Micro Weddings: The Perfect Way to Save and Splurge at the Same Time!

Coordinating a wedding with hundreds of guests is an absolutely daunting task. You want to cut down your guest list as much as possible. But… there’s a ton of family members to invite out of obligation. And then there’s anonymous plus-ones for your friends. Those add up quickly. And, of course, your mom’s friends who like all of your facebook posts need to be there, right?

Actually, no. They don’t! Trying to downsize the guest list of your normal sized wedding is really tough, and you might have a hard time crossing anyone off your list without feeling that they really should get an invite. Instead, reframe the size of your guest list completely! Consider a micro wedding.

Don’t worry! Micro weddings can still have all the excitement: the flowers, the venue, the reception, the dancing, the whole weekend of activities, whatever you want! In fact, minimizing your guest list enables you to maximize the rest of your wedding, if you choose to. Couples hosting micro weddings often use the money saved by reducing the guest list to provide a more luxury experience. 

Micro weddings have fifty or fewer guests, which means that the attendees will truly be your closest friends and family. A micro wedding guest list cannot accommodate extra people who you feel obligated to invite. And if anyone asks why they aren’t invited, just tell them that you chose to have a micro wedding. 

So where do micro weddings preserve your budget? Where will you still need to spend the same as a regular wedding? And what can you do with fifty guests that you could never do with two hundred?

Wedding Expenses- Micro Edition!

Some of the price points you will see when wedding budgeting will be “per person”. Those numbers will plummet with a smaller guest list! Others will stay the same, no matter how many guests you have. 

  • Fashion for the bride and groom is going to remain pretty much the same price. In any wedding, these prices are extremely variable and it will come down to preference. For you, a micro wedding could mean a more casual atmosphere, or the exact opposite. 

  • Wedding party fashion and beauty expenses could vary. Does a small guest list mean a small wedding party, or none at all? Conversely, it might mean that all of your guests take part in some sort of dress code or each have a special role in the wedding. A small group of people who know you well are more likely to take part in any kind of “image” you have for your event. If you have a small enough guest list, you could potentially offer beauty services to anyone who was interested. Or, no one at all!

  • Stationary is an area with a lot of savings! Fewer invitations mean that you can go all out with the ones you do send!  You could use this opportunity to invest in the invitations of your dreams, hiring a designer and calligrapher. You could also reduce the amount of signs. In a smaller venue, informational signs, seating charts, or escort cards may not be necessary. For some, you may not choose to send invitations at all, instead opting for personal conversations or calls with each guest. It’s probably not much of a question whether your closest friends and family will attend your wedding. 

  • For your guest book, a micro wedding is a great candidate for a non-traditional option. Having a physical book with only a few pages filled out because you only had twenty guests is not ideal. Instead, either skip it entirely or do something else. Have all your guests sign one meaningful item, or each sign their own small ornament or knick-knack. Just go for something that doesn’t need to be “filled up” by a large number of people. 
  • Micro weddings open up a whole new world of possibilities on the venue front. Suddenly, you can get married somewhere that doesn’t necessarily need to be marketed as a wedding venue.! With only thirty guests, it becomes much easier to do a backyard wedding at home, or to rent a fancier home to use for the weekend. 
  • The officiant will likely still be the same price, although asking a friend or family member to officiate is a great option for any wedding. You could put some of the savings from other areas of the wedding into ceremony add-ons, such as a personalization service or a unity ceremony. Or, you could get your friend or family member an extra special gift for officiating!

  • Photography and videography will not come at a lower rate if you have a smaller guest list, but having fewer guests to wrangle may allow you to get all of the shots you want in a shorter amount of time. If you don’t have a wedding party, you might not need those getting ready photos. With a smaller guest list, you may not want too many dancing photos at the end of the night. Your shot list of family photos could be shorter. Any of these possibilities would allow you to hire your photographer or videographer for a shorter amount of time, leading to a reduced cost. If detailed photography is a priority for you, use your savings elsewhere to invest in a more expensive photographer or photo package. Your micro wedding guest list might even make room in your budget for a videographer where there wasn’t before!

  • Catering is where you will save the most! Wedding food is so expensive, and couples with full sized weddings can spend 15-25 thousand dollars on wedding catering. These prices are per person, and a small guest list will allow you to provide your guests with more courses, appetizers, desserts, or a more luxury experience for a lower cost. This is where you might be able to spring for plated meals over the buffet. In fact, it may be possible to have your wedding dinner within a restaurant or dining room. This is usually easier than hiring a catering company to move all of their staff and equipment to your wedding location. You will also likely have fewer dietary needs to accommodate, which can save money and avoid complications. 

  • An open bar for 50 guests is much more doable than an open bar for 200 guests. You will not save much on a closed bar, depending on the pricing, but at a smaller wedding, you will more likely be able to host an open bar for your guests, and might be able to provide them access to those top shelf options. 

  • A micro wedding could have the same entertainment as a full sized wedding, or it may fit your group better to have a more low-key party. A DJ or band will be the same price no matter how many people attend, but you could probably pull off a playlist at a micro wedding if you aren’t looking for a big dance party. And it only costs the price of Spotify Premium for one month!
  • You can definitely save on transportation at your micro wedding. Rather than renting school buses, you and your guests can travel in style in a smaller car. You might even be able to carpool everyone back and forth, depending on the size of your guest list. Bonus points if your venue has accommodations and everyone is staying onsite!
  • Your rental bill will be much more manageable at a micro wedding. Couples are usually renting each guest a chair, plate, charger, napkin, multiple glasses, silverware, and ceremony seating. Those are all charged at a per person rate, and dropping the guest count will make a dramatic difference in pricing. Oh, and don’t forget about tables, tablecloths, and any rented decor pieces. Having fewer tables to decorate can allow you to get the fancier chairs, the extra goblets, and the shiny gold forks. Make that vision come to life!

  • Décor and florals are areas in which you can really splurge. Decorating a smaller space and fewer tables is much easier. Whether you are decorating with flowers or other props, you won’t need to replicate it on twelve different tables. You might be able to get a ceiling installation. These are quite expensive, and for a bigger room, you might need multiple to fill the space in an aesthetically pleasing way. Your micro wedding guest list could even be small enough to get all of your guests seated at one large table, meaning that you only have to pay for one centerpiece. This can free up your budget in a big way, and give you the opportunity to create a really unique tablescape. You could save a lot on ceremony florals, too. Fewer guests means fewer aisle markers, and it could mean a smaller wedding party with fewer bouquets or boutonnieres. Money saved here might allow you to go bigger on your arbor!

  • Favors at a micro wedding can be much more elaborate, personalized, or generous. If everyone there is truly close to you, you will have a better idea of what they might appreciate or use later. You could even have the opportunity to give your favors to them personally. This will make your guests place more value on the gifts. 

  • Wedding planning or coordination will usually have steady prices for any size wedding. As you can see from the above information, micro weddings can still involve all of the elements of a full-sized wedding, or be even more complex and high class! This means that your wedding planner can still have a lot to take care of. However, they may not need as many extra assistants to help them set up a smaller space. 

We hope this information on micro weddings inspired you! Of course, this will not work for every couple, but it is always important to know your options. 

For more ideas and unique finds for your special day be sure to set up a consultation with Angela today!

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