Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

May 2024

Micro Weddings vs Traditional Weddings: Which One is For You?

When it comes to tying the knot, is less more? Understand the unique advantages and challenges of micro weddings and traditional weddings, and make an informed choice that best suits your vision for your special day!

Weddings are often steeped in rituals that vary from culture to culture but in recent years, the landscape of wedding planning has evolved, giving rise to new trends and formats that cater to different needs and preferences. Among these emerging trends, the concept of the “micro wedding” has gained significant traction, particularly in a post-pandemic world where intimate gatherings have become more desirable. This article delves into the pros and cons of micro weddings and traditional weddings, exploring the unique advantages and challenges of each to help couples make an informed decision about how to celebrate their special day.

The Difference Between a Micro Wedding and a Traditional Wedding

As the name suggests, micro weddings are smaller celebrations, typically involving 20 to 50 guests. These weddings focus on intimacy, personal connection, and often, a more relaxed atmosphere. They often include some elements from a traditional wedding but on a much smaller scale, and in a more intimate setting.

Traditional weddings, on the other hand, usually involve a larger guest list, often ranging from 100 to 300 or more guests. These weddings are characterised by more elaborate settings, often held in large venues such as hotel ballrooms or outdoor spaces designed to accommodate a significant number of guests. Traditional weddings tend to adhere to conventional wedding customs and rituals, offering a grand celebration.

Joy and Josh’s Summer Coral Wedding in the Surga Villa Estate Bali by Jiwa Photography

The Guest List

One of the most apparent differences between micro weddings and traditional weddings is the size of the guest list. Micro weddings focus on a close-knit group of mostly family, fostering an intimate environment where the couple can spend quality time with each invited guest. This intimacy allows for meaningful interactions, creating a memorable experience for both the couple and their guests.

Traditional weddings, with their larger guest lists, offer a different kind of experience. The extensive list often includes extended family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. While this can lead to a vibrant and lively celebration, it can also make it challenging for the couple to engage with each guest personally. The sheer scale of traditional weddings also often requires a more coordinated effort to ensure that all aspects of the wedding day run smoothly.

Micro weddings
Pros: A more private and intimate ambiance with close family and friends. An easier list to manage.
Cons: Might not be able to fit everyone you’d like to invite into the small guest list.

Traditional weddings
Pros: For those who prefer a more elaborate wedding celebration with different groups of friends and family present during the wedding.
Cons: Hard to spend more meaningful time with individuals.

Image copyright of SingaporeBrides

The Budget

If budget is an important factor in your wedding planning, then the difference between micro and traditional weddings is going to be obvious here. Micro weddings, due to their smaller size, tend to be more cost-effective. The reduced number of guests means lower expenses for catering, venue, and other per-guest costs. The couple can then choose to allocate their budget more freely and splurge on other aspects like a designer dress or an exotic honeymoon.

Traditional weddings, conversely, can be significantly more expensive. The need to accommodate a large number of guests often requires weddings to be held in venues that can hold a larger number of guests. Moreover, decorations, entertainment, and other features of a large celebration can further inflate the cost. However, larger weddings can also benefit from economies of scale in certain areas, such as catering.

Micro weddings
Pros: More cost-effective.
Cons: Catering might be more expensive per head. Certain venues might be more expensive to rent.

Traditional weddings
Pros: The money spent on having a fun celebration with all your favourite people can go a long way in making your special night memorable.
Cons: Could put a huge dent in your wallet. Shaan and Jerome’s Warm and Cosy Wedding at Artemis Grill and Sky Bar by Alone-Together

The interactions

The interactions you will have with your guests can differ greatly between micro weddings and traditional weddings. Micro weddings often have a more relaxed and informal ceremony, with a focus on personal touches and intimate moments. The reception might include a cozy luncheon or an after-dinner party, with heartfelt speeches and shared stories creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Traditional weddings, on the other hand, usually follow a more formal and structured format. The ceremony is often elaborate, incorporating various cultural or religious rituals, as well as start very early in the morning, or even days before! The banquet is a grand affair, with multiple courses and formal toasts. While large weddings can create a memorable and impressive event, it can also add pressure to adhere to a strict timeline.

Micro weddings
Pros: Couples can enjoy more freedom in how they spend their time. Will feel less socially draining (if you’re looking for an excuse to not invite that uncle who drinks too much, choosing a micro wedding might be a good idea).
Cons: Some friends and relatives could feel excluded.

Traditional weddings
Pros: A good place and time to get to know and catch up with your friends in both your social circles.
Cons: Interacting with so many people in one day can be mentally exhausting.

Jen and Zheng Wei’s Classic and Romantic Wedding at Intercontinental Singapore by Kent Wong Photography

The Stress

Wedding planning is inherently stressful, but the scale of the event can greatly impact the level of stress involved. Micro weddings tend to be less logistically complex, with fewer moving parts to coordinate. This can lead to a more enjoyable planning process, allowing the couple to focus on the details that matter most to them without being overwhelmed by the scale of the event.

Traditional weddings often require a higher degree of logistical coordination. Managing a large guest list, multiple vendors, and a detailed timeline requires significant effort and organisation. Many couples opt to hire professional wedding planners, which can add to the overall cost.

Micro weddings
Pros: Lesser things to manage and coordinate.
Cons: Finding a venue you like can become quite stressful considering that some of them do not cater for a smaller wedding.

Traditional weddings
Pros: Can enlist the help of many friends and family with the coordinating of the wedding.
Cons: Hiring a wedding planner will add to the overall cost of the wedding.

Jo-Lyn and Lucas’s Romantic Destination Elopement to Scenic Italy by Wanderlust Dream

Your Preferences

Personalisation is key in modern weddings, and micro weddings showcase this well. The smaller scale allows couples to infuse their personalities into every detail, from the decor and menu to the ceremony and favours. This high level of customisation ensures that the wedding feels uniquely theirs, creating a deeply personal and memorable experience.

While traditional weddings can also be personalised, the larger scale often requires compromises. Coordinating with a larger venue and a more extensive guest list can limit the extent to which couples can tailor the event to their liking. However, traditional weddings can still reflect the couple’s style through thoughtful details like custom invitation suites and monograms.

Micro weddings
Pros: Can be highly personalised. Also great for couples who are thinking of a destination wedding.
Cons: Could get costly depending on the couple’s preferences.

Traditional weddings
Pros: Suitable for couples who would like to have their friends and families together all at once for a grand celebration.
Cons:: Might have to compromise on aspects such as decor and venue.

The Conclusion

In the realm of weddings, the choice between a micro wedding and a traditional wedding is deeply personal and depends on various factors. Micro weddings offer an intimate, cost-effective, and highly personalised experience, perfect for couples who value quality time with their closest loved ones. Traditional weddings, with their extensive guest lists, provide a memorable celebration that can incorporate traditions and create lasting memories on a grand scale.

At the end of the day, it is important to discuss with your partner to see what works best for both of you. Whether you choose the intimacy of a micro wedding or the grandeur of a traditional wedding, the most important aspect is that the day reflects your love story and creates cherished memories.

Feature image from Melissa and Nicholas’s Heart-warming Micro Wedding at the Armenian Church Singapore by Fleurandcraft Film

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Micro Weddings vs Traditional Weddings: Which One is For You?