Even though public health restrictions on social gatherings have lifted in British Columbia, the restrictions of Covid summers past have opened many engaged couples’ eyes to the ease and simplicity of a micro-wedding. While larger gatherings are now allowed, many couples are still choosing to host small, intimate ceremonies in lieu of big expensive weddings. Paring down your nuptials and curating a guest list of close friends and family will allow you to focus on your priorities and can help couples save money and avoid the stresses of planning a large-scale event.If you’re thinking about hosting a small-scale big day and saying I Do with a cosy micro wedding in Vancouver, here are a few tips to keep in mind. —Donna Wadsworth
pick the perfect venue. A smaller guest list gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to selecting the wedding venue of your dreams. There’s no need to find a ballroom with a capacity for hundreds when you’re planning a simple celebration with a dozen or so guests. Vancouver is home to a number of traditional wedding venues and stunning spaces that can serve as a beautiful backdrop for a memorable micro wedding, whether it’s an enchanted garden party at Woodbridge Ponds, an urban gathering in the open-air plaza at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre, or a ceremony at the chic and contemporary Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver, which offers by-the-hour rental options and picturesque waterfront views.
don’t stress the guest list. If you’re planning a downsized micro-wedding, chances are you might disappoint some friends and family by not inviting them to take part in the celebration. While it can be stressful to think about leaving people off the guestlist, remember that this is in fact YOUR special day. Do away with an over-the-top bridal party and don’t fret about not extending an invite to your distant relatives, random acquaintances and work colleagues—they’ll forgive you eventually. If you’re really feeling guilty or want to include more invitees without an added cost, you can always set up a live stream online to allow additional guests to participate virtually.
get creative with the menu. Designing the perfect food and drink menu for an intimate gathering is a lot easier than planning a large-scale meal to feed a crowd. A smaller guest list means you can maximize your wedding budget and invest in a bespoke menu that reflects your preferences as a couple. A lovely Afternoon Tea, casual Southern-inspired BBQ, or rustic family-style feast are all fun, unexpected alternatives to a traditional plated dinner. You might even want to upgrade your meal with elevated wine pairing and an artisanal cheese course or serve a personalized dessert instead of the classic tiered cake. Ultimately, a micro-wedding gives you the opportunity to have a little fun, get creative and splurge on a food and drink menu that’s just your taste.
rethink traditional entertainment. A traditional wedding reception typically includes a lively variety of interactive activities to keep crowds entertained into the evening: speeches, slideshows, live bands, games, a dance floor, a photobooth … the list goes on. When planning a micro-wedding, couples have the freedom and flexibility to plan low-key activities—or none at all—following the ceremony. Skip the DJ dance party and keep things simple with good friends, good food and good conversation.
get help if you need it. Just because you’re hosting a small-scale affair doesn’t mean it won’t be stressful. Planning a wedding is an incredibly happy and magical time in your life, but it’s also fraught with emotions and logistical considerations. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional event planner who can help you navigate the ins and outs of wedding planning, coordinate with vendors, and ensure your perfect day goes off without a hitch.
Savoury City Catering owner Donna Wadsworth has seen it all in her decades of experience running catering companies and working as a chef across Canada and internationally. To create perfectly orchestrated events, Donna lives by the motto “fail to prepare then prepare to fail,” paired with a meticulous attention to detail and the ability to perfectly envision the flow of an event from beginning to end.