Weddings Atlantic

Pop Up Weddings: Are They Here to Stay?

Brittney Toner

If there’s one thing I hear about often, it’s how millennials are one of the most ‘minimal’ generations yet, and generation z is quickly following in our footsteps. So of course it makes sense that minimal weddings are becoming more and more common in recent years. Many of us are new graduates with a boat-load of student loan debt, or are getting married later in life and aren’t as interested in all of the fluff that can go along with a traditional wedding. And, some of us would prefer to spend our wedding budget on a killer honeymoon.

So, if you’ve decided to nix the big wedding, but aren’t sure eloping is for you, you should consider the pop up wedding.

What is a pop up wedding?

Pop up weddings are made for millennials. They’re a perfect match for our minimalist, debt-ridden tastes. It’s a pared down wedding ceremony and reception which is both carefully curated and quickly executed. It’s eloping without the elopement part. It’s the simple, heartfelt ceremony attended by only your closest friends and family (think 20 guests at most) at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding. Often, pop up weddings are held at specific ‘niche’ or unique locations at unusual times of the week, in between other pop up ceremonies. You can throw one yourself, completely on your own, or there are companies that specialize in pop up weddings – offering you catering, florals, an officiant, a venue and a photographer all for one price. Some companies have packages to choose from that range from bare minimum to a pop up version of a traditional wedding.  Some companies offer ‘add on’s’ for an additional price, and you can create a package which is totally customized to you.

Either way, let me be the first to say: sign me up, girl!  

The pop up wedding seeks to take the stress out of planning your wedding. You and your wedding party (or, even you and your soon to be spouse if you’re going the fully minimal route) show up, fully dressed, and everything else is taken care of. Your photos take an hour, instead of a full day. The venue is usually stunning, and available to you at a fraction of the cost if you required it for a full day. And you can focus on what matters most, not whether the caterers forgot to torch the crème brule – just enjoying your day.

Who are pop up weddings best suited to?

Pop up weddings are best suited to those who don’t want to get caught up in the nitty gritty details, or are interested in saving money. Maybe you’re just a minimalist at heart, or have quickly learned that wedding planning is not for you. The pop up wedding is an amazing option for the couple who wants to elope, but who doesn’t want their family to miss out. It’s a scaled down wedding offering everything you want with so much less hassle.  And money. So much less money.

You may want to avoid a pop up wedding if…

Of course, there are those who wouldn’t consider a pop up wedding if it was the last option in the world. Have you been planning your wedding since you were 10 years old? Do you live and die by your Pinterest wedding planning board? Do you agonize over the difference between lilac and periwinkle? If so, a pop up wedding is probably not for you.

Some may feel like the pop up wedding is “mass produced”. I will say this: if your goal is to plan the most unique, out of this world wedding, a pop up wedding may not be for you. Sure, you can customize the details and make a pop up wedding truly your own, but most of the time your wedding is only an hour long sliver of the day, with other weddings coming before and/or after in that very same venue.

Are pop up weddings becoming the new trend?

Maybe. It’s easy to see that couples are moving away from the ‘cookie cutter’ wedding, and are willing to try new ideas – especially in more urban areas. Today, couples are more likely to elope, to throw a surprise wedding, or to hold an intimate, pared down ceremony somewhere really extraordinary.

As a millennial, I admit I can see the value in pop up weddings. All too often I see the exhausted brides, the deer-in-the-headlight husbands, and the strapped for cash bridal parties. I see multi-day events leading up to the wedding ceremony, and I hear about the depression after the wedding high has worn off. I see the pop up wedding as an innovative offering that can take the stress out of wedding planning for those who just aren’t interested in it, or the financial burden off those who are already struggling to make ends meet but who don’t want to wait a single second longer to get married.

 In short, they’re the perfect mix of romantic and unique and tasteful and – maybe most importantly? – frugal (because who wants to start their married life paying off their wedding?).  

And if it' s up to me, I think the pop up wedding is here to stay.