What is a Micro Wedding? The Ultimate Guide to a Minimalist Wedding

What is a Micro Wedding

Image Courtesy of Photography by Calin – www.bycalin.com

When it comes to your wedding day, it’s easy to get caught up in daydreams about big, elaborate weddings – expensive dress, more guests, more food, more flowers, more cake, more everything. But with the average wedding costing upwards of $30,000, can you really afford to have this kind of affair? To avoid this, just plan a micro wedding. Micro weddings are a great way to get all the joyous, informal elements of a wedding without the fuss and expense of a traditional event.

Image Courtesy of Photography by Calin – www.bycalin.com

What is a micro wedding?

The thought behind a micro wedding idea is that you want the wedding you have always dreamed of, but with a much smaller budget. By having a smaller event, you can have a more intimate wedding, and a more memorable one.

A recent survey showed that 81 percent of couples want a celebration that’s about the two of them, not a big production or a party where everyone is invited. When it comes to weddings, the trend seems to be less is more.

Micro weddings are small affairs, typically no more than 50 guests. For a while, it was considered taboo to have fewer than 50 guests, but in recent years more and more couples have eschewed the over-the-top parties for what they perceive to be a more authentic experience. Many are getting married on the beach. For these wedding, couples don’t even spend much on decorations. Some will buy candles, flowers, and other flowery things and place them on a table (or in a bouquet) for guests to take home as souvenirs of the wedding day.

Micro Wedding vs. Elopement

These days, the term “elopement” tends to apply to small, often secret and spontaneous ceremonies that involve only a few friends and family. But it also can refer to any small, intimate wedding no matter how long it takes to arrange, or how much time is spent planning it. Elopements are an excellent way to get married when you want to avoid all the stress of planning an elaborated affair. Please keep in mind that often “elopement” and “intimate wedding” are terms used interchangeably.

Why have a micro wedding?

There are lots of different reasons why couples want to have a micro wedding. But for one, you don’t have to go through the stress and expense of hiring a large team of wedding professionals to help you along the way, so the idea of a micro wedding might be the right way to go.

According to wedding surveys, the average wedding costs over $30,000. This number might be higher for larger wedding hosts, such as those in big cities. If your finances are running a little tight, a micro wedding could be the perfect solution and can cost as little as $10,000. A micro wedding is a low cost, low stress way to celebrate your love for one another.

Newlyweds Night Portrait With Sparklers on the Beach

Image Courtesy of Photography by Calin – www.bycalin.com

Benefits of a micro wedding

At the very least, a micro wedding takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on the people you love, instead of the details. Here’s how it works: You’re only going to invite 50 guests to the big day. A standard wedding typically involves inviting close family and friends, like your parents, your in-laws, your bridal party, and your closest friends. Your number of guests will be a fraction of what it is for the average wedding. You won’t have a bridal party. Instead, you have your friends and family there to celebrate with you. Your ceremony and reception will take place in the same place. It’s a small ceremony that just you and your partner, or just your parents. It’s a small reception that you and your guests can mingle in. There’s no cake.

The idea of a micro wedding has been floating around for a while, but it was only in 2020 with the COVID restrictions that they started to become more popular. These days, couples are opting for these smaller, yet still incredibly meaningful ceremonies, because they feel that the big extravagant weddings that used to be the norm are now a bit passé.

The benefits of a micro wedding are numerous. For example, by booking a smaller wedding venue and a smaller number of suppliers, you can often cut your costs down, and you can also save money by having a shorter guest list, and having a relatively smaller number of guests. It is not uncommon for a traditional wedding to cost over $40,000. That’s a lot of money to pay for one day—especially when that money could go toward a house, or a down payment on a car, or a vacation. Besides, you can spend more time among the people you care about instead of being caught in long discussions with guests you never saw in your life.

Finally, you don’t need to spend a lot of time planning your day, which is a huge relief for a couple. This can be great for a lot of reasons. For one, it takes pressure off of those you love by not having to worry about finding a single person to be your maid of honor or best man.

More importantly, it makes it easier on the people you do want to be there to celebrate with you. You’ll spend less time agonizing over your brother or sister’s decision on who to bring to the wedding and more time enjoying your wedding day with those you really love.

Disadvantages of a micro wedding

Here are a few disadvantages of having a small affair. First, a micro wedding is still going to cost you. After all, your photographer and other guests will charge the same amount of money regardless of the number of guests.

Second, you will be limited in terms of wedding venues and even the dates.

Fewer guests means fewer gifts, and fewer guests means fewer people who can help you plan your wedding. You’ll have to be selective about who you invite, and you’ll also have to keep the event simple. If you don’t want to have a big wedding, you’ll probably have to make some compromises.

Some members of the family might be offended if you don’t invite them. You want to discuss the matter with your parents and decide together who should be invited to avoid any family dramas.

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Image Courtesy of Photography by Calin – www.bycalin.com

How to plan a micro wedding

Micro weddings are a great option for couples who don’t have a large budget and for those who don’t want to overwhelm guests with an enormous wedding. While micro weddings don’t usually come cheap, there are plenty of options to help couples put together a guest list and meet their budget, with something as small as a simple barbeque, for example, and something as grand as a dance floor to provide entertainment. Small weddings are extremely popular and here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • The venue: This is one of the most important factors in planning a micro wedding. There are plenty of beautiful and unique wedding venues available for $100-$250 per person, but how do you know if the person renting the venue is willing to take care of it the way you want? Many wedding venues will require a hefty deposit up front or take hefty month-to-month rental fees. Therefore, when you’re picking a wedding location for your big day, look at a nearby venue and ask if they have a micro wedding package.
  • The ceremony venue: No matter how fancy the venue, it should be a place that is convenient for guests to come to you. A place like the backyard of the bride’s parents’ house is beautiful, but you’ll want your guests to have easy access to you for pictures, ceremonies, and cake cutting.
  • The Photographer: regardless of the size of your wedding, a great photographer will make it look amazing and capture all those moments you will cherish for the rest of your life. Our advice is to hire the best photographer your budget allows.
  • Entertainment. Is your cousin a music aficionado and the life of the parties? Well, he will be the DJ and MC on your big day.
  • Food is very important and fortunately, with a short list of guests, you can afford to hire the best caterers in your area.
  • Renting a tent is crucial to ensure you have enough space, and you are protected in case the weather does not collaborate.
  • Makeup and hair are important as you want to look perfect on your special day! Find a local makeup artist and hair stylist who make you shine even brighter.
  • Wedding planner: do you know someone who is well organized and loves wedding planning? Congratulations as you just saved yourself a few thousand dollars!

As you consider what to do for your wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in all the details. After all, you want everything to be perfect. But in the midst of all the plans, don’t lose sight of the fact that your wedding is a celebration of love among your family and friends. With a micro wedding, you can focus more on your guests and the couple, rather than on every last detail.

Planning a micro wedding requires less money, less time, and less time management than a traditional wedding. Some couples choose to have their ceremony in a courthouse before going to the venue. Others prefer a free-form outdoor ceremony and reception. The best part? When it comes to your special day, there are no rules. Your day is going to be your way.

Image Courtesy of Photography by Calin – www.bycalin.com

Consider a destination wedding

There are quite a few advantages of having a destination wedding. First, the cost of a destination wedding is a fraction of what you would pay in a large city in North America.

Second, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a week among your friends and family. Also, you will save money on your honeymoon as your destination wedding is also a honeymoon!

They are a lot more about the people than about the details

It’s true that traditional weddings usually involve a lot more planning, time and personnel, but many couples have found that a “micro” wedding makes it much easier to keep the focus on the feelings and emotions that matter most to them. If you’re thinking of keeping your wedding small to save money and time, you are not alone. After all, most couples care about their friends and family more than about the decor, cake, linen, chairs, etc.

By reducing the amount of effort dedicated to planning, the focus is mostly on the people that matters and that makes perfect sense. In 30 years, will you care about a great photo of your grandmother crying during your wedding ceremony or about the theme colors?

Where to hold a micro wedding?

If you’re not too keen on the idea of going completely DIY, you can always choose to do it in a venue. Here are some gorgeous places to hold your micro wedding, along with affordable accommodation for guests.

Focus on the wedding day instead of the weeks of preparations before

You can choose to have the fun and festivities on the day, with only your closest friends and family as guests. This is a great way to relax and enjoy your special day while you can, without worrying about the chores of coordinating guest lists, caterers, travel, and any other outside expenses. For that matter, if your guests are just you and your partner, you don’t even need to hire wedding planners, photographers, florists, videographers, DJs, or a wedding coordinator.

You can have the wedding outdoors

When you live in a warm climate, an outdoor wedding is a must. This is especially true when it comes to rustic weddings, where the ceremony can be held under a canopy in the garden or park. Woodland weddings are another fantastic option, as are celebrations in parks with treetop gardens, open lawns and meadow dancing under a sky full of stars.

The search volume for the keywords “micro wedding” is showing an increased popularity

It’s a trend that is becoming increasingly popular

Looking at the volume of Google searches, micro weddings are an increasingly popular way to get all the fun and love without the major production. After all, why spend tons of money on a wedding day when you can create a mini celebration that’s simply perfect for you and your loved ones?

You can say “I do” in a laid-back setting

At a typical wedding, you probably have a long ceremony with lots of traditions. At a micro wedding, you can’t help but find an open-ended, DIY-style wedding theme that speaks to you. Do you and your partner love the beach? Then why not have a beach wedding?

Also, you can have a lovely breakfast or brunch wedding. Consider a fun, casual daytime picnic followed by a trip to the movies or a museum. Once you arrive at your reception, you can relax with a refreshing cocktail while enjoying the music of a live DJ.

You can do it all at home

Don’t have a big yard, but do have a living room, bedroom, dining room, or loft space? All you need is to gather a small group of friends, set out some food, and call it a day.

How do you make a micro wedding feel more like a traditional wedding without breaking the bank?

Forget spending loads of money on florals and expensive decor. Instead, opt for table décor and other pieces that can be shared amongst a group of friends and family.

Instead of an expensive wedding cake, make your own creation with a little help from an old-fashioned recipe book and cupcakes from your local bakery.

The Best Micro Wedding Tips

Try to remember that your wedding is not a competition. Remind yourself that the most important thing is you getting married.

Have fun with your wedding.

Embrace your uniqueness and your friends will feel more confident to get involved too.

Just because you’re having a small wedding doesn’t mean your experience has to be small. You’re special and it’s okay to take some time for yourself to do something you want to do.


Micro weddings are great for people on a budget. Even if you don’t have the funds to pay for a full-blown wedding, you can host a mini-wedding—which is always cheaper than a full-blown wedding. Not only do you save money on the ceremony and reception itself, but the possibilities for a micro wedding are nearly endless. You can have the ceremony at your favorite bar, host a backyard party, or even get married at the local courthouse.