Bigger isn’t Always Better

January 2024
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of 21 Main Events at North Myrtle Beach

There are a few perks to hosting a micro wedding now, and a bigger reception later

An emerging trend for couples in today’s wedding world is hosting a small wedding, also called a micro wedding, followed by a bigger, more casual bash—or “sequel wedding”—to celebrate with family and friends at a later date. 

The intimate affair typically is categorized by having no more than 50 guests, which could save brides and grooms everywhere thousands of dollars. (A “minimony,” coined in 2020, is less than 10 guests, which usually consists of the immediate family).

Despite the downsized wedding, it doesn’t damper the time-honored traditions woven within the ceremony and the beautiful memories made and fun to be had.

According to the, the idea to have a small ceremony and a big reception became popularized during the pandemic, as many couples hosted intimate ceremonies to heed gathering restrictions and scheduled a larger larger reception when big celebrations were safer. But there are many reasons a couple may want a small ceremony. Cutting costs is one; hosting a small ceremony could shave some dollars off a budget, for instance. Another could be to create more intimacy and only have close loved ones present while the couple is exchanging vows. 

Here more details on a couple benefits to think about on this option when you are in the planning phase:

It saves money - With fewer guests at a small wedding, of course, you will save mega money on catering, flowers, decorations, invitations, venue rental, and more. According to The Knot, in fact, the average wedding (ceremony and reception) in 2022 cost upwards of $30,000. That’s more than the average in 2021 and the most spent since 2018 before Covid. It will also cut costs for your friends, who will not need to invest in bridesmaid dresses, hair and makeup, and a lineup of bachelorette and bridal activities.

“One big reason we are seeing this trend is for personal finances or insurance,” says Casey Mungavin, Director of Sales and Marketing at 21 Main Events at North Beach. “Couples are planning smaller gatherings with just families, to be married on paper for medical insurance purposes to adhere to enrollment periods, and then celebrating with a larger reception when financially ready to do so." 

Your venue space can be more flexible - A micro wedding allows you to have more flexibility when it comes to the size of your venue. It allows you to think outside the box of a traditional venue and into an outdoor destination wedding at the beach, in your backyard, at a vineyard, or a public park for a more natural, sustainable, intimate celebration.

“At 21 Main, 90 percent of our weddings are destination,” says Mungavin.  “This includes a large number of smaller beach weddings and receptions, where couples will have a separate reception at a later date for family and friends back home.  Most couples choose not to take on the stress of having to organize travel for hundreds of guests and choose to have just close family and friends to celebrate their dream day at the beach. Local resorts now asking for longer stays with seven-night minimums during peak seasons factor in, too.”