MICRO WEDDINGS: What are they are and why should you have one?
I imagine you are here because you have chosen to tie the knot. Maybe you are frantically and excitedly researching all things weddings.
Maybe you have a slow looming fear and a gut-wrenching realisation of how expensive getting married can be!
Well, two things…
Secondly: Stop panicking about cost!
Weddings DO NOT need to be so expensive! Yes! you heard right! You CAN have a wedding which doesn’t cost your entire life savings, or put you in debt for the next five years!
Grab yourself a cuppa and read on…!!
What are Micro Weddings?
Micro weddings are, essentially, the same as the grandest full-day wedding you can dream of. The difference being a little more care and thought going into what are the essentials and what are the extravagances. Ask yourself, what could you lose, without compromising your special day.
What are the benefits of having a micro wedding?
Well the first, and most obvious is cost! But that is really only skimming the surface. A Micro Wedding can be the same, if not even more memorable and special than a full day with all the trimmings.
Let’s tackle a few obvious things one by one:
The most obvious thing about Micro Weddings is the overall cost.
Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your wedding. Allocate funds to different aspects like venue, catering, clothes, and decorations. Stick to your budget as closely as possible.
Having a paired back wedding day will most often mean pairing back the guest list. This will save endless amounts of money across pretty much all of your typical wedding bills.
A tale for you…
Before I was a photographer I worked in the NHS, dealing mainly with the elderly population. I would often chat with them about their lives, their families, their children and so on. Whenever I asked about their wedding day I always found it eye-opening when they could never remember half of the guests in the photographs! And before you think well, all old people get forgetful, well long-term memory tends to get stronger as we age!
So when it comes to your guest list, this is the single biggest thing you can make massive savings on.
Guest lists can be easily and simply paired down by a cut-off point. Say only family and no friends, or only aunts and uncles, no great aunts or second cousins twice removed!
The other way is to go for an intimate wedding where just immediate family are present. Think parents, grandparents, siblings and partners, and their children. That is it. No distant relatives, no work colleagues, no friends.
Having a clear precise cut off point also makes it very easy to have those awkward conversations when people feel put out by not getting an invite.
Consider Off-Peak Times and Days.
Getting married during off-peak seasons or on weekdays can significantly reduce venue and vendor costs.
Venues can sometimes charge by the size of the room or suite you require for the number of guests that will be in attendance. They can also have set packages where food is included in the overall cost.
Yep, you guessed it – fewer guests means you can now have the smaller, more intimate suite and also cut the catering per head budget down along the way!
However, if the venue may be crucial to you and you don’t wish to scale this back, fewer guests still equals less catering per head. This means you could afford to splash that saved money on your dream venue of choice.
If venue isn’t a high priority for you, then you could save thousands by hiring out your local community centre and decorating yourself. Maybe even having your reception at your home (or a very kind family member who has the biggest home & garden!)
BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze): If your venue allows it, consider bringing your own alcohol. This can be a big money-saver compared to an open bar.
Wedding catering charges, in the main, on price per head.
More guests will pretty much always mean more cost. It is simple maths.
So pairing back your guest list will naturally save you money.
You could then use this money to cut down the overall wedding bill at the end, or you could spend the money still, but upgrade your catering to something tastier to suit the more discerning palette.
If you are on a tight budget, you can cut costs even more by asking your small, intimate number of guests to pay for their meal themselves, or if you are having your reception at home why not just grab a dozen portions of large fish and chips and away you go!
Music and entertainment is also a great area to cut costs and still turn your Micro Wedding into something memorable and magical that your guests will be talking about for years to come.
Why not use the money you have saved elsewhere and hire a singer or a small band? Live music will always have the edge. You can also turn that live band into a classical harp or a string quartet gently playing background music whilst your guests chat.
For the best budget option, you can’t go wrong with a Karaoke machine and some earplugs!
It may be painful, but it will still be memorable and such fun, and your guests really will be talking about it for years to come!
5: Flowers, Favours & Finishing touches
Sometimes the smallest of things can add up to the biggest of costs.
Flowers alone can start to mount up when you consider the bridal bouquet, flowers for the bridal party, buttonholes for the groomsmen, and then add on venue flowers and the costs start to add up.
Then move onto the table centre pieces, the favours, and all of those finishing touches that sometimes it is hard to know when to stop!
So how to avoid spiralling costs without compromising your day?
Do It Yourself!
What better way to add that personal touch to your wedding than making your own wedding favours and table centrepieces? They will become cherished keepsakes and all that more special knowing that they were made with love.
Flowers for the day? Why not start growing them yourself in your garden, or get a green-fingered friend or relative to grow them for you? Again the memories of walking down the aisle with flowers from your garden, that you have grown, tended to and cared for yourself, will bring such feeling and emotion on the day and all add to those memories of the future.
This one is easy! Why pay for a full or half-day collection when you can have a Micro Wedding Package
Micro wedding photography should not differ from a standard full or half-day wedding package, aside from the length of time you have a photographer present on your big day.
If you wish to have Bridal or Groom Prep, you can!
Want to have an intimate portrait session after you have taken your vows, you can!
Would love to have your guests photographed throughout your day, you can!
Detail shots? Candid shots? Posed shots? Those all-important group shots with Great Granny? Yep, you guessed it! You can!
With a Micro Wedding Photography package, it just means that timings are more key. You don’t want big long gaps in between your bridal prep, the ceremony and the time you start to celebrate afterwards.
You could, of course, choose to have the photographer their for just the ceremony and the group shots afterwards and some time with the happy couple to capture your first moments as a newly married couple.
This works perfectly well into tying in with your guests and a bunch of disposable cameras or their smart phones. You get the professional photographer with a micro wedding collection to capture those all-important key moments of your day, and your guests to capture the candid ‘real life’ shots for the rest of the day!
Weddings, ultimately, are a ceremony of commitment you have both made to each other. They are a symbol of your love for each other.
Your guests being there, the venue you choose, the food you eat, the music that was playing… they all add to the rich tapestry of memories that will carry you both through to your old age, where you are now the one sat with a nurse or care worker in your old people’s homes, and she is asking you to tell her about your wedding day…
So you have to ask yourselves, just what it is that you will remember? What is more important to you? This is YOUR day, after all!
Will you remember the amazing food, all 17 courses of them?
The beautiful venue, most of which you probable never had time to see on your big day?
The pretty flowers, which lasted a week and then faded away?
The taste of the cake, all 5 tiers of it?
The guest list, all 200 of them, most of which you never got time to chat with?
Or will you remember that day when you celebrated your love, in front of a a few hand-picked nearest and dearest, where you had time to relax and chill with your guests and have deeper more meaningful conversations with them; had simple, yet tasty food; great music, lots of fun creating memories and had the BEST day.
Oh, and afterwards, when you check your bank balance, that you are pleasantly surprised and maybe, just maybe, have enough spare from your wedding budget to splash out on the honeymoon of your dreams!
Is a Micro Wedding the right fit for you?
Micro Weddings are not for everyone.
You may want to have the grandest day of your life, with all the trimmings, and no expense spared… and why not! You deserve it!
However for those who are not into such grand affairs, or for those whose budgets are not suited to those types of weddings, then the Micro Wedding is ideal.
A small, intimate, celebration with your nearest and dearest can give you so much more richness than money could ever buy.
Remember, the most important part of a wedding is the celebration of love and commitment between you and your partner. You can have a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank.
Memories are priceless, after all!
Best of luck with your wedding planning!
Want to know more?
Micro Wedding Photography may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that is perfectly fine! You have to have YOUR day the way YOU want to have it! However, if you feel that Micro Weddings are the way you want to go, and you need a Wedding Photographer who specialises in Micro Weddings why not get in touch and have a chat?
You are under no obligation to book, but if you are unsure as to what type of photography you will need for your big day, why not get in touch anyway for some advice before you choose?
Who is Dawn?
Dawn Hilton Photography is based in Melton Mowbray and covers Micro Weddings in the East Midlands, including Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Grantham, Loughborough, Oakham, Rutland, Market Harborough, including all the surrounding towns and villages in between!
Head to my Dawn Hilton Photography Micro Wedding Page for more information about what you get with your micro wedding photography collection.