Intimate Weddings: 5 Tips to planning your Micro Wedding


5 Tips to Help Plan your Intimate Wedding…aka…Micro Wedding!

Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t quite go as planned! Who else thought that we would be in the full swing of things by now? I know I did! Full weddings in the San Francisco Bay area and California as a whole may not be happening, but that’s no reason to feel down! The Mirco Wedding is becoming really popular! Intimate weddings have long been a thing, especially with destination weddings, however many consider an intimate wedding to be 50 or less. In today’s world, most places in California and particularly the Bay Area won’t let you have more than 15-25 people at any gathering.

The great thing about this, is that it still allows for parents, siblings, and even a couple of your closest friends to attend and keeps the cost way down! I mean way down!!

BONUS: You can control the environment and ensure that everyone is taking the precautions needed during this time!

Ok, so now to the good stuff!!

TIP 1) Choose a secluded spot or someone’s backyard!

As most people know, one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding is a wedding venue. Some of the Napa Valley Wedding venues cost over $20k all by themselves! Finding a secluded beach that not many people use, or asking around to see if you can rent or borrow a friend’s or family’s property is a great way to save money! Last week I photographed a wedding with a total of 15 guests at a little fishing hole beach in Benicia. We could have definitely fit 25 people on that beach and still kept 6 feet apart from non-household members.

Don’t be afraid to ask around there are amazing places to have weddings all over the Bay area in the backyards of people you know! It doesn’t hurt to ask around and offer a bit of compensation in good faith is always polite.

TIP 2) Use small local vendors who are struggling!

As a small local wedding vendor myself, I can tell you that many of us are offering special micro wedding pricing for our services. With all of our weddings moved to next year or just plan canceled, we would love to be of service to all of those lovely brides out there eager to tie the knot this year! There are many places to find local vendors but googling may not be the best bet since the top names are usually those who spend a lot on advertisements. Local Facebook groups are always great, or even checking your city’s website is a great idea! The Bay Area Wedding Buy, Sell, Trade Group is a great place to try!

Personally I love intimate weddings! It is so much fun, a lot less stress and I get to be more creative because there usually isn’t a big-time crunch!

TIP 3) Use the dress you were already going to use, or find one online!

Ok, I love wedding dress shops, don’t get me wrong, but as most of them are closed right now and are super pricey, I love buying gowns online! Yes, even wedding gowns. I use them when I am doing a destination style shoot or if women just want to dress up for a shoot, lol! It is amazing what you can find online, plus you can even do alterations with beautiful fabric to make it your very own! Seamstresses are also struggling during this time, so let’s help support them as well! Or if you are lucky enough as I am to have a grandma who can sew, then heck it could be free! Intimate weddings just mean that you can have your fairy tale wedding for less…if you so choose!

TIP 4) Decorate yourself or hire a designer for a luxury look!

If you are a DIYer like myself, decorating for your own wedding will be a blast! Again Facebook Marketplace and eBay are both great ways to find used arches, twinkle lights, canapes etc!! There are so many great ideas out there on Pinterest to help with your decoration needs! Heck since it’s such a small group no one will judge if you make it a Disney Princess themed wedding….so sorry I got sidetracked, lol! I adore themed weddings, heck I even went to a Wedding Fair last year that was all about themed weddings!

If you are not inclined to decorate yourself, solicit your friends and family to help or of course find another local if you have the budget for it and get a professional to do the work!

Fact! Hollywood stars are famous for having VERY small weddings with 25 people or less and still go all out! So if just because it’s a micro wedding doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious in absolutely every way!!

TIP 5) Make sure to hire a professional photographer!

Ok, I am biased of course, but this is still your wedding day! No matter what the size, it is incredibly important! Every bride wants to look back on their wedding day and just fall in love, cry, and reminisce for years to come!

Many photographers including myself, can cover your micro wedding at a great price! Most micro weddings don’t really need coverage for more than 3 hours, which costs under $1,000 and that includes 200 high-resolution amazing images! Even a 5-6 hour intimate wedding photography would cost less than $1,500!

Whether it’s a Walnut Creek wedding, Napa Wedding, San Jose Wedding or out in the middle of nowhere, I would so love to be apart of your special day…the micro-style way!

Bonus Tip! 

Make sure that there is plenty of hand sanitizer, and practice common sense with your decisions to use masks. Those who are at higher risk should definitely wear a mask and avoid hugging, shaking hands etc.. It is also good to make sure any vendors you hire are wearing masks, you have no idea who they have been around! I always wear a mask during the ceremony and portrait portion of the day and usually the rest as well, unless I am eating or drinking.

If you love what I have said here, and would like to enquire, you can fill in the form below or visit our Weddings page:) I look forward to hearing from you!



I am so happy that you're here! My name is Crystal Summer Bear, I am an avid traveler, solopreneur and boutique portrait and wedding photographer. 
I love to share tips, tricks and beautiful stories that connect us all. 
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