Micro Weddings Guide

Micro Weddings Guide: City Hall & Beyond

With so much uncertainty surrounding large gatherings this year, many couples are planning a micro wedding—an intimate ceremony that allows them to safely celebrate with their nearest and dearest. Backyard weddings have skyrocketed in popularity, but there are lots of options for couples who want a petite celebration farther afield. We’ve gathered tips for planning a city hall wedding or a micro wedding in a location that’s meaningful to you.

City Hall Weddings: Things to Consider

The classic courthouse wedding has long been popular with couples seeking a short and sweet option for saying ‘I do.’ (City hall elopements were especially popular in the 1920s!) If you’re planning a city hall ceremony, keep these steps in mind.

Plan Ahead

Courthouse weddings come with a built-in officiant and venue, but you’ll still need to do a bit of research before the big day! Check with your city hall to see when they perform wedding ceremonies; some only offer them on certain days, which can book up quickly or have a long wait for walk-ins. Get your marriage license in advance and gather any necessary paperwork, too.

Be Our Guest

If you’re planning to elope, skip this step! Otherwise, find out how many guests are permitted at your courthouse. Decide who will serve as your witness(es) and don’t forget to include your photographer—many courthouses count them as a guest.

Book Your Vendors

You’ll likely want a photographer to capture your ceremony (tip: they can serve as your witness if you’re eloping!). Beyond that, consider hiring a few vendors to make your day extra special, like a florist to create a gorgeous bouquet or hair and makeup artists for a glam look.

Continue the Celebration

You’ve said your vows…what’s next? Complete your day by booking a table for two at a restaurant you love, exploring the city in your wedding day finest, or gathering close friends and family for a celebratory picnic (complete with cake and champagne, of course!).

City Hall & Micro Wedding Style

The beauty of courthouse and micro wedding style is that anything goes! Here are some tips for a look that’s uniquely you.

The Outfit

If you want to wear your dream gown, go for it! (Here are some ready-right-now looks for last-minute brides.) Many city hall brides choose a jumpsuit or little white dress for effortless bridal style. If you’re headed somewhere off the beaten path (more on that below!), consider a look that’s easy to pack and pop on when you’re ready to say ‘I do.’

Finishing Touches

Even if you keep it low-key in jeans and a tee, your accessories can add some bridal flair. We love pairing a jumpsuit with a sweet fingertip veil or choosing an heirloom piece of jewelry that will remind you of the day whenever you wear it.

Go Glam

If you’re not planning to hire a hair stylist or makeup artist, take a peek at our tutorials for rounding out your look with DIY hair and makeup!

Micro Wedding Location Ideas

If a city hall ceremony or backyard wedding isn’t your style, perhaps you’d prefer something more adventurous! Here are a few creative places to say ‘I do’ along with essentials to keep in mind.

Park & Garden Weddings

A park wedding or ceremony at a local garden is a sweet and simple option for small celebrations. Keep in mind that many parks and gardens remain open to the public during your ceremony and may limit the number of guests or length of the event. You might also consider local farms for a rustic field wedding. Pack a picnic to share after your garden wedding vows.

Hiking & Camping Weddings

If you and your beloved adore the great outdoors, consider this adventurous option! With state and national parks reopening, now is the perfect time for a hiking or camping wedding in a jaw-dropping location. Who says you can’t wear a gown with hiking boots?

Reimagine Your Venue

With large celebrations postponed, many venues are working with couples to plan smaller weddings. If you put a large event on hold, ask if your venue is available for a micro wedding. Your guest list may be smaller, but you’ll have flexibility in terms of timing, guest count, and décor.

Micro Weddings: Things to Consider

Since they’re often held in a non-traditional venue, micro weddings require some unique planning considerations. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Permission Granted

If you’re getting married in a public park, garden or national park, you’ll likely need a permit. Reach out to your desired location to get the green light on location, time, and guest count before you make any other decisions.

Make It Official

No matter where you get married, you’ll need an officiant! A few states allow self-uniting marriage licenses that make it possible to elope solo, but most require an ordained officiant. Line up a clergy member, justice of the peace, professional officiant, or friend who’s willing to get ordained.

Gather Your Guests

It’s easy to invite your dearly beloved to a local park wedding, but Grandma might not be up for a hike to your backcountry vows. Keep your must-have guests in mind when choosing your location to be sure everyone can make it.

Go Virtual

If you’re planning a wedding in a remote location, your guests can still join from afar thanks to the recent Zoom wedding trend.

photos: @everoxphotography | bride: @lauremabanza

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