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Micro Wedding or Traditional Wedding? Which Should You Choose?

Dec 02, 2020 | Last Updated Nov 18, 2022
961 words (4 min read)

You've got the ring, the fiance, and the date picked. Now, all you have to do is find the right dress or suit, decide on a color scheme, choose an officiant, a caterer, a band or DJ, put together a guest list, and find a location for your perfect wedding day. It's enough to make you want to forget it all and elope. Fortunately, one trend in wedding planning has recently exploded and can be the perfect compromise: The Micro Wedding.

As defined by Brides magazine, a micro wedding is “an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests… that still feature(s) time-honored traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale”. Couples are beginning to see the value in a scaled-down, more intimate exchange of vows. Read on for more reasons why smaller might be better, as well as what must-haves you shouldn’t skimp on, no matter the size of the celebration.

Save Money!

A micro wedding is less expensive for couples on a budget, simply because you won’t have to fork over a lot of cash to feed, seat, or entertain more guests. Best of all, it opens up the bank account to spend more on the things that will matter most - whether that’s helping a vital member of the wedding party pay for their hotel room, getting the best photographer in town to take your pictures, or hiring your favorite restaurant chef to prepare meals for the reception.

You’ll Know Everyone

If the guest list has to remain tidy, there’s likely to be fewer people in attendance who are friends-of-a-friend or a relative you haven’t seen since you were children — or ever. If only your “A” Team gets an invite, your wedding will be more memorable for you and your guests - plus you won’t be burdened with having to remember your great-aunt Sally’s daughter-in-law’s father’s name. An extra bonus is that you’ll actually be able to spend time talking with your guests individually, as opposed to not having enough time to interact with the people you want present for your big day.

Waste Less

For the more environmentally concerned brides and grooms, a smaller wedding means less waste. You won’t have to send as many invitations, so that saves paper; fewer guests will result in less wrapping paper or envelopes of cash as gifts; and you’re less likely to over-order food and be stuck with either mounds of leftovers or food waste.

More Personal

A smaller guest list makes having the wedding you truly want possible. Micro-weddings can be more flexible affairs, so you can have that beach vow ceremony, or get hitched in the charming cafe where you met, in a forest clearing, or even in your parents’ backyard. You can get creative, and the whole event will be more intimate.

Save Time

If you don’t have to plan for a massive crowd, you can spend more time on the details that are really important to you as a couple. It doesn’t mean you have to cut corners; you’ll just have more time and energy to sharpen the ones you truly value.


Food and Drinks

An open bar — or at least a good variety of soft drinks — should be available. Splurge for a sit-down meal, as opposed to a buffet-style one, as most wedding guests would agree that being served their meal is preferable to waiting in line. Or, choose foods that fit your personalities or wedding theme. A small-scale taco or make-your-own pizza bar may be more to your tastes than a 4-course surf-n-turf meal, or maybe you just want to serve a bunch of appetizers. The possibilities are endless when the guest list is minimal.

And don’t forget dessert! If a three-tiered culinary masterpiece in buttercream and fondant is not your favorite confection, don’t serve one! Opt instead for cupcakes, or donuts, or even cookies. With a smaller audience, you can get away with it. Plus, nobody really wants to eat a year-old, frozen and freezer-burned top layer of cake on their first anniversary.

Amazing Photos

One of the most important decisions you should make for your wedding is the investment in an excellent photographer; it’s the one place you really shouldn’t scrimp to save money. After the guests have left and the celebration is over, the one thing you’ll have to remember your day is the pictures, and they should be of the highest quality possible.


Whether it’s a mix of your favorite songs as a couple pumped through the venue’s speakers, a favorite local band or a string quartet, your cousin’s mobile DJ service, or just a pianist, music should definitely play some role in your ceremony and/or your reception. Like photos, music helps set a mood and helps us recall memories and moments.

We Can Help

No matter what size wedding you choose to have, the Special Events Director at Lakeside Lodge Clemson is happy to work with you to make your day memorable. We have event spaces ranging from the 16-seat Private Dining Room — the perfect size for a rehearsal dinner — to the 120-capacity Lakeside Ballroom, or even our Activity Field, which seats 300 or more. The Outdoor Gazebo has a lake view and can accommodate an exchange of vows, followed by a seated dinner for 24; the Outdoor Amphitheater features leveled lawn seating for 60, as well as a stage where they can all watch you declare your love.

We’ll proved the tables, chairs, and house linens for the event, schedule room blocks for your guests, and catering is provided by our on-site restaurant, Traditions on the Lake. Call our Special Events Director at (864) 722-2207, email him or fill out the form on our website to find out all of your options.



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