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Elopements vs Weddings vs MicroWeddings

The difference between all the different types of celebrations you can have


A couple in Colorado smokes a unity joint on their wedding day after their elopement ceremony in the mountains
Colorado Elopement Photography Unity Joint

In the realm of love, commitment, and celebration, there are so many ways couples choose to celebrate their marriage. Traditional, big weddings have been the go-to choice for a very long time, but in recent years, elopements and micro-weddings have been rising to the ranks of popularity. Joel and I have experienced so many types of weddings from destination, elopements, micro weddings, traditional weddings, huge weddings with 400+ guests, so we understand importance of these different celebrations and the unique experiences they offer. When you're deciding what way to celebrate your marriage and wedding day, let's discuss the difference between 3 of the main types of weddings : Traditional, Micro-Weddings, and Elopements.


Elopements: Embracing Intimacy and Adventure

Lesbian Couple elopes in the spring in front of a rainbow flower wall in A-Line style wedding dresses
LGBTQ+ Rainbow Flower Elopement

If you ask your grandparents to define eloping, they are going to associate it with running away and getting married in secret. It was almost shunned in previous generations. But, elopements have evolved into intentional, intimate, meaningful ceremonies. The focus of an elopement is on the couple's love story rather than conforming to societal expectations and spending your day with people you haven't seen in years and likely won't see for another decade.

Lovers who choose elopements normally gravitate towards privacy, adventure, simplicity, and a chance to create truly personal and exciting memories. Elopements can take place in breathtaking landscapes, cozy cabins, or even busy cities. Hell, I even saw a couple that eloped in their bed this year! They offer an escape from the pressure and stress that you find when planning a larger scale, traditional wedding.

A lot of misconceptions you will hear about eloping is that it's selfish, that it's a mistake, but that could not be farther from the truth. Eloping breaks down a wedding into a marriage. It takes this massive celebration that can often become more about the guests rather than the people in love. Instead of spending your wedding day talking to your second cousin or your mom's coworker, you spend your day with the person you have fallen madly in love with and are dedicating your life to. That doesn't sound selfish to me at ALL.



Weddings: Celebrating Love on a Grand Scale


Weddings are the classic celebration of love and commitment, typically involving a larger guest list and a more structured timeline. These weddings are held in grand venues, such as churches, ballrooms, backyards, or outdoor gardens. Weddings provide an opportunity for couples to showcase their love in front of their family and friends, surrounded by joy and support.

With a wedding you are typically going to see a lot of decor, flowers, drinks, a ceremony, reception, dinner, and dancing! Weddings are perfect for couples who want to share their special day with a larger community and create cherished memories with loved ones.

A wedding is going to have anywhere between 50-400+ guests! Some weddings include multiple day events whereas others are a little more relaxed in their backyard. You can still customize a traditional wedding, but you typically want traditions included!



Micro-Weddings: The Best of Both Worlds
Intimate Micro-Wedding in the Colorado Mountains as the newlyweds have dinner under fairy lights in the fall. Renaissance inspired wedding and elopement dinner
Colorado Intimate Wedding Dinner

Micro-weddings, as the name suggests, combine the intimacy of elopements with the inclusive spirit of traditional weddings. They find that perfect balance between no guests

and way too many guests. Micro-weddings involve a very limited guest list, typically around 20-50 people, so the couple can spend quality time with the people they care most about in life.


With a more relaxed atmosphere, micro-weddings often take place in unique venues like private estates, vineyards, National Parks, beaches, hotels, etc. They offer the chance to have an intimate and emotional ceremony while still enjoying the excitement of sharing the day with the loved ones you care about!



Choosing the Right Celebration for You:

When you are trying to decide which type of celebration is perfect for you, there are a few things to consider:


Personal Preference: What do you TRULY envision for your special day? Do you prioritize intimacy, adventure, and a stress-free experience? Or would you prefer an exciting celebration surrounded by family and friends?


Budget: Your budget definitely plays a role in determining the scale and extravagance of your celebration. Elopements and micro-weddings can be more cost-effective, so you can spend your budget on the things that you really value instead of extremely expensive chairs, $40/plate meals, etc.



Guest List: Consider the people you want to celebrate with and the number of guests you envision sharing your day with. If an intimate gathering feels more authentic to you, elopements or micro-weddings may be the right choice.

Keep in mind you can ALWAYS elope and then have a big celebration later!


Logistics: Think about the location, travel requirements, and any legal considerations. Elopements offer more flexibility in terms of destination, while weddings and micro-weddings may require more planning and coordination.


Whether you choose an elopement, wedding, or micro-wedding, the most important thing is to create a day that reflects your love story and values as a couple. Each celebration style offers unique opportunities and experiences that may matter more or lets to you! Elopements provide intimacy and adventure, weddings allow for grand-scale celebrations, and micro-weddings strike a balance between the two. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and we are here to capture the magic and emotion of your special day, regardless of the celebration style you choose.

Remember, what matters most is the love you share, and the memories you create will be treasured for a lifetime. Those are the things you will never lose!



Happy planning and congratulations on your upcoming celebration!

  • Morgan + Joel Photo

Boho lace wedding dress bride and cowboy groom in cowboy hat elope in the Utah Mountains among the wildflowers. Curled hair down for wedding day
Western Boho Wedding in the Mountains




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