Weddings in a New Age:
Micro weddings, small weddings, intimate weddings, elopements.
Covid-19 has delivered a huge shock on our social world. The health of the nation is dependent on us reducing our physical social networks. Its so un-human: we are social beasts who generally thrive with family and friends and a sense of belonging. Anthropologists and sociologists are having a field day in research on how the new human contact rules, disrupted to the core, impact our society.
Given the world pandemic however, couples are having to re-think how they celebrate their wedding. And while postponing is a great option for many, the thought for some, of putting the beginning of married life on hold, is not an option. And this is where, for a while, size matters. So here are what the different wedding terms mean and the differences between them.
A marriage, sometimes done in secret, that is just the two of you, along with your officiant and in the UK, two witnesses. There could be a number of reasons why you don’t want to tell anyone at the time, or maybe its just because you love surprising people.
And then there are also adventure elopements… that’s a whole topic on it’s own!
… INTIMATE WEDDING
This usually consists of around 30 – 60 people, of your closest family and friends. This really suits small venues bursting with character and ambiance, and probably will have a much more relaxed feel than a bigger wedding. Venues that host large amounts of people have a set structure to “people manage” 100 guests or more. A Small, intimate wedding will be more flexible, have less of a sense of being “managed”, and you will have a lot more freedom to tailor a day that suits you and your guests. Of course it may still have many of the elements and sequence of a traditional big wedding, but less numbers generally means, less cost.
A micro wedding is 20 guests or less. Hosting a micro-event is a lot less to manage; less RSVPs to deal with, no politics of seating plans, and fewer traditional components will mean a wedding experience that you really want to have with the people that really matter to you being there.
A micro wedding still will have a ceremony and reception, but the order matters less. It focuses more on the bride and groom and their guests experience, than the logistics of crowd pleasing at a bigger wedding. In turn it may therefore be more relaxed, and more tailored to your personalities. Micro -weddings however do not need to be short on styling, or catering. With less numbers you can up the anti on the menu, (as you are not mass catering), and go all out on your styling. Your budget is not diluted by 150 guests!
A micro wedding allows conversations are more intimate, more meaningful, which may then do away with traditional speeches. It is often said that at big weddings the bride and groom have limited meaningful time with each other or their guests, as there are just too many people to talk to and thank for coming.
The Rules for Micro-Weddings
If you cannot narrow your guest list down to 20 or under then a micro wedding is not for you. Prioritise who you both want there and if there are people you feel would miss out, move on and choose a small wedding instead! You don’t want to spend the day wishing someone special was there.
Consider your non-negotiables. Is a photographer, or live music key to your enjoyment and memories. Perhaps providing accommodation for all your guests is important, especially if you choose to be away from home, or a destination wedding. Your menu or open bar may be the key to making your wedding day special to you. Just by having a micro guest list, means you can spoil yourselves with this.
As for the order of the day, there are no rules, except that you do need to make sure at some point there is a legal signing and vow exchange of marriage. Venues must be licensed for marriage if you want to do everything under one roof. Alternatively you can marry at a registry office, and perhaps have a celebrant provide an intimate ceremony at your venue.
Planning a Micro Wedding.
You will still want to have keys suppliers at your micro wedding. A wedding planner will ensure the your day runs smoothly, looks and feels amazing, and that you can relax and enjoy being with your select group of friends and family.
Because you are not worrying about awaiting responses from a large guest list a micro wedding will take much less planning, however you will still need to co-ordinate with your suppliers, such as florists, caterers and your photographer. Your photographer is a king pin in all of this as they will be with you for much of the day and will want to create an amazing gallery to tell the story of your day. Photographers also have worked with so many suppliers and have on the day knowledge of how seamless an experience the suppliers provide for you. Consider your photographer as a little black book of wedding knowledge!
How to choose a venue for your micro wedding
You may have a favourite restaurant with a private dining room, or hotel with a a gorgeous intimate dining room for you to host your micro wedding. For example you could have a legal ceremony at Hexham Registry Office and then head to amazing French restaurant The Bouchon Bistrot just 50 yards away where they have a room for a private dining experience.
Some venues are now offering packages for Micro weddings too so you can have all the wedding atmosphere and styling in a beautiful space dedicated to you. One such venue in Northumberland is The Barn on the Bay on the wild Northumberland Coast. Intimate rustic vibes, and dark sky camping to the sound of the sea and the beach just there for the morning! Bring your surf boards, your pop up barbecues and make a dream weekend with your closest friends.
If you are interested in planning a micro wedding, do get in touch. I would love to help you arrange your wonderful intimate wedding day that truly reflects your wedding dreams.