Guides for Brides logo
Fairs & Events Planning Tools
Couple on micro-wedding day
Trung Nguyen

How to Plan a Micro Wedding


Cat Arnott Updated:
3rd of November 2022

A wedding trend that really took off during the covid-19 pandemic was the micro wedding and it seems this trend is here to stay with many couples valuing the intimacy of a smaller day. Here is how to plan a micro wedding. 

Couple who have had their wedding ceremony

What is a Micro Wedding? 

A micro wedding is a wedding with less than 20 guests. Being smaller in size, it’s usually cheaper, more relaxed, and shorter in length than a traditional wedding day.

A micro wedding differs from both an elopement and an ‘intimate’ wedding. An elopement is usually done in secret, is attended by just the couple marrying and two witnesses, and is often a quick and simple registry office ceremony. While it still could be the couple and two witnesses, a micro wedding is not done in secret or on a whim. Instead, it is a fully thought-through and planned wedding day, just for a smaller guest list. Micro weddings are also different from intimate weddings. An intimate or small wedding is generally considered to have between 30 and 60 guests. Micro weddings are even smaller than this, with guest numbers usually no more than 20.

Micro weddings can still feature time-honoured wedding traditions but on a much smaller scale. On the other hand, brides and grooms can twist tradition and get creative in ways that might be more difficult with larger affairs. Read on for the benefits of a micro wedding.

Cheese cake instead of wedding cake

Benefits of a Micro Wedding

It’s All About You

With fewer guests comes less work, fewer opinions, and fewer people to please. So, couples can plan their wedding with ease. A small wedding of up to 20 guests is often much less stressful for couples. It strips the planning process back to the important things: the people you absolutely want by your side and the experience you want to create for yourselves and your guests. Also, a micro wedding doesn’t have to include all the components of a ‘traditional’ wedding day, like a cake cutting or first dance. However, it all depends on whether the wedding traditions are important to the couple or not. If something doesn't resonate with your vision, you simply don’t have to include them!

Make the Most of Your Budget

When you reduce the number of guests at your wedding, the cost naturally goes down. As many of us worry about job security and the state of the economy, micro-weddings definitely take off some pressure to cater for 100 or so guests – in all aspects, from food and drink to wedding favours. Having fewer people on your guest list may also allow you to stretch your budget further. Minimising guests gives you an extra excuse to splurge on exciting extras as you spend less on catering and venue space. It’s also a fantastic idea if you want to create an unforgettable guest experience.

Better for You and Your Guests!

At a big wedding, couples are lucky to get five minutes to catch up with each guest. With a smaller number, you spend more quality time celebrating with your nearest and dearest in an intimate setting. Also, trying to get 100 people free on the same day is incredibly difficult, and is nearly always a weekend. However, a smaller number of guests means that you can find a date everyone is free that is more flexible. It’s also much easier to add special touches for 15 people than it is for 200! Since you’ve narrowed down your guest list, you’re guaranteed to have a meaningful connection to every guest, making personal touches more significant.

Intimate wedding maximises time spent with guests

Have Fun with Your Venue

A micro wedding also means you can be more playful with your venue. Fewer people to fit into a space opens up your options to unique spaces that are inaccessible to larger weddings. Examples include a private room at a fancy restaurant or an outdoor ceremony on a beach or in woodland. If you hire a celebrant (and do the legal marriage separately), you can pretty much hold your wedding anywhere as you are unlimited by numbers! 

Also, there are venues that specialise in micro weddings. These are often exclusive-use venues that offer multi-day hire meaning a wedding day can become a wedding weekend with your loved ones. You will also have free rein to transform the décor and create the atmosphere you want.

Have an Incredible Wedding Experience

Micro weddings do not mean you have to cut corners! A smaller wedding and fewer expectations allow you to be more flexible and creative. You can splurge on a top-shelf drink and gourmet food at a top restaurant or treat yourself to your dream designer dress. Have champagne, beautiful decor, and an amazing honeymoon! What you are saving on guests can go into other areas of your wedding to create an unforgettable experience.

More intimate table setting but with no expense spared

Top Tips for Minimising Your Wedding

Here are some ways to ease your micro wedding planning.

Cutting the Guest List

If you have a huge family and lots of friends, planning a micro wedding is tricky. However, since Covid, couples have had newfound clarity on who they truly consider to be their most important friends and family which really helps to prioritise your guest list.

First, put aside the obligations you might feel to invite people’s partners and extended family members. Perhaps you could just invite family and have a party with friends later? Don’t worry about people taking offence. Just explain your situation and wishes and go with your heart. 

Prioritise Everything

You need to prioritise more than your guests. Write a list of non-negotiables that you want at your wedding. You and your partner should each get to say three things that you won’t compromise on. For example, it could be an amazing photographer, a top-shelf open bar, an outdoor ceremony, a delicious meal, your dream wedding dress, and a beautiful cake. Use your budget wisely to prioritise the important things.

Couple with car

Finding the Right Venue

It’s always easier to find a venue and then tailor your guest list to fit, instead of inviting everyone and then realising you can’t find the right space. Be aware that a large venue space saying they are happy to do small weddings may not be the right fit for you. See the space first and evaluate the size. You do not want to feel overwhelmed in a setting that feels too big and amplifies the small numbers.

You need somewhere with plenty of space for everybody to relax, but the right proportions for an intimate atmosphere. If you've always dreamt of a castle wedding, for example, you may find that there are smaller, more intimate spaces within that venue that you can use instead of grand halls.

Don’t Overthink it!

The size of your wedding is no indicator of how lavish you can go with the things that matter. A micro wedding is meant to be more relaxed and personal. Focus on what’s important; getting married to the one you love. A micro wedding can be magical. You can always throw a huge anniversary party, to celebrate with those who didn't make the guest list. Go with your heart and if a micro-wedding is what you and your partner want, then that is what you should have!

Discover small wedding venues, perfect for a micro wedding!

Cat Arnott

About the author


Cat Arnott

With a Masters degree in History, Cat is the best person to consult if you need wedding facts and information fast. Her passion for weddings has led to her having a broad and up to date knowledge of trends and traditions and she is here to research on your behalf to find the answer to any wedding related problem.

Search for venues & suppliers near you


I'm looking for

located in