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How To Plan A Micro-Wedding

bride and groom wedding

If you’re a regular reader of Wedding Journal, you may remember that we recently wrote about a big incoming wedding trend that you’ll be seeing a lot of in the coming months: Micro-weddings.

With COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions making big weddings difficult, it’s predicted that lots of couples will be opting for a much more intimate affair. And the good news is, small weddings can be particularly amazing. As Áine Hussy from wedding planning and event company The Dish Dolly, which now specialises in micro-weddings puts it, scaling back doesn’t mean compromising on the magic.

“Micro-weddings are going to be huge this Summer and beyond as couples regroup after having to postpone their larger wedding day,” Áine explains. “While it is such an unfortunate situation to be in I know that many couples will be secretly breathing a sigh of relief now that the Big Wedding has had to be scaled back. Couples that are recently engaged will be looking at the current situation and will be reassessing how they picture their wedding day in 2021 or later. Micro-Weddings will now be the norm,” she enthuses.

“These weddings by definition have 20 guests or less and are all about refining the things that are important to you as a couple – but not compromising on the magic, the joy or the fun that a wedding creates.”

So how do you plan one? Áine dishes her tips.

Ceremony Certainty


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“If you have your church ceremony booked for June onwards check in with your priest and make sure he is happy to go ahead with a very small ceremony.,” Áine advises. “If you’re recently engaged and want to go off piste completely with your intimate ceremony why not look at public monument sites such as Charles Fort in Kinsale, Casino Marino in Dublin or The Mainguard in Tipperary – these all offer on site civil ceremonies, and how magical would that be?”

If that’s not to your taste, Áine says “a registry office is the perfect solution for the legal side of things once they reopen in Phase 3 – and then why not get a celebrant to do a blessing in your back garden once the legalities have been taken care of?” Good news, we’ve all the info you need on having a backyard wedding here.

Guestlist Simplicity

“Bearing in mind that a “micro-wedding” is generally less than 20 people this is the time to be ruthless and cut your guest list to just those people who you would truly miss being a part of your wedding day,” Áine instructs. “The couple can usually count these on one hand – parents, your siblings, your best friend who is always by your side, your nana who always has words of wisdom to impart.”

And if you’re worried about offending people? “Your extended family will understand and there will always be another chance to celebrate with a larger group (only if you want to!) in the future,” says Áine. “You are inviting a very small, loving group of people and this will make the day even more special. You should be relaxed and comfortable and completely at ease around these guests and not feel the need to play “host” to anyone. And just think of all the time you will save not having to shake hands with 150 people!”

Select a Space


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The great news about micro-weddings is you only need a small workable space. “Who has the biggest garden? Who’s dining room can seat more than 4 people? Does your BFF have a spectacular city centre roof top terrace you can ‘borrow’?” Áine asks. “In my opinion, there is nothing more romantic than having your intimate reception in a space that you are in or visit all the time – this could be your home place where you first introduced your partner to your parents; your first home you scrimped and saved to buy together recently; your Nana’s back garden where all the family events take place.”

Of course not everyone has the space for a full marquee, says Áine, but think about how you can use the garden and turn it into a usable space. “Borrowing or hiring a gazebo is perfect and can be put up just outside the doors to create an extra seating space even if the weather isn’t great,” she suggests. “Set up your beer buckets G&T station in the garden while using the indoor dining space for your catering.”

Keep the Catering Casual


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Now’s a good time to improvise or call in help from your friends and fam. “The best man just might be a dab hand on the barbeque and wants to showcase his grilling skills so don’t stand in his way! Or you may want the ultimate grazing table served with your favourite wine,” says Áine. “Decide how you want to eat and what works best for the space you have chosen. If you have lots of indoor seating and a big counter space why not do a gourmet buffet style dinner dropped to your door and set up beautifully while you sip champagne. A casual dining option will work so much better than trying to organise a more formal sit down meal if you have a smaller space to work with,” she explains.

Dial The Dish Dolly


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MICRO-WEDDINGS🌸🌺 @thedishdolly is delighted to have micro wedding packages available. Starting from €800 for a minimum of 10 guests hosting your intimate wedding at home is the perfect plan for all those couples in limbo with their Big Wedding plans 💒 many couples who I know have decided to postpone the big party to a later date but want to go ahead with their ceremony & an intimate, bespoke affair for their families or closest friends. I can provide tableware, table decor, linens, garden lighting & decor, lawn games 🌤️☀️I will do the full set up for you in your home and will liaise with my recommended suppliers including catering, flowers and photographers. Just because it will be a small affair does not mean you are compromising on quality or the fun 🌸🌺💘 tag a couple you know below who are looking for an alternative wedding and I will follow up – Áine

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She is an expert after all. “I have created a Micro_wedding set up package that includes vintage crockery, glassware, table décor & linens, festival style lighting and bunting for your garden. Not only will you have a much more sustainable event by hiring all these items I will do the entire set for you in your own home!” Áine explains. “I also have relationships with unique suppliers across the country that can offer a micro-wedding appropriate package – like a photographer by the hour, a caterer who will drop off a full cold buffet set up to your home, the florist who will offer posies and bunches of eucalyptus to add to your tables. Now is the time to support small Irish owned businesses!”

Keep an open mind


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“You need to think differently and open your mind to other possibilities as to what an Irish wedding looks like,” Áine muses. “It may be different to the vision you had but it will in no way be any less special for you both. We are getting back to the root of what it is all about – your love for each other, your marriage and being surrounded by the ones who truly care for you. A Micro-Wedding is by no means a compromise – it is a truly unique and bespoke approach to hosting your wedding.”

To get in touch with Áine about micro-wedding packages, you can email her at

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