I have a Pinterest page dedicated to my dream wedding, and I always assumed it would be small. It would be more cozy and economical, so it was a win-win. I even considered having a courthouse wedding. Then I caught wind of the micro wedding trend, and I realized I’d been planning one all along.
A micro wedding is just as the name implies. It is a smaller version of a regular wedding. It’s been compared to eloping, but it isn’t a secret and guests are invited. The number of guests and decor are all scaled down, saving time and money. The average wedding costs around $30,000, and I refuse to pay that much.
I have a huge family, so limiting attendance will save me a ton of money. One hundred person guest lists are the norm, but I can’t afford that. I once considered a destination wedding to limit my guest list for me. However, the travel costs would make it less affordable for everyone involved. My micro dream wedding has my immediate family and my five closest friends.
To include everyone else, I like the idea of streaming the wedding online. That can fetch about $2,500. Alternatively, feeding each guest can cost between $30 and $100. I can have a guest list of 100 with just my relatives, not to mention the groom’s side. My estimated cost just for food ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 for my guests alone. The savings are apparent, and everyone will get to see the ceremony.
To make sure everyone can participate in some of the fun, I want to have a potluck party versus a reception. The venue can cost almost half of the average wedding costs. If I go to the Justice of the Peace or borrow someone’s pretty backyard, I can save over $10,000. I can then use those funds toward a down payment on a house or for several trips, including my honeymoon. By having a potluck, I save on catering costs. I don’t like cake, so I save $350 to $450 there. My mother could probably feed 100 or more people with that budget alone. She did something similar for my sister’s reception.
Another way I plan to save money on my wedding, and my marriage, is avoiding the mined diamond ring. I played around on the Tiffany & Co. website to see what a two-carat engagement ring in my style would be valued. It came out to over $49,000. I went to Brilliant Earth and compared it to a similar ring with engineered stones, and it totaled slightly over $9,000. If I decrease the size or clarity, the ring price decreases even further.
Considering I don’t generally wear rings, I may go for something understated for my engagement ring and band. My husband-to-be can have whichever wedding band is his style and in our budget. If I have my way, the rings, ceremony, and reception will cost less than $5,000, and I will pay cash.