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  • Writer's pictureTamara Merri

What is a micro wedding?

With the pandemic sweeping the country, many couples have had to make the difficult decision to postpone their weddings. However, some have chosen to only postpone the big celebration, and continue on with getting legally married on the same day, opting for a micro wedding.

What is a micro wedding?

A micro wedding is a small wedding with only a few family or friends there to witness the union. Ordinarily, a couple may bring along up to 25 people, OR get married just the two of them with an officiant or photographer. A micro wedding is just another name for a small wedding, an intimate wedding, or an elopement. You can use them interchangeably.

coastal maine elopement

Why should someone have a micro wedding during COVID-19?

For starters, many couples don't WANT to wait. Of course! This date holds a lot of meaning. However, for more technical reasons: if you already have your marriage license, it expires within 90 days of it being issued. So going ahead and still getting married saves you the headache of needing to apply for a new marriage license.

Just because you having a micro wedding during covid to make your union legal doesn't mean you can't also have another larger wedding (or vow renewal) later on with more guests.

first kiss during wedding ceremony at villa antonia in the chapel

Where should someone have a micro wedding?

Anywhere. As long as it is legal to have a gathering, you have appropriate permits, and you are not trespassing, you can get married ANYWHERE! This idea is exhilarating to me - and to many couples who choose to elope.

For larger weddings traditionally a couple will get married in a wedding venue or church. And by all means you can still have a micro-wedding at a wedding venue. But you can also get married somewhere less traditional. It can be in your home or at city hall. If want to stay local, look up nearby state parks or hiking trails. Also consider somewhere that you love going. If you and your partner share a sweet memory somewhere around town, why not make that spot even more special by saying your vows there?

If you're thinking of doing something along the lines of an experience, consider an adventure elopement. You can hike and say your vows on top of a mountain at sunrise, you can visit your favorite National Park, explore a foreign country, or say "i do" while in a canoe in the middle of the ocean. There really is no limits. You can create a day that is so exciting a unique it makes your heart pound.

bride and groom kissing on summit of mount chocorua in new hampshire white mountains for adventure session

What is an adventure elopement?

Many years ago an elopement used to be thought of as a secret, or last minute, "running away" to get married but today the idea of what an elopement is is TOTALLY different. Today, an adventure elopement is a small wedding that is just as special and planned out as a big wedding but it is more of an experience than a party. Couples may opt to elope on top of a mountain, in their favorite national park, or include things they love in their day like hiking, sailing, rock climbing, or camping.


Why should someone elope?

People may choose to elope to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with planning a big wedding, to practice sustainability (big weddings can cause so much waste!), they may not be close to their family, or perhaps they want to curate a day that is all about their favorite things like hiking rather than being the center of attention.


related blog: Top 15 reasons to elope


Eloping vs Big Weddings:

Big weddings are amazing. You are surrounded by people who you love, and whom love you and your partner. You choose decor, meals, cake, music, and vendors specifically for your preferences. You get to buy the most gorgeous dress and stand in the spot light. You feel at your prettiest, and are showered with love and then dance your heart out. I love photographing big weddings! However, while big weddings are fun and memorable, they are also expensive, stressful, and are controlled by someone else on the day of.

Elopements and micro weddings carry many of the same traits as big weddings in the sense that you get to buy a pretty dress and can be surrounded by people you love. But instead of dancing your heart out on a crowded dance floor, you're sharing a private first dance (potentially with an epic view). Instead of spending an alarming amount of money on cocktail napkins, you're investing money into your future, or spending money on an adventure and experience. Instead of being in the center of attention, you're sharing quality time with a small number of guests. Instead of following orders, you're dictating what you want your wedding day to consist of.

bride and groom snuggle together with water in the background during their elopement in austin

How to uninvite guests if you decide to change from a big wedding to a micro wedding:

This can be a tricky topic. No one wants to feel like they're on the B list of wedding guests. But many people are probably expecting you to postpone your wedding. During these *unprecedented times* (I've begun to really hate that term), no one can blame you for changing your wedding plans. Even after the pandemic is over and we are cleared to gather in large groups again, no one should judge you for living your truth. Just speak directly from your heart and express how much they mean to you but why you want a limited gust list.

You can also live-stream your ceremony if you want them to be included. Make sure to share photos with everyone too! Having a small wedding means not as many people will be there to capture photos of the day. For that reason, it is essential to have a great photographer to not only capture all the elements of your day, but to share your passion WHY you choose to have a wedding the way that you are. If you want a photographer to adventure with you, go the extra mile for epic photos, and be your super fun third-wheel tour guide, then hire me!

Have more questions about micro weddings, small weddings, intimate weddings, or elopements? Email me to ask or check out more resources on my blog.



Tamara Merri Photography

Tamara Merri Photography


©ALP - Tamara Hanley 2023 -420_websize.jpg

I'm Tamara!

I'm a Massachusetts wedding & elopement photographer. I'm the voice behind this blog and the girl behind the camera. 

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