The Ins and Outs of Micro Weddings
Micro weddings are a hot topic right now, and for good reason. There’s been a surplus of postponed and canceled weddings since the beginnings of the COVID crisis, which has led many couples to reconsider the scale of their celebration. Downsizing to a smaller guest list not only makes it much easier to follow social distancing guidelines, but couples can get creative within the constraints of their budget and venue space to maximize the guest experience.
So, for those of you who are newer to the concept of planning a micro wedding, here are some tips for guiding your clients in the right direction.
Common misconceptions about micro weddings
Industry professionals sometimes shy away from the idea of intimate weddings for a few reasons, but mostly because there simply isn’t a wealth of information as there is for traditionally full-scale weddings.
Additionally, it’s often thought that micro weddings are just a fleeting trend, especially lately with the influx of couples wishing for a smaller get-together. Shannon Tarrant of WeddingVenueMap.com disputes this notion, saying, “I’m a firm believer that every type of wedding has always been a part of the industry. Micro weddings are not a new ‘trend’. Elopements, intimate celebrations, and big blowout weddings have and will always exist. The only change comes from the environment around the couple. In the current climate, we may start to see more couples planning a luxury experience with a smaller guest count.”
Another misconception is that micro weddings are cheap, with much lower budgets than those of larger affairs. According to Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films: “Couples are spending the same amount on a micro wedding as a traditional wedding. The budget [is simply] allocated differently. The couple can level up and splurge on more luxury products and services that they find more important. With a smaller guest list, the couple can spend more on the honeymoon, upgraded florals, spa treatments, entertainment, and photo/video. They are seeking a customized and personal experience, not a packaged, quick impersonal experience.”
Working the layout of your space
You may be wondering – how can I help my clients to fill an event space with a much smaller guest list? In reality, working with a venue to coordinate a micro wedding isn’t the hefty task that you may think, considering there are plenty of ways to utilize décor and rentals.
It’s also important to note social distancing practices and health guidelines that will inevitably be in place once events can continue, says Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Events & Minne Weddings. “COVID-19 rules and regulations have a bigger impact on the layout of the space than the size or style of the wedding. Micro weddings often take place all in one room, with the ceremony set theater-style in one area and the reception with high cocktail tables, lounge groupings, bar, and food service tables in another area.”
When it comes to the seating setup, JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli advises, “Micro weddings and [event size regulations] will vary from state to state, but you must allow room for table separation once those chairs are pulled out by over six feet – I would suggest eight feet apart. Also, long family-style tables should be made much longer in order to social distance those seats six feet apart.”
Tips for incorporating micro wedding services into your business
If micro weddings sound like the perfect way to provide an excellent experience for your clients, consider how you’ll add and promote these services to your business. For many already planning ‘traditional’ weddings, this may be a natural next step, notably during a time when we want to fill the gaps within the market.
Emily Sullivan of Intimate Weddings by Emily Sullivan Events wants you to take a look at how you’ll present this new service. “You have a few options – separate brands under the same umbrella, separate division with the same company, or additional package options added to your existing offers. Ultimately, you can decide to launch a new brand entirely or simply add it to your service list. It really depends on your current business structure and brand reputation. We have two separate websites but our main planning site links to our intimate wedding site.”
In order to make your services very clear, Lisa Anhaiser of LBL Event Rentals suggests noting the following when adding micro weddings, “Many brides will still expect the full experience and believe that micro-wedding means small and cute. They do not take into account that the venue, due to a reduced income, will limit the time available to facilitate multiple events. Smaller windows reduce the amount of time for setting up and tear down, reducing décor brought in. Reduced time and décor mean increased staff to prepare and smaller add on item sales.”
Beth Bernstein of SQN Events & Essential I Dos adds, “The first way, and perhaps easiest, is to simply add this service to your existing website. Make sure to describe what this service is and how it is tailored for a smaller guest count, show some photos that ‘read’ small, and start marketing on social media outlets. This option is a great way to build upon your brand recognition, SEO on your website, and leverage vendor relationships.”
While micro weddings are certainly not new, they’ve become a workable alternative to help couples navigate heartbreaking postponements and the threat of having to cancel their large-scale wedding. Expanding your services to help facilitate this tiny trend will only help you and your business in the long-run.
Meghan Ely is the owner of the wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
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