It’s 2024, no longer are the days where weddings HAVE to be giant celebrations that happen in a convenient location for all your coworkers and 3rd cousins to be able to attend. Weddings are so much more malleable than that. And truly, they are meant to be a celebration of YOUR love story. So if the idea of planning an event with hundreds of guests doesn’t sound like your cup of tea but the thought of eloping without any of your favorite people there isn’t the best option either, then consider doing a micro-wedding as a beautiful happy-medium!
In 2022 when we were planning our own wedding, we honestly just couldn’t picture ourselves doing a “standard” local wedding. We love adventure and our wedding needed to be all about it too! So we invited our bridal parties and immediate family members on a summer weekend getaway to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The cabin we rented, which doubled as our venue, was nestled uphill from a pristine lake and entirely surrounded by mountains. Our “guest count” was 23 and we all stayed at a cabin for 3 nights; the first night was our “rehearsal,” day 2 was our wedding, and day 3 was for simply hanging out and exploring the area!
It was the perfect low-key weekend that not only celebrated the start of our married life together but also the blending of our families and friends! And if I could do it again, I’d do it the exact same way! Not only was the overall format of our wedding untraditional, we also incorporated some other unique and not necessarily normal things into our celebration. Which is just another of the many reasons why a micro-wedding is the way to go!
Wedding weekends tend to be smaller in attendance which means you get to spend more time with the people who are there. For us, this included our immediate families, 4 other bridal party members each, and a couple of other friends and close relatives. Because we kept it so tight-knit we were able to spend quality, undistracted time with everyone who means the most to us.
When you have a celebration of 200-300 guests, common sense tells you that you won’t be able to spend all that much time with anyone in particular because you’ll want to spend at least a little bit of time with everyone. And while its incredible to be surrounded by all that support on your big day, it can also be overwhelming! The way we subsidized our intimate event was by having an open-house style reception a couple months later. At that reception we were able to casually celebrate with so many more people!
When you commit to a more intimate wedding celebration you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to where you can go! Stateside there are so many cabins, small mansions, and epic houses that can double as a venue and as accommodation for you and your guests. When you take your wedding event international the options are endless! From villas in the countryside of Italy to small resorts on the beaches of Mexico, you can get married wherever your heart desires. Micro-weddings are a way to spend more than just a 12 hour ceremony in an epic location because you can turn it into a multi-day “vacation.”
Also when you shrink the size of your event people-wise, you are able to spend a little more money in other areas that might be a bigger priority to you than hosting your childhood neighbors plus one. One option would be to include an activity to make your micro-wedding event an epic adventure for everyone in attendance. Examples of this would be a wine-tasting tour for a micro-wedding in Napa, a pasta-making class for a wedding in Italy, or a catamaran ride for a wedding in the Bahamas. Make epic once-in-a-lifetime memories with those closest to you as this might be your only chance to have all those people together in an awesome location!
It’s no secret that weddings are EXPENSIVE. From venues to table and chair rentals, bar and food costs, florals and decor, stationary and dj’s, photo/video coverage and etc., the expenses list seems never-ending. And it might not be everyone’s cup of tea to spend $80-$200 per head for a wedding reception at a local event venue. Studies show that the average standard US wedding costs roughly $30,000 – $46k whereas people throwing a smaller, destination wedding in Europe spend about $18,000-$20k on their celebration. Basically what we are saying is it’s overall cheaper to take you and your closest loved ones on an adventure to an incredible destination, doing fun activities and making once-in-a-lifetime memories than it is to host people you may not even really know at a “generic” venue. And if you ask us, an epic adventure is ALWAYS worth it!