Everyone dreams of having a glorious wedding. When picturing it in their heads, it’s usually a grand event fit for a king and queen. Maybe that fact has to do with our collective fascination with the British royal family and the general idea that important people host weddings that absolutely must be massive, stately, magnificent affairs.
But isn’t that a bit strange when you really think about it? Over time, weddings have morphed further away from the actual point — celebrating an intimate bond between two people — into complex exercises in event planning and project management. This is starting to change, however. More and more people are taking a step back and realizing that not only is this much more expensive and much more stressful, but it isn’t even what they desire.
Enter the micro wedding. Despite the small-sounding name, many happy couples are proving why this is the next big thing. After all, why invite everyone you know and pay for a million plates? Do your neighbor, a third-grade teacher and 14th cousin really need to be there? When was the last time you even spoke to these people?
If you would prefer a great time with your closest friends and family, a micro wedding may just be for you. You will truly want every guest to be there with you, and there is an extra bonus: By not wasting all your budget buying all those cocktails for aunt Edna, you can make it an even more unforgettable experience.
One excellent idea is to combine two great ideas and have a destination micro wedding. While the whole world is your oyster, New York City has quickly become one of the most popular locations. With a smaller group and fewer logistical challenges, it isn’t even that difficult. Just heed the following advice and you can truly have a wedding to remember in the Big Apple.
1. Don’t Go Overboard
Part of the allure of a destination wedding is that it will be remembered as a multi-day experience rather than just the procession of vows, followed by drinks, dinner, and dancing. You obviously want the main event to stand out, but don’t bother trying to book the fanciest church or a reception out of your price range. Because no matter your budget, make no mistake — there is somewhere in New York City that you cannot afford.
Keep the same mentality for hotels and restaurants for any additional dinners, lunches or other outings that aren’t fully paid for by the bride and groom. Your friends and family are making the effort to be there for you, so don’t force them to have a crazy NYC brunch where the cheapest cocktail is $80.
2. Give People Enough Time
Whether micro or macro, destination weddings require more lead time. Your closest loved ones likely want to be there for you on the big day and will go to great lengths to make that happen no matter the location. Still, you’ve got to keep it real. Indeed, a trip to NYC is expensive and people have other financial obligations. That’s why you should make it a point to send out your save the dates as early as possible so people can mark that weekend on the calendar and start setting aside a bit of money for all the fun to come.
3. Include Fun Activities
Beyond the typical wedding moments, remember you’re in one of the greatest cities on earth. So, you absolutely must incorporate some iconic aspects of New York. If you love the city and have been a million times, this might just be a meal at a favorite restaurant or a low-key brunch picnic in Central Park.
However, if many of your guests are visiting New York City for the first time, consider adding a Broadway show or touristy outing into the mix. People are here to see you get married, but they also want to enjoy the full experience of getting away from it all.
4. Allow for Enough Downtime
While your idea of fun in the city is likely great and you want the weekend to keep some focus on you, remember that different people enjoy different things. Even with a small guest list, there will be some people who want to catch a Yankees game, see the Metropolitan Museum of Art, scour all five boroughs for the best slice of pizza, or just wander around the West Village. As noted, schedule at least one big group activity besides the wedding itself for everyone to enjoy. But don’t monopolize their every waking moment with a rigid schedule.
5. Big Things Come in Little Packages
Many couples hardly get to enjoy their own wedding. They feel obligated to wander around all night saying hello to 100 different people, some of whom they barely know, rather than actually experiencing their big day at the moment.
Don’t do that. Instead, decide on a micro wedding with a dozen people you love — and make it even better in the Big Apple. Just don’t try to go overboard, give people enough time to add it to their calendar, schedule some unique NYC events, and remember to give your guests some free time on their own.
Ultimately, New York itself will provide that extra wow factor that everyone wants for their wedding. So, once you decide on a date, there isn’t much more to worry about. Just get everyone together and meet them in the greatest city on earth.