Microweddings are weddings with fewer than fifty guests.They are currently experiencing a surge in popularity, sharing many of the characteristics of large, traditional weddings but with a smaller guest list that usually includes family and close friends.
Canadian-based The Pop-Up Chapel Co. pairs with an existing charity and top class wedding vendors to provide a professionally-styled wedding that lasts one to two hours. Four weddings are hosted on the same day, each with a dedicated time slot. Decor and the venue styling costs are shared by the four couples, helping to keep costs down and to reduce the amount of waste associated with weddings. More and more couples nowadays are looking for ways to tie the knot in an eco-conscious manner. A C$300 (R3500) minimum amount is required as a donation. To date they’ve raised over C$55,000 for a variety of causes.
Above: More about the Pop-Up Chapel Co.
Locally, we have Pop Up Wedding SA. Founded two years ago, this Johannesburg-based company is offering “a new way to wed”, catering for 20 – 30 guests. A booking grants access to a private venue, professionally styled and set up with everything needed for the big event. One Pop Up Wedding is held per month and a maximum of four consecutive weddings take place on the day. The setup is shared so couples are able to have an exclusive wedding at a reduced cost. The company is currently hosting weddings around Johannesburg but is in the process of expanding to Durban.
Just Elope is a US-based microwedding provider that offers a “luxe experience on an intimate scale”. All of the wedding requirements are taken care of and the couple and their guests need only arrive. Catering for up to 20 guests, the company partners with picturesque venues that do not require any decor. Founded by Jennifer Allen in 2017, who eloped in 2010 and, after years of trying to plan the perfect wedding, “decided that I was done planning and that I wanted to fill the void that I saw in the wedding market and make getting married simple and affordable for other couples so that they did not have to stress and at that moment Just Elope was born.”
One of the major advantages aside from the lower cost of microweddings, is the reduction of stress. Planning a wedding can be a major source of anxiety for a couple and these weddings typically take care of all arrangements, leaving the hosts to welcome their guests and enjoy the day. These weddings also appeal to the more introverted, who may not want to be the focus of attention of a large group of guests and instead, share this milestone moment with a small group of loved ones.
However, not all couples are motivated by finances. Wedding planner Stefanie Cove says that “couples can certainly save money by going the route of microweddings, though many decide to actually spend their full budget. Only on less people. Some couples will even take their budget and host the hotel rooms for their guests, along with transportation and other items that may not normally be affordable for a larger-size wedding.”
This trend is being driven by two macro trends, the sharing economy and sustainability. Sharing wedding-related paraphernalia allows couples to have a more socially conscious wedding, which is a high priority for the younger millennial and Gen Z generations.
There was a growing demand for these intimate weddings pre Covid-19 but the pandemic has accelerated this trend. Large gatherings are still not allowed in many parts of the world, and there is no indication of when this will change. In addition, when mass gatherings become legal again, will people be comfortable in crowds – or have the financial means to host large weddings?
How can your organisation cater for those looking for smaller, less wasteful events?
By Faeeza Khan
Image credit: Amish Thakkar