When you’re planning a wedding - especially if it’s your own - it’s important that you know what your options are. There are many different shapes a wedding can take and lots of ways for them to look and feel. The most important thing you can do is plan the sort of wedding that fits you and reflects your dreams for the day. Trying to conform to a template that doesn’t fit you is a recipe for stress and unhappiness on what should be one of the happiest days of your life!
In the interest of giving you more choice and the chance of finding a wedding day that fits what you really want from the occasion, we’re exploring micro-weddings. What are they? How ‘micro’ are they really? And how can they work for you?
What Makes a Wedding Micro?
The key distinguishing feature of a micro-wedding is the number of guests. There’s no official definition, but the broad consensus is there could be fewer than 20 guests and should be no more than 50.
While the guest list size suggests some other things about the day, from venue to style to budget, it doesn’t restrict you in any other way. You still have immense freedom to adapt a micro-wedding into the kind of day you need it to be.
Micro-weddings have definitely become more popular over the course of this century, and it’s well worth thinking about why. There’s one cause it’s hard to miss; during the last few years of pandemic restrictions, for significant lengths of time, the only legal weddings were micro-weddings! That’s not the only cause, though, and micro-weddings were well on the rise before they became people’s only option.
The cost of weddings is undeniably going up, with the average amount spent on a wedding in the UK crossing £30,000 in recent years. If you want to keep your budget under control, one easy way is to limit guest numbers. This, in turn, reduces your catering costs, allows you to look for smaller venues, and makes things like photography and entertainment much more manageable.
A smaller guest list allows you to spend more time and effort on each guest. Wedding favour ideas for micro-weddings can be much more personal - hand-picked, if not handmade - and of individual importance for each guest or tailored to the dynamic of the group. If you choose CherryTop Weddings activity booklets, you can include puzzles and quizzes that guests can contribute to while sharing treasured memories and significant events with your closest friends. By limiting your guest list, you may not get the big party that marks out a traditional wedding, but you can craft a truly significant experience with your very closest friends.
As you limit your budget for the overall event, you’re gaining the ability to spend more on each guest (and yourselves!). If you free yourselves from the need to (in every sense of the word) cater for upwards of 100 people, you get the ability to spoil your restricted guestlist with, for example, gourmet food and boutique accommodation that may well be out of the question with a more conventionally sized wedding.
Perhaps the most important reason you might choose a micro-wedding is that it quite simply makes your life easier. You need to manage a smaller team on the day, you don’t have to worry about grumpy old grandparents being seated with radical university friends (or grumpy university friends being seated with radical grandparents!), and you know that the carefully picked friends and family you’ve chosen are nothing but the very best and most supportive people to celebrate your day with.
As a counter to the point above about fine dining and hotels, a more intimate guest list reduces the weight of expectation. If your ideal wedding day includes takeaway pizza rather than a sit-down meal, you have much more freedom to pursue that ideal than to satisfy 100+ guests all expecting a traditional wedding experience.
Finally, a micro-wedding calls for a shorter lead time than a larger affair. You have the flexibility to look beyond traditional wedding venues, which might have months or years-long waits for an appropriate vacancy for you. Plus, the orders you’re placing for food, materials and wedding favours are all smaller and can move faster, while accommodation is easier to find for numbers in the 20-50 range at shorter notice.
If you want to get married and start the rest of your life more quickly, a micro-wedding is a route to that romantic goal.