Elopements vs Micro Weddings

If you’re planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed by the idea of a large, traditional ceremony, you may want to consider alternatives that are gaining popularity – elopements and micro weddings. These intimate celebrations offer couples a chance to focus on what truly matters – their love for one another – without the stress, cost, and expectations that often come with a big wedding.

As a seasoned wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve worked with many couples who have gone the small & intimate route when planning their wedding. Whether it’s an adventure elopement or a more traditional micro wedding, I’ve seen it all!

So, what exactly are elopements vs micro weddings, and how do they differ? Let’s take a closer look.

Elopements: A Modern Twist on an Old Tradition

Traditionally, elopements were secretive and spontaneous weddings where couples would run away to get married without the knowledge or consent of their families. However, in recent years, the definition of elopement has evolved. Modern elopements are intentional, intimate ceremonies that could be done spontaneously but are often planned in advance.

Elopements typically involve only the couple, an officiant, and maybe a small group of close friends or family members. They often take place in picturesque elopement locations like a mountaintop, beach, or city landmark, making them not only a celebration of love but also a fantastic adventure.

How Many People To Invite to an Elopement?

  • An elopement is typically a small, intimate affair, typically involving 20 guests or less.
  • The number of people you invite to an elopement is entirely up to you and your partner’s preferences. Some couples that I’ve worked with choose to have no guests at all, while others may invite a handful of close family members or friends.
  • Keep in mind that elopements are meant to be more private and focused on the couple, so a smaller guest list usually allows for a more intimate and personal experience.
  • Consider any logistical constraints or venue limitations that may affect the number of people you can invite.

Micro Weddings: A Small Affair with Loved Ones

On the other hand, micro weddings are more inclusive celebrations that involve a small guest count. While elopements focus on the couple, micro weddings allow couples to celebrate with their closest family members and friends.

Micro weddings provide an opportunity for couples to create a more personalized and memorable experience. They typically involve all the traditional aspects of a wedding, such as exchanging vows, having a reception with a meal, and even dancing the night away – just on a smaller scale.

How Many People To Invite to a Micro Wedding?

  • The number of people to invite to a micro wedding typically ranges from 20 to 50 guests.
  • The ideal number of guests for a micro wedding depends on the couple’s personal preferences and budget.
  • A smaller guest list allows for more intimate and meaningful interactions with each attendee.
  • By inviting fewer people, couples can allocate their budget towards other aspects of the wedding, such as venue, décor, and food.

Pros and Cons of Elopements and Micro Weddings

Both elopements and micro weddings offer unique advantages and considerations to keep in mind when making your decision.

Elopements offer the ultimate amount of freedom and privacy. Couples can focus on each other and their love without any distractions. Elopements also tend to be less expensive since there are fewer guests to accommodate and less planning involved.

However, elopements may cause disappointment for loved ones who might have wanted to be present for the ceremony. It’s essential to communicate openly with your family and close friends to ensure everyone feels included and respected.

Micro weddings, on the other hand, provide a middle ground between a large wedding and an elopement. You can share your special day with your closest circle while still maintaining an intimate atmosphere. Micro weddings allow for more personalization and attention to detail, and your loved ones can feel more involved in your celebration.

Hosting a micro wedding still requires some planning, coordination, and budgeting, although it is typically less overwhelming than a traditional wedding.

Conclusion: Elopements vs Micro Weddings

In the end, the decision between eloping and having a micro wedding comes down to personal preferences, budget constraints, and the desired guest experience. Take the time to discuss your options as a couple and consider what truly matters to you both.

Regardless of your choice, remember that your wedding is a celebration of love, and no matter the size or location, the most important thing is that you and your partner can start your journey together surrounded by love and support.

As an experienced wedding and elopement photographer based out of Portland, Oregon, I’ve helped couples plan-out and capture their perfectly intimate weddings. If you have any questions about choosing between a micro wedding or an elopement, please don’t hesitate to give me a call!



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