When COVID-19 first hit, there was a lot of uncertainty for those of us in the wedding industry. There still is a lot of uncertainty for those of us in the wedding industry. But, as the months have dragged on, we have learned how to pivot a bit alongside our couples. And, what’s resulted is a bit of a middle ground between an elopement and a “traditional” wedding. It’s a new called a micro-wedding. Honest to goodness, I think micro-weddings are my new favorite.
During mid-October, Alesha of De La Planning and I attempted to execute an Instagram Live. But, due to some Internet connection issues, our time together was cut short. To make sure we can distribute this information to as many people as possible, Alesha and I have co-written this blog post to give you an introduction into this fabulous new micro-wedding trend (which we hope stays around even after COVID is long gone).
What is a Micro-Wedding?
Like I said before, a micro-wedding is a kind of middle ground between an elopement and a “traditional” wedding. From my experience, micro-weddings are typically between 10 and 20 people total (including the couple).
Sometimes micro-weddings are ceremony-only events. This is occasionally called a mini-mony. Other times, micro-weddings have a ceremony and a small reception afterwards. As a note: it’s always important to check local and state guidelines beforehand to see what’s allowed and what is not. Here’s the state website for all my California folks out there!
What are Some Current Micro-Wedding Trends?
There are trends within this trend right now, and I’m honestly loving all of them. We’ve all had to get creative as we’ve navigated this worldwide pandemic, and here are some ways we’ve been able to successfully pull off super fun, beautiful, safe micro-weddings!
Getting Ready Zooms
If you were really looking forward to getting ready with your wedding party, you still can! One of my brides recently Zoom-ed all of her bridesmaids while she styled her hair and applied her makeup. It was so fun to listen to them all joke around, give her lipstick suggestions, and ‘ooo’ and ‘aah’ over her when she was all ready!
Comfort Level Stickers and Wristbands
For the people who are physically present for your micro-wedding, it’s important to make sure everyone’s comfort levels are respected in relation to the virus. One easy way to do this is with colored stickers or wristbands. At your welcome table (the table at the entrance to your ceremony), put three different colors of stickers or wristbands. Next to the stickers/wristbands, make sure you have a sheet explaining what each of the different colors mean. Here’s what we’ve seen typically done so far:
- Red = 6+ feet away at all times, no touching, talking only with masks on
- Yellow = okay with talking, no touching, masks on please
- Green = talking and touching are both okay, please still wear your mask
Or, you can go off of the ideas below!
While it’d be great if we could all be in the same room like normal again, it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening any time soon. So, cue the Zoom invites! Once you’ve chosen your core people to attend in-person for your micro-wedding, send out a Zoom invitation to everyone else who you’d like to have digitally present for your your ceremony.
If you want to take this a step further, hire a videographer to live stream your ceremony! If your videographer doesn’t have the equipment/ability to live stream, consider requesting a full ceremony video. This means that your videographer will provide you with all of the footage and audio from your ceremony, likely unedited. You can send it to friends/family later on, and it’ll be just like they were actually there! It may cost a bit extra to add on this full ceremony video, but it’s totally worth it.
Here are some videographer recommendations!
- Storytime Motions | www.storytimemotions.com | @storytimemotions
- Lolight Films | www.lolightfilms.co | @lolightfilms
Important Micro-Wedding Things to Know
Other than the trends we’ve talked about so far, there are a few other micro-wedding things that Alesha and I feel are important to share.
Smaller Wedding ≠ Shorter Wedding
Myth: Since micro-weddings are smaller in size, they are also shorter in time.
Micro-weddings are oftentimes pretty comparable to “traditional” weddings when it comes to their length of time! You still want to be able to enjoy the getting ready process, do a first look (if you choose), have a nice ceremony, take family portraits, take couple portraits, and enjoy any “reception”-type events that you choose to do.
Of course, micro-wedding lengths are different for every couple. For some couples, they’ll choose to “go big” and do a full getting ready process, first look, ceremony, and reception. Others may be doing a micro-wedding now and a larger celebration later on in 2021 or 2022, so they may opt to “save” some wedding events for their larger celebration.
It’s all up to you and your partner! Do what feels right for you both!
Vendors Cost About the Same
Even though micro-weddings are smaller, they are still the same amount of work for your vendors. It’s important to know and understand that while some items may be less expensive with a micro-wedding, many vendors will have the same pricing. Vendors or items that may cost less are ones that have quantities pertaining to them (rentals, catering, florals). However, your DJ will likely be the same price because their work will still require the same amount of equipment, set up, and hours. The same goes with your photographer and your planner!
Having a Wedding Planner is so Important
If you’re having a micro-wedding, you may feel inclined to opt out of having a wedding planner. But, I would argue that it’s just as important to have a wedding planner for a micro-wedding as it is to have one for a larger wedding. Micro-weddings come with their own unique challenges, especially in this day and age. Your planner will help:
- Keep track of current local and state guidelines pertaining to events
- Manage your vendors, ensuring that everyone has all of the details they need to do their jobs well
- Create a seamless timeline
- Help keep you and your vendors on track with that seamless timeline (so you don’t have to stress about it!)
- Coordinate when you should walk down the aisle
- And MORE!
With backyard micro-weddings, your planner will also help you plan for things like: where to put your trash, whether you need a generator, whether you need extra lights for your reception, etc. Of course, my (Liz) top wedding planner recommendation is Alesha 😉
Venue Coordinator ≠ Wedding Coordinator
If you’re getting married at an “all-inclusive” venue, they may tell you that a coordinator is included. It’s important to ask the venue what type of coordinator is included because venue coordinators and wedding coordinators are often different!
A major difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator is the priorities and duties they have for the day. For example, the venue coordinator primarily works for the venue and is there to oversee the staff, ensure that the staff members are doing their jobs, unlock doors, and manage the venue. The venue coordinator almost never stays until the end of the night. This means your personal items are not packed away to be taken home. However, a wedding coordinator can assist with that.
A wedding coordinator is going to be working on your behalf, will know your vision, and will know how to execute that vision on the day of your wedding. They also are there to make sure you and your wedding party have everything you need and are moving along the timeline seamlessly.
Venue coordinators are definitely wonderful to have and often work closely with the hired wedding coordinator. However, if there is not a venue coordinator then the wedding coordinator will handle all of the duties single handedly.
Have Questions About Micro-Weddings?
If you have more questions about micro-weddings, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post! Also, if you’re interested in seeing some examples of real life micro-weddings, here are a few to check out: