I shot the cutest micro-wedding today & I’ll take these intimate ceremonies over big weddings any day. There. I said it.
As a creator, it takes a while to learn what serves you. For me, it’s having access to connecting with the souls I capture.
I know a number of incredible wedding photographers that truly rock the 200-people big wedding game. I’ve done those before, they’re fabulous, but it’s not for me. I salute those that survive 10+ hour ceremonies and thank them for their service. I love these small ceremonies that allow me to truly capture a stress-free bride and groom in their element.
I, too, opted for a smaller wedding of only 15 people and it was the best decision ever.
I was fortunate enough to have a circle of very understanding family and friends that knew we were saving up for more important milestones in our life, like buying a house and one day growing our family.
You probably landed on this blog post wanting to have your dream micro-wedding in Miami… on a budget! I gotchu. Below I share the breakdown of my very intimate and affordable 15-person micro-wedding.
Total Cost: $4000
Wedding Dress: $450 from David’s Bridal. Found this gem hidden in the sales rack of David’s Bridal in Coral Gables. All it needed was a quick hem adjustment which I was fortunate enough to have my mom fix for me. The wedding vail and headpiece were both from Amazon for less than $70 total.
Groom’s Tux: 8-piece Package $100 from Men’s Warehouse.
Hair & Makeup: $0 Endless YouTube tutorials later, I landed on my perfectly simple look, done at home with makeup and tools I already had on hand.
Venue / Officiant / Flowers / Cake: $1200 Redland Koi Garden. 2hrs. The elopement / micro-wedding package included an amazing officiant (shoutout to Adri), my dream bouquet, boutonnière, and cake flowers by Ponce Floral Design, and a stunning cake with the exact vision I wanted by Sweet Design!
Videographer: $200 Our good friend Jonathan is a super talented creative. He had never shot a wedding, but I trusted his talent and sure enough HE DELIVERED. These days, Jonathan is available for all things digital marketing, corporate videos, and maybe even a wedding ceremony if you reach out to him. He’s great!
Photographer: $1000 We knew we wanted pictures that truly captured the beauty and essence of our ceremony and there was only one gal we could trust with this. Our dear friend Helena of Provoke Photography truly delivered our dream photo gallery. She knew exactly how to pose us, capture our candid moments, and was comfortable giving us a photo op tour of Redland Koi Gardens, one of the many venues she has shot at in Miami. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and friend to capture our special day.
Dinner: $600 for 15 people at Mamey Miami. My husband, Peter, was a chef at Niven Patel’s new Mamey Miami, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity when they offered to host our wedding party. We felt so lucky to have the support from this incredible team and everyone couldn’t stop raving about the food.
Please note that this was a special Family & Friends rate, but there’s tons of affordable ways to host a reception dinner after your ceremony. Some ideas include using a family or friend’s backyard as your intimate venue and catering from a local Miami restaurant or caterer. I know a friend that did a full Publix catering for her 100-person wedding and saved almost $3000! The possibilities are endless. Remember, your family is there for YOU… the food and drinks are just a nice plus as a thank you.
The Toast: $0 Speaking of drinks! We were fortunate to have a friend gift us our wedding day spirits. For 15 people, you’re probably looking at 6-10 bottles of bubbly for your ceremony toast and then some. My advice? Hit up Costco or BJ’s and save hundreds when you buy in bulk. Don’t believe me? Just check out this article from EatingWell.com…
Each $59.99 pack comes with six, 187-milliliter bottles (each is about ¼ of a standard wine bottle) of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. Considering a 750-milliliter bottle of the same Champagne goes for $39.99, it’s a pretty reasonable deal, plus it means that you can drink the whole bottle and add only about 140 calories to your daily tally.eatingwell.com
Mr. & Mrs. Crystal Wedding Champagne Glasses: $0 These babies were gifted to us by our dear friend that explored our Amazon registry right before our wedding. You can find them here for $37!
Welcome Sign: $75 our dear friend Carlita of Fiesta in a Box is an incredible party planner and decorator, so naturally I had to hire her to give us her finishing touches. I always wanted a Pinterest-worthy wooden “welcome” sign for our wedding and she made it happen beautifully and on a time crunch! I purchased the stand on Amazon and Carlita gifted us the eucalyptus garland which we found on Amazon, too!
- $23 Silk Bamboo Handheld Fans w/ Organza Gift Bag: even in October, Miami is HOT year-round, so we gave our guests these fans and they loved them.
- $8 White Permanent Markers: we used our wooden “welcome sign” as a guest book, so our family was able to sign the back part.
- $45 CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag: this cooler saved us and our bubbly since our venue didn’t have a fridge to store the bottles. Perfect and portable if you don’t want a heavy cooler.
- $25 Gold Glitter Plastic Toasting Flutes: this pack of 30 flutes were stunning and so easy to carry and assemble without fear of breaking them.
Hope this breakdown was helpful! With some research and little help from friends, you’ll be able to celebrate just how you’ve always dreamed.
Big or small, in the end, move forward with what serves your soul. It’s your big day. It only happens once. Do what makes YOU happy and communicate this to your loved ones so you feel at peace on your wedding day.
Ixamar & Peter