Elopement vs. Micro Wedding: How To Choose

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Hi, I’m Megan and your story matters to me. You deserve to break your wedding day from the traditional mold into something that is uniquely you.

I specialize in intimate mountain weddings and elopements and love working with people who are stoked to get married in nature surrounded by their closest family and friends. I am here for you and to organically tell your story. 

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Elopement vs. Micro Wedding, you might be wondering what is best for you? Planning a wedding is an exciting and memorable occasion, but it can also be overwhelming and expensive. Nowadays, I highly recommend exploring alternative options to traditional weddings, such as elopements and micro weddings. These two intimate wedding styles offer a more personalized and private experience for couples. Which allows them to focus on what truly matters: their love and commitment to each other. Whether you’re dreaming of a private getaway or an intimate celebration with your closest loved ones, understanding the differences between elopements and micro weddings will help guide you towards creating the perfect wedding experience that perfectly aligns with your desires and values. So, whether it’s an elopement or micro wedding, let my blog help you decide which option fits your vision of a dream wedding!

Couple walking during their elopement

How Do You Choose An Elopement Or Micro Wedding?

Choosing between an elopement and a micro wedding ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the vision you have for your perfect wedding day. Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:


Elopements are known for their extreme privacy. If you prioritize an incredibly intimate and romantic experience focusing solely on your love for each other, an elopement might be the perfect choice. Micro Weddings, on the other hand, allow for a small number of guests, typically immediate family and close friends, creating a more intimate setting while still including loved ones in your celebration.


Elopements tend to be more cost-effective since they involve fewer guests, less elaborate decorations, and often take place in non-traditional settings. If you’re working with a limited budget or prefer to allocate your resources towards other aspects of your life, an elopement might be a practical choice. Micro Weddings are still an extremely affordable option. Although smaller in scale than traditional weddings, they still involve some expenses associated with hosting guests, just on a smaller scale.


Elopements provide maximum flexibility when it comes to choosing your wedding date, time, and location. You can plan your elopement at any time and anywhere that holds special meaning to you. Micro Weddings offer a similar degree of flexibility. They allow you to prepare more personalized and unique experience for your guests while still having some considerations for their availability and preferences.

Personal Style

Consider your personal style and the type of wedding experience that resonates with you. If you prefer simplicity, minimalism, and to focus solely on your love story, an elopement might better suit your preferences. However, if you still want to celebrate with a select group of loved ones and create a more traditional wedding atmosphere, a micro wedding could be the perfect compromise.

Ultimately, take the time to discuss your desires and priorities as a couple. Envision the type of wedding experience that truly reflects your love story. Both elopements and micro weddings offer unique and intimate ways to celebrate your love. Choose the option that feels most authentic and meaningful to you.

couple walking during their elopement

What Is The Focus Of An Elopement?

The focus of an elopement is primarily on the couple and their love for each other. Unlike traditional weddings with a larger guest list, elaborate decorations, and insane cost, elopements are all about the intimate connection between the two individuals getting married. Elopements prioritize simplicity, privacy, and the freedom to exchange vows in a setting that holds personal significance. With the absence of a large crowd, you can fully immerse yourselves in the moment. You can create a truly authentic and meaningful experience. Additionally, the focus is on celebrating your commitment to one another and starting your journey as a married couple. Create a way that feels true to your unique love story.

couple taking photos at their elopement

What Is The Focus Of A Micro Wedding?

The focus of a micro wedding is to create an intimate and meaningful celebration with a small number of guests. They mostly focus on guest experience, but are still centered around the couple. Micro Weddings prioritize quality over quantity, allowing the couple to spend quality time with their closest family members and friends. The emphasis is on creating a warm and personal atmosphere where every guest feels valued and connected to the couple. With a smaller guest list, micro weddings often provide an opportunity for more in-depth interactions, heartfelt conversations, and shared experiences. Overall, the focus is on celebrating love, cherishing deep connections, and creating lasting memories in a cozy setting.

What Are The Typical Costs To Have An Elopement Or Micro Wedding?

Elopement Cost

According to many national averages, most couples spend $5,000-$15,000 on their elopement. Which is still half of the national average of $33,000 for a traditional wedding. Overall, you can make your elopement as elaborate as you wish. It is all about your budget and where you want to contribute your money.

Micro Wedding Cost

Micro Weddings are a very cost effective option for keeping wedding traditions alive and contributing payment where it’s most wanted. According to many national averages you are going to spend between $10,000-$20,000 on your micro wedding. Overall, it’s is still lower than the national average of a traditional wedding.

How Many Guests Should You Invite To Your Elopement Or Micro Wedding?

Elopement Guest Count

When it comes to elopements, the beauty lies in its simplicity and intimacy. Unlike traditional weddings, elopements typically involve under 15 guests or even just the couple themselves. The decision of how many guests to invite depends on your personal preferences. Additionally, consider the level of privacy you desire for your special day. Some couples choose to have no guests at all, opting for a quiet and romantic exchange of vows. Others may invite a few close family members or friends to witness and celebrate the occasion. Remember, the idea of an elopement is to focus on the love and connection between you and your partner. Consider inviting only those who hold significant meaning in your lives.

Micro Wedding Guest Count

The guest list of a micro wedding is intentionally kept small and intimate. Typically, a micro wedding involves inviting less than 50 guests, allowing for a personal gathering that focuses on meaningful connections. The smaller guest count allows you to spend quality time with each attendee, create an intimate atmosphere, and prioritize personal interactions. Ultimately, the number of guests you invite to your micro wedding will depend on your ideas, budget, and the level of intimacy you want to cultivate on your special day. The beauty of a micro wedding is its ability to create cherished memories with those closest to you.

Who Should You Invite To Your Elopement or Micro Wedding?


The decision of who to invite to your elopement is entirely up to you! Most elopements only include the couple themselves, the officiant, and the photographer. However, if you want to include others in your special day, consider inviting a small group of close family members or friends who hold a significant place in your lives. These individuals should be supportive, understanding, and respectful of your decision to elope. Including a select few loved ones can help enhance the joy and emotional connection of your elopement. Invite guests who will maintain the intimate atmosphere you desire. Check out this Shalie Falls Elopement for an elopement example!

Consider how much space you will have in your elopement location. If you choose to elope at a waterfall or on the cliff of a mountain, plan how much space your guests would have to witness your elopement. Also think about the physicality of those guests you invite. If you are wanting your grandparents to join your elopement, are they prepared for a potentially big hike or prolonged standing? Lastly, an elopement is to create a meaningful experience, so choose those who will bring love, support, and happiness to your elopement journey. 

Micro Wedding

The guest list of a micro wedding should consist of those who hold a special place in your heart and whose presence will complement the intimacy of your celebration. Consider inviting immediate family members, close friends, and loved ones who have played a significant role in your lives and relationships. A micro wedding allows you to prioritize quality over quantity, creating an intimate and personal experience for both you and your guests. Overall, the goal of a micro wedding is to share this joyous occasion with those who matter most. Check out this intimate Breckenridge Airbnb Wedding for a micro wedding example!

couple walking at their elopement

Where Can You Have An Elopement Or Micro Wedding?


For an elopement, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to choosing a location for your intimate celebration. You could elope at a National Park or other public lands. Imagine exchanging vows on a secluded beach with the waves crashing in the background, or on top of a mountain peak as the sun sets behind you. Maybe a charming and hidden waterfall tucked away in the forest captures your imagination. Alternatively, you might opt for a destination that holds special significance for you and your partner, like the city where you first met or a place that has always been on your bucket list. Wherever you envision saying “I do,” let your love story guide you in finding the perfect spot to create lifelong memories of your elopement.

Micro Wedding

Like an elopement, a micro wedding gives you flexibility to choose the location of your wedding day. You could exchange vows in a garden adorned with blooming flowers, creating a romantic and serene atmosphere. Additionally, you might choose a mountaintop Airbnb, to keep the scenery and provide a big enough space for all your guests. Here is an example of a mountaintop micro wedding I photographed in Breckenridge, Colorado! If you prefer the beauty of nature, think about hosting your micro wedding in a picturesque nature reserve. Also, if you’d like to stay indoors, consider a cute little chapel. The key is to find a venue that reflects your personal style and sets the stage for an unforgettable day surrounded by your closest loved ones.

Are You Ready To Have An Elopement Or Micro Wedding?

Choosing between an elopement and a micro wedding is a huge decision that depends on your preferences, budget, desired level of intimacy, and overall vision for your special day.

Elopements offer the ultimate privacy and simplicity, allowing you to focus solely on your love for each other. They can be cost-effective and provide maximum flexibility in terms of date and location. Elopements are perfect for couples who prioritize an intimate experience and wish to exchange vows in a meaningful setting without the pressure of a larger gathering.

Micro Weddings hold a balance between intimacy and including a select group of loved ones in your celebration. They create a warm and personal atmosphere where guests feel valued and connected. Micro Weddings provide an opportunity for meaningful interactions, heartfelt conversations, and creating lasting memories with those closest to you.

Altogether, consider your budget, desired level of privacy, and the style of celebration that resonates with you and your partner. Reflect on what truly matters to both of you and prioritize those elements when making your decision. Whether you choose an elopement or a micro wedding, remember that what truly matters is the love and commitment you share, and the joy of beginning your journey together as a married couple.

Learn More

If you are ready to book your elopement or micro wedding or just want to learn more, contact me today for your free consult call. View my current micro wedding and elopement pricing HERE. Let’s get your dream wedding planned!

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