Why your Micro Wedding will not suck | Connecticut micro wedding photography
The clever names could go on and on for what will undoubtedly be our ‘new normal’ for weddings for quite some time. As we all navigate this confusing time as well as try and plan to marry the one we love, we are ALL equally feeling confused, worried and agitated (both in front of and behind the camera!)
I’m here to tell you not to worry.
There is this assumption i’m hearing from some couples that having a groups of reduced size or having to social distance will some how ‘lessen’ their wedding experience. This way of thinking got me to reflect back on some of my favorite weddings which – surprise! – have been smaller affairs.
I’ve always thought that immense weddings kind of lose some wedding magic. Inviting 350 people can turn a beautiful event into something that feels more like a corporate meeting. Couples are tossed around all night trying to greet people, trying to dance, being told to sit and eat, listen to speeches etc etc. Suddenly it’s midnight and they ask, “Where did those 5 hours go?”
A smaller events is more intimate, giving you more time to spend with each guest. It forces you to REALLY consider who should be there as opposed to guests you might be inviting simply to not offend someone. A couple can create the vibe they want – whether its in a backyard, restaurant or tent, see more people and have an authentic experience with each guest.
You can participate!
Perhaps spectacular flowers or a rocking band are you thing? Maybe – hopefully – photography is important. Whatever it is, a small wedding can allow you to stretch your money further, as you choose where you want to put your money. Some couples are choosing to incorporate web streaming so guests from all over can watch the event.
Personally, i’ve been saying for year now that I liked the trend of seeing wedding get smaller. I’d say the old ‘average’ size of 200 is now easily 100-125 (maybe I got what i wished for!!!)
I’ve been to numerous micro weddings (before we were calling it that) over the years, and thought in case you’re planning a wedding that has to be smaller than expected, you would find it helpful to see how they look and hear right from the couples what they liked about their smaller events…
from John and Alyssa:
A benefit of having a smaller wedding is the wedding generally costs less yet we are able to spend more per head giving the wedding a very customized and personal feel. This better expressed Alyssa and my taste. To create the same vision and feel with more guests would have quickly become cost prohibitive. This opened up the number of venues and places we could get married in. Most restaurants, vineyards, mansions, boats, etc. have rooms that can easily sit 40 or less people. This again let us customize our day as we weren’t hamstrung by sheer number of guests that narrows down the number of venues that can accommodate weddings of +150 people.
Lastly, to this point in our lives we have only been to larger weddings which, while fun, lose their uniqueness and can feel cookie cutter. Many of our guests found the small wedding experience to be a welcome change versus the alternative. One major drawback to having a smaller wedding is we couldn’t share our day with all the family and friends we may have wanted there but there are pros and cons to everything.
Here, one long table is used for their small guests list. Designed by Jubilee Events. You can read a lot more about this micro wedding from a planners perspective over HERE at the Jubilee Events site!
Chamard Vineyards in the evening.
Jessica and Kevin had a mini wedding at Saltwater Farm Vineyard before it was even a THING!
Here’s Kevin and Jess on their wedding day:
Jess and I loved having a smaller wedding with under 50 people. It allowed us to have an intimate dinner party held at the beautiful Saltwater Farm Vineyard. We were also able to enjoy their wines and have the amazing local craft brewery Beer’d come for tastings. Most importantly, we felt we were able to spend quality time with our guest throughout the day. Having a smaller wedding can give you the opportunity to think outside the box and create a wonderful day you’ll never forget!
Time for a group shot of all the guests!!! (just TRY and do that will 225 people…)
Kate opted for a small wedding at the Union League Cafe in New Haven during the winter.
Greg and Anne were married at the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, WA with about 10 guests.
Adrienne and Trent WERE planning a full-size wedding in CT until they took a trip to Maui. Falling in love with Hawaii, they quickly decided to change their plans to an intimate 17 person wedding at the Olowalu Plantation.
This wedding at the Bee and Thistle Inn, while a bit larger then the previous here, still maintained its intimacy and closeness and felt like a wonderful backyard party!
Here, we’re in St John for a wedding primarily made up of about 30 close family and friends (and then I snuck in somehow- lol)
Andrea says of their micro wedding:
My husband, Colin, and I were married in a small wedding in the Caribbean in 2015. My family and I had been traveling to St. John for years and it is an incredibly special place for us. Having our wedding there was really a no brainer, and spoiler alert, it was not as expensive as you would think. Granted there were expenses that you likely would not encounter if you were having your wedding stateside, like flights of course, and we shipped items for the tablescape ahead of time, but we were able to keep the cost down in other ways. So for example, we rented a large house where Colin and my family and I stayed for a week and we had the ceremony and reception on the property of the house. The event fee was $1000 which felt pretty darn reasonable to us. We had about 30 guests and the size was just perfect for us. We got to spend so much time with everyone! We all ate dinner at one long table and there was absolutely no running around to make sure that we were talking to each and every one of our guests. Spending time with all of our guests happened organically and we were so grateful to have that time and not feel rushed. And because we had rented the house for the week, we encouraged friends and family to make a vacation out of it, if they could swing that financially and get the time off from work, of course. This meant that many of my cousins and friends and aunts and uncles rented houses and stayed on the island for a week. In addition to the actually wedding day, we had the rehearsal dinner, a post wedding brunch on the beach, and a boat trip.
Honestly, when I think back on our wedding, I would not do a thing differently. Granted no wedding is perfect (e.g. my bustle came out so partway during the reception my amazing wedding coordinator had her hand up my dress to try to repair it), but our wedding was truly a reflection of us. If you are thinking about having a small wedding, I say go for it! We do not feel in any way that we “missed out” on something by not having 200 of our nearest and dearest to wish us well. Not that there is anything wrong with that, that is just not us. When I think back on our wedding, I think of all the amazing memories that we made and I think that our wedding was truly a reflection of us, our values, and the people and experiences we treasure most. It was an incredible week and I wouldn’t do anything differently.
Except get in a fight with my mom about cocktail napkins. I might skip that part.
A beautiful sunset best man speech!
Jennifer and Sarah were married in a lovely backyard ceremony. It was followed with a super casual reception at a pizza place in Middletown CT
Jennifer says of the day:
Keeping our wedding small allowed us to splurge on the things that were important to us such great photography. Other than one’s spouse and the rings, the photographs are what people look at in 10, 20, 50 years to remember their wedding day. It was important that the photograph and subsequent images were of a quality that would last decades. Other splurges a small wedding allowed us were: serving our guests fabulous champagne, our favorite chocolate truffles flown in overnight from Chicago, beautiful letterpress invitations printed by hand, gorgeous flowers from Hana Floral Designs, and to buy out a small restaurant allowing guests to order anything they wanted off of the drink and dinner menu. Our limited guest list forced us to evaluate who the most important people are in our lives. We were able to greet and talk to each and every guest so the event felt very special and intimate. Cheers!!!
Obviously all of us are managing the best we can right now. No one knows exactly what weddings will look like for when things might return to normal. (will guests be required to wear masks?) In the meantime however, know that your micro wedding can be a beautiful, heartfelt, intimate event.
Even if it’s only 50 people!