What to Know About Having a Microwedding

My dream wedding was a bare-bones affair. After four years of dating, my fiancé, Mike, and I exchanged vows in a courtroom 14 floors above his office last April. His boss, a prominent judge, officiated. Only our immediate families and my two best friends were in attendance. I didn’t even carry a bouquet. When the 10-minute ceremony was over, we snapped a few photos before we dined at a farm-to-table restaurant across the street.

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. Alisa Tongg, a Life Cycle Celebrant — a sort of personalized ceremony planner — performs over 70 weddings a year in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area, and said she defined a microwedding as a wedding ceremony with 15 witnesses or fewer.

According to The Knot, the average cost for a wedding in 2016 was $35,329, with higher averages in places like South Florida ($48,596), Chicago ($60,035) and New York City ($78,464). That’s a lot of canapés, cocktails and cake.

While average wedding costs have ballooned, however, guest lists have shrunk. The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Survey reports that the average number of wedding guests was down to 141 in 2016, compared with 149 in 2009.

While there are no firm numbers on how many tiny weddings occur in a given year, experts said more couples were choosing to streamline their nuptials, trim the fat and go micro. - NYT, October 20, 2017