The rise of the micro wedding

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching. People from all walks of life have had to confront the pandemic and the changes it wrought, and many of those changes could have some staying power.

The 2020 Real Weddings Study (COVID-19 Edition) found that 58 percent of couples who planned to get married in 2020 ended up reducing their guest list by a significant percentage, creating a ‘micro wedding.’ The average reduction was 41 percent, and some suspect small ceremonies may be the new normal in the years ahead.

Micro weddings are not necessarily a new trend, as couples have always had the option of getting married with only a small number of family and friends in attendance. However, micro weddings could be an emerging trend, and cost may have a lot to do with that. The Wedding Planner Institute (WPI) notes that micro weddings cost from $1,600 to $10,000, though the group notes that most micro weddings fall somewhere in the middle of that range. A 2020 survey from TD Ameritrade found that 47 percent of respondents said that cost of living was the biggest threat to their financial security and long-term investments. Engaged couples confronting the well-documented post-pandemic increase in cost of living, including an unprecedented rise in housing costs, could see expensive weddings as luxuries they simply cannot afford. Micro weddings could be viewed as a cost-effective way to combat the rising cost of living that still allows couples to share their big day with their closest friends and family members.

The WPI has urged wedding planners to offer micro wedding packages in an effort to capitalize on this emerging trend. Data from The Wedding Report indicated that the total number of weddings would rise to 2.77 million in 2021, an increase of roughly 650,000 over the yearly average. Even if only a fraction of couples who tie the knot in 2022 opt for a micro wedding, a preexisting micro wedding package can help wedding planners secure their business. Couples who choose micro weddings may do so to save money, but also to avoid the effort and save the time required to plan more lavish affairs. Such couples may be especially excited to work with wedding planners who can plan their weddings regardless of how small the affair may be.

What goes into a micro wedding?

Nothing should be off the table when planning a micro wedding. The fewer the people who will be there, the more freedom planners and couples may have. The WPI notes that micro weddings afford planners and couples the chance to get personal in ways that may not be possible when organizing larger affairs. Planners can focus on small details and allow couples to make their ceremonies and receptions as personal as they would like. Couples who prefer micro weddings tend to emphasize minimalism, so keeping things simple is something to keep in mind when planning micro weddings.

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