The year 2020 has brought a lot of hardship, uncertainty, and most of all–changes in plans. From jobs to school to weddings, the pandemic has made our calendars and lives haywire. We know this has put a lot of pressure on brides and grooms out there scrambling to make some very big decisions on one of the most special days in their lives. We wrote this post with you in mind.
Something important to mention is that maybe–pandemic in mind or not–you and your partner realized you don’t want a large, traditional wedding. And that’s okay, too! We had that moment ourselves and had to start back at square one. We hope from our experience as photographers and as a couple who eloped ourselves that we can share with you if a micro wedding or elopement is right for you and how to get started with planning.
A quick pro for choosing to have a micro wedding or elopement instead of a traditional wedding? You will absolutely be spending way more of your day with your partner. There will be less running around and more time to slow down and soak in every moment of you celebrating the beginning of your marriage. Your wedding day and how you celebrate it matters, and you deserve a day that offers exactly what you two want in your day.
“A micro wedding is an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests. They still feature time-honored traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale,” according to BRIDES. We have heard people call these “intimate weddings” but as of late, “micro weddings” have become the more popular term. Intimate or micro weddings typically involve immediate family, some extended family, and close friends. There is still often that traditional wedding feel in regard to wedding vendors involved and the timeline of the day with the same highlights: getting ready, ceremony, and reception.
We would say that having a micro wedding is the right decision for you and your partner if you:
If your guest count is closer to 50, you will likely need to hold your ceremony and reception at a venue. However, if you only plan on having about 20 to 30 guests, your options open up to the possibility of the great outdoors, whether that is at a national or state park!
Eloping today has a very different meaning and context compared to even 15-20 years ago. What was once deemed a shameful, last-minute decision to run away together has transformed into the choice of a “just us” wedding experience that often involves travel and a dash of adventure, whether you go hiking or explore a new place together for your big day. You can take that wedding budget and use maybe even half of what you planned and have the ultimate adventure of a lifetime.
As far as planning your elopement, we strongly recommend not going for an “all-in-one” elopement package because those can often be very one size fits all. Instead, we recommend hiring an elopement photographer that offers planning services or even a wedding planner to help create the most custom experience for you. That way, you can trust the experts with the majority of the planning while having a personal, intentional wedding day.
You can still do a first dance and have cake and a bouquet (we did!). You can still include immediate family or a few close friends or even your furry friends. It is still truly an elopement–even with guests–if the focus of the day is still on the couple and not the whole production of the day. Don’t be afraid to include some traditional elements! Including cultural and traditional elements into elopements shows those we love and people as a whole that love can be fully celebrated no matter how big or small the guest count is. Like the idea of eloping but still want to celebrate with the people you love? Throw an elopement party with family and friends when you return from your honeymoon!
We would say that eloping is the right decision for you and your partner if you:
If you’re feeling a rush of excitement thinking that the possibilities of your wedding day have opened up tenfold, eloping may be the right choice for you 🙂
Whether you just want photo or both photo and video to document and cherish your day forever, most vendors in the elopement industry know that we are more than just your photographer. We are here to help you find the location of your dreams, make your day flow smoothly, and tell the story through photography and videography. That’s why we love what we do, because it feels so much more personal than a traditional wedding day! Whoever you hire to photograph or film your elopement, choose someone that you feel a good connection with. You’ll be spending your entire day with them!
We are Sydney and Ryan Kroll, a husband and wife adventure elopement photographer and videographer team. We are currently based in Joshua Tree, California, but travel for work and leisure throughout the US and beyond. Our work is best described as candid, true to color, storytelling that blends images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors.