We occasionally link to products that we like and use—if you purchase via one of our links, we may earn a commission. This supports our efforts at no cost to you.
Micro-weddings are trending. But what is a micro-wedding? And how does that favor personal chefs? Mega-weddings had their hey-day, and destination weddings were a big hit pre-coronavirus. Since then there has been a spike in elopements and the emergence of creative solutions to social distancing including drive-thru weddings and virtual ceremonies. This year is a tipping point for couples tying the knot and it turns out the latest trend, known as micro-weddings, is great news for personal chefs.
So what exactly is a micro-wedding?
Think of a micro-wedding as a typical wedding ceremony and reception but smaller. Most include less than 50 guests, but the average is 25-30. This means a guest list of immediate family and the couple’s closest friends. Hallelujah! A more intimate dining experience that doesn’t include 200 plates of banquet chicken for office pals, high school besties, and friends of the parent’s friends.
Why are micro-weddings becoming so popular?
According to the Shane McMurray’s Wedding Report, one of the big ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that more than half of the weddings planned through summer 2020 have been postponed to later in the year or into 2021. Postponing or cancelling weddings that took months, or years, to plan has spurred a movement to expedite timelines. Couples are exploring ways to lower expenses, avoid or limit travel, and comply with restrictions for group gatherings.
Thus, this year’s trend in micro-weddings. And, an amazing new opportunity for the independent chef.
How is a micro-wedding different than eloping?
Eloping involves a level of spontaneity and includes the couple, a witness, and an officiant. And often a quick flight to Vegas to be married by Elvis. Sometimes an elopement is secretly planned, and other times occurs on the spur of the moment. Micro-weddings are more like traditional weddings, only smaller, considerably smaller.
Micro-weddings are planned, announced, and a ceremony is followed by a reception where food is served. Often the reception is held in an intimate setting such as a private home.
How is a micro-wedding different from a minimony?
A minimony is a mini ceremony that couples usually conduct to secure a special date for their anniversary. February 20 this year is a great example because 02/02/2020 is a palindrome date, meaning it reads the same backwards and forwards. No groom could ever forget it, right?! Usually a minimony is followed by a larger celebration and reception at a later date.
A micro-wedding is the whole shebang on a single date with a modest sized guest list.
Why are micro-weddings gaining in popularity?
In 2019, The Knot surveyed over 27,000 couples married that year and reported the average national cost of a wedding to be $33,900 – this includes the engagement ring but not the honeymoon. At $39,000 California ranked slightly above the average, with New Jersey taking the top spot at $53,400. It’s easy to see why couples starting their married lives are anxious to trim this daunting price tag.
A more cost-conscious affair that includes only their closest friends and family makes for an intimate and personal experience and negates the drama associated with seating charts and over-inflated guests lists. A micro-wedding focuses on the couple surrounded by the people they love and care about. Micro-weddings create an intimate experience of connecting with guests while still celebrating with all the bells and whistles of a large-scale wedding. Budget-savvy brides and grooms have a lot of reasons to go micro.
What key factors are couples considering when planning a micro-wedding?
Couples still have a lot of the same concerns of a big wedding when planning a micro-wedding including location, food, and the guest lists. However, micro-weddings are often not bound by size – either in terms of minimum number of people or maximum. Often larger venues have minimums that must be met. On the flip side, vacation properties, such as those found on Airbnb, limit the number of guests
In lieu of venue costs, many couples opt to spend the money on lasting home improvements, like sprucing up the backyard with a new lawn, pizza oven, or covered patio. This creates a truly intimate space for a ceremony at home with the bonus of improvements they can enjoy for years to come.
All of these factors play a part in highlighting why micro-weddings are a great business opportunity for personal chefs.
As a personal chef, what do I need to know about the micro-wedding business?
Couples still want many things to be the same for their wedding. Embracing the micro-weddings trend can be lucrative for independent chefs even though they hold a smaller price-point for the bride and groom. You can expect couples to keep the basic elements of a wedding, e.g. dress, officiant, flowers, photographer, and food, while ditching some of the other expenses like an event center, transportation, lodging, and elaborate décor. Besides the ceremony, what most couples really want is the time they get to spend over a meal with their loved ones – and you can make that memorable and delicious, chef.
Seven things to consider about micro-weddings before couples reach out to you.
- Don’t overthink it. Create a simple package and be ready to quote a price that offers them a delicious, unique food experience.
- Specialize to get the gig. Couples dream of a smaller event where they can linger and catch up with their dinner party guests instead of just paying a quick visit to each of the twenty 10-top tables surrounding the dance floor. This means designing a menu that facilitates a leisure evening for everyone at the table.
- Keep it lucrative. Beware the temptation to reduce your prices because the size of their event is smaller; as an independent chef you still have to make a profit!
- Avoid getting sidetracked. Don’t allow a micro-wedding to interrupt or take the place of your key services; this should be an additional stream of income, not a derailment of the business you’ve built.
- Resist the F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out). Avoid taking on a job that’s too big for you and that you can’t execute well. This will hurt more than help you.
- Never negotiate your brand. If your specialty is bar-b-que don’t take on a vegan celebration just because you have an opening in your schedule!
- Guard your calendar. Your current clients will still want you on the days your services are in highest demand, so don’t give up your key dates for this specialized source of additional revenue.
No matter the size of celebration, personal chefs have the opportunity to step into residential kitchens and provide delicious, memorable food and service for brides, grooms, and their guests that will be remembered for years.
The good news is the timeline for micro-weddings is usually shorter and that means quick work for chefs who are ready to fill their calendars and showcase their talent. Micro-weddings are a great shift and a welcome change for many couples who want to create meaningful memories without excessive financial commitment. Couples are anxious to simplify and destress the marathon planning process and that means many of them are relieved about ditching the giant affair with the caterer and rows of chaffing dishes. Couples embracing micro-weddings want to hire a personal chef to create a custom menu that reflects them, their celebration, and their loved ones.
Not only are micro-weddings a great way to showcase your talent, they are an excellent opportunity to harness new clients. Get ready chef, more and more couples saying “I do” are going to call you!