Theresa and David’s wedding ceremony is a good example of a microwedding.
Theresa called me near the end of April to discuss what she and David were looking for and to ask about options. They wanted just a few people present, nearly all family, in a semi-rural spot near their home. They chose a quiet setting on a small wooden bridge over a gurgling stream, and decided on simple flowers and minimal decorations.
Theresa and David decided on “Do you ...?” “I do.” vows, which they customized to fit their personalities. They chose to have no readings nor unity ceremony, keeping their wedding ceremony simple and tasteful. Then it was off to Town Hall to get their marriage license!
David had previously bought the arch from the wedding section of a local craft store and Theresa found the purple tulle and ribbon. It was short work for David to assemble the arch, and even easier to add the tulle and ribbon.
On Wedding Day, I stopped briefly at the house, then David and the male contingent travelled to the ceremony site. Theresa and her flower girl joined us shortly. By then the guests had arrived and taken their places.
After the ceremony, The Kiss, and the well-wishes, the freshly-married Mr. and Mrs. and their guests went to the couple’s home for a simple reception. As usual, I headed homeward with a happy heart rejoicing at the joy of love.
Some couples think about having a microwedding now and a social celebration later.
Theresa and David’s microwedding was intended to be their only marriage ceremony and celebration.
“Is having a microwedding the same as eloping?”
Elopements tend not to be announced in advance to families and friends, are often informal, and are very seldom held at a commercial wedding venue.
According to Anna Goldfarb in the New York Times article, “Unlike an elopement, which is organized by the bride and groom in secret, a microwedding retains some of the structure of a traditional wedding, except on a smaller scale.”
The word “Elopement” used to be synonymous with “Secret”, as in “secret departure.” Today, an elopement usually means one couple plus one officiant plus one marriage license equals one legally married couple.
“Can we have a microwedding now and a bigger wedding and reception later?”
Absolutely! Couples in 2020 (and 2021) are having a microwedding on the date that they had originally planned and having a fun, social celebration later.
One key detail is that your legal wedding would be taking place on your originally planned wedding date. No need to cancel your wedding. No reason to have your wedding rings engraved with a different date. No lost retainers if your venue, caterer, photographer, and your other wedding professionals are still available for your date. If you decide to scale back, from 200 guests to 20 guests, for example, some of your wedding professionals may decide to scale back their fees. Depending on how things are going, some venues may not be available even if you have reserved them. Caveat emptor.
You may decide to ask your DJ, for example, to switch your original date to the same date next year or just later this year. Just a friendly word of warning: Talk to your wedding professionals now. Many, many couples want to get married on a Saturday and there are only 52 per year.
“Somebody said we should have a Minimony and a Sequel Wedding. What are those?”
According to Esther Lee on The Knot, “... a minimony is a mini ceremony held with your loved ones, or simply a moment of commitment shared between yourselves.”
In other words, you may decide to have your minimony with a dozen guests, a simple bouquet and boutonniere, neither bridesmaids nor groomsmen, one photographer, and an officiant. For your reception, you might have cupcakes or perhaps a small, one-tier wedding cake. You would be just as legally married as if you had 250 guests.
Please note that a minimony may be a commitment ceremony and does not have to be a legal wedding ceremony.
There are many reasons that couples may not wish to (or be able to) have a legally binding wedding, but still want to make formal declarations of love and support.
“What Is a Sequel Wedding?” In the same article, Esther Lee answers “After your minimony, continue prepping for your sequel wedding, or the original wedding that you had planned.”
In other words, when times are better you may have your sequel wedding with 250 guests, a dozen people in your wedding party, a photographer and a second shooter, live musicians, and an officiant. Your reception might be a plated dinner, dancing with a DJ, a full bar, and sparklers for your sendoff.
Your sequel wedding could be your legal wedding or your one-year-anniversary vow renewal.
The Traditional Marriage Format is Evolving
What questions do you have?
You are always welcome to ask questions and chat about your vision for your marriage ceremony! There is no cost nor obligation for text message, phone call, or Zoom meeting.