Heather Menzies

November 9, 2022

Elopement Versus Micro Wedding

The Blog

If you have been in the process of planning to get married, chances are, you may have heard the following two terms: elopement and micro wedding.

Elopements and micro weddings have become more and more popular, especially in the last two years. This blog post will go over the difference between an elopement and a micro wedding and help you navigate which one may be best for you and your partner.

The Definition

My definition of elopement is this: an authentic and adventurous experienced, created to celebrate the love between you and your partner. There are usually less than 10 people there, and on most occasions, only four: you, your partner, the photographer, and the celebrant. An elopement does not typically include a reception, but rather a dinner between the two of you as part of your adventure & awe-inspiring day. It is intended to be genuine, real, unique, and focused on your love for one another.

My definition of a micro wedding is this: the middle ground between an elopement and a traditional wedding. It is bigger than an elopement and smaller than a traditional wedding. It can include 50 guests or less, will likely include a small, casual dinner or reception, and will involve more planning and logistics than an elopement typically would.

Why would someone pick a micro wedding over an elopement?

The most simple reason is likely that a couple may want the core feelings of an elopement while having boundaries in place that usually don’t exist in a bigger traditional wedding. This means that you can include core friends and family, have a cap on the number of people invited, and not feel pressured to do more than you want. The main bonus of a micro wedding? Having your friends and family there while still having your day be as you dream it to be.

An elopement may be for partners who do not wish to have friends or family there (in which there is no shame and judgment), and a micro wedding could allow a middle ground for SOME selected people to be there without needing to invite 100+ people.

Heather E Photography, secret wedding at Perry's Paddock in Ocean Reef WA

Questions to Consider

When it comes down to it, the most noticeable difference between an elopement and a micro wedding is the number of guests who will be there.

If you don’t know which direction you are leaning towards, either an elopement or a micro wedding, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What does my dream day look like? Does it look like having my family there for the ceremony, but having a private reception with just my partner and I. Or the opposite: having my family at a private reception, but having an intimate elopement between my partner and I.
  2. Do I want a small reception? Do I want a reception at all?
  3. Do I want my family to be present on my day? If yes, what does that look like?
  4. Do I want to plan an adventurous experience? Do I want this experience more than I want a ceremony and reception?

Asking yourself these questions can help you determine whether you are leaning more towards, an elopement or a micro wedding.

If you value intimacy, privacy, adventure, and authenticity: an elopement may be more your speed.

If you want all of those things with your family there, then you may be leaning towards a micro wedding.

I hope this blog post was helpful in giving you an idea of whether you want to elope or have a micro wedding. If you need any advice or someone who has been there to give you some guidance, get in touch! I’d love to help you make your dream day a reality.

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