How To Plan A "Boutique-style" Micro Wedding
They could have gone big... I mean big, big, BIG! After all, they were celebrities and they could have had a huge guest count. But they didn't. Their weddings were small... really small. No we didn't design Jayz and Beyounce's wedding but this is the basic idea behind a "Micro Wedding". For many couples, this was a good option way before the challenges of 2020 and coronavirus. You see, out of all the wedding planning criteria, the size of the wedding wasn't a priority. Let me explain.
Yes, for some people the number of invited guests can be very important and inviting EVERYONE you know is a big deal. And why not? For some people, when you want to celebrate marrying the love of your life you may want everyone you can think of to be a part of it. Everyone who has touched your life and who's lives you've touched. And yes, we absolutely love to see the "awe" of an enormously grand royal wedding with hundreds of guests and thousands (even millions) viewing from around the world. Or even a large family wedding celebration with the hundreds of smiling faces of family and loved ones. So, you'd think that famous and wealthy celebrities like Jayz and Beyounce, Margot Robbie & Tom Ackerley, Matt Damon & Luciana Barroso and others would've celebrated their wedding day with a galaxy of stars in attendance... but they didn't. Instead, they decided on having an intimate and amazing wedding - perfectly curated around their dream vision.
It's about walking around, throughout your special day and being surrounded by breathtaking sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, and the people that mean the most to you. They want to cherish, to indulge, to celebrate, and personalize each experience of their wedding to create magic and phenomenal memories. And isn't that what your wedding day should be about? Having a dream day with all the things that you love and are important to you?
Until more standard weddings, Micro Weddings are not planned for 300, 200, or even 100 guests but about 50 or even smaller! Wait... what? So, what's the advantage to a Micro Wedding? Sometimes it's the flexibility of timing, travel, or other concerns but there's a lot of reasons for some couples to choose a Micro Wedding.
Even couples with more than enough resources to host the most massive weddings like to take advantage of this flexibility. They opt for a more intimate but exquisite and amazing subcategory of Micro Wedding. I personally like to call it, "Boutique-style Weddings".
(Above image from Marie Claire UK)
MICRO WEDDING VS. "BOUTIQUE-STYLE "MICRO WEDDING:
Standard Micro Weddings:
A typical "Micro Wedding" focuses on shrinking down a wedding or even striping it down a wedding to the minimum number of attendees (less than 50 guests including any vendors such as Officiate). A Micro Wedding is not an Elopement. Micro Weddings are mostly about the ceremony while still allowing for a scale down wedding with a much smaller wedding party, floral designs, food service, etc. In other words, the focus is functionality.
Boutique-style Micro Weddings:
A Boutique-style Micro Weddings is more styled, professional, and polished than a standard Micro Wedding. Yes, it is scaled down in size but it's a more luxury version. These weddings are very "design plan heavy". They are a type of Micro Wedding that's planning focuses on creating an amazing aesthetic, lots of custom-designs, personalized accents, scrumptious food, tailored entertainment, and tons of flawlessly orchestrated and well thought-out special details.
Why do so some people go for Boutique-style Micro Wedding over a typical Micro Wedding? Well, it's the boutique-style experience. You don't have to be a celebrity to appreciate the pampering of a "Boutique service". Boutiques shops and studios, for example, are a more private, personalized experience that focuses on an attention to detail for the client and customizing each aspect to create a one-of-a-like luxury service for that client. Why wouldn't they want to share that same exquisite feeling with their guests.. the closest, most important people in their lives.
Imagine all the best quality, polished looks, and perfectly crafted elements that a Boutique-style Micro Wedding can offer. In the past we've transformed private beach house rentals into intimate, opulent oceanfront weddings. We've created enchanting English garden fantasies and other small boutique-style designer weddings for 35 and 45 or so guests.
For some couples, a small guest count can allow them to spoil their guests in ways they may not have been able to do with a larger crowd.
Here are my top 5 tips (and advantages) to an Intimate & Amazing "Boutique-style Micro Wedding".
1. Amazing Intimate Impact :
Nothing impacts the cost of an event like the size. The larger the number of guests, the more products you need such as invitations, postage, dinners, place-settings, centerpieces (... well, you get the idea) you'll need and of course that will increase the budget. With a smaller number of guests you'll have more flexibility. You'll have more freedom to select your wedding elements more so on what you actually desire and the best quality - giving you a bigger, boutique bang for your budget.
2. Unforgettable Venue Options:
Boutique weddings can be a 3rd, 4th or less the size of most weddings. These smaller sized weddings can give you a opportunity to have your wedding in some unique and fantastic locations. Of course, there are still the traditional venues likes churches, chapels, backyards, banquet halls, hotels and resorts but why not take advantage of this opportunity and consider other stunning venues for your cherished ceremony and/or an intimate reception. Some places that will create a special atmosphere and meanings to you and your guests may including (but not limited to):
Urban rooftops, atriums, and terraces with city views
Historic landmarks, city buildings, and libraries
Theaters, museums, and galleries
Gardens, beaches, lake fronts, bridges, and mountain paths
Greenhouses & Floral farms
Wineries, distilleries, and breweries
Yachts & Boats
Zoom & Aquariums
Warehouse & Train Stations
Nightclubs & Lounges
Private Beach House Rentals & Estate House
I've even seen small castle ruins
3. Dreams, Designs, and Details:
I know I'm almost halfway through the list (and I shouldn't play favorites) but as an artist and designer this really is my favorite. You see, with a Boutique-style Micro Wedding, you'll have smaller quantities but this also means you'll have the freedom and flexibility to choose the designs you want. You'll be able to really curate the look and feel of your dream day with your ideal flowers, rentals, decor, and visual accents.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there. Your boutique-style wedding can go way beyond those "standard" wedding pieces and can go as far as your imagination can take you. Just picture walking throughout your beautifully styled wedding day and every single element perfectly reflects you and your love story. You boutique-style micro wedding can feature incredible invitation suites and signage, lovely lighting and linens, charming table china and gorgeous glassware, specialty furniture to special favors, uniquely personalized entertainment to Pinterest-worthy display designs.
4. Capacity vs. Guest Count:
For many couples cutting the guest count can be a BIG source of stress. But way? I believe it may be linked to a psychological theory called, Dunbar's Numbers. A theory that focuses around the idea that there's a maximum or ideal number of "meaningful connections" the average person makes within their life. I noticed that the same number Dunbar refers seems to be pretty close to the average number of wedding guests. For many Brides and Grooms who share a lot of the same friends or don't have a big family... no problem. But, for other couples, once they starts to compiling both of their numbers together along with family... well, the guest list can get a little out of control. And, as a result, some couples can struggle with narrowing their lists down.
If a couple finds it's difficult keeping their guest list under control I often suggest writing an A list & B list. List A will list all of your absolute, no question, top must have, "can't imagine getting married without them there" guests. List B are the "it would be nice to invite them" or "inviting them would be polite to do" list. List A is your more official list and yes, it's should be small. Now, if there's room, you can look over list B and simply slide a guest's name from B to A if needed.
Along with using the A/B list method, you can use venue/event capacity to help control your list. If you're not sure how to gently cut back on your list, use the the maximum capacity restrictions as a way of "Crowd control". Friends and family will certainly understand that you are keeping this event small and you'll only be able to invite a limited number of guests. This may help with to make controlling the guest list easier.
5. Pamper & Play:
Give your guests the feeling moments to remember throughout the entire wedding weekend. a full-service feel for each of your guests by planning not only your wedding but personalized experiences and activities around From accommodations, transportation, and all the associated wedding weekend activities including welcome gifts, happy hour meet & greet, bridesmaids spa day, family photo shoot, and farewell brunch. You can add as many activities to your wedding weekend to create an custom experience for every guest.
So, is a Micro Wedding for you? And if so, would you make it a more Boutique-style experience? Let us know what you think. How do you compare to a Micro Wedding (of 50, 20, or even 10 guests) to more traditional sized wedding (of between 125 to 150 guests) . I'd love to hear you thoughts. In the meanwhile, happy planning!!
Transformed into our dream"
"We could not have picked a better service than Vivid Expressions LLC. We told a story of how we met and what we wanted for our wedding; Janel took it from there. We had dreamed of a beach house wedding and we chose a house was site unseen (since we were from out of town);We were unable to see the insides of the beach house until the week before.
Plans were drawn up by Janel for the ceremony to be held inside but last minute changes to the guest list did not allow for this to happen (venue was not large enough). I made a call out to Janel 3 days before the wedding and said we need to change the venue site to the outside (luckily the weather cooperated). Janel said no problem and on the day of the wedding, the site was transformed into our dream. Excellent work!!!! Great site planning - the wedding went better than anyone could expect!”
— Sid (Groom)