I’ll just come out and say it: Jennifer and Ryan held this West Chester microwedding before The Knot it was cool.
If you just stumbled over that sentence are are like, “What the heck is a microwedding?” Welp, it’s what’s trending. And I love it. Post COVID-19, weddings are starting to look a bit different. Big, lavish weddings with long guest lists pose as safety risks and in many states, are outlawed until further notice. So, couples are getting creative.
What is a microwedding?
Microweddings, which prior to hitting the wedding blogs during COVID lockdowns, were previously considered “elopement style” weddings have become incredibly popular alternatives for many of my couples, especially those spring brides that have now had to reschedule several times. They’re typically short, sweet, and small, usually around 20-30 people total. What a microwedding lacks in size, it makes up for in intimacy and detail. We aren’t talking courthouse elopement here— microweddings are still personalized celebrations, with all the bells and whistles of a standard wedding. Just not so much fuss. Or risk.
Why go micro?
Elopement style weddings and more intimate affairs are safer, less expensive, and frankly, jam packed with style.
I’ve always been a fan of smaller, boutique weddings. Jen reached out to me while I was in the midst of my own wedding planning. We actually got married a week apart from one another! We shared so many of the same ideas and thoughts— honestly, it was like a match made in heaven (move over, Ryan!)
The level of detail that goes into a wedding is enormous. I remember what it was like to start to unravel all the layers of wedding planning when all you really want to do is do the damn thing. Jen and I talked about decorations, color schemes, food… but the fun stuff like that is just an itty bitty part of what needs to be coordinated, hot glued, decorated, and crossed off the list. Not to mention, the bills start to pile up as you are reminded of all the distant relatives that will be offended if they don’t get an invite.
If you’re not prepared for it (I wasn’t), it can be more stressful than it is fun.
Jen and Ryan had my dream wedding, whereas I had a very thrown together (but still amazing) reception with over 140 people. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I do know that because the guest list was nonnegotiable for us, we didn’t get to have a lot of the “fun” stuff I had always envisioned. We had too much to do with too little time, and not enough of a budget. Jen, on the other hand, was just about done putting things together by the time we shot her engagements and I was panicking in my head about leaves as place cards— that evidently never happened.
Can you still bring your dream celebration to life with a microwedding? YES.
Microweddings leave you with more room to make your day absolutely yours. You can add more personality into every aspect— or not and keep it totally simple. They also allow you to enjoy the short list of people that made the cut. You can spend actual quality time with them, instead of doing the “Hi, thanks for coming, goodbye!” thing I did at my wedding while forking our expensive catering into my mouth standing up. I was so overwhelmed with guests I hardly knew at our wedding that I didn’t get to taste our food.
Microweddings help you keep focus on what’s real.
The quiet moments before Jen and Ryan’s wedding were my favorite of the entire day. Jen’s mom and bestie helped her get dressed— just the three ladies, while Ryan enjoyed a cigar with his best men. Any chance you can grab a moment of serenity on your wedding day is a blessing, and these two really built those moments into their day.
Wedding days can be rollercoaster waves of emotion, and it’s hard to come down from a pregame party to pull together a meaningful first look. Having moments to reflect and be truly present with your loved ones before your future spouse walks out to you isn’t trendy, it’s necessary.
Jen and Ryan took it a bit in a different direction when it came to their reception, too, which I loved. While the ceremony had just their immediate family and best friends, more distant relations were invited to dinner and dessert afterwards. The family got to celebrate and have a crazy dance floor, but the newlyweds were not stricken sick while walking down an aisle full of onlookers. The perfect amount of party.
Microweddings aren’t for everyone, but in these uncertain times, they are definitely living up to the hype. We’ve all been faced with a historical amount of adversity, and yet, my couples and so many others are overcoming it. Adapting. Throughout all of this we’ve had to relearn what’s important. We’ve strayed far from it in some ways, and while the COVID-19 pandemic has not brought much on a positive note, I’m hoping the microwedding trend brings us back a bit more to what means most: celebrating love.
Venue: The Heenans
Floral design: Katie McManus of Devon and Pinkett Events
Gown: BHLDN Whispers and Echos
Catering: Aquilante Catering
Baker: Kelly McManus of Nutmeg Cake Design
Hair and Makeup Design: Nicholas Sebastian Salon and Spa
Planning your own microwedding? Let’s chat!
Rescheduling a COVID wedding? Read this.
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