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The Benefits of a Small, Intimate Wedding

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many couples to cancel their spring and summer 2020 weddings, many couples have forged ahead with small, intimate affairs with just the officiant, close family, and their bridal party present.

After all, pandemic or not, what’s most important is that you get to marry the love of your life and have the rest of your lives to throw a lavish party.

But even after this pandemic passes, the typical way of life will have been forever changed, making small, intimate weddings lot more appealing and popular than they once were.

With that being said, we’ll outline some of the benefits of a smaller wedding and provide ideas for planning a beautiful and special celebration with a lower guest count.

What is a Micro-Wedding Versus an Elopement?

Two words you’ve probably been hearing a lot of lately are micro-weddings and elopements. Now, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between the two? While similar, micro weddings and elopements differ quite a bit from one another.

Elopements

While elopements are most often associated with courthouse ceremonies or spur of the moment Las Vegas weddings officiated by an Elvis impersonator, the true definition of an elopement is where a couple gets married (sometimes in secret) without any guests present. The only people typically present at an elopement are the couple, their officiant, and the witnesses.

In recent years, destination elopements have become incredibly popular, with many couples whisking themselves off to stunning international destinations like Italy, Ireland, or the Caribbean for a combined wedding and honeymoon.

Micro-Wedding

A micro-wedding is, as the name suggests, a smaller-scale wedding. Unlike elopements, micro-weddings do have guests invited to a ceremony and reception, but the guest count is typically limited to 20 or less. The ceremony and reception are often more casual and relaxed as well.

The Benefits of a Smaller Wedding + Guest List

Cost

Perhaps the most attractive part of a smaller wedding is the reduced cost. It’s no secret that weddings can get quite expensive, especially when you have a large guest list. And while there’s nothing wrong with going all out on a lavish party to celebrate one of life’s most momentous occasions, it’s always nice to save a bit of money as well, if you can.

Less Stress

While wedding planning can get very stressful, with a smaller wedding, there are fewer moving pieces you need to take into consideration, making it a more enjoyable experience.

More One-On-One Time With Guests

Another downside to having a large guest list is that it can be hard to find the time during your reception to interact with everyone. With a smaller guest count, you can spend more time enjoying your reception and truly enjoying the company of your closest friends and family.

More Freedom and Creativity

While it’s only natural to want everyone you know and love to be at your wedding, sometimes, we let certain individuals’ opinions sway us in a different direction rather than following our hearts.

With fewer guests, you don’t have to worry as much about the opinions of others and can focus on creating your dream wedding and get creative when it comes to venue, décor, your dress, and even food.

Ideas For a Picture-Perfect Elopement/Micro-Wedding

Make it a Destination Wedding

Whether you go with a micro-wedding or elopement, a small guest list helps free up your budget, making a destination more affordable.

Not only will you get married in paradise, but you get your wedding and honeymoon all in one. How perfect is that?

Create a Beautiful Setting

Who said elopements and micro-weddings have to be boring? When planning a smaller wedding, you have the freedom (and budget) to get creative with your décor and create a truly magical backdrop for your vows and reception. From lots and lots of flowers to antique furniture, creating the perfect backdrop will ensure that you don’t feel you’re missing out on anything by scaling back your wedding.

Look at Alternative Venues

Without a large guest list to limit your choices when it comes to selecting a wedding venue, a micro-wedding or elopement presents a unique opportunity to get creative and think more non-traditional when picking the perfect spot to get married.

From treehouses to national parks, historic landmarks, or even on top of a mountain, the list goes on.

Plan Your Guest List Carefully

It’s easy to get carried away when determining your guest list, so it’s important that you be strict with your invites to avoid going over your guest count. Keep it to immediate family and close friends only.

Splurge Where it Matters

With your budget significantly slashed, you’ll have lots of wiggle room for spending on the big picture items. Make sure that you spend it where it counts – venue, food, dress, and photographer.

Be Creative with Photos

Hire an amazing photographer who can help capture the beauty of your venue along with the love you and your future spouse have for one another.

If you’re doing an elopement, scope out cool locations for photos, such as:

  • Parks and gardens
  • Unique landmarks
  • On or in front of a cliff or mountain
  • Outdoor art installations
  • A bridge with a stunning backdrop
  • A forest
  • Historic buildings
  • Buildings with unique architecture
  • Graffiti walls
  • Waterfalls
  • Sand dunes

Have One Long Table Instead of Several Small Ones

With fewer guests, there’s no need to keep everyone separated (unless we’re still in a pandemic). For post-COVID-19 micro-weddings, try having one long table to seat everyone. This allows everyone to be seated together and helps your wedding feel more cozy and intimate.

Stay True to Yourself and Make It Exactly How You Want

As with any sized wedding, it’s important to stay true to your vision and plan your wedding exactly how you want, rather than giving in to the expectations of others.

If you are planning a romantic elopement or intimate micro-wedding, remember to have fun with the planning process and get creative. Because, at the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you’re getting married, and neither a small guest count nor a pandemic can change that.