Small Weddings, Big Ideas

There’s a lot of talk lately about small weddings, or as some like to call them, micro-weddings, or tiny weddings, or my favorite: intimate weddings. And there are many reasons couples are choosing to go small, and they mirror the reasons couples choose to elope. Now, that’s a small wedding!

One motive is simply to avoid all the fuss. Weddings put you front and center. The spotlight is on you and conversely the wedding requires a lot of your attention. When the time, money or energy required for a big wedding just isn’t there, be open to a tiny wedding.  I’ve officiate these lovely little nuptials for couples finishing up college degrees, starting a family, or in the process of buying a home.

A surprising and wonderful aspect of a small wedding is how you get to spend more time with your guests. Like a dinner party, it can truly be called an intimate wedding. One big shared table is a great way to go.

A micro-wedding is kind of ‘out of the box,’ as the saying goes. Maybe that’s your style. You can now incorporate ideas that might not fly with a more traditional style celebration. What am I talking about here? Have a pot-luck, or hire a food truck. Chose an alternative and unlikely venue. Anything from a campground (be sure to have a big tent) to an art museum, a mountain top or an airplane hangar.

Go completely high end; it may be in reach, given the size of the guest list. You can have the very best of everything because you are now serving 10 not 100, or 20 and not 200. Imagine choosing the best menu, the one you really wish you could have, not the one you’re settling for. Well, with a small number of guests, why not have it?

How small is small? I would say anything under 50 people is a small wedding, but I have officiated weddings with 5, 10, or 20 guests.

Second marriage or blending a family? A small wedding is great for this, too. You can put more focus on the children. Get the kids truly involved. Have games, or maybe a hay ride for everyone. If you walked down the aisle the first time with a full-blown event, you may not want to do that for a second marriage. Been there, done that. Time for something different.

One of my favorite tiny weddings was the one where we created a beer ritual for their ceremony, based on their passion for excellent micro-brews. I talked about the characteristics and complexity as a metaphor. After they both drank from the glass, we passed the beer around (take one down, pass it around?) – everyone sharing in their ‘cup of life’ moment. How’s that for ‘out of the box?’ For their cocktail hour, they had a beer tasting, with lots of unusual varieties, and with nice selection of cheese.

It’s good to remember that many beautiful venues here in the Poconos, and most likely everywhere, have alternative, smaller banquet rooms. Don’t rule out the big resorts and hotels.

There is no reason you can’t have all the beautiful details, the bouquet, the dress, the veil, or anything you want, but the cool part is you are also free not to have them.

One note of caution – you may hurt the feelings of some of your family and friends who are not invited. Tread carefully, explain clearly. They love you – take the time to let them know you love them too, and why you made the decision to have a small wedding.

Whatever you decide for your wedding, it’s important not to allow family and friends to pressure you into something you don’t want. Small is beautiful. Micro is the new black.

 

 

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  • Blog Author

    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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