Elopement vs. Micro Wedding
Micro wedding, Elopement, intimate wedding… These words have all popped up in recent years! But, only as couples realize that they have complete control over how they get married! Also, as they realized that maybe a traditional wedding, with a big party and 200 guests, just isn’t for them.
But, what does it all mean?
What’s the difference between an elopement and an intimate wedding?
This guide will compare elopement vs. micro wedding, to help you figure out which one is right for you!
There are a ton of misconceptions out there when it comes to the definition of elopement.
People often think of it as a courthouse marriage, one that happens quickly. Or, for couples who don’t want to invest time or money into a “real” wedding. But while this may be what eloping used to mean, that’s not the case anymore!
Elopements are about being intentional and planning a day that’s focused entirely on you. You have complete creative freedom when planning an elopement. You can also choose any adventure that would make your day the best day!
Eloping can involve hiking, picnicking, stargazing, rock climbing, and anything else you can imagine.
A micro wedding is also known as an intimate wedding.
It falls somewhere in between an elopement and a traditional wedding. The biggest difference between a micro wedding and a traditional one is the guest count. Micro weddings have fewer guests, creating a more intimate, private experience.
The couple gets to celebrate with the people they love most. The focus of the day is still on spending time with your guests.
If you know a traditional wedding isn’t for you. Whether it’s because you aren’t feeling the wedding venue, don’t want the stress of planning, or being the center of attention all day isn’t your jam… It’s time to figure out whether an elopement or a micro wedding is right for you
Let’s compare elopement vs. micro-wedding!
One of the first differences that come to mind is the guest count.
Now, a common misconception about elopements (there are a lot of those!) is that they have to be just the couple – no guests allowed. This isn’t the case at all! Some couples do choose to have a “just us” elopement experience, so if a private wedding ceremony feels right for you, you can totally do that.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have guests at your elopement. Plenty of couples can’t imagine tying the knot without their family, or a few close friends around. There’s not exactly a limit on how many guests you can have before your elopement becomes an intimate wedding, but about 15 guests is a good rule of thumb. It’s more about how the day feels than how many people are there – and as long as the focus of the day is on the two of you getting married in a way that feels authentic and true, an elopement with a few guests is just as meaningful and intimate as one that’s just the couple.
Micro weddings definitely have a few guests – just like elopements, there’s no strict limit or range that defines an intimate wedding, but most couples have between 20 and 50 guests. Anything over 50 typically starts to feel like a traditional wedding, emphasizing the guests more than the couple.
Another huge difference when comparing elopement vs. micro wedding is the venue!
Elopements give you so much more freedom when it comes to choosing the location where you tie the knot. You can elope in a national park or on other public lands, picking an epic spot with mountain views, or woodland scenery, or sandy beaches. You have basically unlimited options (with some restrictions) for your adventure!
An intimate wedding can take place in a more traditional venue, or somewhere a little outside the box! Outdoor locations will usually have restrictions on how many guests you can have, so you’re more limited in your options. But, with a smaller guest count, you can still get creative with how you get married! You can rent a boat and party with your loved ones, tie the knot at a campground in a national park, or celebrate in your own backyard.
The most exciting thing about your unique wedding day is planning the adventures that make it so special to you! The difference between an elopement and a micro wedding is in what you do on the day.
Elopements are typically about the couple, and doing whatever it is that would make your day incredible – so you can plan a hike to your ceremony spot, an evening soak in a hot spring, a helicopter tour… there are literally no limits! If you have guests, that will likely be a consideration in your plans, but some couples choose to split up their day, spending time with family and friends during the ceremony, then heading off for an adventure alone. You can even do a two-day elopement!
With a micro wedding, the focus of the day tends to be spending time with your guests. With a smaller guest list than you would have at a traditional wedding, the day is more personal and intimate, and the time spent with your guests is intentional. You can still have a blast – whether it’s celebrating with dinner and toasts or hanging out at a glamping site.
Another difference when comparing elopement vs. micro weddings is in the photography. Traditional weddings often seem to revolve around the photo schedule, with couples hustling from one place to the next in fear of running out of time.
With an elopement, the photos I take are much more candid, and the goal is to capture the moment as it happens. You spend the day exploring, hanging out together, and having a great time – and while we’ll stop occasionally for some more formal pics, the majority of the day is about me being your adventure buddy who happens to have a camera.
For a micro wedding, the photography is closer to that of a traditional wedding – there will definitely be candids and “fly on the wall” photos all day, but you’ll likely schedule a little bit of time away from your guests to take some couple’s photos.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter much what you call the day you get married! What matters is that you love each other, and you love the day you have planned! Whether there’s a feeling in your gut that’s telling you your wedding ceremony isn’t complete without your loved ones, or one that’s saying you want to climb a mountain before you get married, do whatever feels true to you.
READY TO PLAN YOUR ELOPEMENT OR MICRO WEDDING?
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