Small Is Beautiful
Wed looks at the epic charms of a teeny-tiny micro wedding
Bigger isn’t always better. The ‘micro’ concept has become a bona fide movement of late, both in response to Covid-19 and the growing desire for couples to celebrate their love in a more intimate, less-is-more way.
A micro wedding is officially defined by featuring less than 20 guests, which, with current government restrictions and potential future limitations, personal budget cuts, and a general shift in perspective and priority means that micro is most definitely one of wedding world’s biggest buzzwords.
“Micro weddings are awesome,” champions events producer Rebecca Green from Rebel + Anchor (rebelandanchor.co.uk). “They can give couples a real sense of freedom when planning their big, yet micro day. With a select number of guests who are their nearest and dearest, there are no worries about who to seat next to each other and no concern that their other half hasn’t actually met the extended families, friends or work colleagues.”
Tamara and Christopher married at Treseren (treseren.co.uk) in September 2019. “Christopher and I knew from the beginning that we wanted an intimate wedding ceremony that allowed us to spend quality time with our family and friends,” says Tamara. “We specifically looked into venues that would provide everything we needed with personal touches to our special day. We wanted a smaller wedding that would provide a relaxed and intimate feel.”
“Everything we wished for we found at Treseren,” she continues. “We were able to spend quality time with our family and friends and continued this throughout the night and into the next day at our leisure. There was minimal staff, allowing us to relax and really feel at home, and the whole venue was available to us only. The kids were able to explore the gardens and our family labrador Hachi was free to roam. We both felt that there were no drawbacks to the day.”
Emma from Treseren further explains the appeal. “Having been part of hosting so many incredibly intimate weddings, we genuinely believe small weddings are wonderful. Our average wedding size is 12 – 20 guests and we have witnessed first-hand the real love and sincerity, as well as the fun and laughter that these special, intimate celebrations bring. There is a reason this micro wedding trend is taking hold! It’s because it is a brilliant way for a couple to design their own wedding day, which doesn’t have to cost the earth, but is all about them and the most important people in their lives.”
“There is something very relaxed about small weddings – more time to chat, more time to just enjoy the spaces and time together,” continues Emma. “Having chosen to avoid the huge guest list, just the most important people to the couple are present and you get this incredible supportive, happy and warm atmosphere.”
A matter of cost
One benefit of a micro wedding is its relative inexpensiveness, since having fewer guests gives the option to save money or spend it elsewhere.
“Feeding 20 guests as opposed to 120 guests means couples can consider that cordon bleu chef and seven-course dining extravaganza if they’re both foodies,” says Rebecca.
“A small wedding on average costs a lot less than a large wedding,” says Emma. “Although that doesn’t mean a compromise on quality – in fact, we hear our couples telling us that they want a really fantastic menu with locally sourced produce, good champagne and a sense of treating their guests to a fabulous day.”
By reappropriating funds, you’re essentially able to treat each individual guest more, packing your day full of thoughtful detail to make it a more sensory experience.
“If there are not as many guests, then really great hospitality in a beautiful setting can be affordable. What’s great about doing things on a micro scale is that the spend per head can go up, but the overall cost go down,” says Emma.
What’s more, it follows that the environmental cost could also be less, minimising the carbon footprint of you and your guests to give your wedding greater benevolence and sense of eco conscience.
Your day, your way
“If you’re after a relaxed, intimate and special feel to your wedding day then a micro wedding is for you,” extols Tamara of the bespoke factor micro weddings bestow.
“Each wedding at Treseren is unique,” says Emma. “Because we offer exclusive use, and it’s a very secluded setting, our couples can take over the space for a few days and bring their own ideas and atmosphere. As they are on a smaller scale, micro weddings are easy to personalise and couples can focus on the details that are important to them – such as incredible food, a special floral installation, or beautiful stationery.”
“A small wedding doesn’t mean having to compromise on style or the type of day a couple wants. We host our intimate weddings at weekends as well as weekdays – they always look beautiful and although the guest list is small, they are big on style and atmosphere.”
Another bonus is that couples can more freely exercise carte blanche rights in every aspect of their day. “A micro wedding can be anything a couple wants it to be,” says Emma. “We see traditional elements, and we see couples inventing their own style of how they want to get married, choosing the elements of tradition they want to keep and throwing away any parts they don’t like. For some, traditional rituals like cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet are a must. Others don’t bother with tradition at all. We had one very relaxed family wedding last summer in the sunshine that was followed by table tennis on the lawn and a barbecue.”
Rebecca is replete with ideas of how to achieve a personalised micro wedding. “Styling and décor can be much more intimate, cosy – and it’s pretty easy to achieve a breathtaking atmosphere with some festoon lighting, lit candles and beautiful blooms. If you’re lucky with the weather, an intimate al fresco dining experience under drop festoons is one to remember.”
“Favours can really be personal and customised, for example, you can hire a caricaturist to sketch everyone or the dinner scene,” she adds.
“Another great positive is that you can have some real fun at the dinner table. You can have one big old table, with all your loved ones around. You could have really creative food choices, making the dinner an interactive experience for each guest. The cake doesn’t need to be traditional, or large – or even a cake at all!”
By freeing up time and budget, couples can design a unique day that entirely suits them and their guests – including an array of additional activities and indulgences.
“I love the idea of an adventure-filled micro wedding where the day is tied in with an adventure that the guests can join in, for example, hot-air ballooning or surf lessons,” says Rebecca.
“There’s also more money for other fun stuff either pre or post-wedding,” she suggests. “They can do that zip wire ride with friends, have an early morning yoga session or, if they prefer, take the group wine tasting, perhaps the day after.”
“I think micro weddings are definitely on the up and I can see why: they’re fun, generally relaxed and very, very bespoke to the couple,” concludes Rebecca.
TOP TIPS FOR PLANNING A MICRO WEDDING
Tempted? Emma from Treseren shares her advice for couples considering a micro celebration
Do what feels right for you! If you want to opt for a small wedding, it may be that you cannot invite everybody, but the great thing about choosing a small venue with limited numbers means that people you don’t invite should not feel offended – they should understand that this is what you have chosen and be happy for you. For those that celebrate with you, they will enjoy a really special and personal day with you.
When you’re looking for a venue, imagine how you want your day to flow and to feel and whether the venue feels right. Most couples who decide on a micro wedding look for an exclusive use venue that does not include access from members of the public, or open to other guests, meaning a very intimate and special experience can be created. You do not want to feel ‘lost’ in a setting that feels too big and amplifies the small numbers, you need somewhere ‘just right’ with plenty of space for everybody to relax, but the right proportions for the intimate atmosphere to be created.
Take time to check that the venue host really understands how you envisage your day to be, and whether they include planning and coordination. It’s so important for small weddings that the team behind the scenes is happy to blend in to the atmosphere created by you and your guests. Every wedding is unique, and a good intimate venue will absolutely understand and embrace this. If you can’t visit to view the venue and meet the owner, make sure you have a telephone or Skype call to build connection and understanding.
MAKE MICRO MAGIC
Ok, so you’re ready to go micro? These venues specialise in small-scale celebrations
Set amidst gorgeous gardens and sprawling Cornish countryside, this Georgian gem offers style and romance in abundance. Choose from fireside nuptials in the elegantly designed interiors to sun-drenched celebrations in the picturesque gardens, perfect for garden games, barbecues and toasting marshmallows beneath the stars.
From a cosy, candlelit ceremony as the Atlantic rollers crash at the rocks below to al fresco vows before the calm, shimmering seas of summer, Beacon Crag is all about the romance. Amongst its many charms, the clifftop house has terraced gardens, bedrooms with sea views, an apartment for two, and a hot tub.
Colourful, luxurious and packed with personality, Lower Barns comprises a cluster of characterful retreats set amidst glorious gardens, complete with purpose-built ceremony rooms and The Party Shed – a fun space brilliantly decked out for the small big day of your dreams!
Steeped in maritime history and home to a fleet of classic tall ships, Charlestown Harbour is a wildly romantic wedding venue for sea-loving souls. Marry in the Round House and host an atmospheric reception on board star of the silver screen Kajsamoor.
The Park Cornwall
Close to the sands of Mawgan Porth beach, The Park Cornwall offers a series of micro wedding-ready spaces: a cosy yurt, stylish eco lodge or contemporary restaurant, The Kitchen on the Beach. There are also great facilities on-site for a family-friendly affair.
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