Crafting the Perfect Micro Wedding Guest List

Elopement Tips & Advice,
6 min read Sep 6, 2023
Who to Invite to a Micro Wedding

Though the rise in micro weddings had much to do with the pandemic, this popular wedding trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to the experts at Brides, “As it turns out, micro-weddings aren’t just convenient during a pandemic (although they come in clutch big time)—they also have benefits that make them appealing to more and more couples.”1 Having fewer guests helps to create an intimate, meaningful atmosphere and typically reduces overall costs, just to name a few advantages. However, choosing who to invite to a micro wedding can be tricky.

Planning a wedding of any size is a deeply personal journey, and with micro weddings, assembling the right guest list is key to creating a close-knit and significant gathering. We understand the importance of curating a guest list that reflects your unique relationship—as well as the challenges that go along with it. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to walk you through the entire process of determining who to invite to a micro wedding, and how to create an atmosphere filled with love and connection.

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Creating an Intimate Atmosphere

Before we get into the details, let’s first discuss the basics, and more specifically, elopement vs. micro wedding. Whereas an elopement involves zero or a handful of guests, a micro wedding—though still much smaller than a full, traditional wedding—typically includes no more than 50 guests.

When it comes to who to invite to micro wedding, less is more. Unlike a larger wedding, a smaller guest count lends itself to an intimate and close-knit atmosphere where you can deeply connect with each of your loved ones. So, who to invite to a micro wedding? Start by considering those who have played a significant role in your journey as a couple. Think about close family members, best friends, and people who have stood by your side through thick and thin.

Who to Invite to a Micro Wedding

Tips on Deciding the Optimal Number of Guests

The optimal guest count for a micro wedding will vary, but the key is to maintain an intimate atmosphere. While some couples choose to have fewer than 20 guests, others may extend their list to around 50. Consider the capacity of your chosen venue and the ambiance you want to create. Don’t forget that skipping a large wedding and having fewer guests allows you to spend more quality time with each person.

Involving Family and Friends

The party doesn’t have to wait until the wedding day! Crafting your micro wedding guest list can be a collaborative and meaningful experience in itself. Jumpstart your micro wedding timeline by involving your loved ones in the process. This not only makes them feel valued but also helps ensure your celebration is a genuine reflection of your relationships.

Collaborating on Guest List Selection

Discuss your vision for a smaller wedding with your loved ones and invite their input. This gesture makes them feel cherished and helps strike a balance between a private affair and broader inclusion. Be open and communicate your dreams of a heartfelt celebration.

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Navigating Sensitive Guest List Decisions

Creating a guest list, even for an intimate micro wedding, can be challenging since a micro wedding typically requires some exclusions. Should difficult moments arise, it’s essential to approach these conversations with grace and empathy.

Handling Exclusions with Grace and Empathy

Due to the smaller nature of a micro wedding, as you curate your micro wedding guest list, you will likely find that certain individuals cannot be accommodated for various reasons. While this process is an integral part of wedding planning, it’s crucial to address exclusions with sensitivity.

The first step is clear communication. Approach the conversation openly and honestly, sharing your intentions and the reasons behind your decision to not have a big wedding. Express how grateful you are to have them in your life, and convey your desire for an intimate and personal celebration. This candid approach not only fosters understanding but also highlights the importance you place on the relationships you’ve cultivated.

Though honesty is surely important, these conversations also require empathy, so take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid, and understand that their initial reaction surrounding not receiving a wedding invitation may be a mix of emotions, including both surprise and disappointment. Provide space for them to express their sentiments, and listen to them.

At the same time, remind yourself that it’s okay to set boundaries. Though it may be tempting to accommodate every request, sticking to your vision of a small wedding ensures that your micro wedding remains an intimate and meaningful experience for you, your partner, and your guests.

In some cases, offering an alternative gesture of appreciation can soften the impact of not being on the guest list. This could involve inviting them to an informal gathering or sharing details of your special day after it takes place.

Who to Invite to a Micro Wedding

Tips for Curating a Guest List That Reflects Your Relationship

Crafting your micro wedding guest list is not only about selecting individuals—it’s an opportunity to infuse your celebration with personal touches that hold profound sentimental value. Here’s how to add those special flourishes to create an environment that resonates with your unique journey as a couple and to celebrate the meaningful connections that have shaped your love story.

Include Those Who Have Played Special Roles

As you consider who to invite to your micro wedding, reflect on those who have played significant roles in your relationship: friends who have been your confidants, the family members who have stood by you through thick and thin, and the mentors who have guided you along the way. These individuals have contributed to the chapters of your story, and having them present on your intimate wedding day is a way of acknowledging their importance.

Finding Creative Ways to Celebrate Connections

Once you’ve settled on your guest list, it’s time to weave those personal connections into the fabric of your celebration. Personalized touches can range from heartfelt notes in your wedding program to specially reserved seats with personalized nameplates. Other ideas include:

  • Customized Table Settings: Set the tone by assigning guests to tables with thoughtful consideration. You could match guests based on shared interests or experiences, encouraging conversation and new connections.
  • Meaningful Favors: Offer tokens of appreciation that hold significance. A wedding favor could be an item that ties back to shared memories or inside jokes, serving as a keepsake that guests will cherish.
  • Tributes in Speeches: If you plan to have speeches or toasts, use these moments to express gratitude to specific individuals. Sharing anecdotes or stories about your guests not only adds a personal touch but also reinforces the importance of their presence.
  • Memory Lane Display: Meaningful micro wedding decor is another way to honor your special guests. Create a visual display with photos and mementos highlighting your journey as a couple to spark conversations and reminisces among your friends and family.
  • Special Dedications: Consider dedicating a song, a dance, or even a moment of silence during the ceremony to honor the people who have shaped your lives.

Adding personal touches to your micro wedding guest list infuses your celebration with authenticity and sentiment. You can create an experience that resonates deeply with you and your guests by including those who have shaped your journey and creatively honoring them.

Who to Invite to a Micro Wedding

Crafting Your Micro Wedding Guest List

Crafting the perfect micro wedding guest list involves intention, thoughtfulness, and understanding. It’s our mission at Simply Eloped to make the wedding planning process as seamless and enjoyable as possible, and we’re here to ensure that your big day is a true reflection of your relationship. By involving loved ones, addressing challenges with grace, and making it personal, you’ll create a guest list that embraces intimacy and celebrates your journey together. Your micro wedding is not just a day; it’s a chapter in your love story, and we’re honored to be part of it.



  1. “Are Micro-Weddings Here to Stay?” Brides.
Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Karen Norian

Karen Norian is an elopement photographer and has photographed over a hundred elopements. Karen has also worked as an elopement planner for Simply Eloped. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Brides, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Yahoo, and more.