Micro-Wedding 101: Planning A COVID-Friendly Celebration

August 21, 2020

Unfortunately, many couples had to make the heartbreaking decision to postpone or cancel their weddings this year due to COVID-19. However, a trendy alternative popped up – The “Micro Wedding”. We are here to give you the low-down of what exactly this new wedding trend is and whether or not it’s right for you. We also happen to have an in-house expert on-hand: Danielle Gibson, our fearless founder. She had her own micro-wedding several years ago and is here to give us all of her best tips and tricks for planning the perfect day! 


A micro-wedding is a small wedding that typically includes 35 guests or fewer. It’s purpose varies from couple-to-couple, as some may choose to have a micro-wedding now and intend on a large celebration later, but for the sake of this blog we are planning with the intention of having only one celebration. 


This may seem like a silly question, as it is the only option available at this moment, but there are many reasons why a micro-wedding may be a better fit than a large wedding, even in a non-COVID world. For example, a smaller wedding will mean a smaller budget and will allow you to invest in your future together. Danielle and David Gibson chose to invest their money towards purchasing land and building their dream home (which you can see their living room featured in Scandanavian Designs.) A micro-wedding also allows for a budget that reflects quality over quantity. Where you may have been spending a large majority of your budget on basic rentals (chairs, tables, linens) to accommodate a large guest list, you can now allocate a portion of that money to small, noticeable details and save the rest! Invest in a live trio instead of a DJ, select the nicer linen you wanted, and hire a top-tier photographer! 

Having a micro-wedding will also guarantee a more intimate day for you and your partner, as large weddings can sometimes unintentionally take away the true meaning of your special day. Rather than focusing on your union, you’re worried about what table your neighbors should be assigned and if your great aunt is close enough to the restrooms. With only 35 of your closest friends and family, the focus is guaranteed to be on the both of you. 

How do you choose these 35 guests you ask? Danielle, a New York native married in San Francisco, advises that you only invite those who can drive, so guests don’t have to fly during COVID-19. For the family and friends you aren’t able to invite, consider calling and having a personal conversation with them so they can understand your situation. Offering to live stream your wedding for those who cannot attend, or who live too far to justify inviting, may also ease some of the stress in your decision making. 

Have loved ones that are nervous to attend? You may also consider an at-home COVID test the week of your wedding and receive results within 48 hours. Please note this test does not detect antibodies or immunity; it is designed to determine active infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.


planning/design: Danielle Gibson Events I photography:Anna Alexia Basile I venue: Carneros Resort & Spa

Another bonus to having a guest count of 35 is your options for venues exponentially expands. Non-traditional venues like your favorite restaurant or winery suddenly become possibilities if they have an outside gathering location. (Depending on your local COVID-19 ordinances) As event planners based in Napa, we at DG Events always recommend searching for venues in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, as it is the perfect escape from the San Francisco Bay Area without being too far away. Not familiar with Napa and Sonoma Valleys and need some help finding a venue? We recommend partnering with Distinct Locations, a team with a large portfolio of venues and exclusive access to some of the most beautiful private locations in wine country. 


planning/ design: Lea Stafford Events, LLC I photography: Elope Wild and Free by Joni Bilderback I dress: Trish Leehmua: Sacha Badame I personal florals: Handsome Flowers I rentals: Found Rentals

Find the things that make you happy and make it all about you! Planning a wedding during an unconventional time gives couples a great excuse to bypass some of the wedding traditions that you may not like. Wear what you love: Danielle bought an inexpensive dress at the Napa Outlets and her shoes at a designer store because that’s what mattered to her. Omit the traditional wedding cake and pick your favorite dessert from a local bakery. Instead of a few planned speeches let your guests stand up and share stories of you both. Skip the traditional guest favor and write your guests handwritten notes about what they mean to you. 

What’s the best tip a planner can give? Ease your stress and hire a wedding planner! Many wedding planners and coordinators have curated beautiful options for smaller weddings and are flexible in their services offered. For example our friend Lea Stafford, founder of Lea Stafford Events, LLC. and Ethos West Collective created the “LSE Essentials Suite”, which offers full-service planning for a group as small as just the couple and as large as 25 of your closest family and friends. Hiring a planner will guarantee you can be fully-present on your wedding day and will be one of the best decisions you will make for your day. (We promise!)

While COVID brought the entire world to a halt, it has also given people an opportunity to refocus and re-center their priorities. A micro-wedding may not be what you were planning or wanting, but it acts as an easy reminder that celebrating love is a simple and beautiful act.  

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