How to have a Micro Wedding in 2021

Bride and groom toasting speeches and drinking champagne during their Indiana backyard wedding.

In the age of the COVID pandemic, micro weddings have quickly become very popular. And we have a feeling that micro weddings are solidified into the industry and here to stay. But what even is a micro wedding?


Micro Wedding

A MICRO WEDDING, ALSO KNOWN AS AN INTIMATE WEDDING IS A SMALL SCALE AFFAIR, TYPICALLY NO MORE THAN 50 GUESTS. MICRO WEDDINGS BLEND ELEMENTS OF TRADITIONAL WEDDINGS WITH MORE FREEDOM TO CREATE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE.


Let’s be honest, weddings are expensive. The US nation average is a whopping $33,900 for a traditional wedding. And guest counts can easily sky rocket into the hundreds. If the thought of a strained bank account and talking with guests you don’t even know pains you, but you don’t want to elope alone, then a micro wedding is perfect for you.

My husband and I were very seriously considering eloping. But I also dreamed of walking down an aisle and dancing with my grandpa. So we settled on an intimate wedding. And it was the best decision we made. We got married on a Monday afternoon, with 45 of our close friends and family. We had pizza and chocolate cake and danced under string lights with dirty dress hemlines. We stripped out everything that wasn’t “us” and included elements that were special in our hearts. And as a wedding photographer, I want all my couples to have an experience that they enjoyed to the fullest and feels like them too.

Bride and groom share a first kiss as husband and wife at Union 12 in Indiana.

It can be anything you dream it to be

Typically a traditional wedding is getting married in a church or venue, and then driving to a different venue for a reception. But micro weddings are infinitely flexible. You could have a ceremony and intimate reception in your grandmas backyard, or a destination wedding and dinner with friends in the mountains. The first step to planning a micro wedding should be your vision. Sit down with your boo, go over ideas, and write them down. That will help you decide what you do or don’t want for your day.

Micro wedding guests hang outside during sunset at Union 12.

Pick a location and date

Where do you envision your wedding? Maybe you are in the mountains at sunset. Or maybe a beach ceremony feels like you. Narrowing down a location can be overwhelming. So first, factor how far you are wanting to go, how many people you are wanting to have present, and the general time of year. It’s okay if you don’t have an exact date yet, keep your options open and remember that you don’t have to get married on a Saturday! Getting married during the week can mean cheaper costs and more vendors and venues that are available. From here you can start researching venues in your narrowed down area, whether it be your hometown or across the world. Make sure the venues you have narrowed down allow the amount of guests you are wanting, as some venues don’t allow over 12, where others can go up to 60. You should take into account the weather in that area with the time of year when searching for a venue as well. An outdoor wedding in October in the mountains might be snowy and cold versus July or August.

If finding a location is stressful or you don’t know where to begin, your photographer should be able to help! As a wedding and elopement photographer, I help create a location list that is unique, fits your vision, and includes details you may not even think about. If you’re needing help with finding a perfect location, I’d be more than happy to assist.

A groom's mother helps him put on his boutonniere before a backyard wedding ceremony in Indiana.

A bottle of wine sealed in a personal box during an intimate wedding ceremony on the lake.

Decide on the details

Now is the time to figure out all the fun details. Your micro wedding can be as complex or as simple as you make it to be. Start thinking about color scheme, what meal you may have, and the kind of music that fits you. Start with the basics, food, activities and alcohol. You could have just appetizers and drinks, or a brunch with mimosas, the options are endless. Then figure out what you do or don’t want to have in your wedding. Plenty of couples opt out of a garter toss, or don’t want to play games during the evening. And some have special dances and traditions they would love to incorporate. No matter what it is, remember that this is your day, and you can create a wedding that is unique and perfect for you. Don’t be afraid to leave out elements you don’t like or incorporate elements that fit you.

A bride and her sister feeding the dog of honor at an Indiana backyard wedding.

Choose your vendors

After finalizing your vision, and setting is the time to hire vendors. You don’t have to hire vendors for every single aspect of your wedding. Plenty of couples can DIY decorations instead of renting. I’ve shot weddings where the mother of the bride made the cake, or both families grill out for dinner together. At my own wedding, my dad made my bouquet out of flowers we grew in the garden. When it comes to hiring vendors, it’s best to decide what is worth the time and money. Sure, DIY decorations can be cheaper, but they may take a while to put together. It’s up to you to decide what is worth your time or what would be better to hire a vendor for. And remember to hire a fantastic photographer so your memories of the day are captured and cherished for decades. Seeing precious moments frozen in an image brings all the emotions of the day flooding back, and is the best feeling. If you haven’t decided on a photographer, I’d love to connect with you and see what we can create together. – Get in Touch with SparrowSong Collective

A bride and her mother in law hugging after getting ready for her fall wedding outdoors.

A groom and his best man on a dirt bike laughing before his moody October wedding.

Let your personalities shine

Lastly, remember to let your personalities shine throughout your wedding. Add a personal touch to guest favors, or exchange your own written vows. This is your day, and you two should have the wedding you dream of, not what others tell you. This is a celebration of you two, so why shouldn’t it be how you want? Instead of a huge traditional wedding, opt for a more personal and meaningful micro wedding, with your close friends and family. Keeping your wedding small also is so much easier to plan around COVID guidelines that are constantly changing. Be sure to check the guidelines for the area you choose leading up to the wedding, which can be found here and know that love always wins.


I’m Corinne, an intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Indiana but traveling often. I believe that your wedding should be a meaningful and unique experience, and that your images should reflect your genuine selves. I shoot candidly, capturing organic moments as they happen, so when you look back on your photos you remember the real emotions instead of a fake pose. Get in touch with me, I would be more than happy to help you create your dream wedding and capture every moment.

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