In the twelve years since Nate and I married we’ve seen a huge shift in the wedding industry (and really in our culture generally) from the emphasis on THINGS to a priority on EXPERIENCES. What does that mean for the wedding industry specifically? Well, in true Marie Kondo fashion, couples are letting go of wedding traditions that don’t really mean anything to them and embracing only the plans that bring them joy. Weddings are becoming less and less about what you “should do” and more and more about what you WANT to do. And that is a very good thing!
This is demonstrated by the huge uptick in “adventure elopements” and “micro weddings.” Gone are the days when eloping meant only cheap, fast, and sneaky. These days eloping means that couples have made the choice to prioritize what they value the most, whatever that may be for them. It might mean a beautiful location or destination filled with personal meaning instead of a stuffy venue that seats 200. For others it’s simply spending a day with Their Person focusing on their commitment instead of the needs and demands of their extended family. For some it means an opportunity to be filled with joy on their wedding day instead of the dread of being on display and in the spotlight. Whatever their reasons, the choice to give up a large, traditional wedding is now one based in sound self care, self knowledge, and profound joy.
But a true elopement, with all its many benefits might be lacking something that’s absolutely crucial for some couples. And that’s because they have more than one person with whom they want to share that incredible life moment. Who those other people might be varies greatly from couple to couple. It could be traditional people: parents, grandparents, siblings. Or it might be family that you’ve chosen for yourself: a childhood friend, a college roommate, the bestie that was there for you through it all. For some of us there is The Person we want to share the rest of our lives with and there’s also The People who helped get us to this moment. And we just can’t picture The Best Day Ever without them.
This is where where the Micro Wedding comes to the rescue.
Micro weddings really combine the best parts of both an elopement and a more traditional wedding. A celebration with the village that will support and encourage you both through your marriage, but none of the less significant and sometimes even toxic people who are often invited to traditional weddings only to avoid offense. It’s the family you choose for yourself, not just the one you were born into.
Reason One Why Micro Weddings Are Awesome : It’s Flexible
With a micro wedding there is no end to the way your day can suit your personal priorities. You can have your dad escort you to where your future spouse stands waiting for your intimate ceremony, or your best friend, or no one at all. Maybe you want your ceremony to be a simple exchange of vows at sunrise between you and your partner alone. Then you will share a delicious dinner with those few who mean the most to you. They will share stories about your past and toast your future with tears in their eyes.
It’s really all about choosing the where, how, and WHO that make your wedding day one of celebration and love! Not judgement or negativity. If that means just you and your partner then that’s wonderful! But if for you that also means one, two, ten others? That’s a celebration worth having too! And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to commit to a large, traditional wedding.
Reason Two: It Fits Your Budget
When couples are planning a traditional wedding they are often shocked and overwhelmed by unexpected costs. Centerpieces for twenty tables, catering for 200 people, the logistics of transporting all those guests back and forth from the venue. In short, they’re spending a lot of time and money on things that that they don’t really even care about.
Couples who plan micro weddings, on the other hand, forgo spending over $30,000 on a single day that they don’t even enjoy. (That’s just the 2019 average spent on weddings according to The Knot.) Instead put that money towards the people and experiences that they care the most about. The moments that truly hold personal emotional value to THEM. The memories that will sustain them through the ups and downs of sharing a life together! Whatever your budget is for a wedding, your dollars will go much further with a micro wedding. You are spending them on the people you truly want around you doing the things with them that you truly want to do. A helicopter ride to the top of a volcano costs less than catering for 200 guests. Just sayin’.
Reason Three: Low Stress
For each person included in your wedding day experience the process of managing the moving parts becomes exponentially more difficult. Each one of those people has a slightly different take on what your wedding day should be and the role they will play. And, let’s be honest, most of them aren’t shy about telling you exactly what that is. And friend, you don’t need that on your plate. Again, for the people in the back, YOU DO NOT NEED THAT CRAP. When you plan a micro wedding that includes only those who lift you up, it sets you free. You can focus only on the needs of those few people who opinions actually matter to you.
Reason Number Four Why Micro Weddings Are Awesome: More Choices
A micro wedding also dramatically widens your options for locations, activities, food, and pretty much everything else. You don’t need ceremony space or seating for several dozen. Maybe you only need standing room for eight. That means the stunning view you love on your favorite hike is now the perfect location to exchange your vows. Or that you can hire two small boats to transport you out to your favorite island destination. Now you don’t have to choose beef, chicken, or vegetarian from the only catering company available on your date. Instead you can hire that personal chef from instagram to prepare 10 plates of the most beautiful food you’ve ever eaten. Or a giant pile of In N Out, half animal style. Whatever you and your crew want.
Honestly, I am just a huge fan of seeing couples happy on their wedding day, whatever that means. It fills me with joy and hope when I see two people excited about not only the adventure of the day, but the adventure yet to come. And there is profoundly disheartening about couples who view their wedding day as just one more obstacle to get through. More often than not this is a result of capitulating to the demands of other people. Don’t let that happen to you. Choose only the components that bring joy to your wedding day, and let the rest of it go. This is your journey as a couple, no one else’s.
And the point is, with a micro wedding, there’s no one to stand in the way. Just a few to help lift you up.