Elopements vs. Micro-Weddings: Crafting Your Intimate Wedding

Elopements and Micro-Weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years. Couples are increasingly opting for more intimate and personalised celebrations that focus on their love for each other rather than the traditional wedding which can act as a much bigger family-focused affair.

Planning an elopement or micro wedding requires a different approach than planning a traditional wedding. The focus is on creating a meaningful and memorable experience for themselves and their closest loved ones. This often means incorporating personalised touches and unique elements that reflect the couple’s personalities and relationship.

With the rise of elopement and micro wedding planning services, couples can also get professional help in creating their dream celebration without the stress and overwhelm of traditional wedding planning, allowing couples the opportunity to prioritise their love and relationship while creating a beautiful and meaningful experience.

Elopements, in particular, have shed their reputation as a secretive and impulsive act and are now seen as a deliberate choice for couples who want to prioritise their relationship over big wedding extravagance.

Elopement vs Micro-Wedding. What's the difference?

A couple at their country estate micro-wedding overlooking hills

Understanding Elopements and Micro Weddings

Elopements are typically defined as a wedding ceremony with just the couple and a few close friends or family members. They can be held anywhere, from a courthouse to a mountaintop, and can be as simple or as elaborate as the couple desires. You would expect to see no more than 10 people at an Elopement.

Micro-weddings, on the other hand, are slightly larger than elopements and typically include up to 30 guests. They are still intimate and personalised, but allow for a few more loved ones to be present to witness the ceremony and celebrate with the couple.

One of the biggest advantages of elopements and micro weddings is the cost savings. Without the need for a large venue, catering, and other traditional wedding expenses, couples can save thousands of dollars. This allows them to spend their money on other things, such as a dream honeymoon or a down payment on a house.

Another advantage is the reduced stress and pressure that comes with planning a traditional wedding. With fewer guests and fewer details to worry about, couples can focus on what really matters – their love and commitment to each other.

Whether it’s a private ceremony in the mountains or a small gathering of loved ones in a backyard, these types of weddings are a beautiful and meaningful way to start a lifetime of love and happiness together.

NSW Central Coast Elopement Location at Glenworth Valley Lookout

Planning Your Elopement or Micro-Wedding

Planning an elopement can be an exciting and intimate experience for couples who want to celebrate their love in a unique way. Here are some key things to consider when planning your elopement.

1. Choosing a Date and Location

The first step in planning your elopement is to choose a date and location that is meaningful to you as a couple. Consider a place that has special significance or a destination that you have always wanted to visit. It’s important to keep in mind the weather, accessibility and any potential travel restrictions when choosing a location.

2. Legal Requirements and Documentation

Before you elope, make sure you understand the legal requirements and documentation needed for your marriage to be recognised. Each state and country has different laws and requirements for getting married, so be sure to research and obtain the necessary documents ahead of time. Your celebrant or officiant can assist you with these. This may include obtaining a marriage license, providing identification, and having witnesses present.

3. Budgeting for Your Intimate Wedding

Elopements can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional weddings, but that is not always the case. It’s important to establish a budget. Consider the cost of travel, accommodation and any vendors or services you may need. Be sure to prioritise the elements that are most important to you as a couple and allocate your budget accordingly.

4. Choosing an Intimate Venue

Choosing the right venue is crucial for creating an intimate and memorable micro wedding. Look for venues that offer a cozy and intimate setting, for example a private estate, restaurant, or unique warehouse space. Consider the size of the venue and the number of guests you will be inviting to ensure that it is the right fit for your needs.

When selecting a venue, also consider the amenities and services that are available. Some venues may offer catering, floral arrangements, and other services that can help simplify the planning process and create a cohesive look and feel for your wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore different options to find the perfect venue for your micro wedding.

Sunrise Beach Elopement with a small group of family celebrating behind the kissing couple

Capturing the Moment & Hiring a Photographer

When it comes to elopements and micro weddings, capturing the moment is crucial. After all, you are likely to have less guests than a big wedding, if any, and friends and family are sure to be keen to see what your day looked like.

Hiring a photographer and/or videographer that you feel completely comfortable with and enjoy being around is especially important here because you may only be with them for most of your entire experience. If your Photographer doesn’t feel like someone you could happily spend hours with them keep looking for one that does.

Hiring a photographer who specialises in elopements and intimate weddings can be particularly beneficial. These professionals are experienced in capturing candid moments, filling the gaps of the day and can help guide you through the process of creating beautiful, natural-looking photos.

Make sure to find a photographer whose style you resonates with too. These images will be the ones you will treasure for years to come.

Elopement Videography Options

In addition to photography, many couples choose to hire a videographer to capture their elopement or micro wedding. This can be a great way to relive the day and share it with loved ones who weren’t able to attend.

There are a few different options when it comes to elopement videography. Some couples opt for a full-length video that captures the entire day, while others choose to have a shorter highlight reel that showcases the most important moments. It’s important to discuss your preferences with your videographer and ensure that they have the equipment and skills needed to capture the footage you want.

Overall, capturing the moment is an important part of any elopement or micro wedding. By hiring the right professionals and discussing your preferences with them, you can ensure that you have beautiful photos and videos to look back on for years to come.

Elopement with a Classic Cadillac and Pink Veil. Sydney, Australia. Elopement vs Wedding

Post-Elopement Celebrations

After tying the knot in an intimate and private ceremony, many couples choose to celebrate their marriage, this could include a private dinner for the two or with family and friends. Here are some ideas for post-elopement celebrations.

1. Announcing Your Marriage

Once you have celebrated your marriage you are going to want to announce it to your loved ones. You can do this by sending out formal wedding announcements or by sharing the news on social media or hosting a surprise party.

2. Planning a Reception or Party

If you want to celebrate with friends and family, consider planning a reception or party in advance. This can be as formal or informal as you like, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some ideas:

  • Host a backyard BBQ
  • Rent a private room at a restaurant
  • Plan a weekend getaway with close family and friends
  • Have a small, formal reception at a local venue

Friends and family are likely to be keen to be a part of your celebrations in some way. Whatever you choose, make sure it reflects your personalities and the intimacy of your elopement.

Should I elope, have a normal wedding or a micro-wedding?

An Elopement or a Micro-Wedding?

In conclusion, the terms Elopement, Micro-Wedding and Wedding really relate to the number of guests that are involved in the day.

  • An Elopement normally only includes the couple or a handful of close guests,
  • A Micro-Wedding typically includes 15-35 guests,
  • And a Wedding is generally anything over about 35 guests.

The reasons couple choose to keep things small are varied but generally revolve around wanting a more intimate wedding experience that focuses more on their love and relationship than on throwing a big party.

Whilst Elopements and Micro-Weddings are often seen as a budget friendly alternative to a larger-scale wedding, this is not necessarily the case. Many couples choose to spend just as much money on their Elopement or Micro-Wedding as they would on a traditional wedding but reprioritise their money.

Choosing to have a smaller number of guests allows couples to focus their budget on the things that mean the most to them, whether that be travelling to somewhere unique, building their day around the photos that they would ideally like to have, crafting a special dinner experience or even to save money for other priorities in their relationship.

The major advantage of an Elopement over either a traditional wedding or micro-wedding is that it opens up a world of possibilities for what you could do!!

Your Day, Your Way

At My Dear Kathleen, we work with you to bring the ideas and dreams you have to life.

To learn more about our Custom Design planning service, click here.

To contact us to discuss your dream Elopement, click here.

Planning Guides

January 6, 2024

Elopement vs Micro-Wedding A small group of people around a dinner feast table at their Micro-Wedding

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