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Microweddings: Here To Stay?

When social-distancing put paid to the idea of the big white wedding, many couples had their big day clouded by uncertainty. Could they go ahead? And what would it look like? Enter the microwedding.

By Gayatri Bhaumik
September 16, 2021

By definition, a microwedding is an intimate affair with no more than 50 guests. Importantly, microweddings keep many of the elements of larger weddings. They’re just done on a smaller scale. In the Covid era, it’s the perfect compromise of going ahead with a ceremony and reception while adhering to social-distancing restrictions.

Photo: Lauren Connell


Smaller weddings are nothing new. In 2020, the average wedding size in the US was 131, a significant drop from the high of 153 in 2007. Around the same time, average wedding budgets have increased from about US$28,285 in 2009 to US$33,900 in 2019. The numbers paint a picture of couples choosing slightly smaller—though equally lavish—weddings.

However, there has been a particular uptick in microweddings this year as couples, frustrated by social-distancing restrictions, decide to get married anyway. “I’ve seen a large influx of brides planning microweddings for 2021,” says Christina Devine, an American-born bridal designer in Hong Kong. Planning a wedding takes lots of time, energy, and finances, and many couples now just want to start their new life together without the uncertainty of navigating Covid restrictions.”

Photo: Lauren Connell


Couples sometimes worry that a microwedding isn’t a “real” wedding because it’s smaller in scale. But as it turns out, a microwedding can turn out even better. “[Our wedding] was perfect in every way,” says Lauren Connell, a London-based architect who married at The Barbican in October 2020. “The intimacy and relaxed nature of a microwedding is something we didn’t know we wanted, but now we can’t imagine doing it any differently.”

By scaling back your wedding, you have the capacity to focus on the details and create a truly memorable celebration. “Our reception was an intimate affair with an exquisite meal prepared by chef Aiden of Eleven98, accompanied by an acoustic guitar,” recalls Connell. “It was so romantic, but it’s not something we would’ve thought of if we weren’t doing a microwedding.

Another benefit of a microwedding? Being able to speak to all your guests. At a big wedding, you barely have the time to eat, let alone have extended conversations with your guests. But a microwedding allows a couple to have meaningful interactions. “[Our wedding] was so much more personal because we could really focus on our families,” notes Connell. “It took away the pressure of having to constantly entertain.”

You also have more flexibility with your budget with a microwedding. Some couples choose to stick to their original budget, spending more per head and lavishing guests with opulent details. Others are embracing the chance to put their dollars to other uses. “We spent less on most things, except photography because it was important for us to capture the day,” says Connell. “We saved the money we would’ve spent on a larger wedding and plan to invest it in our future.”

Some brides also worry that having a small wedding means they can’t have their big fairy tale dress. That’s hardly the case. After all, it’s your wedding and you can still wear whatever you please. “The number one question I get right now is, ‘Can I still wear a big dress?’” says Devine. “My answer is always, ‘Yes, absolutely!’ If you’re dying to wear that 10-layer tulle gown while getting married on a beach, do it.”

It’s clear that a microwedding can come with a wealth of unexpected advantages. But only time will tell if the trend is here to stay.