minimony: Newlywed couple dancing while surrounded by smiling guests

Recent times have shown us that even with everything booked, nothing is ever completely certain. With a lingering coronavirus pandemic and a move towards embracing change, some couples are switching from a traditional wedding ceremony to a minimony instead.

But what is a minimony? And why are they so popular? Let’s take a look at this fun new twist on a wedding ceremony.

What Is a Minimony?

A minimony is a sweet word to describe a smaller, more intimate wedding that takes place on your planned wedding date. It’s a mini wedding ceremony.

Most couples plan a minimony when they can no longer stage their grand wedding day on the same date. This is often due to situations outside our control, like the social distancing measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or unexpected budget reasons.

Hosting this mini ceremony is a lovely way to mark your planned wedding date with legally binding or ceremonial nuptials. It’s a small-scale wedding celebration, often with an unusual twist or a fun take on saying “I do.”

Minimony vs. Micro Wedding vs. Elopement

minimony: Bold Botanical Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Signature Greenvelope

You might be wondering how a minimony is different from a micro wedding or elopement. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are a few subtle differences.

A minimony is typically a mini version of a wedding, hosted on your original wedding date. There’s then a larger “sequel” wedding planned for the future. The sequel wedding will have a larger guest list and usually look more like the traditional wedding ceremony you originally planned.

Micro weddings are intentionally small weddings. With the micro wedding, there’s no follow-up wedding date. It’s simply an intimate, cozy gathering of people to witness the marriage of a couple.

Traditionally, elopements are when a couple takes off somewhere and weds in secret. These days, couples often invite a handful of witnesses to join them in eloping — like young children or their parents. Elopements feel more spontaneous, intimate, and laid back than a minimony.

Great Reasons To Host a Minimony

If you can’t go ahead with your original plans, a minimony is the perfect alternative. Here are a few reasons why a minimony is such a lovely idea.

Celebrate On Your Original Wedding Date

Sometimes life throws us a curveball and we can’t host our wedding on the date that we’d planned. With save the dates already sent to friends and family, many couples now opt to host a minimony instead of sending out a postponement notice.

A minimony gives you the chance to tie the knot — legally or ceremonially — on a date that holds significance for you. You can host a small-scale version of a wedding, with only a handful of guests, then celebrate on a bigger scale at a later date.

Get the Best of Both Worlds

Most couples who opt for a minimony bring everyone together later in the year or on their anniversary date for a “sequel” wedding. This celebration will look like the original wedding that was planned — with a bigger venue, larger guest count, and plenty of entertainment.

Minimonies work great for couples who want intimacy as well as a party atmosphere. You can get married in front of a handful of your closest friends and family members, then host a second, larger wedding where you can focus more on mingling with guests than remembering your vows.

Do Something a Little Unusual

minimony: Llama Love Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Sogi’s Honey Bakeshop

A minimony is often the result of an unexpected change in plans. People don’t go into wedding planning with a minimony in mind — even if they originally planned a small wedding.

Since it’s unexpected, a minimony is the perfect opportunity to have fun and do something different than a traditional wedding. Instead of hosting your ceremony at a courthouse or local vineyard, why not opt for your favorite bookstore or arcade instead?

You could keep things really casual with a small garden party ceremony in your parents’ backyard, with homemade lemonade, ice-cream, and cupcakes instead of a catered meal. On the other end of the spectrum, you can go extravagant and whisk just a few loved ones away to a luxury home rental for a sophisticated ceremony and afterparty.

Our Best Minimony Planning Tips and Ideas

Planning a minimony doesn’t have to be complicated. Your plans might have changed, but with a few small tweaks you can bring the magic of your planned ceremony to a smaller audience. Here are a handful of our best minimony planning tips and ideas.

Keep It Simple

With things up in the air, switching to a minimony can feel like a big task — especially if you had your heart set on celebrating with a grand celebration on your wedding date.

Stay calm, focus on your love story, and keep it simple. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create a magical event for everyone. Instead, pick out a handful of details that’ll really make your minimony feel special to you.

Maybe you splurge on more gorgeous blooms from a local florist, or work with a local chocolatier to create amazing party favors. You could even make your wedding dress or suit the star of the show by wearing something unexpected, or switching into something fun for your first dance.

Invite a Handful of Guests

Minimonies are small by nature, with most couples keeping the guest list around 20 or fewer. As such, you’ll need to pare your guest list down considerably, but there’s still space for your immediate family.

Having close friends and family members there on the day will help your minimony feel more like your planned big wedding ceremony. Plus, with only your closest loved ones there, it’ll feel all the more special.

Find the Perfect Officiant

With so few people at your minimony, the ones who are there really count. And that includes the officiant you choose, if you’re opting for a legally binding ceremony.

Spend some time scouting out the perfect officiant for your minimony. If you can’t meet them for coffee, you can speak online for a virtual meeting to get a feel for their personality. Or, how about choosing a friend or relative to serve as the officiant? Having a personal connection to the person presiding over the ceremony is yet another way to make your day more magical.

Book a Talented Photographer

We Couldn't Wait Announcement by Greenvelope

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Your wedding ceremony might be smaller than planned, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful or memorable. Make sure you capture every moment of your special day on camera by booking a talented wedding photographer.

Choose a photographer who specializes in photographing smaller ceremonies, elopements, and micro weddings. They’ll know how to capture images full of atmosphere and energy, even with a small audience. If there’s room in your budget, book a wedding videographer too. It’s a lovely way to capture your day in motion, so you can look back on it forever.

Share Your Minimony With Loved Ones

A minimony is a small ceremony with an even smaller guest list, which means you can’t send out wedding invitations to your full guest list. But the great news is that you can still involve everyone by sharing the day with them in a handful of different ways.

If you’re feeling up for it and have a techy friend around to help with setup, create a livestream for your event. Send out online invitations to loved ones who can’t make your minimony with a link to watch the stream on the big day.

If livestreaming isn’t your thing, capture the day as it happens and encourage guests to share on social media with a hashtag. After the event, you can create a gallery and share it with friends and family members.

Plan a Minimony You’ll Remember Forever

A minimony might not have been part of your original wedding plans, but it could be the perfect way to celebrate on a date that’s close to your heart. With our planning tips and ideas, you’ll be able to take your ideas and recreate them on a smaller scale to create a special day you’ll always treasure.