Guide to Planning a Microwedding

Guide to planning a microwedding

Guide to Planning a Microwedding

Wedding trends are always changing, but in recent years, microweddings have been rising in popularity. Whether you want to try the trend or need to have a microwedding for other reasons, you’ll want to know how to plan a small wedding. The process is as exciting as having a larger wedding, but there are a few extra things to consider. In this guide to planning a microwedding, we’ll walk you through what you need to know to create a small celebration. Put together an intimate wedding planning checklist with the tips below.

A microwedding is a small and simple way for couples to get married

What Is a Microwedding?

A microwedding is a small and simple way for couples to get married. It’s just as special as a large ceremony, but it brings a select group of your loved ones together. Whether you want to know how to have a very small wedding or a slightly larger intimate gathering, your ceremony could fall into different categories:

  • An elopement: These celebrations are no longer spur-of-the-moment. Instead, couples pick a special day and plan ahead. They only invite a few individuals, including witnesses and immediate family members.
  • A minimony: This small celebration gets its name by being a mini ceremony. Couples who have a very small wedding with around 10 guests fall under this category.
  • A microwedding: With a microwedding, you’d host around 50 guests or fewer. That’s about half the size of the average wedding, giving you the perfect mix between an intimate ceremony and a large celebration.
Benefits of microweddings

Benefits of a Microwedding

If you’ve always pictured a wedding as a grand celebration in a large event hall, you may not have thought about a microwedding before. But it’s a popular option that’s ideal for a variety of couples. You may want to learn how to keep a wedding small and simple if you:

  • Have a smaller budget: A microwedding has a smaller guest list. That means you can select a smaller venue or have the ceremony in your backyard. You’ll need less food, fewer tables and chairs, and fewer favors, which means lower costs.
  • Plan with a smaller timeline: If you’d like to get married not long after your proposal, a microwedding makes it easier. You’ll need fewer vendors, less time to create and send invitations, and less time to prepare your decorations.
  • Want to create an intimate moment: Many couples enjoy a microwedding because it turns your wedding into an intimate gathering. You’ll share this special moment with a select group of people, creating the perfect celebration.
  • Have a small family: Perhaps you and your spouse-to-be don’t have many family members. A microwedding is the perfect way to celebrate in a small gathering while still inviting everyone.
  • Need more than one ceremony: Some couples need to have more than one wedding for religious or cultural reasons. Have a microwedding for one religious or cultural need, then plan another ceremony for a general celebration.
  • Want to promote social distancing: If you’re planning to have a ceremony that requires social distancing, a smaller ceremony can make that easier. With fewer guests, you have fewer crowds and more room to spread out.
Microwedding planning tips

Microwedding Planning Tips

While a microwedding is a smaller celebration and somewhat easier to plan, it still helps to know how to have a small wedding. You don’t want to go overboard for your celebration because then it won’t feel like a small, intimate wedding. Add these tips to your microwedding checklist for a smooth planning process:

1. Make Your Guest List Carefully

With a smaller guest list, decide carefully who you invite. Prioritize close friends and family instead of casting a wider net with acquaintances and distant family members. Decide on a cap for your list, then work within that number as you put it together. You may need to cross off potential guests if the list becomes too long for a microwedding. To help keep the list short, consider these tips:

  • Only invite loved ones who live close by and don’t have to travel far.
  • Make the occasion adults-only instead of a family gathering with children.
  • Stick to social circles to avoid inviting some people and not others that they know.

2. Decide If You Want a Wedding Party

Bridesmaids and groomsmen make the couple feel loved on their wedding day. A smaller ceremony may already have that level of closeness. That means you could get away with not having a wedding party, but having a small wedding party is also an option. You could have a best man or maid of honor in your ceremony if you like. They often serve as the witnesses, which you’ll likely need for your ceremony.

3. Let Guests Know It’s a Microwedding

Prepare your guests for an intimate ceremony and let them know you’re having a microwedding. You can either include the detail in your invitations or talk to them about your wedding to let them know. Many guests could have the idea that your wedding will be a large ceremony, so set their expectations before the big day comes around.

Letting guests know you’re having a smaller wedding is also considerate for social distancing measures. Guests will feel comfortable knowing your ceremony won’t be crowded. That could mean you get more positive RSVPs since your friends and family know what to expect.

4. Create a Registry

Even with a smaller wedding, you should create a registry. Your guests will want to give you something for your special day. A registry makes it easier for guests to know what you want and what others have already gotten you. While you have a smaller guest list, you should still include a variety of items on your registry. Have a range of budgets covered to suit your guests’ price points. Prepare to get some items from the registry for yourself if you have a very small guest list.

5. Pare Down Your Vendors

For a large wedding, you’d need a wide array of vendors and venues. With a smaller ceremony, cut down on who you hire or take over roles yourself. You may not need a wedding planner for a smaller wedding, for instance, but other vendors will be necessary. Keep vendors and services like these for your microwedding:

  • An officiant: Even with a microwedding, you’ll need someone to lead the ceremony and officially marry you and your spouse. To keep the ceremony intimate, you can ask an ordained friend or family member to officiate.
  • A baker: With a microwedding, you’ll only need a baker to bake a smaller cake. If you or a loved one bakes, you could have them make the cake instead.
  • A caterer: A smaller ceremony still needs to feed its guests. Hire a caterer for your smaller event or have friends and family members help with the menu.
  • A bartender: If you’ll serve alcohol at your microwedding, you could hire a bartender for the evening. Because it’s a smaller event, you may not need more than one staff member tending the bar.
  • A venue: Ceremony and reception venues can combine into one since you won’t need as much space for guests. You might even be able to host everything in your backyard.
  • A photographer or videographer: Remember your small gathering with plenty of pictures and videos. With a smaller guest list, you could include everyone in the posed photos you take.
  • Entertainment: You’ll still want music at your wedding. Hire a band for an intimate ceremony or rent audio equipment and make your own wedding playlist.
  • Decorations: You’ll need flowers and decor for your wedding even when it’s smaller. You can take over the decorating process if you have the time.

6. Break Wedding Outfit Rules

If you and your partner want a casual feel for your small wedding, break traditions. Brides having a microwedding don’t need to wear flowing white ballgowns. Instead, they can wear a shorter or a casual white dress, or anything they like, really! Grooms can skip the tux in favor of a casual outfit that’s dressy enough for the celebration. A dress shirt and pants with an optional tie will look put-together enough for a relaxed wedding ceremony. Of course, it is your special day, and many couples want as much of the wedding experience as they can get. Wear whatever you like for your microwedding, but keep in mind how it will impact your budget.

Microwedding Reception Ideas

As you learn how to put together a small wedding, don’t forget the reception. Even though the party itself will be micro, the celebration doesn’t have to be. Learn how to plan a microwedding reception by considering these aspects of the event:

A microwedding means your reception won't be as demanding

1. Venues

A microwedding means your reception setup won’t be as demanding as it would with a large wedding. You’ll need fewer tables and chairs to rent and bring to your venue. That means you can select a venue that doesn’t have furniture on-site, as long as you can bring your own. Use venues like these for your microwedding reception ideas:

  • A hotel: Choose a boutique hotel for an upscale feel for your small wedding. Many small hotels offer wedding packages that will make planning easier. Have the ceremony in the hotel’s space, which could be outdoors, and host the reception indoors.
  • A farm: Get the rustic barnyard feel for your reception at a farm. The venue might have a covered area in a barn where you can set up seating. There could even be a stunning outdoor area for your ceremony.
  • A vineyard: Take your celebration outdoors at a picturesque vineyard. It’ll be an ideal venue for wine lovers or couples who want to serve wine at their weddings. Some vineyards also have indoor areas where you can hold a small reception if you reserve a private event.
  • A museum or art gallery: A museum near you may allow for private events. This could be a sentimental venue if you and your partner once had a date there. Even if you’ve never visited before, an art gallery or museum will be a sophisticated spot for your ceremony and reception.
  • Your backyard or home:  If you don’t have the space at your home, consider your childhood home or a friend’s house. Have the reception inside or outside, depending on where there’s enough space.

2. Seating

For your microwedding reception, keep the intimate feeling of your ceremony with family-style seating. Get a large table that will seat all your guests at one spot. It will bring your family and your spouse’s family together, just as your marriage will. It could also make it easier to socialize with guests if everyone sits at the same table. You and your partner can sit together at one end of the table if it’s wide enough or sit across from each other.

With a smaller ceremony, you don’t have to make a seating chart, especially with one table. Let guests sit wherever they like if you’re going for a casual feel to your reception. If you want, you could reserve the seats near you and your partner for your parents or wedding party.

If you have a guest list between 20 to 50 attendees, one large table will likely not provide enough space. Instead, opt for two to three long tables. You and your partner then sit at a head table that faces all the guest tables for a cozy feeling with enough space. With more than one table, you might want to make a seating chart as well, to keep the flow more structured.

3. Dining

A small wedding is a great occasion to try something new with or stick with classic dining options. What you serve will depend on the size of your guest list, any dietary restrictions, and whether you get catering or handle it yourself. For your microwedding, consider feeding your guests with:

  • A buffet for multiple options.
  • A dessert selection with a topping bar.
  • A potluck where guests help cater the event.
  • A cooking-at-the-table setup with fondue pots or miniature grills.
  • An assortment of appetizers or small plates.

Even with a selection of desserts, you may want a traditional wedding cake. For a smaller guest list, you won’t need such a large cake. Instead, you could order a smaller tiered cake to cut with your spouse. You may then offer your guests cupcakes, cake pops, or slices from another small cake.

As for drinks, you could either hire a bartender or let guests help themselves. Be sure to have pitchers of non-alcoholic drinks to pass around the tables, as well. Consider mixing together large batches of special cocktails for the evening, and keep them in dispensers or a punch bowl for guests to get their own beverages.

Microwedding theme ideas

Microwedding Theme Ideas

Picking a theme for your small ceremony will help give you ideas for decorating your microwedding. It ties everything together and can make your venue feel cozier or high-end, depending on what you choose. Consider your unique style and what your partner would enjoy. From there, you could use a wedding theme like one of these:

  • Rustic: A rustic wedding emphasizes the charm of a smaller guest list. It may feature natural touches in wooden vases or accents. The colors are often muted in a rustic wedding or feature warm shades like burgundy or rust.
  • Garden: This theme suits a backyard or outdoor venue. Decor in a garden wedding includes plenty of flowers and greenery. You could have a garden wedding with a vivid color palette or pastel shades.
  • Hollywood: Turn your small ceremony into a night at the movies for guests. Go old Hollywood for a vintage feel with themed outfits and art deco touches in gold and silver. Or, choose a modern Hollywood style and evoke you and your partner’s favorite movie.
  • Vintage: Create a cozy theme that matches the feel of your small wedding. A vintage style brings in brass or mercury glass touches. Choose a color scheme that’s muted, soft, or antique to bring the old school charm.
  • Tropical: Use a tropical theme if you and your partner want to break wedding outfit rules and have a summery ceremony. Decorate with textured flowers, like protea or bird of paradise, and large leaves of greenery, like palm or monstera, for this theme.

Microwedding Decor Ideas

Now that you know how to have a small, intimate wedding, it’s time to decorate. Decorating for a microwedding can be simple if you like. However, with a lower cost in other areas of your wedding, you might be able to afford a larger decor budget. Most of the decor touches you use in a microwedding could be the same as they’d be in a larger ceremony and reception. But you’ll need fewer of everything based on the size of your venue. Use the microwedding decor ideas below to create the perfectly decorated ceremony for your special day:

Planters and vases for the alter

1. The Altar

Just because a ceremony is small doesn’t mean you can’t decorate it beautifully. How you decorate will depend on your venue and theme. Emphasize the feel of your wedding at the altar. Your guests will look there for most of the ceremony, so it’s an essential part to accent. Consider decorating the area with:

  • A rounded arch: Make your special day feel like a classic wedding with a rounded arch decorated in greenery and florals of your choice. Have a lush arch overflowing with decor for a high-end feel, or keep it simple for a minimalist altar decoration.
  • A ring arch: Have a ring arch for a unique look that you can later use as a photo backdrop. Ring arches stand out on their own and typically only need a couple of branches of greenery on the sides.
  • Planters and vases: For a simple wedding, use planters to adorn the altar. Set them on pedestals or place them on the ground around you and your partner. Fill the containers with flowers that match your bouquets and other decor.

2. The Aisle

Even if you don’t have a large wedding party to walk down the aisle, the path still sets the stage for you and your partner. Don’t leave a stunning aisle out of your microwedding decor ideas. Get inspiration for your microwedding aisle decor with these touches:

  • Flowers in vases are a traditional touch. Ceramic urn vases are classic and romantic, metal buckets are rustic, and other materials suit different themes. Place vases on pedestals to increase their height or use large planters to hold impressive displays along the aisle.
  • A floral runner lines either side of the aisle. It features bunches of flowers out of vases or in longer, low planters. Create a beautiful length of flowers with an ombre color scheme in flowers like hydrangeas from dark to light towards the altar.
  • Lanterns look beautiful along an outdoor aisle, and you can add floral touches to tie them into your theme. Get hanging garden lanterns for a secret garden theme or place them on the ground next to rows of seats to light the way.
  • Petals are essential for your aisle decor. You can create an entire carpet of flower petals in colors that suit your theme for a dramatic touch. For something on the simpler side, scatter petals down the aisle.
Coordinate ceremony seating with your altar or aisle decorations for a cohesive look

3. The Seating Area

Decorate the ends of church pews or the back of ceremony seats to make your overall venue look stunning. Coordinate ceremony seating with your altar or aisle decorations for a cohesive look, and reflect a similar style in your reception seats. As you decorate the chairs or benches at your venue, consider these ideas:

  • Mount mason jars with floral arrangements on the chairs closest to the aisle.
  • Attach a few large blooms and ribbon on the chairs closest to the aisle.
  • Drape floral or greenery garland along the backs of chairs or the sides of pews.
  • Attach decorative cones filled with flower petals to every seat for guests to toss after the ceremony.
The reception tables

4. The Reception Tables

Your reception tables should feel inviting and have cozy accents when you’re having a small wedding party. Fill a table with unique decor for a fun reception or keep it minimal for a high-end style. Incorporate table decor with:

  • Centerpieces: Flowers in vases are timeless centerpiece options. Add decorative accents that suit your theme, like butterflies for a garden style or pine cones for a rustic fall celebration. Alternatively, fill cloches with seasonal fruit or other objects. With a smaller guest list, you could have enough centerpieces to give one to everyone as a favor.
  • Table runners: If you have one family-style table at your reception, decorate the entire length of it. Use a fabric or another material runner as the base. Decorate that surface with accents like garland, string lights, and bud vases with a few blooms inside.
  • Place settings: Complement or match your place settings to the rest of the table. Use the same material in a placemat as you do in the table runner for a cohesive look. Add a decorative charger plate that matches napkin rings for a classy look that’s also effortless.
Decorate your microwedding with Jamali Garden

Decorate Your Microwedding With Jamali Garden

As you’re planning a microwedding, get what you need for your decor with Jamali Garden. When you shop with Jamali Garden, you’ll find products that inspire great events. Discover exactly what you need to decorate your small wedding with us, no matter your theme. Find realistic silk flowersvases in an array of materials and stylescandles and lights for intimate lighting, and other decor accents.

Shop our wedding collection to bring the microwedding of your dreams to life!