Getting ready to tie the knot, and want to learn how to have a sustainable wedding? If a green affair is at the top of your wish list, consider a micro wedding. Here’s why this tiny take on your “big day” could be the eco-friendly option that tops all others.
Weddings might be a whole lot of fun, but they can also cause a whole lot of environmental impact. Between flights for your 150+ guests, wedding party attire that’ll only be worn once, and the disposable “necessities” of a reception– well, you get the picture.
Often, a big party equals a big (environmental) mess. And, while there’s a common expectation that a wedding must include a large gathering with all your friends and family, a new trend is challenging that belief. Micro weddings are growing in popularity, and that’s good news for the planet (and for your budget, too).
What is a micro wedding?
If you’re not familiar with the term, a micro wedding might sound a whole lot like an elopement. But that’s not the case. Micro weddings typically involve 20 or fewer guests, and they include many of the usual wedding tradtions. In contrast, an elopement only involves the couple and an officiant.
For couples that want their loved ones involved, but want to keep the footprint of their nuptials low, a micro wedding is the perfect solution. Here’s why.
Micro wedding, micro impact
Because micro weddings are so much smaller than the typical wedding, it’s easier to be intentional about the details of your celebration. While choosing plastic cups might be the only viable option for a guestlist of 200 or more, it’s quite realistic to purchase and wash reusable glasses for a group of 25. The same goes for using a smaller, local venue, and choosing decor that’s already owned or can be borrowed from neighbors and friends.
For those hoping to figure out how to have a sustainable wedding on a budget, a micro wedding also offers a welcome balance. Often, more sustainable wedding ideas, like serving food that’s be locally raised, are pricey, which can make them difficult to implement on a tight budget. Because micro weddings involve only a select number of guests, it’s less costly to make these eco-choices a reality.
How much does a micro wedding cost?
Speaking of price, you might be wondering just how much you can expect to spend on these tiny celebrations. The average cost of a micro wedding is significantly less than a traditional wedding (which averages about $30,000). The most expensive micro weddings are around $10,000, with the majority costing less than a few thousand dollars.
Like any wedding, micro weddings can be put on within a range of budgets. Many couples choose to turn the intimate experience of a small celebration into a time to treat their guests extravagantly. Others are able to limit costs with options like compostable dinnerware and a backyard venue. At the end of the day, choosing a micro wedding simply allows for more budget flexibility and freedom.
5 Sustainable Micro Wedding Ideas To Make Your Celebration Shine
Think a micro wedding might just be the perfect fit? With less stress and more flexibility, it’s easier to make this mini event all your (eco-friendly) own. Check out these five tips to give your event planning a head start.
1. Personalize, personalize, personalize
One of the crowning principles of eco-friendly living is to choose things that will be used again and again. So, rather than going for generic table favors that will be tossed the next day, give the small guest list something they’ll truly appreciate. Want to gift something sentimental? How about a framed image of the couple with each guest. For a cold weather celebration, consider an engraved mug that they can use to keep their drinks warm all night long. And at a backyard wedding, look into reusable utensils that they’ll find handy again and again.
2. Let the venue speak for itself
One of the most glorious benefits of choosing a micro wedding is the number of spaces you’re able to book for your venue. Always wanted to get married in a national park? Dreaming of a reception at your local Italian restaurant? Now, you can. With a small group, many unique spaces can be the backdrop for your day. Sustainably speaking, this means you can skip the single-use decor and instead, enjoy the surroundings that are already in place.
3. Give yourself (and the bridal party) permission to be unique
Say “no thanks” to wedding-day attire that will only be worn once. Want to walk the aisle in a two piece outfit rather than a dress? Go for it. Does your bridal party already have outfits that they love? Let them wear them. Chances are, if you and your guests wear clothing they really like, they’ll be more comfortable. And, it’s much more likely that the outfits will be worn again and again.
4. Focus on non-material things
There’s a lot to be said for the things that can’t be bought at a store. With the freedom of a micro wedding, you can take time to write personal vows to each other. Or, take the money you would have spent on table decor for a banquet, and put it towards booking a musician or band that you love. Want to skip guest favors all together? How about writing each guest a note letting them know just how much you appreciate their presence.
5. Connect with your local makers
Since you’re sourcing things for 20 people instead of 200, you can support the local businesses you love. Have a favorite bakery? Ask them for help crafting a cake (or a set of cupcakes) for the day. Want some unique decor? Ask a local artist if you can rent a few of their pieces to display for the night. By tapping into your local community, you can add a one-of-a-kind touch to your micro wedding while keeping the carbon footprint of the event low.
Want more inspiration and tips for how to have a sustainable wedding? Explore our curated wedding and events page.