Given the state of the world in 2020, many couples have either been forced or chosen to park their grand wedding plans and consider alternative options. Micro-weddings, also known as intimate weddings are one such alternative, focusing more on the legal wedding ceremony rather than a big party. An intimate micro wedding can be beautiful and retains some of the structure of a traditional wedding except on a smaller scale.
Let’s begin by defining what exactly a micro-wedding or intimate wedding is. Micro-weddings and intimate weddings are a totally legitimate (and legal) way of getting hitched. There are no hard and fast rules on what constitutes “micro”, but I’m willing to put my expert hat on and define a micro-wedding as “a wedding attended by less than 20 people”.
There’s certainly a grey area when it comes to micro-weddings vs. elopements. Whilst they aren’t always the same thing, they do share a few similarities. Namely, both elopements and micro-weddings are used as a way of “sealing the deal” in a short period of time and on a budget. The beauty of a smaller wedding is that it’s an intimate experience that includes all of the magical emotions of your special day. This unforgettable celebration can easily be tailored to connect the couples interests on their wedding day. In contrast to an elopement, micro-weddings are often planned with the intention of a large-scale party at a later date, and are less likely to be kept secret.
COVID-19 has been a major contributing factor to the rise of micro-weddings in Australia. With a slate of government-imposed restrictions getting announced from March onwards, couples were looking for ways to get married that were still within the confines of social-distancing measures.
If I were to make a bet, I would say that micro-weddings are here to stay. In the future, people won’t be choosing the scale down due to the pandemic (fingers crossed!!). But I’m confident that the convenience of a no-frills option will remain popular for people wanting to save money and avoid stress.
Photography courtesy of Hank Paul
Let’s break down the “who’s who?” of a micro-wedding. By law, you only need 5 people present at a wedding to make it considered legal. The couple, the celebrant and two witnesses. As a wedding photographer, I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of 5-person weddings and have doubled up being a witness and photographer.
For some folks, even though 100+ guests sounds like a headache, sticking to 5 guests is still too small. Micro-weddings are inclusive of an in-between size, usually consisting of your very closest relatives and friends. As I mentioned earlier, anything under 20 guests fits well within my definition of a micro-wedding, but each couple is entitled to their own creative license when making their guestlist.
Photography courtesy of Hank Paul
Choosing which guests to have at your micro intimate wedding can be both a blessing and a curse, and some couples might feel the stress of limiting their choices. One of the most crucial things you’ll need to prioritise in the planning of a micro wedding is communicating with your loved ones the state of the guest list. I hereby give you full permission not to invite your whole family. Just be respectful in how you let them know the choice you’ve made (e.g. a text message to break the news to your cousin is probably not gonna cut it).
In Australia, couples are required to give a “Notice of intended marriage” to their wedding celebrant at least one month prior to the wedding. This is a legal requirement, and not one to be skirted around.
Allow me to outline a very brief 4-step strategy to pull off the most stress-free and loved-up micro-wedding ever!
Step 1: Select your top 3.
You and your fiance need to take some time to determine what your top 3 priorities are for the wedding. Is it a fancy meal? A venue? Or a fab photographer? These 3 priorities will help you in budgeting accordingly, and ensure you don’t skimp on the most important things.
Step 2: Book your vendors.
Borrowed Blue Australia is here to help you find the perfect wedding vendors, from Venues, Celebrants, Wedding gowns, Suits, Cakes, Accommodation, Jewellery and many more This is the time to be shopping around, sending emails and meeting with different vendors to select who is going to help you pull off the best dang micro-wedding.
Step 3: Communicate to your guests (and non-guests).
You and your fiance will need to agree on a plan of attack when it comes to how you deliver the news to people who may or may not be invited to the intimate micro-wedding. 99% of people will be stoked for you both, but it’s all about clear and courteous communication.
Step 4: (Micro, Intimate) Party Time!
Once everything is lined up, you’ll want to make sure you feel present and open to experiencing the day in its entirety. Feel the feels, pause when necessary and enjoy your day with your nearest and dearest. It’s a big deal to get married, so don’t let anyone stop you from being excited about it.
Micro-Weddings are on the up and up in Australia, and we’re totally here for it. If you’ve had a micro intimate wedding recently, we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to feature you on our blog!
This article was written by contributor Hank Paul, a Sydney Wedding Photographer.