreds of hungry mouths, team up with a local chef to create the menu of your dreams. Rather than paying exorbitant amounts to a hairstylist who won’t listen to what you want, ask your trendy friend to do your hair for you. All these minor details will cut your wedding costs as well as make your special day bespoke, bijou and oh so you.
Make it Affordable But Don’t Compromise
Keeping the budget of your wedding low isn’t a necessity for a micro wedding, but rather a bonus byproduct. With fewer guests and a more intimate venue, you could seriously reduce the overall costs of your wedding and save up for your dream house or that ultimate honeymoon getaway.
But just because you’re keeping the wedding budget low does not mean you need to have a budget wedding. One of the most common wedding myths is that if you’re having a small-scale wedding, you should do a lot of the tasks yourself and won’t need to hire external help. But nothing is further from the truth. All weddings no matter how small can cause a lot of stress, and investing in a professional with experience will ease those wedding-planning nerves.
Keeping things small-scale gives you the freedom to go all out on things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Fancy champagne and caviar for entrees? Want to splurge on those custom-tailored designer wedding gown of your dreams? Go for it. It’s your day.
Let’s Go Micro!
Every couple should be in charge of their wedding, but it often happens that the bigger the wedding, the more out of control you feel. If you’re at a point where you’re feeling overwhelmed at just the thought of planning a wedding, maybe it’s time you take a step back and reassess why you’re having a wedding in the first place. If it’s to impress friends and family, by all means, have the biggest shindig of your life. If it’s to pull off the intimate wedding of your dreams and have fun doing it, a micro wedding may be just the thing for you.
About the author
Rae is a 20-something professional digital nomad with a deep dislike for the term ‘digital nomad’. When she’s not daydreaming about squirrels, bamboo straws and strong cheese, she’s hunched over her laptop, furiously smashing out sarcastic jokes and witty words for Truly Experiences. Her work has received starred reviews from her mother, her cat and her local McDonald’s server. Most days you’ll find rae galavanting around the world, hopping from one coffee shop to the next on the hunt for the world’s fastest wifi and perfectly ripe avocado.