Given the recent rise in popularity of micro weddings, we thought it would be valuable to compile a list of five key considerations for our venue partners to think about when hosting a smaller scale event.
We first start out by defining what a micro wedding is-
A micro wedding can be described as an event with ‘20-50 people and includes all of the elements of a traditional wedding' (Jackie, Jaclyn Watson Events).
While many couples keep their decor, floral and catering plans as elaborate (or even more!) as they would for larger scale weddings, some venues have also found that couples who ‘are looking for a wedding experience but on a more close-knit and cost effective basis’ (Erin, The Barn at Benson’s Pond) tend to also be drawn to micro wedding packages that help them keep things simple.
With unique style and decor options and a smaller guest count in mind, here are five items we suggest that you consider when creating your micro wedding package or offering to couples :
Photo Credit: bailey q photo
1. Space for Social Distancing
Think about the best way to utilize the space you have. Perhaps have layout recommendations that capitalize on certain views or use the space best to make the celebration feel intimate while still providing a safe distance between guests. Some hosts have found that this unique guest count has also allowed them to keep ‘both ceremony and reception in the same space minimizing need the for rain/weather back-ups’ (Erin, The Barn at Benson’s Pond).
One of the many beauties of a nontraditional wedding venue is that no matter where you are located on the property, you’ll have access to a unique view or beautiful greenery! 'Think of how your space can stand out with truly incredible photo backdrops -- from sweeping mountain views, to custom vintage displays, showcasing something unique can really draw a couple in. At the end of the day, while a couple's guest count might be less than 10, it doesn't mean they don't want that insta-worthy photo to share with the world' (Kelly, Venue Operations at Mayflower).
A few recommendations from one of our planner friends include- “picture a ceremony followed by a picnic reception in a gorgeous field or even a wedding on a lake where guests can join via boat and the couple is married on shore,” (Sorrell, Events By Sorrell). Let your couples know that they don’t have to sacrifice the beauty and aesthetic of the venue because they are hosting a smaller guest count.
2. Available Amenities
Determine what amenities will be needed for the unique guest count and length of the celebration and make it clear in your offering. Do you have a separate restroom that guests can use rather than them renting a full restroom trailer? Our friend Nicole, from Nicole Mower Weddings and Events, and sister company, Elope Maine, recommends ‘if you typically only offer weekend-long services, consider offering your property for one night or even for only a few hours.’
Have a plan set in place for how this offering will differ from your standard one so you can provide couples with all the information they will need to feel confident and comfortable in using your space for their special day!
When it comes to pricing, consider the following:
- Guest count. The difference in wear and tear on your property of a 10 person versus a 100 person wedding is significant and should be taken into consideration when coming up with fair pricing. Think about how the lower guest count will affect how the couple uses your space-perhaps you no longer have to mow your back field for additional parking- whatever it may be, take note of how your property will likely require less prep and less clean up for a smaller scale event.
- Labor. How much labor and time goes into preparing your property before the event and cleaning it up after the event? When it comes to micro weddings The Barn at Benson’s Pond, hints that ‘by keeping [the guest counts] small they limited [their] staffing needs for off peak dates Sunday - Thursday’ (Erin, The Barn at Benson’s Pond) which allows them to offer lower priced packages to couples. Take note of what your staffing requirements will be for these more intimate events, while also ensuring that you are still getting compensated for the efforts going into making this day happen for the couple.
- Event Length. Similar to guest count, the length of the event and what exact events are occurring (ceremony only, reception, etc) will help dictate what is needed to prepare your space for a smaller scale event, as well as, what type of wear and tear of your property to expect. Perhaps the shorter event will also allow for you to keep your farm stand open later? Or will it allow for your staff to clock out earlier in the evening? The (potentially) shorter event time will certainly impact your pricing and packaging for a micro wedding.
Ultimately, you want to come up with a fair price. One that feels custom to the couple due to the difference in event, but allows you to optimize your profits and provide you with some income!
4. Meaningful Add-Ons
Many hosts have also incorporated unique-to-their-venue items into their packages. Do you have hand-crafted farm tables that can seat a smaller guest count? Perhaps include them into the pricing. Are you situated on a dairy farm? Maybe consider providing the cheese for the cocktail hour. ‘When it comes to trends of a micro wedding, it is all about the intimacy and creativity that you have for a small guest count’(Jackie, Jaclyn Watson Events)- There are many ways that you can incorporate a unique aspect of your venue into a smaller scale event that will prove to be meaningful to the couple and escalate the guest experience without breaking the bank for you.
When thinking about nice add-ons, consider “a place for the bride to get ready on-site, a designated ceremony location, a space for food trucks or a picnic (whatever they decide on for reception!) then a send off (Sorrell, Events By Sorrell). At the end of the day, ‘micro in size doesn't mean micro in meaning. Think about special add ons that you can include in your package to make your couple's feel special. From a champagne toast, to an overnight honeymoon suite -- each little detail means a lot for their special day” (Kelly, Venue Operations at Mayflower).
5. Vendor Partnerships
Especially in the upcoming few months, many micro weddings will be coming together quickly due to COVID-19 postponements and cancellations. Couples will be searching for vendors that have openings and are able to support them on their special day. Consider partnering with local vendors and offering their services pre-packaged as one of your options. This way, couples will be able to quickly assemble a vendor team, you’ll be supporting local businesses that likely need the business, and you’ll feel confident that the folks coming onto your property will execute the event seamlessly. At the Barn at Benson’s Pond, they ‘started doing intimate style weddings as a collaboration with [their] favorite wedding coordinator and a few other vendors that [they] had a very easy and comfortable relationship with,’ so while ‘the vendors are set... the couples still get a bit of customization allowing for it to have the “real wedding” feel’ (Erin, The Barn at Benson’s Pond).
Fast forward to the future… Having local vendors that you can trust and rely on (and vice versa) will set you up for:
- Providing superior customer service to your couples
- Making your couples’ experience feel seamless and easy
- Generating more business between you and your partner vendors through recommendations and referrals
Photo Credit: The Gowens
At the end of the day, while there are a few important items to consider before presenting your micro wedding offering- the benefits of helping today’s (and future) couples find a place they can host their special day in an intimate setting and for a reasonable price is worth it! You’ll be able to continue sharing your space with more in-love couples, continue to make new vendor connections and some additional income to support your business. It’s a win-win-win!
Interested in hosting micro weddings or already have an intimate wedding package? Update your listing to show your unique offering to couples today!