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If the idea of planning a wedding in the era of Covid-19 makes you want to break down in tears, it might be time to consider a micro wedding. While there are restrictions, with micro weddings, there are options, too.

What is a Micro Wedding?

Micro weddings are small, intimate unions that involve 50 guests or fewer. When South Africa returns back to level 3 restrictions, indoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people and bars, restaurants and venues will be required to close at 9 pm. So whichever way you look at it, the “new normal” means that an at-home micro-wedding is likely the best option for the foreseeable future.

A micro wedding is the perfect compromise between a big, formal event and a small, intimate one. It still has all the hallmarks of a wedding but is typically geared to accommodate fewer than 50 people.

An intimate wedding is all about attention to detail
An intimate wedding is all about attention to detail

Why Hold an at-home Micro Wedding?

An at-home micro wedding means that you aren’t competing for available dates at expensive venues. With venue hire costs removed and shorter guest list, your budget can stretch as far as your creativity. Dial up the drinks selection with French Champagne, serve a seven course meal or go all out on spectacular flower arrangements.

A smaller wedding is an opportunity to personalize every detail of your big day, make your own rules and invest some of that money you would have spent on a large wedding, into your home.

How Much Does the Average Micro Wedding Cost?

The cost of weddings varies greatly depending on the size and location of the wedding. The average South African wedding costs R70 000 to R80 000, half of which goes towards venue hire. Investing that R35 000 in installed home bar appliances for instance will not only add value to your property but will also improve the day to day experience of your home. A gift that will truly keep on giving.

A smaller guest list leaves more budget for luxurious flower arrangements.
A smaller guest list leaves more budget for luxurious flower arrangements.

Why not take it a step further and enquire at your local high-end bottle store about a wedding registry so your guests can select investment wines and Champagnes to build your collection?

Alternatively, you may just request a bottle of wine as a gift. With only you and your partner’s nearest and dearest attending, they likely know which wines you like. What better way to reminisce on your wedding day in years to come than opening a bottle of wine from the occasion.

What do You Need for a Micro Wedding?

A smaller wedding lets your creativity shine. A theme may be just what you need to elevate the experience. This could be as complicated as asking guests to dress accordingly or simply a style of decor and ideas to incorporate theme-based activities. Themed weddings are also fun for photos. Think all-white or shades of blue, Mardi Gras, roaring 20’s or down the rabbit hole.

Because you need less of everything, micro weddings are quicker to plan and you can invest in quality and detail. Décor, artists, personalised welcome gifts and place cards as well as special cocktails, a custom wine list are just some micro wedding must-haves that are back on the menu. Now is the time to focus on what you really want to experience.

A cosy lounge area will keep your guests interacting for longer.
A cosy lounge area will keep your guests interacting for longer.

What are Good Entertainment Ideas for a Micro Wedding?

Spending more time at home has put the spotlight on home entertainment. Why not score double points by investing in a decent wine cooler and ice making machine to not only use at the wedding but more importantly dial up your home entertainment space for future get-togethers?

Consider a morning wedding to give your guests more of the day to enjoy before the 10pm curfew. Alternatively, prepare a fun glamping spot in the garden so that everybody can stay over and have breakfast in the morning together.

How to Plan a Successful Micro Wedding

No wedding is complete without a stunning wedding cake.
No wedding is complete without a stunning wedding cake.

The key to planning a successful micro wedding is preparation and deliberation. Given how special of a day this is, it’s easy to go off-track with all the things you’ll need to do. However, we have a couple of tips for you to make sure your special day will go down as truly a day to remember.

  1. Set the budget – A luxury micro wedding can cost as much or as little as you want. You can take the original budget and go wild or take the chance to save a little and still have the day of your dreams.
  2. Write down a guest list. Invite only your closest friends and family. Your guest list is smaller and you will be spending a lot more time with each person to be sure of who to include. Think of the people who are invested in you as a couple and who you could not imagine having a wedding without. A handy rule of thumb is to only invite people that you would invite into your home for dinner. As a couple, you will need to discuss how to handle friends and family that are not invited. Given the situation, most people will understand.
  3. Personalise your day. Make the guest experience as phenomenal as possible by catering to their personalities. Feel free to drop certain traditions in favour of elements you know your guests will love. Planning and pulling off a successful micro-wedding can get complicated and stressful and it is worth investing in a wedding planner to help bring it all together.
  4. Get creative with seating arrangements for the ceremony and reception. Add a relaxing lounge area, food stations and fun bar area. Guests can be seated in a circle at the ceremony with you and your partner in the middle to create a more intimate setting. Remember to take care of social distancing.
  5. Detail the entire space, not just the tables. Consider lights, plants, fabrics and props that will create ambience.
  6. Incorporate thoughtful, fun games that you know your guests will enjoy together. Games such as Jenga, bride and groom trivia, wheel of fun and bocce ball will make your wedding reception a fun and memorable affair.
  7. Include custom elements that showcase you and your partner’s personalities. Printed cocktail napkins and handwritten menu and place cards are a good starters. An elaborate escort display with hand-written touches or items can double as a micro-wedding favour as well.
  8. Gift guests a personalised welcome box with items that you and your partner love. Include influences from the wedding theme or items endemic to the area.

Challenging times need not get the better of you. Though Covid brings with it some challenges and restrictions, with a little creativity and a positive mindset you can still create something memorable and extraordinary.

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