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  • Writer's pictureLydia Mattern

An Intimate Micro-Wedding Experience: The Duffy Wedding

“I could feel the love so intensely…”

As eight of John and Rosie’s closest friends and family members gathered in Lake Tahoe for their micro-wedding, the atmosphere changed. Their wedding day turned into an intimate, intentional wedding experience. Each day leading up to the wedding ceremony, they spent time together, enjoying activities such as biking, hiking, and swimming in gorgeous Lake Tahoe.

During the wedding dinner, as they were sitting around the table having a catered meal, each guest gave a five-minute touching story about the couple. Everything from the mother/son dance to the father doing a fireside Scotch tasting on the lake-view deck at the end of the night felt so real, so meaningful. “It made me contemplate the root meaning of a wedding. I could feel the love so intensely, it brought me to tears” explains Christi, Founder and Lead Planner of Epic Thyme.

If you recently got engaged or just started wedding planning, you have likely come across the term “micro-wedding.” This phrase was birthed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken the wedding industry by storm.

But what is it, exactly?

While there are not tight guidelines around what is and is not considered a micro-wedding, at Epic Thyme, we consider a wedding “micro” when it consists of no more than 20 guests. With this amount of people, your wedding day turns into an intimate wedding experience with just you, your best friends, and your closest family.

Christi expands on this: “To me, a micro-wedding usually consists of no more than 20 guests. But I have noticed some wedding professionals are considering 50 guests and fewer a micro-wedding during COVID. I like to think of it in terms of lodging and renting. I could fit 20 people into a dope mansion on Lake Tahoe! But 50 -- I would need multiple spots for lodging, transportation options, and rentals. No house has 50 sets of plates! To me, that is a large event.”

That is one of the main benefits of having a micro-wedding: the flexibility of location. Whether it is a lakeside mansion or a mountaintop, with only a handful of guests, you can find the most amazing and unique venues.

“For 20 people -- you can do a lot and go to some really cool places together! For John and Rosie, we did a pop-up ceremony in a beautiful meadow right outside their rental! We scoped out the zone months prior but found the exact spot literally the day before,” explains Christi.

The spontaneity and freedom that comes with such a small, intimate wedding are unmatched. However, that doesn’t mean all logistics go out the window. In fact, micro-weddings take just as much, if not more, planning than traditional weddings.

“As the planner, just the numbers change. Instead of putting down 120 chairs on the rental list, I put down 10; instead of 120 lobster dishes, I order 10. When it came time to set up 10 chairs rather than 120, it did leave me with a bit of extra time to make every little detail perfect. You have time to take every element to the next level,” explains Christi.

Even though the guest count is fewer, each traditional wedding vendor is needed to bring a micro-wedding to life: a venue, florist, photographer, cake, caterer, hair and make-up artist, officiant, stationery, rentals, lights, and a wedding planner.

At one point, John and Rosie considered doing their wedding flowers themselves because of the price. However, knowing the integral role florals make in the wedding design, they were beyond pleased with their decision to have a professional florist bring their “Lake Tahoe” themed wedding to life. Pulling colors from the views of Lake Tahoe--the blue water, the sandy beach, the wooden pier, and greenery from the trees in the meadow--the florist nailed it.

“Everyone was talking about the florals the entire event. We made sure to not go overboard because the ceremony pieces needed to be transported for our pop-up ceremony, but they were beautiful,” Christi reflects.

The two vendors John and Rosie decided to go without were a DJ and bar vendor. However, in Christi’s experience, it is important to have both: “Most people don’t realize how hard it is to run the music. You have to lower it every time someone talks, and you have to get the “vibe” right during the event. You can’t have Cher blasting ‘do you believe in love’ in the background when the groom is trying to tell his family thank you for traveling so far! And let’s be honest, who really knows how to make a great Margarita without squirting lime all over the place?”

Just because a micro-wedding is small doesn’t mean it no longer requires professional quality caterers and vendors. It simply means you can spend more time with the people you love while the professionals handle the details.

And that is exactly what happens at these events. You can talk and spend meaningful time with each person. This is much different than a traditional wedding with 100 guests. Even with a six-hour event, you only have 360 minutes to talk to everyone which gives you 3.6 minutes with each person. Ready-set-GO! With a micro-wedding, this is far from the case.

But what happens when you planned for that 100-person wedding, and due to unforeseeable circumstances--hello, COVID--you have to adjust? That can’t be easy, and for many Epic Thyme couples, it was the hardest decision.

“To tell people who were already invited to the wedding they cannot come anymore was very hard for everyone. Fortunately for John and Rosie, they had already planned on a wedding with only 35 guests, so bringing that number down due to COVID was reasonable to make it a safe environment for their parents,” explains Christi.

For other couples, Christi found creative solutions:

“Another couple had invited 120 guests when they were told they could only have 50 people at their wedding on the Nevada-side of Lake Tahoe. We had to send out a poll to determine who was really coming to Tahoe during COVID. Out of the 120, 70 said they were still coming no matter what! I had to help the couple choose which 50 of those 70 could come to the event. It was so hard, so I couldn’t and didn’t stop there. I had to think outside the box! We decided to pull out 20 friends from college and move them to a second event the following day: a yacht wedding party! Both events were awesome. Plus, we live-streamed the ceremony for everyone to watch and posted it online that night for anyone who didn't make it to see.”

It was definitely difficult for couples to adjust once they had already made their large, traditional wedding plans. But moving into 2021 and beyond, we can see couples planning micro-weddings from the start due to the immense benefits of the experience.

If you are considering the best way to plan your wedding in 2021 wedding amid the COVID-19 pandemic, go for the micro-wedding! With the one “con” of a micro-wedding being missing out of that insane dance party with friends that everyone dreams about, Epic Thyme has creative ways to plan unforgettable experiences with all of the people who mean the most to you. Contact us today and let’s start planning!

John and Rosie had nothing but wonderful things to say about their entire micro-wedding planning experience with Epic Thyme:

Amazing Tahoe Planner! We started working with Christi in January of 2020 to plan our wedding in Lake Tahoe for this summer and could not have picked a better planner! Her network is extensive and her attention to detail is impeccable. We met with her on a monthly basis to start but were always in pretty close contact. She'll start you off with a list of to-do's built from her years of experience in the industry. No stone goes untouched! Even though we were a small, 10 person wedding, she went above and beyond in working with us and the vendors we chose to make sure our day felt special. When COVID hit, Christi was instrumental in helping us downsize our wedding and brainstorming ways for us to keep our wedding day fun and intimate. While we were one of her smaller weddings to date, having her there on the day and her creative touch were invaluable in making sure it went off without a hitch. We'd recommend her to any couple looking for a planner in the Tahoe area. Look no further!”

Planning & Design: Epic Thyme Events @epic_thyme

Photographer: Alyssa Nichole Studios @alyssanicholestudios

Rings: Esqueleto @shopesqueleto

Food: Platterfare & Moggrog @platterfare

Cake: Rebel Pioneer @rebelpioneerbakery

Hair: Solstice @solsticesalontruckee

Floral: Twine and Dandy @twine_and_dandy

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