8 must have vendors for your micro wedding
1: WEDDING VENUE
Having a small wedding works to your advantage when searching for a wedding venue because you have lots of unique options to choose from! Think outside of the box, restaurants that can host a private event, a botanical gardens, an Air B&B here in Tampa that allows weddings, or a friends that has a beautiful backyard with enough space to accommodate your small wedding. Keep in mind that if you choose a park or private residence that you will need to budget for table and chair rentals.
I think having real flowers for your wedding should be a high priority vendor for your wedding. I know that a lot of brides think they can either use fake flowers to cut costs but I you would be surprised on how expensive silk flowers can be, especially if want them to look good and as real as possible. And from personal experience I do not recommend DIY’ing the flowers. I did this for my wedding and it’s the biggest regret of my wedding. I hated how they turned out and I wish I would have budgeted for a floral designer. Remember that you can save money on flowers by choosing flowers that are in season. Be honest with your florist about how much you can afford and ask them for advice on how to stick to your budget when creating your wish list for florals. They will be more than happy to flowers, greenery, ribbons, etc and style it in a way that fits your theme and wallet. Give them photos of examples of the kind of bouquets you’re drawn to and explain why you like them. Shape, size, color, etc. What you see in a photo and what they see in a photos might be two totally different things, so have open and honest communication with your florist.
3: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
No matter how big or small your wedding is I am a firm believer that you need to have a professional photographer for the event. Yes you could have your cousin that “loves taking photos” shoot your wedding but there is a huge difference between someone being interested in photography and an experienced wedding photographer. You have one chance to get those photos so make sure you hire a photographer that specializes in weddings and portraits. Look through there websites, blogs, and social media to get a well rounded view of their work. Read their reviews on Google, The Knot and Facebook. Ask them if they offer any special packages for small intimate micro weddings. Since you’re having a small wedding a traditional full day wedding photography package probably isn’t what you need. Depending on the details of your wedding you could expect to hire a photographer for 2 - 4 hours. If you were truly having a micro wedding (less than 30 guests) with a very small wedding party (if you choose to have bridesmaids and groomsmen) then you can easily fit all of your must have photos with in that timeline.
4: HAIR AND MAKEUP
I am a huge advocate for hiring a professional hair and makeup team the day of your wedding. Why? Because if you’re anything like me I have a very basic knowledge of makeup. I basically know how to put on mascara, a little eyeshadow and lipstick. I have no clue how to contour my face or how to put on fake eyelashes. When you hire a professional makeup artist it takes all that pressure off so that you can not only look your best but also enjoy your wedding day! Make sure their style fits what you like and how envision looking like on your wedding day. You can do a trial run a few weeks before your wedding day so you can see if you like how it turned out and if you want to make any changes the day of your wedding. Ask them if they have a team that can come to your venue and service you and your bridesmaids, mom and anyone else that wants professional hair and makeup done that morning.
5: FOOD AND DRINKS
This is where having your micro wedding at a restaurant works to your advantage. They can make a special menu and either have food stations with pre plated appetizers, a full buffet, or a sit down dinner. If this isn’t an option for you contact caters or restaurants that will deliver the food and serve it to your guests. Another option is food trucks! If you are looking for something fun and unique then a variety of food trucks with different style of foods might be a great option for your wedding. Remember when it comes to dessert you don’t have to have a traditional wedding cake. Cupcakes, donuts, ice cream, macaroons the possibilities are endless! Many small event spaces require alcohol to be served by a licensed bartender. If you choose to have your reception at a restaurant, the drinks would be included in the price. Or they might allow you to pay a corkage fee that way you can bring in your own and then they serve it. If you choose a park to have your wedding at you will need to do research as many public parks prohibit alcohol on the grounds.
6: DJ / MUSIC
If your wedding is going to be a small and intimate celebration you you might not want or need a DJ. However that doesn’t mean your wedding needs completely void of music. Having live music would be a great option while you walk down the isle and playing in the background during dinner. ( guitarist, flutist, or violinist ) This also doesn’t mean you have to cut out a DJ all together. If you want the traditional bride and groom dance, father daughter dance, or a dancing reception then ask your favorite DJ if they have a package that allows you to hire them for a few hours (max 3) rather than a full day reception coverage. If you choose to not have a DJ but still want some sort of entertainment then this is where you can get creative. Having interactive yard games is a great way to keep the guests happy and not bored. Or if you want something creative then a wine tasting station, a photo booth cart, magicians, caricaturist, an artist doing a live painting, dancers or acrobats would be a very memorable and part of the wedding.
7: WEDDING PLANNER
A true micro wedding generally consists less than 30 guests. So if you’re keeping things very simple with couple dozen friends and family, you might not need a full service wedding planner. But if you want your time to be as stress-free as possible so you can truly enjoy your wedding day, book the wedding planner of your dreams. Most wedding planners have a variety of wedding packages to do choose from based on the size of your wedding and budget. You might only need someone for “Day of Coordination” that will help a little big with the planning process and then keep everyone on track the day of the wedding.
Legally yes you need an officiant or ordained minster to preform the marriage ceremony. Keep in mind that hiring an officiant usually costs a couple hundred dollars, so make sure to budget for that. Now if you want to keep it more personal then ask a trusted friend or a member of your church to marry you. Keep in mind that if you have a friend marry you there are legal requirements; they must have an affiliation with a properly-accredited religious organization. I’ve hear it’s a pretty easy process and can be done through a number of organizations online. Once your friend meets the legal requirements to officially pronounce you husband and wife all you need to do is go to the local Clerk and Recorders Office, apply for a marriage license, and have it with them the day of the wedding. After the ceremony, the couple and their officiant will fill out the license, sign it, and file it with the state.
and lastly. . .
REACH OUT TO VENDORS
Once you narrow down your favorites start sending out emails and asking them about their availability. Make sure to include the following in your email so your time and theirs isn’t wasted. Having open and honest communication with all your vendors is extremely important. If they are not available or within your budget ask them if they have any recommendations of other related vendors.
Nina Bashaw is a Clearwater Beach, Florida based fine art luxury photographer that specializes in senior portraits, headshots, weddings, micro weddings, and elopements throughout the southeast and is available for worldwide travel.
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