*Originally published on New York Makers
Congratulations — you’re engaged! Pop some champagne, share the news with your loved ones, and jump into the fun of wedding planning. Oh, wait — you don’t have $77,000 to spare on an “average” New York City wedding?
For many couples, the joy and intimacy of their engagement can all too quickly be drowned out by the stress and financial burden of wedding planning and the expectations of well-meaning family members. In addition, couples may find that their values don’t align with the all-too-often commercialized, heteronormative, and whitewashed wedding industry.
If you are interested in experiencing a beautiful and meaningful wedding day celebration between you, your partner, and your closest friends and family that has minimal social and environmental impact and maximum wow factor, a microwedding could be a great option for you.
Different from an elopement, a microwedding involves some planning and intentionally keeps the guest list small while still holding onto some semblance of wedding day tradition. Typical microweddings host 35 or fewer guests and may or may not include all the details of a traditional wedding day. The smaller scale of a microwedding offers couples the flexibility to create a really unique wedding day experience and to be more intentional with the way their dollars are spent.
So how do you go about planning a microwedding? Here’s my effortless guide to the perfect New York microwedding:
1. Set the budget.
Microweddings are much less expensive than traditional weddings, so you can use the savings to invest in your future together, to go on an incredible honeymoon, or to create an otherwise unattainable wedding experience. Whereas a large destination wedding or a luxe reception tablescape might have been unattainable for a guest list of 200 people, it is more manageable with a smaller group.
By setting a clear budget from the outset, you can get on the same page with your partner and decide on your wedding day priorities together.
2. Think outside the dance hall.
One benefit of a smaller wedding is a much larger range of viable wedding venues. Maybe you want to get married at an Airbnb in the Catskills, have an intimate ceremony in Central Park followed by an elegant dinner at the Loeb Boathouse, or host a guerrilla Comic-Con ceremony.
Whatever your style, free up your expectations and get excited about the extensive venue possibilities that a smaller wedding affords.
3. Bring in the experts.
Just because your wedding is small doesn’t mean that you can’t hire an excellent photographer and curate gorgeous details like a bridal bouquet, ceremony backdrop, or intimate dinner setting. Many professionals, wedding planners included, will be able to offer an hourly rate or create custom packages that suit your needs. The bonus of having a small wedding is that you can splurge on stunning pieces like an overflowing bridal bouquet if you so desire.
4. Haters gonna hate.
Narrowing a wedding guest list is always challenging, and you may already be feeling pressure to invite your fourth cousin or your high school English teacher. The reality is that your wedding is about you and your partner first and foremost. Set aside expectations, and invite your nearest and dearest. No one will have sore feelings when they realize how small your wedding was.
5. Get ethical.
With a smaller wedding, you can be more intentional about the way you spend your dollars. Choose vendors that prioritize ethical and sustainable practices. Look for florists that forage their flowers or source them from local farms. Use the money that you save to donate to a cause that you care about. The possibilities are endless.
A microwedding is a great option for creating an intimate and meaningful wedding day that doesn’t break the bank. With a few key elements, your wedding can be enchanting yet inexpensive — and incredibly personal and unique. Happy planning!
Photography: Rosencrown Photo
Planning & Design: Together Events
Flowers: Flower Friends
Food & Drinks: Lena’s Kitchen Blog
Hair and Makeup and Female Model: Grace Hill
Male Model: Matias González Bustos
Dress: Ania Bridal
Venue: Opal 28
Ring: In The Raw Designs