Three Tips Thursday, Vol. 6: Micro Miami Weddings

After having been a part of the wedding industry for over year, I’ve witnessed (and heard plenty more stories about) weddings that spiral out of control.

Wedding budgets going from $25,000 to $50,000.

Guest lists climbing from 100 people to 150 (that can easily be an extra $5,000 in food costs alone).  

Floral costs tripling because the bride just has to have that bigger/better centerpiece at each table.

You get the point.

So, someone I wanted to interview for #ThreeTipsThursday is Sofia, founder and lead planner of Micro Miami Weddings. From the moment I met Sofia when she came to tour the venue last August, I knew there was synergy.

Within the past year, Sofia has planned and hosted a styled shoot in our venue as well as coordinated a couple of the weddings.

She has demonstrated time and again not only her amazing wedding planning and design skills, but also that her priorities rest with helping party hosts capture what’s most important to them on their special day: namely, celebrating their love and union with the people closest to them.

As she mentions in our interview, “It’s not about the gift [your guests] can give you. It’s about their presence and the memories you create with them.”

I absolutely love her approach when it comes to planning and coordinating because she helps couples reduce the noise of unsolicited opinions, cut unnecessary and expensive trendy additions, and minimize the pressure of having to have the latest and greatest just because “you’re supposed to” at your wedding.

I could go on and on about how much I adore Sofia and her work, but I will simply share her tips and you can see for yourself how great she is!

Three Tips

As the boss over at Micro Miami Weddings, Sofia concentrates on micro weddings, generally meaning a wedding with 50 or fewer guests. (Note: Sofia can and does enjoy planning and coordinating larger weddings, and she has done so in our venue!)

I had never heard of this concept until I met Sofia, and I instantly understood the appeal of hosting a smaller wedding.


Photo Credit: Michelle & Pete Photo & Film.

Below are Sofia’s three tips for considering a micro wedding:

1. Think about who you really want at your wedding.

This tip might seem obvious because you need to do this for a wedding of any size. But I mean really think about who you want at your wedding.

Whose opinions do you want to listen to (because let’s face it, way too many people have way too many opinions about other people’s weddings)? Who won’t offer an unsolicited opinion?

Who do you feel will still be a big presence in your life a year from now? Five years from now? Ten?

Sofia explains, “[A micro wedding] does allow you to have more intimate moments. I think that’s vital in this industry nowadays. Because what happens is that when you start catering to everybody, you keep forgetting about yourself…When you’re facing too many people, you’re going to encounter way too many opinions, way too many situations, way too many extra expenses that really did not matter. And at the end of the day, like that intimacy of the moment – the most precious moment of your day – is like literally what makes [the day] special. Because it’s literally who you’re sharing those vows in front of.

“And I am a believer that whomever you invite to your wedding, those are the people who are the core people of your life that will help you through all your years. That means if you invited somebody, it’s because you have a sense that they can be your support group in the years to come.”

Who do you really want to share this intimate moment and celebration with? Answering these questions and adhering to Sofia’s advice can assist you in narrowing down your guest list.

2. Get real intentional about your vision.

What do you want your wedding to look like? What are your priorities?

While the people you share your special day with are incredibly important, the other details you carry into your wedding are a reflection of you and your love story. With a huge guest count, it can be easy to neglect other parts of the wedding that you were looking forward to, either due to budget limitations or because of feeling the need to cater to dozens of other opinions (or both!).

Sofia expounds, “The less guest count you have, the greater your budget becomes. Meaning, if you have $10,000 with 150 guests, obviously, your limitations are very, very, very slim. But if you have $10,000 with 10 guests, you can literally have the most creative wedding in the world.

“The less people you have, the more money you have to invest in the things that matter to you. If that’s photography, or florals, or food, you can 100% focus on that and not have to worry, because I feel like the majority of couples worry too much about having to cater to people and having to cater to the needs of 100 plus people that they forget that they can be creative. If you have a smaller guest count, it gives you wiggle room to do whatever the heck you want.

“You can literally focus on your relationship through your story. Like I tell stories of relationships based on design. So that’s how we can get to the spirit of it in a really fun way. Because maybe your favorite thing was sharing a McDonald’s cheeseburger. And that night, we can serve cheeseburgers at midnight, you know what I mean? Like that’s what I mean by splurging and unleashing creativity because it can be based on your story.”

Fewer guests free up your budget to unleash your creativity to create an unforgettable experience for those closest to you.

3. Create personal experiences with your guests.

When Mike asked me to marry him, my first reaction was to elope. I didn’t want to get married in front of a lot of people. But then he reminded me that your wedding is also about allowing the most important people in your life to celebrate a momentous occasion with you.

That’s why I love Sofia’s last tip when considering a micro wedding. Having fewer guests affords you more time with the people you invited, and you probably invited those select guests because their relationship with you is very meaningful.

“I feel like a third really big point is creating personal experiences with guests. When you have way too many people, you have to focus on way too many things for each person. And maybe you have an aunt that came from really far, and you only took five minutes to say hello. And at the end of the day, your aunt gets offended that you didn’t take time to sit down with her and share a story.

“I’ve seen weddings of 15 guests where everybody is enjoying a meal and laughing and telling stories and talking from the heart and sharing important things. I’ve also seen weddings with 500 people where everything is a mess because everybody is trying to get a moment with the couple and the couple cannot eat and the couple cannot enjoy their night.

“I feel it’s so cool that a micro wedding allows you to create personal experiences with your guests. So circling back to the first thing he said, if you have them, that’s because they’re meaningful to you and your relationship.”

To connect with Sofia, follow her on Instagram or connect with her via her website.

Thanks for tuning in!

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

Blog News: We love to connect with our clients and friends, and we publish a special newsletter every 1st Thursday of the month. We also provide a lot of wedding tips from our preferred vendors.

“You will find that most times you have a vision of what it is that you want to accomplish and that’s most important. It allows you to work backwards and make cuts and changes that will still reflect the overall outcome you wish to achieve. What good is splurging on one particular item if it doesn’t result in the overall outcome you were trying to create?

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

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When I say that pictures and videos do not do this space justice, that is an understatement!! The Gardens of Weber Manor, in all of its whimsy and magic, is truly a perfect little nook in the heart of the Redlands. No matter what the vision or mood board, this venue and its versatility will allow you to transform it to match your wildest dreams. Add to that the fact that Mike & Emily are the absolute sweetest owners & venue managers, and there should be NOTHING holding you back from booking a tour and picking your wedding date that same day. It is clear that they have put their heart and souls into building up The Gardens from the ground up. So whether you’re planning a wedding, anniversary, birthday or corporate event, you need not look further. 

– Alianne Valladares-Prieto

The Gardens of Weber Manor is a hidden gem. This venue is magical. I can’t express how amazing it was working with Emily and Mike. They answered every question I had and made me feel that they had everything under control at all times. The staff was awesome!!! The rooms looked beautiful!!! I want to give a special thanks to Emily it was an absolute pleasure working with you. Everything went smoothly, easily and successfully thanks to Emily and Mike and the rest of the team. We felt like family from the time we started to plan the wedding and especially on our wedding day. Thanks to the Gardens of Weber Manor for the wedding of our dreams!

– Fernanda Rodriguez

We cannot say enough good things about this venue and the owners, Emily & Mike! It is truly a hidden gem. The garden is absolutely gorgeous – you really don’t even need to decorate because the scenery has so much beauty all itself. There are so many spots throughout the venue that could be used for different parts of an event, and no matter where you turned it was a perfect photo backdrop. Our friends and family kept telling us how beautiful the venue was and wondering how we found it.

– Kyla Hill