So, you wanna plan a micro wedding? Or maybe you just want to plan A WEDDING period. And maybe you’ve heard the term “micro wedding” that’s been thrown around on Pinterest and by wedding professionals. We actually pinned down the trend pre-pandemic, but if anything in the wedding world went from trend to staple in 2020, it’s the intimate version of the big day.
What is a micro wedding?
A micro wedding is everything you’d expect from a traditional wedding, but smaller. We’re mostly talking about the guest list—any amount from 10, 20, 30 guests could be considered a micro wedding.
Aside from a smaller guest list, the ceremony and reception space will most likely be smaller to accommodate guests. However, expect venues to pivot with the times just like everyone else! Larger venue spaces may get creative and build out vignettes and cozier spaces. All to say, if you’ve got your heart set on a space, it’s worth it to inquire.
How do you have a micro wedding?
You might find planning a micro wedding to be easier than you think. Bringing it down to what matters most to you and your partner creates focus as you make decisions.
The biggest challenge to planning a micro wedding is narrowing down your guest list—and helping those who may not be invited to understand why. If you’ve already sent out invitations and need to un-invite guests, we’ve got tips for you.
Why have a micro wedding?
Aside from the obvious benefit of small gatherings in our “current climate,” an intimate wedding opens up a world of possibilities.
First, it can save you money. The number one way to cut down your wedding budget is to invite a smaller amount of people.
Second, you can splurge where you normally wouldn’t (and still save money). What matters to you most? Maybe you hire a few live musicians instead of playing a track. Or opt for a 5-course meal from an in-house chef for your party of 10. Support small businesses like local florists. Go micro with the guests but macro with the decor.
Third, the venue opportunities really open up when you don’t have to host a large group of people. Houses, backyards, and places that aren’t traditionally built for events can be outfitted for a super unique + beautiful intimate wedding.
What are the best micro wedding ideas?
Boy, do we have a list for you. We pulled from some of our absolute favorite real weddings and styled inspiration to share how real couples and vendors brought their micro wedding ideas to life. We also have plenty more resources for you right here on GWS:
If you need ideas for decor:
27 Stunning Ceremony Decor Ideas For Your Micro Wedding
For information + inspiration through a styled intimate wedding:
Trending Now: Micro Weddings + Why We Love Them!
And for everything we’ve ever written about micro weddings, from real couples to styled shoots to how to’s and more inspo, here’s our entire micro wedding collection.
Say Your Vows in the Desert + Dine at Home
Kerra + Kevin decided to get married on their original wedding date and save the big party for later:
All we can say about planning a wedding right now is: Do what makes you and your significant other happy. For us, that was getting married with just a few family members and rescheduling our big wedding to next year. We made the extra effort to make our micro wedding special and it was worth it. We could not be happier with our decision!
planning, custom install, stationery, reception photo: Kcidy Design // photographer: Sarah Valencia // chair + table rentals: Colorado Party Rentals // florals: Megan Lightfoot // napkins: Borrowed Blu
Enjoy a Romantic Twinkle Light Reception
There is no doubt that a reception dinner under a canopy of twinkle lights is a dream scenario. And it just happens to lend itself perfectly to a smaller crowd! We love that this idea can work if you’re setting up your wedding in a backyard or an open field—somewhere that typically doesn’t host events. (Just make sure you bring a generator!)
design + décor: Finesse Decor Company // photography: Amrit Photography // floral design: Da Fiori Design // videography: Emerald Films // planner: Always and Forever Wedding // venue: Fraser River Lodge // hair + makeup: Denise Đinh // reception gown: Luxx Nova // reception suit: Givenchy from Holt Renfrew //Ribbons: Cfleursdesign // guest canopy: Natural Oasis Events // chairs: Bespoke Decor // rustic tables: Woodpecker Tables // invitations + calligraphy: Ayla Peña // cake: Cake by Nicole
Bring Some Color to the Backyard
Jess and Steve’s micro wedding took place in Topanga Canyon. They rented a beautiful property for their six closest friends and had a virtual ceremony for 100+ people at the Inn of the Seventh Ray. Jessica is a graphic designer and created all of the paper goods and table decor herself. She was very inspired by autumn colors, dried florals, and disco balls. (She even did this terra cotta vase DIY!) Bonjour Fete did a balloon installation at the rental house and everyone enjoyed an evening of tacos under the trees.
photo: Mary Costa Photography // ceremony venue: Inn of the Seventh Ray // hair + makeup: Angeleno Beauty // cake: Sweet Art Bakeshop paper goods + dried florals: Jessica Kucinskas (bride) // balloon installation: Bonjour Fete // bride’s gown: Lunella by Willowby via BHLDN // groom’s suit: Men’s Suit Outlet
Escape at a Winery
workshop + photography: Tobias Tumac Photography location: Weingut & Vinothek Mussler hair + makeup: Elena Cardella Make-up couple: @adiundlina florals: Tina Bergmann dress + suit: AMABILIS Wedding rentals: Weds Dekoration Mietservice paper: Avecarta wooden boxes: Meine-Holzbox
Make it Family-Style
Cindy + Mike planned a micro wedding with a focus on the dinner party:
We were originally planning a larger, more traditional wedding, but it just wasn’t in alignment with our personalities and priorities. Overall, we were aiming for a day that was low-key, romantic, cozy, and inclusive. Approaching things more like a dinner party than an orchestrated wedding bonanza, provided us the freedom to really enjoy and connect with each of our guests. We were also sure to carve out opportunities for the two of us to be alone and just revel in the meaning of the day.
See the full wedding here:
A Garden Micro Wedding With Only 30 Guests and Some of the Most Stunning Flowers + Personal Details
Transform a Greenhouse
photos + design: Mindy Weiss
Get Out of Town + Go Seaside at Sunset
Brandon + Chyna hosted an intimate trip for close friends:
While the wedding day was about us, we made the trip about our guests who traveled so far to be with us. Our top priority was to make sure everyone had an amazing time! We had a 3-day celebration with 17 of our best friends and family. We hosted a welcome pool party, 16-flight wine tasting, and a sunset cruise. Even though many of our guests met for the first time, everyone left as friends – there was so much love, laughter + memories!
See the full wedding here:
Dusty Rose Romance for This Intimate Pampas Wedding in Santorini
Travel to a National Park
Emma + Andrew wanted an intimate day that truly felt like them:
We infused aspects of us that reflect who we are. It was really important to us what it felt like rather than putting on a show or performance. We chose food from places we have traveled together. We had our first dance under a lantern from Morocco, one of our very favorite places. Our inspiration was all about the feeling of it all and paying attention to the details that made it feel like us.
See the full wedding here:
On Top of the World: An Intimate Wedding at Glacier Point