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The Anatomy of a Popup Wedding (The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of Weddings)

Hey y'all — Jessica here, just wanted to give you a quick intro to our guest blogger today! In case you don't know what a popup wedding is, Maggie of Pop! Wed Co. based in DC will explain pretty much everything you need to know about this huge wedding trend, as well as why it's becoming SO popular for couples on a budget! Please give Maggie a warm BSB welcome — her personality is just as colorful as her awesome photos!! Take it away, Maggie! xoxo, Jessica

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Hey guys! I'm here today to share some of the awesomeness of popup weddings. They're a great alternative to event-based weddings and they're so flexible, I thought you guys would love them! And if you're planning an event wedding, maybe there's a takeaway here for you too 🙂

What is a popup wedding?

The key difference between a popup wedding and an event wedding is the number of humans and the rental of a venue.

Event weddings happen at a rented venue, where the wedding guests are the only people at the venue and the venue is exclusively used for the wedding. There are no unexpected guests, and the venue has coordinators to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Popup weddings center around a sense of adventure. They are smaller weddings, usually around 10 people, and the venue is a public place that the couple loves. Popup weddings are all about the unexpected — the random bystanders cheering for your first kiss, the noises and goings-on of your surroundings, and the sense of authentic adventure are key to the experience of popup weddings.

If you opt for a popup wedding, be ready for anything! The reason adventures are so exciting is because they’re not choreographed — they’re spontaneous and crazy and full of awesome.

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How can I plan my own popup wedding?

Planning a popup wedding is like a choose-your-own-adventure game. You can include any wedding traditions that you’re really excited about, but there’s no obligation to keep any traditions at all if you don’t want to.

Finding your venue is the most fun part of planning a popup wedding. Think about places where you and your partner feel awesome together, where you love to go, or in our case, a building that we fell in love with and want to hug. Local parks are always beautiful and usually pretty quiet, but you can also go for places like museums or breweries — if it’s a small business, make sure you ask first! Tell them the details of your wedding (i.e., we’ll be having six guests, no music, and a ten minute ceremony) so that they don’t think you’re trying to throw a 200 person cocktail party at their place, and see what happens. Most people are friendly and love weddings, so it can be really fun to have your wedding at your favorite coffee shop or brewery.

The same thing goes for all the vendors you hire — be up front with your wedding plans! From a vendor perspective, there’s a huuuuge difference between providing services for a popup wedding with ten people and an event-type or traditional wedding with 100 people. And luck’s on your side, because popup wedding services are frequently less expensive.

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What about all of the THINGS?

If you’re having a popup wedding, you have the freedom to disregard “wedding details” as much as you’d like, or to add in a few that you’re really excited about. Stressing over every detail of a wedding can be a lot to handle, but grabbing a handful of sparklers for a sparkle-filled wedding exit, or stopping by a local grocery store to grab a bouquet or two is an easy and fun way to add some no-stress prettiness to your wedding.

And if you’re super crafty, try a cool DIY project! Tiny weddings are the best, cause you can make everything small-batch-style. Here are some of my favorite DIY tutorials for popup weddings:

The most fun part of looking at all these tutorials is… none of them are even remotely required to have an awesome popup wedding. Popups are not about details! But you can sprinkle the details on to your heart’s content.

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 Ashley & Devin’s wedding included no details and it was AMAZING!

But what do we do after the wedding ceremony?

Short answer: absolutely whatever you want!

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Rose & Nicole marched in the DC Pride parade after their vow renewal, pretty much the most epic post-ceremony activity ever!

Our couples celebrate all kinds of ways, from a romantic walk through the city to seeing a Beatles cover band at a dinner theatre with their 15 favorite people. Here are a couple of our favorite ideas:

Have a Wedding Picnic — because picnics are entirely too fun. Who doesn’t love a good picnic? You can pack picnic baskets or ask everyone to bring their own dish, potluck-style, or even pick up a bunch of food from your favorite restaurant. (And did I mention picnics are amazing for photos?)

Eat at Your Favorite Restaurant — because it’s your favorite! Make a reservation, mention you’re celebrating your wedding, and you’ll have an amazing time.

Treat Yo'self to A Fancy Dinner — because you just saved a ton of money by not buying dinner for half the world! Treat yourselves!

Or… Just Hang Out! — because weddings don’t have to be crazy fancy to be awesome. We’ve had couples who came to town to be married, walked around the city all day seeing sights and whatnot, and then just relaxing after a day filled with excitement.

And that’s pretty much all there is to planning a popup wedding! Like any wedding, the goal is to get married, so anything else awesome that happens is icing on the cake. I hope this gives you guys a good starting place for planning your own popup weddings, and if you have any other questions let me know in the comments!

All photos used courtesy of Maggie Winters for Pop! Wed Co.


is one half of Pop! Wed Co (the tiny, technicolor half) and an experienced designer at iStrategyLabs. I chase pure happiness with my camera and listen to ska along the way.