It may not have been your first choice of celebration, but over the past few months many couples have chosen to set aside their plans for a big “traditional“ wedding and opt instead for a micro wedding.
While they may have initially taken this decision with a heavy heart, to their delight and relief, most couples who tied the knot during the past year have found their micro wedding to be an intimate, deeply personal and memorable experience. It also left their bank balance distinctly healthier than the one they’d originally planned!
With the average total cost of a wedding in 2019 coming in at £31,974 according to the Hitched website, reducing the head count at your wedding is an immediate and effective way to save money.
One of the very few advantages of the lockdown restrictions is that they manage potential guests’ expectations: everyone currently fully understands that the situation is beyond the control of the happy couple-to-be. The limits on guest numbers are out of your hands, and you’re simply not allowed to invite everyone you would otherwise have wished to share your special day.
Of course, it’s bitterly disappointing to be denied the wedding reception or party that you may have been dreaming of and planning for many years. But the potential upside of this frustrating scenario is that people will not be as quick to take offence if they don’t make the final shortlist (be that five or fifty, depending on regulations in place at the time!).
And that’s not the only advantage of a micro-wedding. Having photographed numerous micro-weddings over the past year, I have witnessed at first-hand several other very positive aspects of these much smaller than usual weddings.
So what is it about micro weddings that makes them so special?
Well, firstly it removes several stressors from what can otherwise be a fairly stressful occasion – especially for the bride and groom, who should (after all) be the very people who are allowed to enjoy their big day.
Not only is there far less hassle during the potentially fraught run-up, there are fewer ‘family politics’ dramas, and thanks to social distancing and ‘bubbles’, the seating plan is practically done for you. Better still, you’ll have more time to enjoy an intimate, personalised occasion with those closest to you – the guests you genuinely want to be there.
You’ll also reduce the amount of time spent organising your wedding and have more time to anticipate and look forward to your special occasion. Additionally, if you usually shun the spotlight anyway, there’ll be fewer eyes on you on the day, so you’re likely to feel less nervous beforehand.
From bouquet throwing to cake-cutting and the first dance, weddings are steeped in traditions. But with a micro version, you can happily omit any you’re not keen on, with no obligation to do anything simply because it’s expected of you.
As mentioned earlier, your celebration can also work out much cheaper, since there are fewer guests to cater for.
Equally, you might be able to stretch to outstanding hospitality in a stunning location, like the venue below at Bowness in Windermere, which may have been impossible with more in attendance. Budgets for outfits, stationery and the like can all be scaled down as well.
Finally, you may have the exclusive use of your venue, and even be able to spend more time there. There’s also greater flexibility in terms of where and how you tie the knot. How about a park or a castle or a beach setting, for example? Or hiring a country house for a couple of days? Small-scale weddings open up so many possibilities …
All in all, embracing a micro-wedding might be one of the best decisions you ever make! And it certainly doesn’t have to mean scrimping on style – small really can mean beautiful.