Micro weddings Vs. Eloping | What is your ideal nuptials? Photographer Perspective

same sex couple elopes in Banff, Canada.







same sex couple elopes in Banff, Canada.

Let’s unpack this topic with a few points:

Elopement: it’s just you and your other half, with a witness and or an officiant (JP).

Micro Wedding: the prior plus less than 30 guests.

Timeline of the event: it may be a few hours, full day or weekend either way, but typically these are shorter and more intimate timelines. There are more candid photos along with some more traditional portraits. The cool part? You have more flexibility on your entire day and what kind of experience you have.

With traditional weddings, couples typically change location or venues between 2-4x within the day between getting ready to ceremony to cocktail/reception locations. Add in photos and it can get pretty wild within the day for traditionally larger weddings.

Why elope vs. micro wedding:

True confession time: My husband and I eloped in 2021 after planning three weddings (and canceling due to covid). We actually met our Justice of The Peace and Photographer in Stowe, VT on the rec path on a rainy Friday afternoon in November. We had the time of our lives, with a 20 min ceremony, 3 hours of photography coverage and a horse drawn carriage ride. We then went to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Montpellier and went home to our dogs. I have amazing photos and the experience was drama free and just about us. The only thing I would have changed? I would have had more photography coverage and I should have turned off my phone that day.

Fast forward to our micro wedding, held the follow June.

Things to be aware of: Micro weddings do not save you money.

DIY projects: most likely will not save you money either (if done up).

We hosted 30 guests in Vermont the following summer, our close family and friends. We had an amazing DJ and caterer, rented an event tent and did all the things focusing on our guests’ experience. We made sure everyone had amazing food and drink in front of them, along with a weekend of scheduled bonding adventures. Both of our families and friend groups are from out of state, so this would also be considered a destination wedding event as well. What I regret? Not having a photographer at my micro wedding. My favorite people were all there and I don’t have the documentation. Kick myself to this day. We had an epic time and it should have been documented other than a few I phone photos. What else I regret? DIY everything but the food & self planning or coordinating.

Why Elope:

  • You both are introverts
  • You want to avoid outside influences that aren’t helpful (i.e. unsupportive family and friends)
  • You want to just do the damn thing (When you know, you know).
  • Having a budget is important and you want to put it towards something you are going to enjoy.
  • You are adventure freaks – Grandma isn’t going to climb a mountain or go sailing at sunset. You want those epic experiences (and photos).
  • Because it’s just about you two. I have witnessed larger events turn into a giant monster – one that swallows the couple whole with budgets and guest drama.
  • Timelines are boring – keeping a schedule when really you want to have fun that day. Go to a movie? Bowling? Climb a mountain? Have a coffee on a park bench? It’s up to you.

Why a micro wedding?

  • Because you still want to do traditional aspects for your nuptuals
  • You still want to have your loved ones there for this moment
  • You do want to feel the importance of celebrating with a larger group of people
  • Less drama on the day of timeline
  • Destination weddings are your cup of tea
  • Planning a wedding actually is fun
  • Because you can still do whatever you want without having to care for 100 people in the process. 30 people is a bit easier.
  • So much more.

So go do the damn thing you crazy kids! celebrate your love however you want. Know you have a wedding photographer on your team and let me know how I can help develop a story and timeline for however you want to celebrate.


Renee Sternhagen

Deco Reverie Studios

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