With the cost of weddings on the rise (the average cost of a wedding in 2016 was over $35,000—up from $32,000 in 2015) and the growing desire for intimate relationships, many couples are opting for smaller, family-and-friends-only wedding celebrations, such as microweddings.
What is a microwedding?
Although you may think of elopement when you think of a very small wedding, microweddings are completely different from elopement. Elopement is typically an unplanned or secretive wedding with only the couple, an officiator, and witnesses in attendance.
Microweddings, on the other hand, are planned events. They typically have all of the bells and whistles as a traditional wedding (ceremony, reception, cake, dress, entertainment, etc.). But unlike traditional weddings, microweddings are often shorter and smaller. They typically having under 50 guests in total, with many falling below 15 guests.
Why have a microwedding?
Traditionally, wedding ceremonies were large celebrations. They brought together the bride’s and groom’s immediate and extended families, close friends, and acquaintances. The guests would celebrate the couple and give them gifts to help them start their new life together. However, today it is easier than ever to keep in touch with extended family and acquaintances. In addition many couples cohabitate prior to marriage (reducing the need for home goods as wedding gifts).
With the average cost per guest at a Philadelphia-area wedding reaching over $250 in 2017, reducing the scale of your wedding results in substantial cost savings (scaling down from a traditional 150-guest wedding to a 20-guest wedding could result in tens of thousands of dollars in savings).
If you are working with a set budget, a microwedding frees up the money you would spend on extra guests. This allows you to splurge on yourself and the guests you are inviting. Inviting fewer guests means you could spend more money per guest. Custom gifts, gourmet foods, and personalized favors may all be in the budget.
Wedding planning is stressful, and the larger the wedding you are planning, the more there is to manage. Scaling down your wedding allows you to focus on your wedding must-haves, and quality instead of quantity. Moreover, a smaller wedding also means you can spend more time with each of your guests on your wedding day.
Microweddings are growing in popularity, partially because of cost savings and reduced stress, but also because more people want to have intimate wedding celebrations attended only by immediate family and close friends. Traditionally, weddings were one of the few times everyone in a person’s family could be brought together in one place—and often, there was little communication between individuals and their extended families and acquaintances in day-to-day life. Today, however, due to the pervasiveness of the internet and social media in everyday life, it is easy to stay in touch with everyone you have ever met. But this ease of communication makes that communication a little less special.
Microweddings take a step back from social media and instant communication, and put the focus on the couple who is getting married and the people who are important to them.