Is the micro-wedding trend here to stay?

Wedding couple

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted June 29, 2021

The small wedding trend took off out of necessity during Covid-19. But with low budgets and an intimate setting, a micro-wedding might just be the thing for you. Here is everything you need to know about micro-weddings.

Even though all the stats try to tell us that marriage is on the out, weddings are still very much in – they’ve just had a bit of a makeover. In fact, 37,813 marriages in Australia still took place in the first half of 2020, despite restrictions that cancelled everything from strange catering requests to dancing the macarena.

Whilst the wedding industry is a formidable force, worth anywhere from $3.6-$9.5 billion in Australia alone, Covid-19 did not stop some couples from wedded bliss. In many regions, with only the couple, a celebrant and witnesses allowed, ‘micro-weddings’ had a boom – and they might be here to stay.

Here's our top tips on how to plan the perfect micro wedding - and to see if it is for you.

What is a micro-wedding?

A micro-wedding is when you’re not quite eloping, but not having a big traditional day either. The wedding industry tends to call a ‘micro’ or ‘small’ wedding anything under 50 people, or in some cases, under 20. During Covid-19, the guest attendance may have been virtually zero, aside from the couple, witnesses, celebrant, and a photographer - if you were lucky. There is still a ceremony, and in some cases, a reception, dancing, rings, fancy outfits, music and suppliers – the guest size is just a lot smaller.

Why are people doing it?

It can be hard to say goodbye to grandiose visions of a big wedding. Some people had a micro-wedding out of necessity. Perhaps the couple has already booked certain suppliers, or the date has special significance, meaning it had to be done at a certain time.

For others, it can be a great way to get quality time with their guests, do something special without the extra stress, planning, nerves – and hefty price tag. With the average Australian wedding costing upwards of $30,000 a micro-wedding can bring a real sense of intimacy and personalisation that can sometimes be lost in a sea of 200 people. It can also allow couples to really focus on the meaning of the day – their marriage.

What are the pros of a micro-wedding?

For some, a micro-wedding is an opportunity to feel much less pressure, spend less money, and feel more intimacy on the day.  Additionally:

  • There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on invitations, catering, and large venues
  •  You can opt into smaller and unique venues that may not cater to larger crowds
  • The freedom of having to go along the traditional route and be able to do your day, your way.
  • A micro-wedding can also give a real sense of intimacy with the people you love most in the world surrounding you, without any pesky +1s you meet on your wedding day
  • For others, particularly in 2020, it was a way to have still that special day they’d always dreamed of without having to put their lives on hold.
Wedding couple with dog in the background

What are the cons of a micro-wedding?

Whilst a small or micro-wedding can be perfect for some, they are not for everybody. Having a micro-wedding can come with its cons:

  • Not having all the guests you may have wanted to see on your wedding day
  • People may be offended or upset at not being invited
  • Deciding who to keep/cut can be quite difficult

How can I have a micro wedding?

Now that weddings can be back on (sometimes!), there is still a place for the micro-wedding, and ways to make you feel special. Many venues around Australia are now offering smaller wedding packages that can be 'casual' or 'intimate' for couples who don’t want or can’t have a large wedding, but don’t just want to elope at the courthouse either. It can give an opportunity to go luxe – perhaps a fancy restaurant or bar, or perhaps to save and have something small and outdoorsy.  

Are they here to stay?

Time will tell whether micro-weddings are indeed just a trend, a circumstantial decision, or if they are here to stay. Some couples are opting for the micro-wedding now and the ‘sequel wedding,’ or ‘big day,’ later, when it is safe and legal to do so. But with more liberal views on marriage, the rising cost of inflation, concerns around numbers and safety and the ability to see how well it has worked around the world, they might just be here to stay.