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Make That Money On Micro Weddings

Best practices for selling small-scale ceremonies at a big price

Micro weddings are on the rise, so if you’re not offering them, it might be time to start.  

“I can’t afford to do smaller weddings,” you might say. Not to worry—micro weddings can still bring a big profit.  

In her session Micro Weddings: How to Make Them Profitable at Catersource + The Special Event 2024, venue owner Dona Liston put it this way: “Just because it’s a smaller wedding doesn’t mean it’s a smaller budget.” 

To get started, Liston asks her client three questions: 

  1. What is your dream wedding? 
  2. What is the budget? 
  3. What are your priorities? 

Alternatively, she might ask them what they want their guests to be talking about when they leave the wedding? 

Once she knows the answers to these questions, Liston figures out the benefits of going micro that the clients want: 

1. Upscale food & beverage 

With less people to feed, the budget stretches further with more spend per person. This can look like better wine or craft beer, it can mean a seated dinner with nice china, it can mean gourmet food instead of budget meals. With more budget for F&B, there can be dessert stations, late night snacks, and interactive culinary experiences that wouldn’t have been affordable for a larger guest count. 

2. Better guest experience 

Smaller guest counts mean more money and energy to invest into the guest experience. Think creative activities like caricature sketches and personalize poems. Offer upscale stations like cigar bars, or provide more activities like outdoor/yard games. It’s easy to keep everyone happy when you can cater to a smaller group! 

3. More attention to details 

A smaller big picture makes it easier to focus on details. Use the budgeted time and money for creative placecard settings, upscale stationery, and elegant welcome gifts. “If you can sell ‘em, sell ‘em,” said Liston. 

4. Opportunities for pre- & post-wedding activities 

Whether a downsized ceremony or scaled back guest count, there’s more money for additional wedding festivities, like wine tastings, mystery dinners, and welcome parties (plus, with welcome parties, those not invited to the ceremony can swing by and celebrate the couple at a cheaper cost to you). Extend the celebration with day-after brunches, yoga, even afternoon tea—with a smaller ceremony, you can do more before and after to recognize the couple’s big moment. 

In all these factors, there is plenty of room to upsell and to make a good profit. Create multiple packages with various offerings to cater to different levels of micro and what that word means to your couple. Focus on: 

  1. Upselling to upscale 
  2. Booking on slower days/times 
  3. Pricing it right—are you charging: 
    1. Per person? 
    2. Per hour? 
    3. Per day? 
    4. For the total package? 

Liston points out to never include your best offerings in your smallest package. Upgrade to items with little or no hard cost to you, but at high value to the couple; only offer a discount if it’s cookie cutter or duplicatable with little cost (for example, pop-up wedding).  

Make a list of your assets—what you are known for, what you have to offer that's unique—and share your top 10 reasons the couple should use you. Finally, always know your limits and when to say no. Just because you are working with a smaller wedding does not mean your expertise is worth less!  

It might take a while to figure out what you want to offer, but as the demographic of couples who want to downsize their big day rises, you’ll see that working with small weddings is worth your time—while earning you big profits that measure up to your skill. 

Read more about small-scale weddings here

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