4 reasons you should have a micro wedding (plus, micro wedding venues and ideas)

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What's the heck is a microwedding (and could it be the perfect wedding for you?)
Cool tiny venue alert at this microwedding!
Photo & officiant by Pop! Wedding Co.

If you've seen the word “micro-wedding” around the internet, your brain may jump straight to eloping, right? (Or maybe heating your wedding up like a Hot Pocket? Nah.) But it's actually a little different. Elopements are (arguably) mostly a ceremony with just the couple and witnesses, often without a ton of planning or notice to anyone else ahead of time.

A micro-wedding is a tiny, intimate wedding with less than 30 people, planned in a similar fashion to larger weddings — just on a much smaller scale.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? If you can get over the hurdle of convincing your ultra nearest and dearest that it's okay to only have them at the wedding, you're in the clear to plan your own micro wedding. Easier said than done, in some cases. Thankfully we've got a whole archive of guest list advice including how to attack your guest list like a ninja, rules for keeping your guest list small, and help when you're not inviting your whole family.

Ready to see if a micro wedding will be your jam? Here are the reasons teeny tiny weddings kick serious ass…

Micro weddings can save a ton of money

Weddings in the U.S. average about $35,000+, and can run even higher in larger metro areas like New York, Chicago, and LA. But a microwedding can be in a smaller venue with less food, fewer favors (or none!), less overhead costs, and can generally downsize the price of everything. You can channel that budget into higher quality elements for fewer people or keep things really budget-friendly by opting to scrap a lot of traditional options like a huge cake, food and booze for hundreds, and all those other extras that add up like whoa.

What's the heck is a microwedding (and could it be the perfect wedding for you?)
Tiny and funky rooms for smaller groups at Catalyst Ranch in Chicago

A microwedding can allow for serious options

Once you're not married to a huge venue based on a big guest list, your options become almost unlimited. You can see if your favorite intimate restaurant will host, a local bar, a tiny museum or cultural center, a sweet outdoor courtyard, or even a guerilla wedding in a public place (like this Wizarding World microwedding!).

What's the heck is a microwedding (and could it be the perfect wedding for you?)
A guerilla destination microwedding at Wizarding World!
Photo by Mary Anastasia Photo

Destination microwedding!

If you really want to channel that budget elsewhere, you can plan a destination microwedding anywhere you like. Grab your favorite crew and apply that cake and calligraphy budget to a luxe resort or AirBNB cabin. A lot of elopement venues have room for a microwedding if your guest list is small enough.

Microweddings are great for introverts

If you don't want to go full-on elopement mode with just you, a microwedding still allows for your closet friends and family to witness the wedding without sending you into serious introvert mode. Big weddings can drain the energy out of introverts, shy folks, and those with social anxiety FAST.

More tips for an introvert-friendly wedding:

What's the heck is a microwedding (and could it be the perfect wedding for you?)
The perfect micro wedding venue? The Lab at Ada's in Seattle
Photo by Jenny GG

More time with the people who matter

The best part, in my humble opinion, is getting to spend all the quality time with the inner circle you love the most. There's no need to make the rounds and spend a fleeting moment with everyone when you can party hard all night with the best of them. Don't forget to utilize those guest list tips to make this part easier to swallow while planning, too!

Are you considering a microwedding? Tell us your pros and cons in the comments!

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Comments on 4 reasons you should have a micro wedding (plus, micro wedding venues and ideas)

  1. This is exactly what we did. Got married at Chapel of the flowers in Las Vegas and came back and had a dinner for 30 at the restaurant where we had our first date & where he proposed (our local Brazilian Steakhouse Ipanema, Scranton PA)

  2. This is what we’re doing! We’d originally planned to have a humongous reception and I realized it was getting too big and far too excessive! We scaled back and are now planning the perfect wedding for us at our favorite wine bar walking distance from our home!

  3. I didn’t know it was called a micro wedding haha! We realized that most people don’t really want to sit around for the ceremony so we figured we’d only invite the ones we really wanted to be there as the chaple actually only holds 12, not including the bride and groom. Then a couple days later we will host a reception due to the fact that we are going to a different country to get married.

  4. If you are reading this and considering it, go for it!

    We had a 100 person wedding . Don’t see half of the people anymore.

    Sis in law had 20 people. And her wedding was one of the best days ever.

    If I could do it over we would have a maximum 50 people (15 kids included) no more.

  5. Both times I got married (I’m a widow) we had a civil ceremony first. The second time we used Colorado’s self solemnization option.

    My late husband and I opted to have a small ceremony 6 years to the day we started dating, at the same place our relationship started. We invited about 20 people, 12 made it. My dress was $200, his outfit was $300. We had cookies and punch for our reception.

    My second husband is actually my childhood sweetheart, it’s his first marriage so that’s why we’re going to have a wedding. Our guest list is 12 people at the moment. I did get another dress (again because he was my childhood sweetheart and I had dreamed about marrying him.) My new dress is $218. We are planning on a reception at Olive Garden.

  6. My boyfriend and I are considering this. We’re thinking about a small ceremony with just a few witnesses, followed by a dinner for our closest friends and family.

  7. We had a beautiful 45 person garden wedding back in June. We were able to have the wedding where we wanted exactly 10 years to the day that we rekindled our relationship after being apart for 9 years. We wanted it to be intimate and the venue provided. We only included our closest and took our medium sized budget and splurged for these guests. And they are still raving about it. There are absolutely no regrets here over our small wedding!

  8. Our wedding was just immediately family! Us, parents, and sibs – for a total of 10. It was awesome, and we were able to get married in the Conservatory at Volunteer Park in Seattle, which is one of our favorite spots.

  9. I didn’t know this was a term/thing!

    Mine is probably gonna be under 10 people. There is so much freedom in doing such!

  10. I didn’t know this was a thing! Makes me happy I now have a term for it. If every single person was to show up (including my hair dress and her boyfriend and my photographer and her husband) I would have 39 people. Trying to explain to people that I am not eloping is a pain.

  11. This is what we are doing as well. Our guest list is 19 people. We are using a company that specializes in small weddings and through them we have been able to secure a location we never would have been able to afford. We are having a larger party later, but we are keeping that expense down by doing it at his parent’s house.

  12. We got married in a very large 100-year-old church with 14 guests because we loved how the light filtered through the stained glass windows and the traditional organ. We were going to have our reception in our backyard until we had freak September snow storm (10″) but with 14 guests we were able to easily move our reception inside. We hired a private chef to cook exactly the type of food we love (vegan). It was a day that we will cherish forever.

  13. We kept our guest list under 30 and it was the best decision. We were able to book a gorgeous Victorian-style mansion for the whole weekend, with the wedding party staying with us, and order catering from our favorite Thai restaurant. Most importantly to us, we were able to take a month-long cross-country roadtrip honeymoon – Portland, OR to Portland, ME! We would never have been able to have the things we loved most if we had gone bigger. It was the most easy-going day because we were just hanging out with the people we know and love best (except for the caterer, everyone involved was a friend or family member). There was of course a little drama about the guest list, but it was easier to keep it small because we both live away from our families, so it was destination for everyone but us. We included a stop on our honeymoon to have a reception with the family and friends back in my husband’s hometown. It was important to me not to go into debt to get married, and with agressive saving on our part and the generosity of our families, we managed it. Have the wedding and honeymoon of YOUR dreams, no one else’s!

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