You’ve heard the old saying that good things come in small packages. But can that apply to weddings too? Meet the micro wedding, a nuptial revolution for those who prefer quality over quantity, intimacy over grandeur, and saving money for other essentials, like that dream honeymoon, home down payment, or bucket list fund.
You’re not alone if you and your special someone are considering saying “I do” with fewer than 50 witnesses. These compact love fests offer all the glamour, love, and joy of a larger ceremony, so it’s no wonder their popularity is on the rise.
From the rolling hills of Virginia to the sun-soaked beaches of California, we’ve analyzed the cost of micro weddings in 50 diverse cities, peeling back the layers on average expenditures, everything from small venues to catering for up to 50 guests.
So whether you’ve already decided on a micro wedding or are just intrigued by the trend and curious about the costs, we’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to. Let’s dive in!
U.S. Cities Where Micro Weddings Cost the Most and Least
Love may be priceless, but with the national average cost of a micro wedding coming in at $10,777.56 (way below the $30,000 national average for a full-size ceremony), our results show that planning your dream wedding definitely doesn’t have to break the bank!
The Most Expensive U.S. Cities for a Micro Wedding
San Francisco, California, tops our list as the most expensive city for a micro wedding, with an average total cost of $16,833.64. In one of the nation’s most expensive real estate and rental markets, it makes sense that the lion’s share of the expense goes to the venue, which comes in at $11,767.14 on average (the highest in our study). However, add $1,700 for catering for 50, $500 for a DJ, and $475 for a photographer, and you’ve still got yourself a wedding cost that falls way below the national average for a traditional wedding.
The runner-up? Miami, Florida. Famous for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, the average micro wedding cost isn’t as steep as San Francisco, but at $15,392.02, it’s still a significant investment. The venue alone comes in at $8,423.69, but with $400 for wedding makeup for four people, about $433 for a wedding hairstylist for four people, and $1,550 for the average cost of the couple’s attire, you’re looking at a beautiful, but still affordable, wedding.
With its rich musical and industrial history, Detroit, Michigan, rounds out our top three most expensive cities for a micro wedding. Despite having a more affordable venue price of $4,097.44, the catering cost might have you singing the blues — to the tune of $7,500 for 50 guests.
The Least Expensive U.S. Cities for a Micro Wedding
On the other end of the spectrum, say hello to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the average cost for a micro wedding is just $6,622.00! With the lowest venue cost in our study and affordable extras like officiant and DJ services ($250 and $410), it’s clear that Minnesotans know how to say “I do” without saying “I’m broke.”
Cincinnati, Ohio, follows close behind, with a total cost of $7,245.57. Here, you can host your big day for a fraction of the cost and still manage to include catering, an officiant ($982 total for both), and a photographer ($300).
Last (but not least), we land in Raleigh, North Carolina, where an average micro wedding will cost you $8,068.95. With reasonable prices for venues and catering ($3,438.95 and $1,250) and photography and officiant costs around $250 each, this Southern city proves that you can have your wedding cake and eat it too — without emptying your savings account!
The Costs Behind Micro Weddings in the U.S.
Wondering if your city made the list or how it stacks up? Check out our full study data and sort by cost factor and U.S. city on the interactive table above.
Our study shows that while micro wedding costs vary by U.S. city, a micro wedding is a perfect way to ensure an intimate dream day without breaking the bank.
At Shane Co., we love a big old wedding with all the trimmings, but regardless of budget, they aren’t for everyone. We’re happy to see the shift away from a “bigger is better” wedding mindset that these smaller gatherings represent, for love and commitment are not measured by the size of a crowd or the opulence of a venue. In the end, it’s all about two people promising to share their lives together in the presence of witnesses who truly cherish them.
So, whether your love journey involves a lavish micro wedding in San Francisco or a budget-friendly gathering in Minneapolis, remember that the value of your big day won’t be defined by its cost or size, but by the love it celebrates. And no matter where you are, Shane Co. is here to help you commemorate your eternal love with the perfect engagement rings and wedding bands.
Need a little guidance? Check out our blog for tips on how to match your engagement ring and wedding band!
To determine the cost of a micro wedding across the U.S., we started with a list of smaller-group wedding expenses. Next, we found local data on average prices for wedding venues and catering for up to 50 people, wedding photographers and officiants, a wedding DJ for three hours, wedding hair and makeup artists for four people, and couple attire costs (like wedding gowns and tuxedos). We also included national average costs for wedding florals. Check out our complete list of cost factors below.
|Venue||Wedding-Spot||Starting price for 50 people|
|Catering||Thumbtack||(Cost per plate x 50 people)|
|DJ||Thumbtack||Avg. cost for three hours|
|Makeup||Thumbtack||Avg. cost for four people|
|Hair||Thumbtack||Avg. cost for four people|
|Attire||Wedding Wire||Avg. attire cost|
|Florals||Brides.com||A bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, reception centerpieces, flower girl petals, a boutonniere, corsage|