A few weeks ago my wife and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary. We got married in 2011 at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk, NY and had around 160 guests there to celebrate with us. The night before we had a bonfire on the beach and the day after we had a farewell brunch. It was, by all measures, the perfect weekend. However with the current state of the world, I’ve had a front row seat to the beauty and intimacy of micro weddings and wanted to share my experiences to others facing the ultimate dilemma: postpone or move forward with a new vision for your day.

About 80% of our 2020 couples have rescheduled to 2021 hoping to have the vision for their day that they originally planned. But for those 20% that went ahead with their micro wedding, here’s what I’ve witnessed documenting them and why I believe a micro wedding might be better.

LESS GUESTS = MORE QUALITY TIME.

One thing you’ve probably heard others say about their wedding is that it goes by so fast. The reason for that is a typical wedding day is jammed with things to do, places to be, and lots of people to talk to. If you have 150 guests, you’ll be having 150 mini conversations all throughout the day (mostly thanking them for coming and receiving compliments on how great you look), being pulled from one of those to another. That’s exhausting.

On the other hand, if you have 10-40 guests, you can have quality time with each one. Having seen your brother who lives across the country and want to catch up on all that he’s been doing? Great, you’ll have lots more time to hear about it!

UNPARALLELED INTIMACY

At it’s core, a wedding is a declaration of love and commitment between two people which culminates at the ceremony when they are promised to each other forever. With the guest list limited, the ceremonies we’ve been part of have been incredibly intimate and emotional. Just a few people standing or sitting in a close circle watching and witnessing this special moment. Most of our couples have also opted to write their own vows which really adds to the moment.

MONEY TO ALLOCATE ELSEWHERE

Most of the costs associated with a wedding are due to the cost per plate to feed a large number of guests. With the guest list limited, you’ll have money to allocate towards things like hiring a videographer (something couples unfortunately usually put last on their budget), get your favorite chef to create a custom dinner menu, or rent out a really amazing AirBnB to host your event.

THE DOWNSIDES

I am writing this blog post as a 37 year old with 3 kids. I can’t pretend that my views on life are the same as when I was in my twenties. There are some things that I know my clients will have a hard time with if they opt to go the route of a micro wedding and I think it’s important to note them here.

Dancing. One of the favorite memories of my wedding was the fun we had on the dance floor. Drinking, laughing, and celebrating with a live band was great and with a micro wedding, you won’t have that to the same level. That doesn’t mean you won’t dance or can’t enjoy live music, but set your expectations that the dance floor will be small and not packed. It will be a sub-set of your reception rather than one of the main attractions.

Gifts. I know we don’t get married to receive gifts from friends and family but one of the benefits of a large wedding is you get some monetary funds to help start your life as a married couple. With a small guest count, that number will be limited.

Friends. With a limited guest count, friends are unfortunately the first to get cut from the list. If you’re looking to party with your large friends list, this will unfortunately have to wait until this pandemic is under control. One option that I’ve suggested some of my couples consider is to rent out a bar once the pandemic is over. It will surely be less than hosting a large wedding reception and you’ll still be able to drink, dance, and have that fun night you always dreamed about.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Years from now when you look back at your wedding day, what do you want to remember? What are the moments that will resonate and mean the most to you? For myself, the moment I saw my wife for the first time as she walked down the aisle is one I will cherish for the rest of my days. Our vows and the promises we made to each other are a close second. The wooden chairs my wife wanted instead of the included white chairs {and paid extra for} are not important. I can’t remember what my center pieces looked like. So for me, if I were to do it all over again, I would opt for a micro wedding and enjoy those same moments but with a more intimate feeling. Whatever you choose, I’ll be there with my camera in hand to document it.