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If you recently popped the question or have a dazzling new rock on your finger, congrats on your engagement! Now kicks off the wedding planning process which, depending on the type of person you are, can be a delight, a dread — or likely a combination of both.
For some couples, throwing a blowout bash for friends and family is worth the time and money. But if spending the next year constantly refreshing your Pinterest feed (and checking your dwindling bank account) isn’t how you want to plan your big day, allow us to introduce you to the microwedding. Here’s everything you need to know about the growing trend of tiny weddings.
What is a microwedding?
Let’s start with what a microwedding isn’t. It isn’t an elopement, where the couple goes off to city hall to wed in secret. But it isn’t the lavish affair with all the frills either.
A microwedding sits somewhere in the middle and is simply a ceremony intentionally planned on a much smaller scale than the average 136-person wedding.
Maggie Gaudaen, co-founder of Pop! Wed Co., helps plan small weddings with 35 guests or fewer. For her, a microwedding focuses more on the marriage ceremony itself and less on the reception. It’s easier to manage a reception or do away with it altogether when there are fewer guests to account for. Plus, “having an awesome experience for a smaller amount of people doesn’t take as much logistical planning or as much money,” she adds.
Whether you refer to them as microweddings, tiny weddings, fun-sized weddings or something else, the trend aims to prove that one of the best days of your life doesn’t have to be the most expensive.
How much can you save by having a microwedding?
You’re probably familiar with the staggering average cost of a wedding: $33,391, according to The Knot. The biggest expense is often the reception hall at an average of $15,000. However, by choosing to keep your gathering small, you can save on your location and all of its related expenses (think: reception band, flowers and decor, food and drinks, catering and so on). A tiny wedding package with Pop! Wed Co., for example, starts at $2,900.
Opting for a microwedding isn’t always just about overall cost, either. It could be about prioritizing what’s important to you and making room for that in your budget — say, the designer dress of your dreams, or a hard-to-book historical site that seats 20 — rather than paying to entertain 100 distant relatives.
Then, of course, there’s the time-saving aspect of having a microwedding. Gaudaen says she has planned tiny weddings in as little as a week, and up to six months.
Why are microweddings so trendy right now?
Before you say, “Because millennials are killing the concept of marriage!” consider this: Some couples plan a microwedding for the official exchanging of vows, and then go on to plan a more formal reception down the road. By splitting up the events, couples can save more over a longer period of time for a more elaborate celebration. Plus, they won’t have to pay for everything all at once. Credit card debt, who?
And then there’s just the simple freedom of planning one of the most important days of your life on your own terms, social expectations be damned. While some couples may relish the grand display — and the effort that goes into creating it all — it’s not the only way to wed.
This microweddings thing sounds awesome, but everyone I know expects an invite. Help?
One of the harder parts of planning a microwedding (or any wedding, really) is deciding on the guest list. It can be especially hard to limit your head count when every friend or family member wants to be included in your big day.
Here’s the thing, though: Your wedding is about you and your partner, full stop. Gaudaen suggests remaining firm on your decision while also emphasizing why it’s important to you. Then, offer a way for the non-invitee to partake in the celebration. For example, you could explain that speaking in front of a large group isn’t your jam, or that you’re inviting only parents to the ceremony — but you’ll have a great videographer on deck to capture the moments, and you’ll be hosting another gathering to share it all soon.