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Micro Wedding vs. Elopement


April 12, 2021


Trying To Decide Between a Micro Wedding Vs. Elopement? Here’s The Difference

What makes wedding planning so simultaneously fantastic and terrifying is that you have so many options. There are infinite combinations of wedding features for you to choose from—will you have a seasonal wedding? Will the clothes be modern or classic? Are you going wild with an open bar? Buffet or traditional dining? Should you use your nephew as a ring bearer, or can your beloved golden retriever take the coveted job? 

Before we can even think about any of that, the very first question you need to ask yourself is about size. Big wedding or small wedding? And beyond that—just how big? Just how small?

If you’ve chosen to go small, this is the article for you because we’re going to break down the micro wedding, the elopement, and what each can bring (or not) to your nuptials. 

What does Elope Mean?

Elopement is a marriage conducted with just the people getting married, an officiant, and maybe a witness (depending on which state you’re eloping in). These elopement weddings are classically characterized by their hurried and secretive nature. The trope of running off to Vegas to get married in a drive-thru chapel is the timeless depiction of this phenomenon, but it’s not the only way to go. 

Since the pandemic made large events impossible, the wedding world has noticed a visible shift in the elopement tradition. People are foregoing the standard wedding and choosing elopements in beautiful places instead. 

It makes perfect sense—all you have to focus on, after all, is each other. If you’re eloping in California, there are beaches, mountains, deserts, and cityscapes to serve as a background for your elopement. 

Elopements don’t necessarily have to be secretive anymore (that thought is a little outdated). Often, couples will elope and have a party or dinner afterward instead of a reception. 

Every happy couple has their ideas of what they want their nuptials to be, and the elopement provides a whole lot of freedom. And if you’re wondering what this could look like, Carrie and Big’s wedding in Sex and the City is a perfect example of a modern elopement followed by a meal shared with family and friends. 

What is a Micro Wedding? 

The micro wedding is different from the elopement in the simple fact that they have guests. 

The cap of micro wedding attendance is 50; anything more is just considered a wedding. 

While the micro wedding is generally less remote than some elopements (you can’t always get a whole wedding onto a spectacular mountaintop), your options are still incredibly flexible. You can have your wedding on a beautiful beach, in your family home, or even on a rooftop overlooking the beautiful city and hillscapes like those from one of our very own outdoor venues at The Centre. 

Forrest and Jenny’s wedding in Forrest Gump is a fantastic example of what you can do with a micro wedding—it’s perfect for intimate gatherings with the people you care about most. Micro weddings are all about sharing the love you have for your partner without the pressure of a crowd of people you don’t know intimately on your wedding day. 

Which One is Best For You?

There are upsides and downsides to every type of wedding, and these small formats are no exception. 

The elopement is highly personal—it’s a space solely for you and your significant other to look each other in the eye and proclaim your love. The purpose of this ceremony is to appease no one but yourselves. It’s romantic, it’s exciting, and it can be whatever you want it to be.

Its drawbacks are mostly external—it may put off some family and friends. Our loved ones want to be included in important moments in our lives; not inviting them to your wedding may put some people off. 

Micro weddings are also intimate, only allowing you to share the moment with a handful of people. While elopements and large weddings are two extremes, the micro wedding is an excellent compromise for those who don’t want too much wedding day pressure but still want to share the moment with family. Plus, you can stretch a traditional wedding budget much farther with a small gathering since there are fewer people to provide food, drinks, and fun experiences to. 

The downside of micro weddings is similar to those of elopements—it’s possible to rub people the wrong way if they don’t make the exclusive guest list. Otherwise, micro weddings are an absolutely fantastic way to spend your big day. 

Both elopements and micro weddings are modern, flexible takes that provide you, above all, the freedom to relax and have more fun on your wedding day. If you would like to plan an elopement or micro wedding in San Diego County, our team is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can create the perfect day for you.