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How to Plan a Microwedding During a Pandemic

Event Tips


If coronavirus has derailed your wedding plans – you’re not alone.

Here at Aligned Events, coronavirus has forced us to reschedule our entire 2020 calendar (with the exception of one wedding that was already planned as an immediate-family-only wedding). During this time we’ve been helping clients navigate the difficult question: what do we do next? Fully reschedule? Cancel? Split the wedding into two parts?

Truthfully – there’s no right answer and every couple’s situation is different. But the most common outcome we’re seeing is a two-part wedding. A smaller event to honor the original date and a rescheduled larger event at a later date. Today we’re going to focus on the smaller event – and specifically – the microwedding.

What Is a Microwedding?

We get it – wedding industry terms are a little annoying. We generally avoid these labels but in this case, they do help explain just what a smaller event will entail.

So let’s break it down:

Elopement: I think this one’s fairly well-known by now, but this is just for you and your partner – and perhaps a witness or two. For vendors, your officiant and photographer would be present. Elopements can be a surprise, but they don’t have to be. Elopements are great for couples who really don’t want to have a big wedding, want the experience to be private, are dreaming of an exotic locale, or are just over the stress of wedding planning.

Minimony: As defined by The Knot, the minimony is a small ceremony to honor your original date. Usually, this event is limited to immediate family and/or wedding party (adhering to social distancing measures, of course!) with the option of additional guests joining virtually.

The minimony may entail other components of the larger wedding – like a first dance, or cake cutting – and select vendors would be present. The minimony is not intended to replace a larger wedding but is a way to make it official on your original wedding date for sentimental or legal reasons.

Sequel Wedding: Generally speaking, this is the follow up to the minimony. This is the larger wedding as originally planned. Sequel weddings have been around for a while – but have increased in relevancy in the era of coronavirus as couples are looking to host their larger wedding after the pandemic has receded.

Microwedding: That brings us to the microwedding. The microwedding is basically a full wedding – but for a much smaller guest count. Counts will of course vary by state and each couples preferences, but microweddings are often less than 50 people and contain most of the elements of a traditional wedding. This is a great option for couples who are looking for a full wedding experience on their day and aren’t interested in a full scale sequel wedding.

What are the Benefits of a Microwedding?

The beneifts of a microwedding are that you still get to have the experience of having a wedding in a time where full guest counts aren’t possible (or advisable). With so much uncertainty in the world it’s hard to say when 200 person weddings will be safe again and what our new normal will look like after this pandemic subsides.

Microweddings also allow you to focus more on the details of the day and to be really attentive to all your guests. Many couples who had microweddings have reported back less stress, more quality time with loved ones and more cost savings. With money freed up in the budget, couples can make upgrades to parts of the wedding they couldn’t have afforded before. Think high-end hors d’oeuvres, that upgraded linen you really wanted, or more money for an eventual honeymoon!

Is a microwedding Right for Me?

Microweddings aren’t the right fit for everyone. Many couples feel that having all their family and friends together for the wedding is the main goal of the celebration. In that case – a microwedding wouldn’t be the best fit and a minimony or full postponement would be a better fit. Also, if immediate family or other VIPs are immunocompromised – this may not be the safest choice – even with precautions and a small count.


Planning a Microwedding if You Already Had a LARGER Wedding Booked

  • Determine whether you will have a follow-up reception: This will help determine who gets invited, the budget and the approach to planning your microwedding. While having a full-fledged sequel wedding isn’t common (though it’s possible) – a casual post-wedding gathering is an appropriate follow-up if you want to get people together to celebrate.

  • Have a clear idea of who will be invited: Univinting guests to a wedding can be tricky – especially if you’re not having a follow-up reception. In times of a pandemic, most people will be understanding – but it’s important to be extra tactful here. Our opinion is that microweddings are best restricted to immediate family and wedding party only – but if you do pick certain people to be in attendance, use care and thoughtfulness in communicating with your guests.

  • Discuss with immediate family first: This may go without saying, but it’s important to make sure your family is on board – especially if they are contributing to the budget.

  • Discuss with vendors before making a decision: Clear communication is key here. What will you need from your vendors? Can you adjust your terms of service? Will you need them for two dates now (if holding a post-wedding reception) or just the original date? Don’t expect that your micro wedding will cost a fraction of the price – this is the biggest mistake made in planning a microwedding. Your wedding photographer will likely cost the same for 25 guests or 125 guests if the number of hours is the same. Getting clear pricing from your vendors ahead of time is key – so you can determine if a microwedding is the way you want to allocate your wedding budget.

  • Make it Yours: With an intimate wedding – you get to have every piece of the day be as authentic and reflective of you and your partner as you want. Also – you get to really express personal gratitude and love for each person in attendance. Write a hand written note to each guest, create a truly heartfelt favor. Take advantage of this intimate setting to make lifelong memories with your new family.

Planning a Microwedding from the Beginning?

Amazing! As planners we’re really seeing that the microwedding is here to stay. If you’re recently engaged or just starting planning in this new reality – you may be planning your wedding as a small gathering from the outset. All of the above tips on budget and communication still apply – but here are a few extra tips for those starting from scratch:

  • Look for bundles: Many vendors are teaming up to offer microwedding packages for couples planning a small celebration. This is often a cost savings and can be right for the couple who is flexible in selecting their vendor team.

  • Consider a getaway: With a more open budget, many couples are opting to go destination. Think of it as an elopement with guests. With a smaller guest count, you may be able to afford a dreamy location AND to have your closest people present.

  • Again, Budget!: Microweddings are not necessarily a fraction of the cost of a regular wedding. Set realistic expectations for budget up from by getting pricing for vendors before committing to a microwedding.

Just Because Your Wedding Is Smaller, Does Not Mean It’s Less Special

I’ll say this one again. Just because your wedding is smaller does not mean it’s less special! Whether you’ve had to downsize because of a pandemic or a microwedding is what you always dreamed of, your wedding will be amazing because it is an incredible celebration of love and togetherness. These times have made us all rethink what’s truly important – and getting to celebrate your wedding is a gift and a privilege. With care and a solid plan – your microwedding will be the wedding of your dreams and something you will cherish for a lifetime.

Want to know more about how to make your microwedding incredible? Chat with us about our services to make this day beautiful, FUN and stress-free.

Shannon Cruise Ramon

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