Micro Wedding: What it is & Why You Should Have One

Micro weddings have risen in popularity over recent years as brides and grooms looked for ways to celebrate their matrimony within strict pandemic quarantine guidelines. At first, plans were made to have weddings on a smaller scale, like micro weddings, but as restrictions got even tighter in some regions of the world, suddenly even smaller wedding ceremonies like minimonies became a thing. The idea for both was always to maintain all of the traditions and fanfare that the wedding couple craved, but with fewer guests. Even years beyond the global crisis, however, people are still planning micro weddings, not because of restrictions though! The real draw to micro weddings is the charm of a more meaningful, personalized experience with your guests, as well as the lower expenses involved in a smaller celebration. Read on to learn more about micro weddings and minimonies, or click the question below that interests you most to jump right to the answer you need.

What is a Micro Wedding?
Should I Have a Micro Wedding?
What is a Minimony?
What is the Difference Between Elopement, Minimony and Micro Weddings?
How Do You Have a Successful Micro Wedding?
What Should the Bride Wear for a Micro Wedding?

What is a Micro Wedding?

A micro wedding is considered a “small” wedding ceremony or reception with 50 or less total guests, typically immediate family and close friends only (aka the ones you see and speak to on a regular basis). The number of guests is really the only difference between a macro (big) and micro wedding! Micro weddings are, essentially, the same as a regular wedding, but a smaller or scaled down version. Generally more intimate with close loved ones, micro weddings are a great way to avoid having to invite people you are unsure about or haven’t seen in quite some time. Having a micro wedding can still be a macro celebration filled with love, happiness, and spontaneity!

Why Should I Have a Micro Wedding?

Even though the only difference between a regular/macro wedding and a micro wedding is the guest list size, that one difference can affect so many aspects of your preparations and wedding day experience. Let’s take a look at the top reasons you should have a micro wedding.

  • Reduce Wedding Costs: A smaller guest list is a great way to reduce your wedding costs for everything from venue and caterer to decor and favors. Perhaps you want to save money for future married life expenses, such as purchasing a house or going away on your honeymoon. Whatever your reasons for wanting to limit spending, micro weddings make it easier to keep the costs associated with guests low.
  • Prioritize Wedding Budget Differently: While some couples opt to have a micro wedding to reduce wedding costs, others utilize their full budget to make their wedding day dreams a reality. By cutting down on the guest list, you may now be able to splurge on other aspects that are more important to you, such as a live band, better meal options, wedding decor, or any other fun ideas that make your celebration one of a kind.
  • Alternative Venue Options: A smaller guest list makes it possible to rent out unique spaces for your ceremony or reception. When deciding on your micro wedding venue, feel free to get creative and explore places you wouldn’t be able to if you had 150 or more guests. Check out museums, art galleries, aquariums, and other special public places. Consider renting out the town library or the cafe where you met your soon-to-be spouse. You can get hitched in a park or flower field, on the beach, in an open pavilion, in your favorite restaurant or bar, at a bowling alley...the options are endless! The small guest list can also make more expensive venue options available that you might not otherwise be able to afford if you have to pay for additional guests. For example, a destination micro wedding might be within your financial reach when a much larger destination wedding might not be. Wherever you say “I do,” it should be a place that matches the vibe of your wedding theme and can also accommodate your guest list.
  • More Personal and Intimate: A smaller wedding means you’ll have more time to focus your energies on celebrating your love and the start of your married life. It’s far easier to spend quality time with each of your guests during the celebration when you’ve got a smaller guest list. Since your guests should all be pretty close family and friends anyway, it feels even more special to share that extra time with each of them.
  • Less Guest List Pressure: Being able to say that you’re planning a micro wedding makes it easy to avoid a lot of the classic guest list pressure that many brides experience. No need to spend your time debating which distant relatives will be offended if you don’t send an invite, and your parents or future in-laws can’t keep trying to add more and more of their friends or work connections to your guest list. You just focus on immediate family and close friends who feel more like family anyway, and violà! You’ve got a micro wedding guest list!

Every couple has different needs, so a micro wedding might not be for everyone. However, if the micro wedding perks above are striking a few chords with you, then a micro wedding might be just what you and your future spouse need!

What is a Minimony?

Wondering if there’s anything smaller than a micro wedding? How about…a minimony! At 25 guests or less, a minimony is a very small ceremony that takes the place of traditional ceremonies for large weddings. A minimony can still be religious in nature, or it can be a much more casual ritual that commemorates and acknowledges that start of your married life. While you can personalize a minimony in any way you like, the point is this type of ceremony should be small, intimate, and as unique as the couple it celebrates.

What is the Difference Between Elopement, Minimony and Micro Weddings?

Although there are some slight differences between elopement, minimony, and micro weddings, the main difference between each of the three main types of small weddings is the size of the guest list. When you’re planning a micro wedding, you would invite less than 50 guests. A minimony is smaller with less than 25 guests, while an elopement is the smallest, featuring just the witnesses, which is usually 2-3 members of the bride or groom’s immediate family.

Traditionally, an elopement is considered a marriage that is very sudden or secretive in some way and usually without the approval of parents or guardians. Nowadays, eloping usually just means that the couple decided to skip the formal wedding and tie the knot in a private ceremony. So when it comes to an elopement vs a micro wedding, it’s all about just how personal and intimate you want your wedding day to be. But where does the minimony fit in? Falling right in the middle in terms of guest list size, a minimony is a nice compromise between the privacy of an elopement and the wish to celebrate with just a few more family and friends.

You know what’s extra special about these three small wedding types though? You don’t actually have to settle for just one option! Keep the privacy and flexibility of an elopement, then follow it up with a special minimony or micro wedding celebration later! The personalized nature of a minimony (as described above) makes it perfect for having a ceremony that’s true to the nature of the bride and groom. Having an elopement beforehand means all the rules about paperwork and officiants has already been handled, so the minimony plans can be tailor-made to suit the couple without those kinds of worries.

How Do You Have a Successful Micro Wedding?

Looking for some micro wedding ideas to really make your celebration a big success? After you’ve covered all the basics regarding your venue, guest list, food and drink preparations, let’s brainstorm some ways to expand from there to make your micro wedding memorable and enjoyable from start to finish. Here are a few micro wedding ideas that take full advantage of the smaller scale celebration.

  • Be Selective About Guests: When planning a micro wedding, you get to be selective about your guest list. No wedding is complete without loved ones there to celebrate your special union, but for a micro wedding to be successful, you need to make sure you focus on the friends and members of your family that you know best. Keep the intimacy of this type of celebration by only inviting your closest friends and family members to share in the joy of this milestone.
  • Get Creative with Dining Settings: With a smaller group of guests, there are more ways to set up your dining tables for your reception. Come together as a family around one king-size family-style table or arrange smaller rectangle tables in a U-shape with the bride and groom set up at the base of the U. If the set up feels like it builds up on the close family vibe of a micro wedding, then it’s sure to be a hit!
  • Plan Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or Family-Style Meals: No need to worry about extra servers when you’re really just one big family, right? Set up DIY drink stations, as well as appetizer, meal, and dessert bars where your guests can put together their own special treats! Some favorites include a mimosa bar, mashed potatoes and assorted toppings, fondue, taco fixings, and ice cream sundae stations (but seriously, the possibilities here are endless!). If a family-style meal suits you and your theme best, arrange for large servings of each dish to be set out at meal time, then enjoy engaging in conversation as everyone takes turns serving each other portions!
  • Go Unique with Decor: It’s far easier to splurge on one-of-a-kind decor that perfectly suits your theme when you’ve got a micro wedding. There will be fewer tables, which means fewer linens and centerpieces, and there’s a good chance that the venue you choose will be on a smaller scale as well. This gives you more wiggle room to move away from bulk purchases and go homemade, local, or personalized with your decor.
  • Go Macro on Fun: A micro wedding leaves even more room for fun! Bring in live entertainment like circus performers or magicians, rent a big blow-up obstacle course or water slide for outdoor affairs (yes, grown-ups love these too!), play GIANT versions of classic games (Jenga, Twister, Connect Four, etc.), or set up a treasure hunt or wedding table games. Whatever you think you and your loved ones would enjoy the most, go for it! You’re sure to love reminiscing about those memories in the years ahead.

If you need help coordinating all of the moving parts before or on your wedding day, consider hiring a micro wedding planner to help you stay on track and make sure you have everything you need for a successful celebration.

What Should the Bride Wear for a Micro Wedding?

The same rule applies for every wedding: If you’re the bride, you decide! It’s your wedding, so you can wear whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful. Many brides worry about whether micro weddings are formal enough for a wedding dress, but the size of the wedding is not what determines how formal your ceremony and reception will be. Since micro weddings are really just weddings on a smaller guest scale, your micro wedding can be as formal or casual as your heart desires, which means your micro wedding bridal gown can be as fancy as you wish it to be too. Don’t forget to shop Avery Austin’s wedding dresses to find the perfect gown to suit your micro wedding!

Whether you’re having a micro wedding at home or a destination micro wedding, your wedding is all about you and your partner, so be sure to do anything and everything your hearts desire. The smaller size of your guest list is certainly not a limiter on fun, but rather a liberator of your creative freedom. Make your micro wedding as beautifully unique as the love that brings you both together.