Why are Florida micro weddings

so popular right now?

We noticed something really strange…

…back in September is when we first noticed it.  Just for the record, right now –this is November of 2023.   So just a few months ago, we noticed that when leads were coming in, people would inquire by email, text, phone for their wedding photography or videography. We’re getting more and more and more inquiries for micro weddings. And at first I didn’t even realize it, and then I realized a lot were coming in.   We still had inquiries for traditional size weddings, traditional length weddings, but we’re getting more and more micro weddings.

What is a micro wedding?

What is a micro wedding?

It depends on who you ask.  I even looked up online people’s definition and it varies, but here in the office, we have a definition that’s kind of fourfold.

1. SMALL – A micro wedding is small in size.

2.  SHORT – It’s short in length.

3. SIMPLE – It’s simpler.

4.  And then number four, I couldn’t come up with another S, but it’s low cost. So small, short, simple, and lower cost.

So when you say small, what are we talking about?  It depends who you ask. I’ve seen people say, oh, 50 or less. I think that’s getting to be more of a traditional size.

Micro weddings in my mind are 20 or fewer people, but usually 10 or fewer people. Often there’s no bridal party at all. There may be like a best man and a maid of honor, but there’s no large bridal party.  In terms of short, what that means is it’s shorter in length. A typical wedding for us, a typical wedding photography contract for us, they go anywhere from 2 to 12 hours, but average is probably in the 6 hour range.

Most importantly, they are low cost

And then again, finally, most importantly, low cost. I’ve seen micro weddings cost $200, and yes, you can do that. I’ll go on and explain that in a little bit. Or up to $5,000 for a small backyard wedding. When we bring up the term micro wedding, I’ve had people say, well, isn’t

Courthouse wedding ceremony
Courthouse wedding ceremony

that just eloping? And eloping really is a little bit different. Eloping tends to be private. Oftentimes, it is just the couple eloping. It often means that it is a civil service, not in a church or a temple. And in terms of private, many times they don’t tell people that they’re eloping. They don’t want to offend family or friends by not inviting them. For example, my parents eloped and my mom showed us the spot where they eloped.   It was a backyard wedding and they had friends that owned this beautiful cottage on a cove in Maine.  They got married in the backyard with only a justice of the peace and they each had a friend there as a witness.   They didn’t tell their parents for a while, so it was kind of private, very low cost, and many people do that. So then people say, well, is a courthouse wedding a micro wedding? Yes, it could be definitely.

The Main Difference Between Micro Weddings and Courthouse weddings…..

Most courthouse weddings, I would say, are by definition a micro wedding.   We do a lot of them each year. They range from two people, just the couple, up to maybe 10. You know a lot of the courthouse rooms — the ceremony rooms where they perform these at the courthouses, they’re really small, so it’s hard to fit more than 10 people in.  And the courthouses have a limit on how many guests you’re allowed to bring into the ceremony room. The advantage of a courthouse wedding — yes it’s a micro-wedding — is the cost.

At the moment, you can have a ceremony in a courthouse anywhere in Florida, and the ceremony costs $30 and one of the clerks of the court will perform it.  We’ve witnessed many of these, photographed, filmed them, and they’re very short. They’re five minutes, ten minutes, that’s it. You still have to purchase the license in Florida. There is a range on the

Marriage ceremony license Okeechobee country Fl, Courthouse
We do photograph courthouse weddings all over Florida

license in Florida. It’s between $61 and $86, are you a resident or non-resident. So all in, you can get married in the state of Florida for under $150. So it’s extremely affordable to do a micro-wedding as a courthouse wedding.

Moving on to a civil service. So a lot of people say a civil service is a micro wedding. It could be. Civil service, I’ve always thought of that as non-denominational. It’s not a religious service. It’s not in a church. It’s not in a temple. Civil service is usually performed by a justice of the peace or anyone who’s been ordained. The location for civil service could be anywhere, but generally it’s not in a church or a temple. So it could be at a beach, it could be at a park, a backyard.

Oftentimes people refer to the civil services as a DIY or do it yourself wedding. These are all  lumped together and these terms are all used interchangeably.   But civil service, often is like two people will fly down to Florida and they want to get married.  They hire a justice of the peace and hire us to photograph or film it. We find a spot on the beach, they do their little ceremony, we get some photos and boom, they’ve done their civil service. In that case, it was also an elopement.

Can you have a micro-wedding in a church?

Absolutely. We’ve done a lot of micro weddings in churches. And there are many people who want a religious ceremony, but they don’t want a huge hundred-person wedding. And so we’ve done quite a few of these where it’s really just the couple and the parents, and maybe just a few close family members, but they do a church micro wedding…and oftentimes after they meet in the church’s community room, the fellowship space, if you will, and have a tiny little after-celebration there, coffee, etc. So we’ve done quite a few of these.


So why is this happening? Why are there SO MANY micro-weddings all of a sudden happening here in Florida?   We stopped work one day and started talking about it. And it really, we believe, it comes down to the economic climate we’re in right now. And again, this is November of 2023.

We’re still dealing with inflation, even though our administration keeps trying to tell us that inflation was transitory. It’s not. It has gone on for years.   Finally it’s coming down a little bit. But it’s really hitting everybody regarding housing, both renting and buying; interest rates on a mortgage; interest rates on credit cards;  interest rates on new and used cars. And I read the Wall Street Journal every morning and they clearly are stating that wages just have not kept up pace with inflation. So people are really feeling it. Post-pandemic, people had extraMiami Wedding Photographers & videographers cash. The government was handing out a lot of money and that extra cash, according to financial experts, it’s all gone now. It’s been used up, it’s been spent. And so now people are getting back to reality and dealing with this. And so weddings oftentimes are looked at kind of as a luxury. A big lavish wedding reception is a luxury for many people.

So, in the wedding industry we refer to it as “recession proof” —people still get married. They just spend less. So it does affect the industry, but it doesn’t stop people from getting married. It really doesn’t. As I stated earlier, you can get married very affordably in Florida and not spend a lot. One reason they do these micro weddings, a lot of them become DIY, do it yourself, you can save a tremendous amount of money. Food and alcohol at weddings is the big expense. It is not unheard of to budget $100 to $200 per guest at your reception just for the food and alcohol, and then you have to add on all the other things. So if you do it yourself in your backyard, you can do it much more affordably.

There is one thing I wanted to point out regarding micro and do-it-yourself weddings. If you’re not having it at a licensed venue, a wedding venue, you really, really want to consider “day of event insurance”. You can get online, there are different websites, you explain what your event is, it will ask whether or not you’re serving alcohol at the event, and they will quote you a price so that you have liability coverage that day. Because if you’re doing a do-it-yourself wedding, now all of a sudden you are the venue and you are liable. And it really is something I would consider. We do right now over 100 weddings a year and trust me….things happen at weddings.

So I highly recommend it. Now having said that…

What is the one thing that couples still want from

their micro wedding?

Well, you guessed it, photography and videography. So if there’s one thing that a couple decides that they will spend money on for their micro wedding, hands down it’s photo and video. And it’s almost because it’s a micro wedding they really want the photo and video because they didn’t invite all their family and all their friends and now they want to at least share the experience with people and to do that they need photo and video.

And so we still get hired even though more people are doing micro weddings, but we’re just doing smaller ones, shorter ones, but a lot of them. So I think it has to come down to you have to ask….

Is a micro wedding right for you?

Some things that I thought about while writing this:  I’ve been doing this over 20 years, hundreds and hundreds of weddings. There’s no right or wrong with weddings. I say throw tradition out the window. I really mean that. You need to do what feels right. Don’t worry about offending anyone, family or friends.  And especially stick to your budget. I have seen people just blow their budget out of the water–taking home equity loans to pay for their weddings;  putting weddings on credit cards. I think you should stick to your budget. Don’t let anybody “guilt you” into doing a larger or longer or lavish wedding if you don’t want to. And that includes your vendors as well. If you’re hiring people to work your event, work your wedding, just do what feels right. Don’t let them convince you to do something you don’t want. And remember, you, the wedding couple, you’re the ones who end up living with the memory of your wedding. It’s not your family or friends, it’s you.

So if you have any questions about micro weddings, feel free to call the office here. We’re happy to help.

Don’t hesitate to call us at 305-333-6388 or liam@WeddingPhotographyByLiam.com



Miami Wedding Photographers & videographers