Listen, I’ve had a wedding board on Pinterest ever since I got a Pinterest account. I had lots white wedding dresses, pictures of gorgeous cakes, and all of the garden, library, and museum wedding inspo pictures.
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But when it came time to actually plan for my wedding? Well, that was a completely different experience than I had imagined, especially because I ended up planning a micro-wedding (something I never anticipated).
For one, we knew there would be big expenses after our wedding that mattered more than having a fancy wedding. Secondly, I had only graduated about five months before my wedding and, while I had been working in the meantime, it was definitely not enough to do a BIG wedding. Third, I would be traveling after the wedding (the next day) so I couldn’t really do big décor, because I wouldn’t be able to bring it with me on the plane and my things had already been shipped.
So what did we do and what would I change? Because, let’s face it, there’s always something to change.
1. Courthouse Ceremony
We decided to go for a courthouse ceremony as part of our micro-wedding because our wedding group was very small, no more than 30 people, and we felt it was excessive to rent a whole church space for such a small group. Also, rental prices are like, A LOT.
What would I change? Having a courthouse ceremony worked for us but I hadn’t quite realized how much I would miss having pictures of the ceremony. Let’s just say that I made the Husband promise we would do a wedding vow renewal with pictures of the ceremony.
Side note: I would love to have it at a library or museum but they are so expensive to rent! *insert tears emoji* I fell in love with the idea even more when I heard about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski getting married in the National Archives (link). We’ll see if it actually happens…
2. Reception Space
When planning a micro-wedding, thinking outside of the box was so helpful when looking for reception space. If you have a smaller wedding attendance, then you definitely can look into some unique spaces and celebrate in a space other than a traditional event space.
For our reception space, we didn’t really look at traditional wedding spaces. Since we had such a small group, we were actually able to look for private dining spaces in restaurants. Some spaces were nicer than others, some spaces had parking for guests and others would require additional planning for transportation. Prices varied but getting a private dining area was less expensive than a traditional wedding reception space. Many of these private dining spaces were also already lightly decorated which meant less for us to spend on decorations.
In the end, we ended up going for a farm-to-table restaurant in the area. We had a dinner at the restaurant just to see what the atmosphere was like and we ended up loving the space and staff, so we very quickly reserved our space for our reception. As we got closer to our wedding date, we met with the chef, and we were able to design the menu for the evening and also choose the cake elements.
The great thing about getting a private dining space is that you’re actually just paying for the food and the space happens to be included, instead of separately paying for catering and a reception space, like in the more traditional manner.
What would I change? I really enjoyed the space for our reception! Our food was served at the same time, we got a custom printed menu with our initials, and the staff decorated the space really nicely for us. There was miscommunication about the decoration but once that got resolved, everything went perfect.
3. Micro-Wedding Photographer
When planning your micro-wedding, deciding where the priority of pictures and videos of your wedding falls on your list can be super helpful for your budget.
Pictures of our micro-wedding was one thing I really wanted. We looked through so many websites and we finally came across The Elopement Co.. They are a local Charlotte, NC, business that specifically focuses on couples wanting to do micro-wedding / courthouse weddings, as well as elopements.
What would I change? I think the only thing I would do differently is to request pictures in front of places that had meaning to our relationship. I hadn’t really thought to scout for locations for pictures before the wedding. I was also really worried to leave guests mingling around, but that was less of a problem than I thought. Overall though, our pictures came out great and we loved working with Charity.
4. Hotel Room
I didn’t think this would be as important or helpful as it ended up being! We ended up getting a room literally across the street from the court where our ceremony would be happening so I was able to change in the room before heading over to the court. It was also helpful because we were able to use it as a meeting place for our photographer, and for our guests before the ceremony.
What would I change? Not much really. I think I would have visited the hotel space before the ceremony so I could share photo locations with our photographer, such as for our first look. But overall, the location was a good choice and it was very helpful that it was in a central location.
Weddings are a huge production and take a lot of planning. What kind of wedding are you planning? If you’re considering a microwedding, I can’t emphasize how easy it was
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