On today’s episode of The Morning Show on 7, yours truly (Kerstyn) stopped by to discuss the rise in smaller weddings, or “micro-weddings”.
Defined by us as any wedding with 35 people or less in attendance, a micro-wedding is a great way to celebrate your love AND save on the typical wedding spend.
To watch the full interview, see below. Otherwise read on for our top advice!
Why are micro-weddings increasing in popularity?
With increasing interest rates and everybody talking about the cost of living, it’s important to save where you can, especially with a wedding.
We are seeing more and more couples opting for a smaller, more intimate celebration that won’t cost the usual tens of thousands of dollars that a big wedding typically does.
What type of smaller ceremonies are we seeing?
There is still a fair bit of planning involved, regardless of how many or how few guests are attending, but with a small ceremony comes a world of further options for locations, catering, suppliers and more.
We’re seeing couples elope and then take the full party to their backyard; we’re seeing receptions being held over dinner at the couple’s favourite local restaurant, and even drive-thru style, where you roll up, get hitched and drive right off into wedded bliss!
The average wedding spend in Australia, according to Money Smart is $36,000 – what are we seeing couples still investing in and what are they choosing to save on?
We’re seeing couples spend on quality suppliers, especially those whose job it is to make their wedding more fun and relaxed – like an amazing marriage celebrant who brings the vibe, a brilliant photographer and filmmaker, and (lucky for us!) a wedding coordinator to really ensure the day is stress-free and easy!
On the opposite side, with a small wedding, couples are able to save on typical large venue minimum-spends, as well as overall catering and beverage fees that are calculated per head.
The downsides to a micro wedding could be:
- Having to choose between friends and family members (who makes the cut and who doesn’t?)
- Potentially hurting the feelings of those who aren’t invited (but I say, it’s YOUR wedding, who cares! haha)
- Maybe the future regret not having the “big wedding” with a huge dancefloor vibe
- Some venues have a minimum number and therefore you wouldn’t be able to book a small number at that location.
The Wedding Industry is a billion-dollar industry, do we think small weddings will affect the industry and businesses?
I really don’t think we’ll ever see the end of the “big wedding” celebrations. Whilst some will opt for a smaller affair, there are many others whose values and cultures align with a big celebration.
A lot of wedding suppliers charge for their time as opposed to guest numbers, so whilst venues or those who charge per person (catering/beverages/hire items etc) might be missing out, other suppliers such as a photographer, hair and makeup team or on-the-day coordinator, would still be paid the same amount for their time on the day.
My advice if you’re planning for a small wedding:
- Define your priorities: Knowing what’s most important to you for your wedding will make all decisions that much easier. If it’s not in line with your priorities, it should be an easy ‘no’ (we have a handy free priorities quiz available on our website FYI)
- Curate your guest list carefully: You may need to start with a larger list and whittle it down to just those whom you cannot get married without
- Start planning as soon as you’re ready: You might assume that because there are fewer guests, this type of wedding will be easier to plan, but if you’re still hoping to book great suppliers, they book out well ahead of time
- Think outside the (venue) box: Consider some unique alternative locations to host your celebration. Your favourite local restaurant, a beautiful parkland, a historic hotel, or maybe even a small boat or yacht
- Invest in quality, not quantity: With a smaller guest list, you can allocate your budget to the things that really matter to you. That might be a three-course meal over just a main, or even some personalised cocktails for you to enjoy with your guests.