Planning a San Diego Microwedding

We’ve all been to massive, over-the-top weddings — ceremonies with full seating, extravagant receptions brimming with hundreds of guests, and even extraneous activities in days leading up to and following the “I do”s. And massive undertakings are more than fine for those that want to opt for them.

But what if you’ve been thinking about something a bit less overwhelming? A wedding that’s a little more understated, with only a few close loved ones and a reception that CAN’T be seen from outer space? As it turns out, you’re not alone. The hottest wedding trend in 2021 is the “microwedding” — low-key ceremonies followed by close-knit receptions with limited guest lists and modest budgets. There are many benefits to keeping it simple, and more couples than ever are going small. 

If you’ve been thinking about planning a wedding that you’ll remember more for intimacy than intimidation, read on for some tips on exchanging your vows in a slightly subtler setting.

Think Small 

Many couples find it liberating to focus on planning a microwedding from the outset. Rather than obsessing over bride’s side vs. groom’s side, seating charts for hundreds of guests, plus finding a way to pay for dinners for everyone (don’t forget the kosher, vegetarian/vegan, and allergen-free options), the couple can keep their guest list to just immediate family and close friends. The average headcount at a modern microwedding is fewer than 30 people —  including officiant, party, couple, and vendors (e.g., caterers, entertainment, etc.). So start breathing that sigh of relief now. 

Get Creative  

Now that you’ve pared down your guest list, it’s time to start figuring out the experience you’d like to create for them — and yourself. Since you won’t be attempting to accommodate the sensibilities of scores of attendees, you have some flexibility. Maybe you’d like to keep it casual and pooh-pooh the idea of formal wear. Or spend a little more on flowers, since the food and venue bills will be more modest. Or even rent a house with your crew and make a weekend of it. It’s your wedding, so you can make it entirely yours. 

Food Flexibility 

We’ve all been to weddings with a one-size-fits-all catering approach — one featuring plate after plate of the same homogenized entrées in the same plating and portion size. But since you’ve opted to go small, you’ve given yourself (and your guests) a lot more options. You could set up a buffet-style series of steam tables featuring classic favorites like casserole, baked pasta, or wings. Potluck-style dinners are also popular, with each guest bringing a dish to pass. Or, if your guest list is modest enough, you could just bring the whole gang to a favorite local restaurant. It’s your reception, so do it your way. 

Non-Traditional Venues 

Massive weddings require massive settings — like churches, halls, and ballrooms — all of which can be expensive and have limited availability. But a microwedding? It can be held anywhere that’s big enough to accommodate two dozen or so people. Public parks can make for a lovely spot. So can backyards. Maybe a rustic barn,or charming gazebo. Even a living room with adequate floor space could do. The idea is modesty, informality, and togetherness. With a little TLC, nearly anywhere can suffice.

Understated Entertainment 

Your cousin had that string quartet. Your college friend hired a band. A lot of other folks you know had a DJ haul in some huge speakers and a complicated setup. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that. But you’re opting for inconspicuous, right? So maybe you might want to put together a streaming playlist ahead of time and craft a curated experience for your guests. Or put an ad out on Craigslist for a local acoustic guitar-toting singer/songwriter. Chances are you have at least one friend with an extensive music collection who wouldn’t mind bringing over a laptop and a set of shelf speakers. Think outside the box, and you could surprise yourself with how satisfying subtlety can be.  

Let Some Seasoned Pros Help 

The wedding planners at Best Western Plus Island Palms have cumulative decades of experience at putting together truly memorable experiences. We excel at helping to craft unique events to suit anyone’s sensibilities, needs, and budget — including microweddings made to the exact wishes of the happy couple. No wedding is too small for our experts! So if you’d like to hold your wedding at our elegant marina-view hotel, we’d love to go over your options with you. Feel free to stop by our San Diego Weddings Information Page, and reach out to us with any questions you may have.