Planning an Unforgettable Micro-Wedding in the Smokies
No matter what happens, people continue to fall in love and get married. The happy couple’s parents and besties will want to be there for the big day. But you don’t actually need to bring the whole town, extended blood relatives, and every past roommate. Big weddings were the trend for a long time but with gathering sizes dropping, today’s couples are rethinking the banquet hall vision. It’s time to consider a micro-wedding in the Smokies.
The Rise of Micro-Weddings
Today, it’s safer and more intimate to gather your nearest-and-dearest for a micro-wedding. Plan a day you’ll never forget surrounded by beauty and love – but with 10-50 guests instead of dozens to hundreds. This year, your extended guest list will be more than happy to stream your nuptials and toast remotely instead of taking on the collective risk of travel and mixed partying.
Micro Guest-Lists Unlock New & Unique Venues
Wedding venues are usually limited by the size of the crowd. To accommodate 200 friends and relatives, you need a big ceremony space and an even bigger reception space. But what about a small, intimate guest list? Suddenly, there are new, more intimate venues you can discover. Family-sized venues perfect for a smaller wedding party and a breathtaking background.
Local venues have more to offer a small wedding, and Smoky Mountain venues like the Trillium or Magnolia are perfect to accommodate your small to medium-sized wedding party with room to spare.
For the reception, your smaller party makes it possible to use hidden gems like Smoky Mountain Park lodges and cabins in the Parkside Resort designed for unique events like yours.
Smokies Micro-Wedding Planning Tips
1. Write Down Your Absolute-Must-Haves
With your partner, sit down and write a list of what means “wedding” to you. Maybe it’s the white dress and the cake. Maybe it’s the flower arbor under which you say your vows. We each have our special, meaningful must-haves for a wedding -even if you’re going minimal on everything else. Consider the things that will make the day feel real and unforgettable for you, and consider the unique things that are meaningful to your partner.
Take these must-haves and weave them into your theme to make the day uniquely special to both of you, no matter how it’s designed.
2. Define the Minimized Guest List
Your minimal guest list might be easy to write or difficult to pare down, depending on your family. Start at the top and work your way down. Define a maximum number of guests and don’t forget to include any necessary plus-ones. Start with parents, siblings, and sibling-like friends. Sort by distance and travel requirements, prioritizing nearby relatives and those who would not be at-risk to attend.
Stream the Main Events for Extended Guests
For everyone who can’t be there in person, prepare to stream. After all, we’re two decades into the new millennium and the information age. You can absolutely send a live Vlog of your wedding out to dozens to hundreds of friends and relatives who want to be there. Hire a videographer or just set up a few tripods around the venue. You can even use telepresence and video conferencing to have distant friends give toasts and share in the dancing.
3. Plan Intimate Conversations and Games with Guests
Remember that the time you’re planning will be more intimate than a huge wedding. Instead of circulating around dozens of guests and saying hello to everyone, you’ll have more quality time with your closest family. This makes more time for conversation, interaction, and dancing with the same people -so plan for it.
Prepare sparkling conversation topics and plan a few games and events to keep everyone busy while enjoying each other’s company. Games can be especially useful if new family members are still getting to know each other across the now-forged family lines.
4. Decorate with Local Blooms and Greenery
Fresh flowers can wilt on their way to remote locations – but not if you’re savvy about your Smokies surroundings. We live surrounded by beautiful wildlife that will look best as decoration when used in-season. Choose seasonal blossoms and use local greenery in your wedding decoration and bouquets, and worry less about wilting of hot-house flowers on your happiest day.
5. Buffet, Barbecue, and Family-Style Catering
Simplify your catering plans. For a small wedding party, you might host the entire wedding dinner in a local restaurant or outdoors in a fun barbecue style. Bring everyone together for a traditional family-style roast or put together a buffet that’s easy for the whole family to serve for themselves. In remote Smoky Mountain venues, there are kitchens and catering facilities available, and you get to decide how they are put to use.
By simplifying both your menu and serving plans, you can reduce catering costs and make the meal more intimate and friendly for everyone involved.
6. All Your Favorite Sweets
When it comes to a micro-wedding, sweets are one of the best places to splurge. Maybe you want a traditional tiered wedding cake, or perhaps you’ll design a cascade of wedding cupcakes instead. Catie’s Cakes is a fantastic local choice, renowned for attention to detail with each and every couple.
As for the rest of the desserts, invite family to bring your favorite recipes for cookies or pie. Cover a table in goodies and let your tastebuds do the celebrating. This is your big day and icing always makes even a small wedding feel like an all-out celebration.
7. Embrace Your Wedding Photography
A pro wedding photographer is a must for any wedding, and you can find some wonderful services like Erin Morrison or Magnolia & Ember here in the Smoky Mountain region. With a smaller guest list, your photographer will have time to catch beautiful arranged and candid shots of everyone. No need to pick-and-choose from hundreds when your favorite dozen family members can all be in the photo shoots together.
8. The License and Officiant
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of your wedding license and officiant so the ceremony is truly official. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun and intimacy of planning a micro-wedding but you still need someone there to say the words “You may kiss the bride”.
Planning a Micro-Wedding in the Smoky Mountains
Are you planning a micro wedding in the Smoky Mountains? The Smoky Mountains National Park has two beautiful venues with catering service facilities. Find breathtaking views and a polished, cozy space just the right size for your closest family and an unforgettable day of joy. Contact us today to find out more about booking micro-weddings in the Smoky Mountain area.
Professional Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Erin Morrison Photography | Venue: The Magnolia Venue | Planner: Custom Love Gifts & Events | Cake: Catie Cakes | Florals: Echelon Florist | DJ: Tony Boring | Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies of East TN