There’s no question - 2020 has been the year of the micro wedding. Thousands of couples planning to get married in the last year have had to re-think their Big Day plans. While some have decided to wait until they can host the big wedding they had originally planned, many have chosen to tie the knot with a smaller, intimate ceremony.
However, with micro weddings in the spotlight for all of this time, lots of couples have had the chance to see the full range of benefits they offer. From the huge cost-saving aspects to the opportunity to skip the guest list drama, we think micro weddings are here for the long-term.
And whilst most wedding celebrations can’t go ahead in tier 4 areas for the meantime, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the planning started. So, if you and your partner feel this might be the right option for you, we’ve pulled together some top tips on how to make it just as special…
What is a micro wedding?
A micro wedding is simply a wedding with a small number of guests, typically under 30, although it can be more. Government guidelines have limited them at different times to under 30, under 15 and sometimes even just six, including the bride and groom.
How to choose a micro wedding venue?
If you had already chosen a wedding venue and you’re now having to change your plans, you may well need to start your search again from scratch. A small wedding is a very different event to a large one and your list of requirements from your venue will have changed. This isn’t to suggest that a large venue can’t accommodate your needs, but it’s best to revisit with your new plans in mind. Lots of venues will have a range of smaller spaces in which you can get married and hold your wedding breakfast, but there’s no guarantee the room will have the same look or feel as the space you originally fell in love with.
Although the term micro wedding has been coined this year, it’s worth remembering that there are lots of couples who, pre-Covid, opted for a small gathering to celebrate their marriage. Lots of venues are going to already be set up for smaller weddings so it won’t be new territory for them.
Your micro wedding guest list
Every couple who’s ever got married will have had to make tough decisions about who makes it onto their wedding guest list. Believe it or not, reducing your numbers to less than 30 actually makes this process a whole lot easier. What can work quite well is if you simply rule out inviting certain groups of people. Work friends, cousins, partners, children… of course the choice will be different for every couple. Because the number restrictions have been set out as law, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be upset about not making it onto your invite list as everybody is well aware of how difficult the situation is.
Micro wedding ceremony or service
With less than 30 guests in attendance a micro wedding ceremony has the potential to be a really intimate affair. You don’t need to worry about people at the back not being able hear the vows or not being able to see you and your partner. You should also have plenty of space so your guests can be comfortable and sat safely apart if needs be.
If walking down the aisle is an important part of proceedings for you, there’s no reason why you can’t do it at a small wedding. You will obviously have less of a distance to cover, so make sure you time your entrance at a point in the music that doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortable waiting at the front for too long. You might want enough time to look around at your guests and take in the moment, but too long a wait might become awkward.
The micro wedding breakfast
Inviting only a small number of guests to your wedding should reduce your costs quite considerably. This means you could splash out on an upgraded menu. Wedding caterers are used to providing fabulous food and drink on a large scale, but with a small party you should expect fine dining, restaurant-worthy food of the highest quality. Your extra budget might also allow you to offer a free bar and possibly even Champagne, rather than sparkling wine, for your toasts.
A smaller guest list might also mean you can all sit at one large table. It could feel more like going out for a meal with your friends and family rather than hosting an event. You’ll get more time to spend with all of your guests and they will get to spend quality time with one another. If you have any family politics which might make one large table an uncomfortable option, creating two and dividing your time between them may be a diplomatic solution.
The micro wedding party
After you’ve eaten, there’s nothing to say you can’t have a disco or a DJ, but many might feel the group is too small for this to work well. To keep spirits high, you could introduce some games for everyone to play. There are lots of options here and your choice will obviously depend on the tastes of you and your guests. Some of our favourites include:
- Garden games like life-size Jenga and a fairground-style ring toss will get guests moving and mingling
- Ice-breaker games for indoors could include envelopes on everyone’s seat, giving them an interesting question they need to ask another, specific guest
- A photo challenge - task your guests with taking the most unusual or funny photo they can during the day
- Create a quiz about you and your guests - fun facts and silly things they may not know about one another
Saving the party for another day
A lot of couples who don’t want to wait until next year to get married but are reluctant to give up on the idea of a big bash, are opting to tie the knot in a small ceremony now, and are saving the big party for another time. Holding a micro wedding for the legal part of proceedings and holding off on the reception is a great way to get yourself out of betrothed limbo-land without compromising your perfect wedding. If you had already found a venue (pre-Covid) it’s worth talking tp them about splitting the day in two and see what they can work out for you.
Your micro wedding at The HAC
We have two spaces at The HAC which perfectly lend themselves to micro weddings, the Queen’s Room and the Ante Room. Situated on the ground floor of our Georgian manor house, both spaces can accommodate up to 40 guests - giving guests at a micro wedding of 30 or less plenty of space. The rooms both benefit from beautiful, generous windows which not only flood the rooms with lots of natural light, but also provide lovely views over the five acres which make up the Artillery Garden. Located on opposite sides of our cannon-flagged main entrance, lots of couples choose to use both spaces for their micro wedding. One for their ceremony and the other for their wedding breakfast. If your micro wedding is due to take place in the warmer months, The HAC also has a stylish sun terrace on which you can host your drinks.
If you’ve decided on holding a micro wedding, our dedicated, in-house wedding team would be delighted to discuss your ideas, dates and questions. They’d also be happy to talk you through hosting a larger ceremony and reception in either the Long Room or the Prince Consort Rooms if you’re planning on waiting for the restriction to be lifted. You can reach them on 020 7382 1533.