Microweddings are growing more popular as couples seek intimate and intentional ways to celebrate their love. With fewer guests and a more relaxed atmosphere, microweddings offer couples and guests a unique way to gather and celebrate. In this guide on planning a microwedding, we’ll take you step by step along the planning process, from choosing the perfect venue to setting a date, to help ensure your special day is as memorable and meaningful as your love story itself!

A couple celebrates an outdoor microwedding with friends and family.

What Is A Microwedding

A microwedding is an intimate celebration where fifty guests or fewer gather to celebrate a couple’s marriage. Microweddings resemble elopements in their intimate scale and personalized traditions. However, they are sometimes more structured like traditional weddings, often including a ceremony and reception. 

A bride, wearing a long, beaded wedding gown, holds her groom's hands, who is is wearing a brown blazer, cowboy hat and jeans.

Plan Your Microwedding In 9 Easy Steps

01. Discuss Your Vision

It’s time to start planning your microwedding! Begin by discussing your vision with your partner. Be sure to consider the style, time of year, must-haves, and overall vibe you want for your special day. Whether it’s a rustic ranch-style wedding, an intimate indoor gathering at a boutique hotel, or a destination celebration at the beach, your vision will guide all other planning decisions! 

A bride with an updo kisses her groom who is wearing a cowboy hat.

02. Write Your Guest List

Intentionally set aside time with your partner to write up a guest list. You can even make it into a fun, at-home date night with snacks and drinks! As mentioned above, micro weddings typically only involve 50 guests (or less). Remember that during the guest list writing process, setting boundaries and being selective is okay. Try starting your list with family members and close friends so you can’t get married without them being there!

Groomsmen wearing cowboy hats, jeans and suit jackets talk before a microwedding begins.

A bride and groom take a celebratory family portrait during their microwedding reception.

03. Set A Budget

By cultivating a small, intentional guest list, you can allocate more funds towards must-haves important to you and your partner, such as a dream venue, photographer, or experience. I recently attended a mircowedding with an on-site cartoonist. The artist drew keepsakes of family and friends on paper for the entire reception, which created a memorable and personal experience for guests. 

A bride and groom recite wedding vows during their microwedding ceremony outdoors.

04. Find A Location/Venue

Finding a location or venue hinges upon your and your partner’s vision for the day. When selecting a venue, the three main things to consider are guest count, budget, and atmosphere. Does the venue comfortably accommodate your guest count? Does the venue’s total cost fit within your budget? Does the venue fit your wedding vision’s style?

A bride and groom share a first dance in an intimate reception space with a large a-frame window.

A bride and groom share a first dance in front of wedding guests in an intimate reception space with a large a-frame window.

05. Pick A Date

Once you’ve chosen your microwedding venue, the next step is selecting the perfect date. I always advise selecting the venue before setting the date to ensure maximum flexibility. This approach increases your chances of securing both your preferred date and cost. When selecting a date, consider travel costs for that time of year, what the weather will be like, and if any local events or holidays could impact your guests’ availability. It’s also good to check with key vendors to ensure they are available on your chosen date. 

06. Search For And Secure Wedding Vendors

Once you’ve booked your venue and settled on a wedding date, research, and secure vendors as soon as possible. A venue will often have a preferred vendor list that includes people they have worked with in the past; while you are sometimes not obligated to choose from this list, it can be a helpful starting point. If you have specific vendors in mind that are not on the venue’s list, ask about their policies regarding outside vendors. Remember that preferred vendors tend to book up quickly, and you want to be sure that you have not only experienced vendors but also ones whose services align with your vision. I recommend starting with a photographer like myself and then discussing your further vendor needs with them. Photographers often have their preferred vendor lists, too. 

A microwedding tablescape with a white tablecloth, gold-rimmed glasses, gold cutlery and a printed-napkin place setting near taper candles.

07. Send Save The Dates & Invitations 

Now that you’ve nailed down some of the most important details of your microwedding, it’s time to send out save the dates. Save the dates, which should be sent out 6-8 months in advance. If you’re planning a destination microwedding, saving the dates closer to the 8-month mark is best. Once you’ve sent out save the dates, start playing around with invitation designs and details in your free time. You’ll have a few months of creative planning before settling on a design. As a rule of thumb, wedding invitations should be sent out around 6-8 weeks in advance. If you’re planning a destination microwedding, three months is customary. 

A man in a cowboy hat kisses his bride on the cheek during wedding portraits during their microwedding.

08. Discuss Traditions

As you get closer to your wedding day, it’s important to begin discussing traditions in-depth with your partner. Consider which traditions are meaningful to you and your partner and how to incorporate them into your intimate celebration. You can also ditch long-standing wedding traditions and create new ones that better reflect your unique love story and values. Want to skip the first look or say private wedding vows before the actual ceremony? The choice is yours! One of the best parts about planning a microwedding is that it bends traditional wedding practices and allows for a more personalized and meaningful experience. 

09. Dress Up & Say I Do

While you can choose to go for the traditional white dress or black tie look, there are absolutely no “attire rules” when it comes to choosing an outfit for your special day. The most important thing is that you and your partner select attire that makes you feel comfortable and confident and accurately represents your style. Whether it’s a beautiful white ball gown, a bold-colored pantsuit, hiking boots, chinos, or a handmaid piece, what matters is that YOU love it and feel beautiful. 

A bride and groom share laughter while reciting written wedding vows during their microwedding ceremony outdoors.

A bride smiles towards microwedding guests during a vow ceremony.

Ready To Plan A Microwedding?!

I hope this guide on planning a microwedding helped make your planning process a little smoother! If you’re ready to celebrate the microwedding of your dreams and need someone to help document your special day, I’m your go-to microwedding photographer!! I’ll ensure your ceremony is stress-free by assisting with location scouting, permit timelines, and more. You can take a peek at my microwedding photography packages here and share your vision for your special day through my contact form. If you want to learn more about planning a microwedding and picking the perfect venue for your celebration, check out this amazing guide on the best Colorado small wedding venues!¬†

Hey there, I'm Reagan!

A destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! You can usually find me with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, sporting some comfy tennis shoes, or in pursuit of my next big escape! 

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