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2020-2021 Wedding Trend

One of the biggest Wedding Trends, as we finish out 2020 and move toward 2021, is to have a smaller, more intimate wedding ceremony. Obviously, a contributing factor to this trend is the coronavirus pandemic.  Whether you prefer a formal or informal micro wedding, there are definitely many ways to still make it traditional or modern, with the elegance of larger weddings.  You may be able to make your wedding experience even more elegant since the total guest count for a micro wedding runs approximately 40-50 people at the most. 

Wedding Planner

I had the pleasure of chatting with Tammy Mills of Simply Grand Events , an incredible Newport News, Virginia based wedding and event planner who specializes in smaller weddings, about Micro Weddings.  A Micro Wedding, which is a more intimate gathering that lasts 2-4 hours and ranges from 10 to 50 guests, is a way to celebrate the beginning of your lives together on a smaller scale without sacrificing all of the  elements that you really want.   Most things about a micro wedding are the same, for the most part, as a larger wedding.  The biggest difference is in the guest count.   The budget is another difference, depending on the elements you choose to include.  Your budget can impact your guest list when you take into consideration that on average you will spend about $100 per guest.  And in turn, the guest list drives a lot of other things about your wedding: quantity of food, venue space, quantity of tables and chairs needed, florals, guest gifts, and so on. 

The Wedding of Your Dreams

Is it possible to have the wedding of your dreams on a smaller scale?  What does that even look like?  Will I still get to have a dress, flowers, reception, a beautiful cake, a D.J. and dancing? Cake cutting? First look? Mom and my besties helping me with my dress?  Pictures? Dancing? Your wedding can still be elegant and have many of the same types of elements as a standard 8 hour long wedding, but on a smaller scale.  For example, if you are having a 2 hour wedding, you may not have time for a full 30 minute first look.  Your prep time will likely be 30 minutes to an hour before your wedding instead of 2-3 hours before your wedding.  This will result in fewer images of you getting ready, but can still include those important moments such as Mom helping you button up your wedding gown, and you in the room where you are waiting to walk down the aisle.

Often, people equate a smaller guest list with a less elegant wedding with only a very simple ceremony, but that does not have to be the case.  If anything, having a smaller guest list may offer you the opportunity to upgrade some or all of your elements, depending on your budget and preferences.  A smaller guest list may make more room in your budget for the perfect venue location for your ceremony and reception, an exquisite catered meal or heavy hor d’oeuvres,  beautifully designed floral arrangements, or your dream dress, for example.  You have a wide range of options!  Ultimately, you will decide what your priorities are for your wedding. 

Wedding vendors (such as florists, planners/designers, photographers, videographers, D.J.s, stationers, event rental specialists, bakers, and caterers) will work hard to make your Micro Wedding a unique event that showcases your love.  Some of these artists may have special packages specifically tailored to couples who wish to have an intimate wedding or elopement.

Wedding Venue

Choosing the perfect venue for your gorgeous Micro Wedding is also similar to considering a venue for a larger wedding.  (Learn more about choosing a wedding venue here).  What is the most important thing to you?   Just like larger weddings you have a variety of venue options for Micro Weddings.   Some venues offer options for using certain parts of their space.  Some offer partial day packages, and others offer only full day only packages.  It is also possible to have a lovely backyard wedding (such as the one featured here), which could help also to place more of your wedding budget on other things. One thing that is important to remember is that even though your guest list is smaller, you still will need a certain amount of space to accommodate your guests comfortably.   For seated guests, you will need a minimum of 14 square feet per person.  If it is cocktail style, you will need a minimum of 9 square feet per person.  With fewer guests there will be fewer people therefore utilizing less space or having more space to move about.  When considering your guests’ needs for your event as you navigate COVID 19 regulations, you need to stay informed about the latest requirements for indoor / outdoor public gatherings and your planner will also be a wonderful resource for you. 

Guest List

How do you even begin to decide which guests will be at your intimate wedding?  If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a little stressed about the idea that you will only be able to invite a limited number of people.  It’s the enneagram 2 in me.  I just don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or cause anyone to feel left out.    But you have to make a decision about who you’ll invite.  Your family.  His family.  Your friends.  His friends.  And what about Great Aunt Lucy and your Grandma’s bestie?    “The guest list will take care of itself”, Tammy explained as we chatted.  If your family is very close, you will likely want them to be there.  You may need to make it an “adults only” event as well, depending on your preferences.  When it comes down to friends, though, Tammy recommends asking yourself “Is this someone I regularly stay in contact with?”  “Do I chat with this friend regularly?” 

Online Guest Options

For guests who are not able to attend, there are other options to consider.   One option you can consider adding so that more people can be included is to hire a D.J. or a videographer (or a friend who is knowledgeable in this area) to do live video streaming of your wedding.  Another option is to hire a videographer to professionally capture your ceremony, then share this with others.  Hiring a professional videographer will ensure that your video quality is clear and the sound is balanced.  A professional videographer will know the important moments to focus on and will provide a polished product to share.