Are you planning a short notice micro wedding? Have you had enough of wedding uncertainty, postponement and months of lockdowns and restrictions?
Many of you may have postponed your wedding more than once and now just want to get married, despite the limitations on what you can and can’t do right now at a wedding.
And some of you may be planning for the first time. But, just want to get married as soon as you can, without any of the stress you have seen others succumbing to as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Either way, I imagine that the thought of planning a short notice micro wedding may be rather overwhelming. But fear not, I am here to help with this blog post and a downloadable detailed checklist (link at bottom of the post).
Step 1 – Find a Venue and Choose your date for your short notice micro wedding
Normally, with a short notice micro wedding, we would suggest that you may need to be flexible with your date and your location. But the reality is right now that venues will be very keen for your business and you will have the opportunity to choose the perfect venue for you and most likely the date that you prefer.
Of course, you may already have your venue; one that you have booked previously for your larger wedding which you may have postponed. If this is the case, make sure that the venue is happy to work with you on a smaller wedding and agree terms that you feel are fair to both sides.
If you are searching for a new venue, I need to add in a note of caution here. When looking at venues, remember that your guest numbers are likely to be quite small, so make sure that your wedding party is not going to feel lost in a large space. Try to find a venue that feels intimate and appropriate for your short notice micro wedding.
Step 2 – Secure your officiant
Once you have a date and venue, you of course will need to make sure that your ceremony can also take place on this date. Speak to your officiant as soon as possible. Whether you are marrying in a place of worship or at your venue, either way, the ceremony is the reason why you are bringing your guests together (they are coming along to see you get married) so do make sure that your ceremony plans are not overlooked.
Step 3 – Decide on your guests for your short notice micro wedding
It’s likely (as I write this) that your guest numbers are going to be restricted to 30 in total, or even only 15 at your short notice micro wedding. My advice to you at this time is to work out very carefully who you would wish to include in these limited numbers. Then, notify them immediately to ensure that they are going to be available to attend.
With so little time to plan, I would also take up any offers of assistance that come your way.
A short notice micro wedding, by definition, is going to be stressful and if any of your guests are happy to help you, get them on board. Assuming of course that you trust them to deliver on what they are offering to do for you.
Step 4 – Attire for your short notice micro wedding
Have you already chosen and paid for your wedding dress? Is it ready for collection, do you need fittings, or it is no longer appropriate for your short notice micro wedding?
Unless your dress is literally ready to wear, then you need to decide fairly quickly on what you want to do and move forward with the planning. My experience is that wedding boutique’s are generally being very helpful and will move “heaven and earth’ to make sure you have your dress in time This might mean adapting it to make it more appropriate, and if this is what you want to do, make sure that you have a conversation with your designer or bridal boutique as early as possible in the process, to give them sufficient time to work on your dress.
Of course, if you don’t yet have a dress and need to start from scratch, then you will need to buy from an “off the peg, ready to wear” range.
Don’t forget about your accessories and equally make sure the handsome groom is sorting his suit.
Step 5 – Rings
If you have not already done so, choose and buy your rings. If you don’t have time to have your dream ring made, then choose something that can be temporary – or perhaps borrow a family heirloom – and continue with your original plans for your wedding rings after your short notice micro wedding.
Step 6 – Book your suppliers
You may already have contracts in place with suppliers for a larger wedding on a different date. In which case, it’s time to start conversations with them to see if they are prepared to work with you on your new date and based on your limited guest numbers.
Alternatively, you may be booking this from scratch, in which case you need to forge on with sourcing suppliers as a priority. With time being short, the best place to start is suppliers who feature on the venue’s preferred or recommended supplier list. These suppliers will know the venue well and this will make the planning process easier and given the limited time you have available it makes absolute sense.
Either way, it is important that you get your suppliers secured for your short notice micro wedding as soon as you possibly can. This will give each supplier time in the lead up to your big day to plan and deliver everything that you want and need.
Step 7 – Budget for your short notice micro wedding
Do make sure that you find the time to step back and review your budget. With limited guest numbers, it is likely that your wedding spend will be significantly less than you might have originally intended.
Think carefully about whether or not you wish to use this surplus budget to go big on certain elements to make it as special and unique as possible. Just because you are having a small, short notice micro wedding there is no reason why it can’t be just as special as you had dreamed of.
Step 8 – Entertainment
If you had previous wedding plans that are no longer possible, it’s likely that the original entertainment you had booked will not be appropriate. But talk to your entertainment provider to see if they can offer you an alternative that is allowed and works for you.
If you are starting from scratch, choose entertainment that you and your guests will enjoy as there is absolutely no reason why it can’t be fun, even if the usual singing and dancing is still not allowed.
Take a look at this blogpost to discover just why I believe that wedding entertainment is so important. You can access it here.
Step 9 – Detailed Planning
Once all of these big tasks are complete, you can start on the detailed planning. This will need to include:
- Floorplan and seating plan
- Design, styling and décor
- Menu and drinks
You may also wish to read this blog post which takes you through all the things that you need to think about with regard to bridal prep on the day itself. You can access it here.
Step 10 – Handover to whoever is running things on the day
Despite your wedding being smaller than originally planned, and staged at short notice, my advice would still be to handover to someone who will run things for you on the day. I’m not suggesting a guest (as after all, don’t you want all of your guests just to “be present” and enjoy the day). It could be the venue coordinator, but if not, do consider allowing for an independent planner who offers an on the day coordination service. An On the Day Coordinator will take the reins from you a few days before, check on all of the planning that has been done to ensure nothing has been missed and then run everything for you so that you can just concentrate on immersing yourself in the most important day of your lives so far.
Of course, if all of this sounds too much to contemplate; if you love the idea of a short notice micro wedding but the planning feels somewhat overwhelming, then think about using a full wedding planning service. It might seem extravagant given the smaller scale of your wedding, but you still want to make it the best it can possibly be. You still want to create magical memories for you and your guests, and you still want a stress free and enjoyable wedding planning journey, however short that journey might be.
Step 11 – Download my checklist for planning a short notice micro wedding
I have produced a detailed checklist for short notice micro weddings. You can download it here.
Finally, if you would like to discuss your plans so far for a short notice micro wedding then feel free to contact me by email, by phone on + 44 020 3930 9459 or by heading over to the contact page on my website.
Wedding photos by Stuart Wood
Wedding planner photo by Amanda Karen Photography
Suppliers featured in the photos on this blog post are Osea Island, Gabriella Shemtov Floral, Mirror Mirror Bridal, TuxLux London, Dimitria Jordan, Rockman Jewellery, Dolecka Bridal, Options Great Hire.