Celebrating the significance of life’s moments is crucial to happiness and satisfaction. Enjoying flavorful cocktails, eating fabulous food, and dancing under the moonlit sky. Small events and micro weddings are continually a popular trend and are on track to remain so, especially during the pandemic.
The uncertainty of large-scale events has inundated the hospitality industry. COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines have hindered large gatherings. By pivoting to intimate social gatherings, people may feel more comfortable continuing to celebrate life’s moments. Small events and micro weddings are still necessary and important—it is often the small details in our lives that bring us the most happiness.
How do you make the most of small events and micro weddings? A unique, small event is the best opportunity to really live your life in the moment. You can still have everyone you want surrounding you. It is an intimate, engaging experience. It can revitalize you in a way that will last well beyond the event’s duration. The following steps are a way to guide you through throwing an event. The result will be uniquely engaging and personally fulfilling to everyone involved.
Determine the goal(s) of your small event.
There are a few factors that can make small events and micro weddings unique and each organizer may have their own goal(s). They will ultimately make the personal event standout.
- Genre. Will this be a micro-wedding? A family gathering? Birthday, bridal/baby shower, graduation, dinner party, or just because?
- Brand awareness
- Non-profit / fundraiser
- Will it be a live event, virtual, and/or hybrid? Be sure to consider what type of technology pieces you may need to implement?
Brainstorm the theme, colors, style, and vibe for your small event
A big part of planning small events and micro weddings is determining the right venue or atmosphere. There are ways to scale an elopement, micro-wedding, and/or intimate ceremony with close friends and family. Re-think traditional options—go for a unique, stylish, shabby-chic, or bold venue. Remember, this is your chance to pick the location and vibe that feels perfect for YOU!
Develop a few creative mood boards on social media channels such as Pinterest. This can help elevate the entire concept, bring ideas together and give you some creative inspiration.
Finalize a guest list and guest count for your small event
One key factor in planning a special small event or micro wedding is that you have flexibility with fewer guests. This can dictate guest seating and arrangements, detailed decor, fun-vibrant cake or food elements, and entertainment.
Typically, small events and micro weddings range from 2 to 50 people. A growing trend is keeping the guest list intimate with close family & friends. This may eliminate unknown plus ones or distant relatives. However, it’s ultimately up to you who you’d like to include on your special day!
Confirm an overall budget, then, break down that budget into each element of your event. Take note of which vendors are more important to your personal event goals. Mark the vendors you may want to scale back on.
Look for cost-friendly ways to DIY. Also allocate funds to the most important features of your event.
Coordinating with a team of vendors who understand your goals will help bring your vision to life. From adding a flower crown to the bride’s loose locks of curls, to a sassy, pop of mauve lip color to make a statement in photos.
When deciding between the DIY route or the professional route, keep the following in mind:
- DIY can be cost-effective. It can also allow you to hone in on your arts and crafts skills, such as on creating unique, customized decor elements. But, DIYing can also be very time and labor intensive, so make sure you have the time, energy and resources for each of your DIY projects!
- Qualified event professionals will help tie the event together flawlessly. Plus, having qualified event professionals helping you will allow you to enjoy all of your event and will allow for a stress-free day!
Creative professional vendors you may want to consider for your small event or micro wedding could include:
- Event Planner/Coordinator: Of Joy Signature Events
- DJ and Sound System: The Dapper DJs
- Florist: Steel Magnolias Flower Shop
- Photographer: Mel Kay Photography Jo Marie Portraits
- Videographer: BE Videography
- Mobile Bar Service: Black Label Bar
- Hair: Mauve and Maple Hair Salon
- Make-Up: JKW Beauty
- Cake: Sage Cakery
- Venue: West Hills Manor
COVID-19 and Events
Make sure you talk to your entire vendor team. Don’t forget the core components – wedding/ event planner /coordinator, venue manager/contact, and catering contact. Discuss any protocols for guest size, food serving, cake-cutting, beverages, dancing, transportation, masks, sanitation, and socially distant floor plan set-ups. Also, be sure to take note of any waivers that may need to be signed ahead of time. All parties should be aware of the COVID-19 expectations.
Born and raised right outside of Frederick, MD, she graduated from Middletown High School, in 2008. During her senior year, Allie held a local event planning internship, planning educational programs, summer camps, and special events.
Allie then attended Shippensburg University, in the rural town of Shippensburg, PA. After holding various leadership positions within her sorority, she interned for a local non-profit organization. She assisted with the marketing and public relations efforts, including the planning and execution of fundraisers and community engagement events. In 2012, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Communication Studies and a minor in Psychology.
After graduating college, Allie moved to the Baltimore, MD area and graduated with her Event Management Certification, in 2015. Within the past eight years, she maintained several positions within the ‘charm city’ event industry; including weddings, special events, higher education & corporate event services, and event rental sales. She currently resides in Frederick, MD, and also works for an event mobile technology company.
Photo Credit: Alicia Wiley Photography