The latest annual National Wedding Survey commissioned by Hitched.co.uk reveals the average cost of a wedding in the UK has risen to the £20,700 mark, which may explain why online searches for the term “micro wedding” are at a five-year high, surging a whopping 669% year on year globally to just over 12,000 searches per month*.
Here in the UK, searches have increased by 11% year on year** as interest as couples make big changes to their guest lists by reducing them in size to cut overall costs, while giving their wedding days a more intimate feel.
Zoe Burke, leading wedding expert and editor of Hitched.co.uk says: “Our latest data shows that guest experience and cost are the two most important factors couples consider when wedding planning. One way of making sure your wedding is one your guests will remember having a gorgeous time because they got to spend so much of it celebrating with you, is by having a micro wedding.
“Registry offices are the go-to solution for couples looking to save money by having a smaller wedding, as demonstrated by the more than 1-in-10 newlyweds last year choosing this option for their big days, but there are also hundreds of licenced wedding venues across the UK that cater to both an intimate guest list, and tighter purse strings.
“Just because you aren’t inviting hundreds of people, doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate your big day in a gorgeous venue, with the full catering and entertainment you’d expect from a traditional wedding.
“All a micro-wedding does is reduce the numbers – both of people, and financially – while still ensuring your big day is as personalised and wonderful as the happy couple.”
Five Must-See Micro Wedding Venues
Frieda and the Moon – Cornwall
Frieda And The Moon specialises in small weddings and elopements for romantic individualists, with a maximum guest list of 12.
As specialists in wacky weddings, the team can arrange for any whim. A handfasting ceremony in a candlelit circle of hornbeams down in the woods? No problem. Figgy the Owl or Fleur the Alpaca to be your ringbearer? OK. The more personal, unusual or offbeat your vision, the more they like it.
Credit: Thomas Frost Photography
Hive Bar and Kitchen – Somerset
The Hive Bar and Restaurant is a charming venue that can provide the backdrop for weddings with 10 – 50 guests.
At The Hive Bar and Restaurant, the staff aims to realise your marital vision while providing you with an unforgettable dining experience. Owner and head chef Andrew Dombrowski is a seasoned cook who has developed a menu inspired by all manner of cultures and cuisines. Couples can work with him to create a bespoke menu that features their favourite foods.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust – Hampshire
The Hawk Conservancy Trust offers a variety of stunning indoor and outdoor spaces for micro weddings, including close encounters with owls, eagles, and more!
The Trust’s Griffon Rooms can be arranged to suit any needs and offer a friendly, specialist and intimate venue with capacity of 50 guests for the ceremony and catering experience, while couples will be spoilt for choice with outdoor spaces, wedding photos could be amongst the wildflower blooms, stunning woodland trees or with the glorious Test Valley hills as a backdrop.
Credit: Wayne Willams of Alliance Wedding Photography
Skipton Boat Trips – Yorkshire
If you’re looking for a unique, affordable venue for your wedding reception, Skipton Boat Trips invites you to step aboard their beautiful wood-panelled canal boat and experience the serenity of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as you glide through the countryside and celebrate your love and the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of your life story.
The Dalesman dining boat has space for up to 46 passengers, and during the trip, couples and guests alike will have the opportunity to stop in the magnificent Farnhill Wood for photos.
Rayleigh Windmill – Essex
The Rayleigh Windmill is a breathtaking wedding venue full of heritage and charm. For those looking for something different, couples and their guests may adore every beautiful inch of the grade II listed building and surrounding estate.
Secluded and quaint, this wedding venue is ideal for couples seeking an intimate rehearsal dinner, ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception, with room for 2 – 20 guests.