Des Moines, IA

Micro Weddings in Des Moines Ideas – How to Plan & Where to Start


Considering having micro weddings in Des Moines? These smaller events are not only a cost-saving alternative to a traditional wedding with 150+ guests, but they’re an intimate affair that can be as unique as you and your partner. Since they are on a smaller scale, there are more options for locations, catering, seating, and activities that can’t easily be recreated at a large Des Moines event.


What are Micro Weddings in Des Moines?

Imagine a normal Des Moines wedding celebration, just on a way smaller scale. Micro weddings most still have a ceremony and reception with dinner, decor, cake, and entertainment. The event is typically 40 people or less, with the majority of micro weddings in the range of 15 to 25 guests. A smaller guest list means less seating, centerpieces, linens, food, and the list goes on. According to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding last year cost over $33,000, when a micro wedding can be achieved under $10,000. Talk about major savings!

But a smaller wedding doesn’t mean a micro wedding can’t be lavish. While the guest list for micro weddings is limited, this doesn’t necessarily mean the couple is throwing a frugal, thrifty wedding. Micro weddings allow a couple to bring their true wedding day vision to life with more budget for anything they can dream up! If you’re looking to splurge on a unique venue, a customized catered meal, or lavish decor, you can still save money in the end when the guest list is limited. Micro weddings give your budget more freedom to splurge on something you simply could not fathom providing for 300 people.

First Steps in Micro Wedding Planning

Similar to planning a standard wedding, the first step in microwedding planning is to think about your ideal timeframe and solidify a venue. The biggest difference here is that micro weddings allow for many more event location options, inside or outside. From the stage of theatre to a shady spot in your best friend’s backyard, micro weddings don’t have to be confined to a standard wedding venue. Understanding the estimated number of guests and your vision for the day (urban, bohemian, formal, garden, ethereal, modern tropical, rustic, etc.) will help guide you on what type of location to be looking for. 

Check out smaller venues in Des Moines that offer ideal micro wedding locations like:  The Greenwood Park (Claire and Mile Mills Rose Garden or Sylvan Amphitheater) or The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Edited Guest List

No more agonizing or arguing over whether to invite every single cousin or the fallback of implementing a no-kids policy. Simply invite your parents (or not!) and besties, and be done with it. When the guest list is cut by 90 percent, most people understand if they didn’t make the cut, especially with everything going on in the world right now! Will Great Aunt Gloria lose it over being left out? Weigh that against being able to recognize—and be truly happy to see—every face in your crowd.

The Doable Decor

Lusting after that limited edition French china on Etsy? Go ahead. Buy a set or three. Dreaming of that florist you found on Instagram to make a table arrangement? Go ahead. DM her. When you’re just decorating one table (think: a super-chic dinner party) or one small room (hey, dancing is mandatory for you), the pressure’s off—especially when it comes to your wallet.

The “Anything Goes” Attire

Walking down the “aisle” of a courthouse, a garden, a restaurant or your own backyard doesn’t call for a 25-foot couture train—or the months of fittings that go with it. Want to wear a badass jumpsuit à la Solange? Do your thing. And if you do want the big gown, that’s your decision to make as well. The point is, you’re controlling things, not the dress code or other people’s expectations. (P.S. That also means no need to force your BFFS into matching bridesmaids dresses either. Just sayin’.)

You Still Get To Have Your DREAM Wedding

An incredible cake, dreamy flowers, a photo booth, the playlist you’ve been curating since you were nine? None of these things need to be nixed just because you’re celebrating on a smaller scale. In fact, because there are fewer guests, you can splurge on the things you care about without going bankrupt, whether that’s a chef-made meal or your flower crown. Space is limited, but when it comes to your wedding fantasies, the sky’s still the limit.

Micro Weddings in Des Moines Services


When throwing a micro wedding, we still suggest hiring a photographer to capture your unique day. Quality photos of you and your spouse are a must! Time and effort were put into every detail of the day, plus your favorite people in the entire world will all be together! You’ll want all this captured to look back on for years to come!


Whether you want a dance off to emerge or an evening of sing-a-long tunes around the fire pit, music helps bring your space to life! Set the atmosphere with music from when guests arrive to the final slow dance of the evening. Hire a DJ to make announcements, provide microphones for any speeches, and to create the soundtrack to the day of your dreams. 


With a small guest list, many individuals you enjoy simply won’t be able to make the slim list. Choosing videography and/or live streaming for a micro wedding is a great option to be able to share the day with extended family members, coworkers, high school friends, your gym buddy, your mom’s hair stylist, and all those who wish they could have made the tiny invite list.


Complete Weddings + Events in Des Moines, IA

Take the stress out of hiring multiple vendors by choosing a vendor who can cater multiple services for your day. Complete Weddings + Events offers budget-friendly packages on photography, DJ and videography perfect for a micro wedding! Having a photographer, DJ, and videographer who work well together is something you won’t take for granted! Complete Weddings + Events, Des Moines’ leading provider of event and wedding photographyvideographylightingDJ services & photo booth rental.

Complete Weddings + Events, Des Moines’ leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, coordination, DJ services & photo booth rental.

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