How Much Micro Weddings Cost (Examples for Every Budget)

a bride and groom holding hands with focus on the ring

This post contains affiliate links and/or links to my own products. I never recommend anything I don’t love or wouldn’t use myself.

If you’re planning a wedding, you may be looking into the new trend of “micro weddings” and intrigued when you learn that it could save you a ton of money! So let’s use the Loud Bride Wedding Calculator and give all the details on how to budget and plan for a micro wedding.

In general, a micro wedding costs significantly less than the average wedding. Using the average costs nationwide, we found that the average wedding with fewer than 50 guests should cost you between $10,000-20,000. That’s as low as half the cost of the average wedding in the U.S. according to the Knot.

The reason micro weddings cost less is because they have fewer guests and therefore reduced costs for the catering, venue, favors, invitations and other variable costs. Of course, if your budget is larger and you’d like to spend more on your dress, splurge on custom invitations, or have an amazing venue, you can spend a lot more on your micro wedding. Conversely, if you have a $5,000 budget, you can make a micro wedding work for that budget as well. (We have a separate post for you if you are trying to plan a wedding on a $5,000 budget.)

If you’d like to learn more about how to plan a micro wedding at different budgets, keep reading for our breakdown.

What is a micro wedding?

A micro wedding is simply a smaller wedding with 50 or fewer guests.

They have been popular in Europe for a while but are just hitting the wedding industry in the U.S. with the start of the pandemic. If you take a look at Google Trends Data and how the average budget is trending down since 2019, you can see that couples are looking more and more to plan micro weddings.

Google trends data on micro weddings since 2019
Google Trends Data on Micro Weddings

Micro weddings have been on the rise in the last two years for a number of reasons. First, COVID restrictions in many states put a limit on the number of guests you could invite to your wedding. Second, more couples looking to save money have realized the easiest way to do that is to cut their cut list. We covered how much weddings cost per person in an earlier post that you can check out.

The pros of a micro wedding include:

  • a smaller, more intimate guest list
  • potentially lower costs
  • less stress in planning
  • ability to look at non-traditional venues (e.g. restaurants)

The cons of a micro wedding are:

  • harder decisions on the guest list if you have large families
  • some venues may have minimums that are harder to meet
  • you may not save money if you’re tempted to splurge in other areas

How to find a micro wedding venue?

As you’re looking at venues, you may find that some locations aren’t as accommodating for smaller weddings. They have food and beverage minimums that are hard to meet with less than 50 people, or they charge their regular prices for spaces that accommodate 200-300 people.

There are a few tips to help you find a location that’s receptive to micro weddings in your area.

Search for “micro wedding packages near me”

While “Google it” may seem like an obvious tip, you may not know what to search for to find venues that have micro wedding packages in your area. Looking for “Micro wedding package near me,” or “small wedding package near me” will give you results for venues that cater to smaller weddings. Google even has a check box that verifies whether the venue offers micro wedding packages.

google search results for micro wedding packages near me

Ask for referrals from other couples

You can ask couples that you know had smaller weddings in your area what venues they were considering or turn to a wedding Facebook group to crowdsource some recommendations. They may even help you assess whether it’s in budget before you reach out. One of the hardest pieces of information to gather sometimes is the price range of each venue since locations often don’t list it on their website upfront.

Look into nontraditional venues

Because you have a smaller guest list, you can look at places that you might not think of as a wedding venue. Your favorite restaurant, a local bar, zoos, theme parks, museums, historic estates, club houses, pools, and recreation rooms are all possibilities to explore with a smaller wedding.

Call venues you’ve had your eye on

If there are any other venues that you had your heart set on and you can’t find out if they offer micro wedding packages, give them a call or book a tour to find out. Because so many venues had to reduce capacity over the past two years, they may be more flexible and willing to accommodate smaller receptions than ever before. They may have a package you aren’t aware of.

Unfortunately, you may find that there are a few obstacles for certain venues. 2022 and 2023 are going to be big, competitive years for weddings because of how many couples postponed their 2020 and 2021 weddings. That may lead to venues not wanting to pass up on the chance to host a larger wedding by giving you a date. Or they may require you to meet a minimum to book the date that’s not worth it to you.

Or they may simply only book micro wedding packages on off days or times like during the week or earlier on Saturdays. If you find yourself in the situation of planning a weekday wedding, check out these tips for success.

Now for some fun with numbers! Let’s plan three micro weddings on a low, average, and splurge-worthy budget.

indian bride in a white dress holding a bouquet

How to plan a micro wedding for $5,000

We covered how to plan a $5,000 wedding here. And our biggest advice was the keep the guest list small. To make our $5k budget even easier, let’s plan a truly micro wedding of 25 people. Using the Loud Bride calculator, I put in a budget of $5,000 and a guest list of 25. It uses national averages and my own research to give you estimates of what to spend where.

You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.

Spend $1625 on food and alcohol

Based on an average cost of $65 per person for catering, you can easily spend less than $2,000 on food, drinks, and even cake and tips at most venues. As long as the venue doesn’t have a $5,000 minimum for catering which a lot of them do. So you’ll have to ask the question and read the contract carefully before you sign.

Spend $400 on your dress or day of attire

You can find an off-the-rack wedding dress for under $300 at Azazie, Hebeos, BHDLN, or even David’s Bridal. (Here’s our full list of off-the-rack options here.) You can also try renting your dress or buying secondhand. This number includes alterations.

Spend $500-1000 on your photographer

This is less than the average cost of a photographer for 10-12 hour wedding coverage but you can fit within this budget by looking at less experienced photographers (like students) or asking for reduced coverage of only a few hours.

Spend less than $200 on music

You won’t want to blow 1/3 of your budget on just a DJ so I would advise creating a Spotify playlist and tasking a friend or family member to manage it. You can use some money to hire a musician for your ceremony, cocktail hour, or for a special first dance number.

I hired a piano player for my cocktail hour to play some fun music for an hour at my wedding. It was a nice touch that seems bougie but actually only cost $50-100 for an hour including their travel to and from the location.

Or you can use this budget on a portable speaker and microphone for your Spotify set up if your venue doesn’t have the option.

Spend the remaining $1400 on your bachelor / bachelorette party, invitations, ceremony, hair / makeup and decorations

This breaks down to be $500 for a bachelor / bachelorette party, $75 for invitations, $50 for the ceremony (any site fees, officiant fee, or donation to a church), $150 for hair and makeup, $200 for decorations and flowers and the rest for your rings, rehearsal dinner, and miscellaneous items.

You may be able to squeeze in a local weekend getaway for $250 each if you have a cheap place to crash. But you could also each have an amazing night at a bar, or a dinner, with your friends where they buy you drinks all night long.

$200 for decorations and flowers is far below the average but since it’s a smaller wedding you will have less to decorate – fewer tables, smaller space, etc. You could spend some money on grocery store flowers for a simple bouquet and table decor or pick some wildflowers from a neighbor. And ask a friend with a Cricut to make some signs to keep this under budget. A traditional florist will be over budget since the bride’s bouquet alone could run you $100-$250.

For $75 invitations since you’re sending so few, you can go for a nice printed option like Minted or find something on Etsy to print locally or at home. We have a cost comparison on the most popular stationery printers for wedding invitations here.

two drinks on a hill side with a sign that says choose your bubbly

The truth is just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the wedding of your dreams. Check out this list of myths that are holding you back from having the wedding of your dreams.

How to plan a micro wedding for $15,000

For $15,000, you’re looking to spend the average on most things like the venue, catering, favors, invitations, etc. You’ll naturally be lower because you have fewer guests.

Here’s an example of how that could break down:

Spend $8,000 on the venue and catering

You can spend the average amount to book a traditional venue (about $6,000) and per person on catering including alcohol, cake, and tips (about $2,000). Since you only have 25 people this won’t be challenging unless your venue has a catering minimum that’s higher.

Spend $4000 on flowers, photographer, and DJ

You can spend close to the average on a photographer and DJ. And spend a little bit less on average for flowers by keeping the order simpler. One tip is to tell your florist the budget you’re trying to fit into upfront and have them work backwards from there. You may decide not to put any flowers on the tables and skip bouquets for the bridesmaids for example.

Spend $1000 on your dress or day of attire

You can easily find an off-the-rack dress for under $2000 at Davids Bridal, BHLDN, and many local boutiques. A lot of popular designers make versions of their dresses that start around that price point in their ready to wear collections. If you want to spend more on your dress, see if you can lower your venue and catering costs by booking a non-traditional venue or one with a micro wedding package that’s lower than $8,000.

Spend the remaining $3000 on everything else

This will add up quicker than you might think between the bachelor / bachelorette party, hair and makeup, rehearsal dinner, invitations and other extras. But it’s definitely possible to spend about average or less on these items and stay around $3,000.

extravagant wedding flowers

How to plan a micro wedding for $50,000

If you have a big budget (for a smaller wedding anyway) here’s how we would spend it on a wedding for 25-50 people.

Spend $8,000-10,000 on venue and catering.

This is a tremendous budget for 25 people. Even if you bump the guest list up to 50 people and spend over $100 per plate on a fancy meal you can still fit into this budget depending on the venue costs.

Spend $10,000 on your dress

This is a great budget for a made to order dress. You’ll be able to find lots of options from designers at this budget in their made to order range.

Spend $5,000 on a photographer and videographer

You should be able to easily find a photography and videography package in this price range easily. The average costs for both are right under $5,000.

Spend $3,000 on custom invitations

The invitations of your dreams are for the taking with this budget. Especially because of how few you need, you should have no problem with luxurious options no matter what your style is. Talk to a stationery designer, calligrapher, or paper artisan and have a custom suite made for everything from save the dates, to invitations, to reply cards, and accessories like a personalized wax seal.

Custom watercolor wedding suite – available from BreadandJaim on Etsy

Spend the remaining $20,000+ on the rest!

Epic bachelor / bachelorette parties, a killer rehearsal dinner, full hair and makeup from your favorite salon, a fully-decked out floral package, the average price for the rest (maybe even a bit more for something you have to have) should be fairly easy in your remaining budget. Even if you live in a high cost of living area. With a larger than average budget and a smaller than average guest list you can have a spectacular wedding of your dreams.

Enjoyed our take on micro weddings? We have some other articles you might enjoy. From how to plan a $10,000 wedding, to how to plan a 50 person wedding, to 100 person wedding, we’ve covered all the bases of wedding budgeting.

You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.


Jaime is the owner of Loud Bride and Coast Designs LLC. She got married in 2017 in Geneseo, NY and designed her own wedding invitations and programs for the occasion. Now, she designs bespoke wedding stationery and affordable templates for other couples. She lives in New York city with her husband and two children.

Recent Posts

Cookie Consent Banner by Real Cookie Banner