You want to get married, but you don't want a giant, costly, pull-out-all-the-stops wedding. Perhaps because of concerns about the safety of your guests (thanks 2020), or maybe you just want to keep things simple.
And yet you don't want to just elope. You don't want to sign a piece of paper at a courthouse and call it a wedding.. You want a real celebration, because you know getting married is truly something to celebrate.
Here's the answer: A micro wedding. These scaled-back weddings, which have a guest list of 50 or fewer, actually began to trend a few years ago, and they've become all the rage during the time of Covid. In fact, they're now so popular that more and more couples are expected to opt for micro weddings going forward.
With a micro wedding, you get to enjoy the traditions that matter to you while keeping costs and travel under control. Your wedding — and the preparation for it — becomes simpler and more relaxed, while still letting you be surrounded by the people you love on one of the most important days of your life.
Take a look at some must-do tips to make sure your micro wedding is all you could hope for.
1. Get Dressed Up
The rules get relaxed for a micro wedding, but that doesn't mean you should show up in jeans and a T-shirt (unless you want to, of course!). Go ahead and wear that white wedding gown with a train if you've always dreamed of it — or choose a simpler outfit if you prefer. But there's no need for matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses or tuxedos for the men.
Just remember that it's still your wedding day, so indulge yourself with what you imagine is the perfect outfit for the occasion. Remember, you'll be enjoying looking at the photos 50 years from now, so pick your clothes with that in mind.
2. Focus on the Details
There are far fewer details to handle when planning a micro wedding, so you have the opportunity to make each one special. Maybe you want to wear the necklace your mother wore at her wedding, or maybe you want to ask friends to say a few words as part of the ceremony. You might want your dog to join you as you say your vows, and you certainly want to write those vows yourselves instead of using pre-written versions.
Because your wedding is pared down to the essentials, you can add fine details that create lasting memories. For a holiday wedding, for instance, consider asking guests to decorate and sign Christmas ornaments instead of signing a guest book. Whatever you always wanted to do for your wedding, you can do at a micro wedding.
3. Choose a Unique Location
With a micro wedding, you aren't limited to your parents' church or a hotel ballroom for your wedding. And since you don't have to seat hundreds of guests, you have a lot of flexibility. Some people even choose their own backyard or that of a good friend to keep the festivities intimate and relaxed.
Check out historic homes, a beautiful vineyard, or a beach house as possible venues. Maybe your favorite restaurant would be happy to host your micro wedding, or you could get married at the local carousel. Think outside the box with locations like recording studios, rooftop gardens, or concert venues. Just make sure you lock down your venue before you dig too deep into planning, so you can guarantee that the smaller location will have room for the few dozen guests you plan to invite.
If you choose a casual or backyard venue, you don't have to do much to make it feel festive. Bring in strings of twinkle lights and candles for an evening wedding, tie some tulle around trees and chairs, and fill out your decorations with fresh flowers. With a micro wedding, a little effort (and cost!) goes a long way.
4. Take All the Photos
Because your wedding is small, you may not want to sit still for the hours of the posed wedding party photos that are traditional with a large wedding. But that doesn't mean you can't memorialize your unique experience with one-of-a-kind photos. Ask all your guests to snap photos on their phones to get a complete record of the event.
Hiring a professional photographer is still a good idea to capture photos (and even video) of the wedding itself, but ask them to take candid shots as well. And don't forget to take one large group photo of you and all your guests together.
5. Serve a Nontraditional Menu
There's no need to serve a plated dinner with a choice of chicken or beef entrées when you're holding a micro wedding. With a small guest list and cozy venue, you aren't held captive to the extreme costs involved with a formal wedding reception (waiters! table linens! hosted bar!). That means you don't have to follow the "rules," either.
Consider a casual buffet filled with ethnic foods from you and your new spouse's background. You might want to turn to barbecue or other comfort food favorites, or even host an all-dessert reception if that's your style.
You can change rules when it comes to your wedding cake as well. With a micro wedding, you don't need a three- or four-tier cake that has to be carefully transported and balanced. Instead, ask your favorite bakery to make something special for your small gathering. You can enjoy the main cake with your spouse and maybe the wedding party, and offer cupcakes to the rest of the guests. You might even want to step away from the commitment to a cake and choose your favorite dessert instead. There's no reason you can't celebrate with wedding pie or cinnamon rolls.
6. Spend Your Budget on the Things That Matter
Many couples choose a micro wedding because they don't want to spend unimaginable sums of money on an event that is over in a single day. They'd rather save up for a house than drop thousands of dollars on party favors, engraved invitations, champagne toasts, and hair and makeup sessions for the bridesmaids.
When you plan a micro wedding, you take control of your budget back into your own hands. Now, instead of being told you "have to" send save-the-date cards, you can funnel the money you're spending on the wedding where you want it to go. If you hire a string quartet to play the processional, it's because it's a personal must-have for you, not because a wedding planner forced you into it.
Sit down together to make that list of must-haves. You're likely to discover that you agree on most of the big decisions (after all, you're getting married because you see things eye to eye). Your own passions and interests may lead you to say yes to the dress but no to the rented tuxedos, or to hire that amazing local band to play at the reception but say no to the limousine. It's all up to you to choose what matters and to direct your budget accordingly.
7. Choose Rings You Will Love Forever
After a wedding, the special elements of the day get packed away. Traditionally, the wedding dress gets cleaned and packaged away. The tuxes are returned. The top layer of the cake gets frozen to be eaten on your first anniversary. The guests head home.
But one element of the big day is left, no matter the size of the wedding: Your wedding rings.
Your wedding rings stay with you forever, marking the day of your wedding as one that changed the trajectory of your life. This tradition has stayed solid for centuries, sending a message to the world that you have chosen to love another person for the rest of your life. They're worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was believed in medieval times that the vein from this finger ran straight to the heart. No symbol of marriage is more enduring or more important than your wedding ring.
But just as your micro wedding saves the best of tradition while putting a modern spin on it, you aren't tied to a plain yellow gold wedding band. At Alpine Rings, we believe wedding rings should speak to your personality and style, and we design a host of men's wedding rings accordingly.
Check out our tungsten rings, made of the toughest material in the world. We pair this unbeatable metal with intriguing inlays such as exotic koa wood, resonant chestnut wood, hypnotic and organic shell, and even unique pieces of sustainably harvested deer antlers.
Your wealth of choices doesn't stop there. We also feature exquisite wedding rings made of titanium, wedding bands made of tough ceramic and polished wood, and even ultra trendy black wedding rings. Whatever you choose, you'll know that you've found a way to express your relationship with a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted ring that will stand as a symbol of your love forever.