While we love big weddings, we don’t always love BIG wedding budgets. Considering the average wedding cost starts around $33,000 and can easily jump to six figures the more guests, food, and decor you add on, it can be tempting to just say “Forget it!” and take a trip down to the courthouse to elope instead.
The problem is, eloping isn’t for everyone — especially those who are extremely close to their family members and friends. If this applies to you (or you just generally don’t want to elope but still want to save money) there’s a new trend that might solve ALL of your wedding planning and budget problems: The microwedding.
Microweddings are nothing new, but they’re certainly growing in popularity since couples figured out they’re a happy medium between a large, traditional wedding and elopement — the main difference from the latter being that there’s not just witnesses in attendance, but anywhere from 5 to 50 guests. Microweddings also let you plan all the fun stuff, such as picking out a wedding venue, decor, and traditional wedding vendors, but usually without the high cost. That’s because the less people you invite the less of everything you need. Basically, think of microweddings as the wedding of your dreams with just a tinier guest list.
Thankfully, a wide variety of venues and planners are now offering microwedding packages, making the whole process even easier for couples deciding if a smaller wedding is right for them.
Take Colorado Microweddings for example. Starting at just $350, the team provides couples with recommendations for ceremony and dinner locations; works with vendors that offer exclusive discounts (and list straightforward prices on Colorado Microwedding’s site); handles things like marriage licenses, and so on. Then there’s Storybrook Farm Weddings & Events, which caters to microweddings and even caps attendance at 24 guests. Other venues, like Virginia’s Hotel Weyanoke, host a number of microweddings throughout the year, but don’t offer packages, per se. Instead, despite the lower cost, the team treats the planning process as they would a traditional wedding.
According to the hotel’s head of events Emily Pilk, it’s important to focus on the details, no matter the size of your wedding.
“The biggest tip we have in planning a micro or boutique wedding is not to let the size of your guest list and venue impact your attention to detail in planning your nuptials,” she says. “Downsizing your wedding means that you can allocate more of your time (and maybe even your budget) to creating perfect details to transform an intimate space.”
One way Pilk and Hotel Weyanoke have done this in the past is by making careful décor design touches that won’t go unnoticed in a smaller venue.
“We often use larger greenery such as trees and palms mixed with flower arrangements in the bride’s favorite color making the wedding space more personal,” she says.
Hotel Weyanoke recently hosted a microwedding for a local couple, Chaise and Patricia, who invited “only their closest family and friends,” according to the photographer, Jessica Lapp.
Check out the intimate ceremony and reception below — especially if you’re considering a microwedding and need some inspiration.