So you are probably wondering, "is a micro wedding for me?" Considering the current state of the global health crisis and COVID-19 not going away anytime soon, having a traditional 150+ guest count wedding will not be happening for a long time. Realistically none of us can predict when it will be safe to host such a large event filled with hugs, kisses, tears and blessings.
Don't you worry, there is a way for you to have a chic, grand, even poetic wedding celebration while accounting for safety. The best part is that I personally know a lot about micro weddings because I had one myself in December of 2019. Read on for all you need to know about planning a micro wedding and why it was the best wedding decision I made!
0.1 Quality Time with Every Guest
My husband Josh and I invited 30 guests to our wedding. Most of my friends and family live all over the world and traveling to USA is not so easily accessible. We set up a live stream so they could still witness the celebration with us. Which is exactly what you can do considering COVID-19 will not allow for all your guests to make it. Considering a small guest list we had plenty of time to directly interact with every single person there. We took so many photo booth pictures for our album. We had full conversations with every guest. We danced with every guest many times. You get the point. A small guest count will allow you to really take time with your guests and enjoy your reception.
0.2 Quality Details
We all know that the cost of any wedding can add up so fast you won't know what hit you. My luxury, fine art couples craving the true artistry on their day know exactly what I mean when a live painter alone goes upwards of $5k - $10k. Totally worth it! No matter the price, everyone has a general idea of what they would like to spend on their wedding celebration. Sometimes your complex, premium and utterly extraordinary design may be a challenge to execute for over 150 - 200 people, but with 30 or less you can go ALL OUT.
That is definitely what I did. Look at the gallery below for photo examples. My calligrapher Jackie Chen Design went above and beyond on my very custom order. My invitations, menus, table numbers, thank you cards and all other paper goods were made of high quality, museum grade, hand made, organic paper and they were stunning! She hand painted all the intricate details that illustrated all of my favourite things. Silk ribbon on my vow books, magnolias painted on vellum, venue illustrations and the best part, the envelope lining - Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas - only my favourite painting in the whole world. When I first saw it at the MET I stood there for 2 hours in complete awe. But back to the topic. I had 3 different pairs of shoes and changed them accordingly to the part of the day. I wore a classic, nude pair of Louboutin for first dance and photos. For the ceremony I wore beautifully delicate Bella Belle pointed flats because walking down a curved staircase in stilettos would be a disaster. Last but not least, I wore my professional dance shoes by Supadance to make sure I could comfortably dance the night away.
Josh and I are foodies so on top of the regular dinner menu, we incorporated additional food stations featuring different cuisines and bites. It was a big hit.
These are just a few ideas of how we went a little extra with our design and celebration for the day. A small guest count will not take away from the grand design you imagined - it will only ADD to it as you'll have more to incorporate into the day.
0.3 Easy Photo Ops
Josh and I really wanted to do a great exit photo with all our guests after the ceremony and before cocktail hour aka family portraits. Thankfully because our guest list was smaller, it was super easy to get everyone outside, take our photo, and still have time for cocktail hour. We did not have to compromise light, time, or quality of our family portraits and the effect was great! Considering the wedding was in Georgia in December and on a rainy day, there wasn't must light to work with in the first place.
0.4 Absolutely No Drama
Everyone knows that a vast majority of people getting married face the fact of inviting guests out of obligation. It's unfortunate but it is true. Realistically the 200 guest count is not your nearest and dearest but extended family you haven't seen since you were 5 or coworkers that you don't speak with outside of work etc. Sometimes it means that not every single person attending your wedding is joining your celebration with support, love and positivity. A micro wedding will ensure that the people who do attend your wedding are the people with only the best intentions for your day, and COVID-19 restrictions are a stress free way to let the extend guest list gently know that they will be joining the celebration via live stream since a limited guest count means your immediate family has priority.
0.5 A Very Chic Bridal Party
If you are anything like me, you probably care a great deal about fashion and style, and you want the people in your bridal party to be as chic as one can be. With a smaller wedding and less guests to spend on we were easily able to make our bridal party look like a cover of Vanity Fair. We went for black and white tuxes and designer powder blue gowns with intricate beading and detailing. These are totally the types of outfits that can be worn beyond a wedding as well. Our wedding party was made of our siblings, their spouses and a few closest friends. Yes we have a lot of siblings! Everyone enjoyed being pampered for a day.
0.6 How to Plan a Micro Wedding
So you've read the points above and are thinking, "micro weddings are great, but how do I go about planning one? What is acceptable and what isn't? How do I make sure that I keep my guests and vendors safe at my event?" and I have some answers for you.
1. Hire a wedding planner! They are up to code with requirements and will help you with the entire planning process. It's a win win decision regardless of how much you choose to spend on your wedding. A great planner will make your planning enjoyable even during a pandemic.
2. A micro wedding is somewhere in between a traditional wedding and an elopement. It basically means that you are still doing the main parts of the day like getting ready photos, having a bridal party, cutting a cake, first dance etc but with an intimate guest list. You can keep the parts of the wedding as traditional as you would like or you can take this opportunity to think outside of the box and have a blast with your design concept.
3. Hire a professional team of vendors. You will still need an officiant, a DJ, a photographer AND videographer, a florist, baker, catering. The best part is that now you can also add extras like a live painter to commemorate your ceremony or first dance as it is happening (how cool is that?!) Maybe you want a harpist to play during the cocktail hour, or even better maybe you can add a string quartet to play during dinner. Maybe you want to rent a party bus that will take your entire wedding to a nearby Airbnb where you can host the after party in more casual clothing. The options are endless and a planner with have plenty of suggestions for you.
4. Use a live stream service if you want a private viewing of the guests that cannot be there physically. You can send them a different invitation to inform them of the decisions you've made and instructions on how to be part of the celebration. If you are open to it being public, Facebook live is also an option.
5. HAVE FUN! The most important thing to remember is that you are marrying the love of your life during a global health crisis and a pandemic, there are no rules to how to plan or design your celebration. It is a perfect opportunity to make it a unique celebration of love.