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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mestas

Why You Should Consider an Elopement or Micro Wedding

PC: Alicia Lucia Photography

What was supposed to be an epic wedding year has quickly turned into a time that has many couples postponing their wedding plans due a global pandemic, and questioning when it might be safe to gather again with their closest family and friends. Many couples have postponed their celebrations until next year or 2022, but for some couples this isn’t an option. For these couples, an elopement or micro wedding could be the perfect solution!

We’ve always been a fan of smaller, more intimate celebrations, and are so happy that this is something that many couples are considering as a way to say “I do” with all of the current restrictions in place. Here are a few reasons that you might want to consider a micro wedding or elopement - and also some ways to make your celebration extra special!

Before we dig in, let’s define the difference between an elopement and a micro wedding. The general consensus in the wedding industry is that elopements are usually no more than 10 guests, although I often consider up to 15 guests to still be an elopement as they’re still really intimate. A micro wedding is usually no more than 50 guests; anything over this is considered a full-size wedding, but I consider anything under 100 to be on the smaller side.

Current restrictions on gathering sizes

At the time of writing this post, the size of gatherings where I’m based (in New Mexico) is restricted to 5 or less guests, and everyone is encouraged to wear a face mask when around others. We were supposed to be able to have larger gatherings at this point, but based on where we’re at as a state and as a nation, and with our Covid-19 cases on the rise as we’ve tried to re-open, we are currently allowed only smaller groups. This means that for the time being only small elopements are allowed, which many couples are limiting to themselves, their officiant, and possibly two friends or relatives. If you go this route, it means that only 3 people will have heard your vows to one another and seen your first kiss. Something about having something so small and intimate is really sweet to me.

In the coming months, larger groups may be allowed depending on a variety of factors. Keep up to date with the CDC and your state government for more information about what size of groups might be allowed in the coming months, and when.

Smaller celebrations = easier to plan

The smaller your celebration, the easier it could be to plan! All you’ll need is a venue (or two!) a few rentals, flowers, an officiant, somewhere/something to eat (dinner + dessert because “a party without cake is just a meeting” - Julia Child), and an awesome photographer to capture all the love.

An elopement in the current state of things might look something like this:

A picturesque location for your ceremony, followed by picture time with your partner + guests. Then going to a restaurant for dinner (make sure you call ahead to reserve a table!) and enjoy dessert together. Sweet, and to the point!

PC: Julie Haider Photography

You get to support your favorite vendors & local businesses

It’s no secret that many small businesses are struggling right now - especially those in the wedding and event industry. Having a smaller event now where you’ll get to utilize their services will be so appreciated! If your wedding plans have changed, here’s how each of your vendors may still be to assist you with:


  • Your original wedding venue may or may not be able to accommodate your new, intimate wedding plans. If they are, great! If not, consider using them for overnight accommodations (if available) and ask them if you can have your wedding ceremony there. If that isn’t possible, ask them if you can take photos onsite, so that you can have the memory of their location in your photos.

Wedding Planner

  • Instead of letting your planning services go, ask your planner to help you plan a styled elopement instead! Although intimate celebrations are easier to manage, it still takes a lot of time & energy to put them together, and having someone there to assistant with logistics will be a welcomed peace of mind.


  • Ask your florist to help you with pieces such as a bouquet & boutonniere, an arch piece for the ceremony, and possibly a centerpiece for your dinner and florals for your cake if needed.


  • Depending on your plans, your rental needs may be minimal, but some items that might still be needed are an arch & ceremony seating. To inject some of your original wedding plans into your dinner, consider renting charger plates, fun napkins, and candles to incorporate into your dinner tablescape.


  • If you decide to elope or have an intimate celebration, you can still use your designer for dinner menus, name cards, and to create an announcement that can be mailed to the family & friends that weren’t able to be in attendance at the ceremony.


  • Although your big wedding plans may have changed, you can still hire your band/DJ/musician to play music for your ceremony, and in the background at your dinner. You can even do a first dance!


  • While you might not need a shuttle with your new plans, you can ask your shuttle company if they have a smaller vehicle to transport you from the ceremony to dinner location (if needed) and back home at the end of the night. This will keep everyone safe on the road, and also still feel really special and celebratory.

Photography & Videography

  • Just because your celebration might now be on a smaller scale, doesn’t mean it’s any less special. Having your photo + video vendors there to capture all of the love will make it easier for you to reminisce about how special your day was, and easier to share with those who weren’t there.


  • You can’t get married and not have dessert! Ask your dessert vendor to make enough for the guests at your celebration, and maybe a little extra for you to take home to enjoy later.

Hair & Makeup

  • Your hair & makeup team can still get you ready to say “I do”. And, with a smaller group they will have more time to focus on you!


  • Depending on where you have your wedding dinner at, you may still need catering for your small group - which many caterers are still happy & grateful to help with!

Intimate celebration now, big party later!

Many couples are choosing to get married now by means of an elopement or intimate wedding, and then planning their larger celebrations for 2021 or 2022. While this can add some onto the budget, many cost-effective options are available. If you’re using your wedding vendors for your intimate celebration, some might be able to offer you a special rate or option. And again, they’ll be so grateful for the opportunity to still work with you!

PC: Maura Jane Photography

Love isn’t cancelled

I know that all of this is so rough, in so many ways. My heart breaks for the world, and for everyone in this industry. My heart breaks for the couples that are now having to change the plans that they’ve had for months or years. My heart breaks for the businesses that might not make it through this. I know it might sound trite at this point, but it has to be said, again: love isn’t cancelled. Love will win, it’s what we’re on this planet to do. And I firmly believe that celebrations are essential to our human spirit. So many hugs to you all - we will make it through!

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