Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

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Top 4 Types of Small Weddings to Make Your Day Truly Yours

March 17, 2020
jperlman elk cove inn ceremony

Photo by: Joyce Perlman, California, United States

Everyone always says that your wedding day is all about you. But let’s face it; that’s not always actually the case. Many couples stress over guest lists, planning, expenses, and all the frills and traditions of your standard large wedding that they may or may not even be interested in. Fortunately, though, the concept of small weddings is becoming increasingly popular for couples who either want to be able to completely customize their day where and when they want with the option to make it as complex or simple as they choose. Either way, these small weddings offer couples many unique ways to truly express themselves and make their special day all about them.

1. MICRO WEDDING

Every day you see articles or stories about people downsizing; minimalism, tiny homes, anything that people can do to de-clutter their lives and make things simpler and more streamlined. Downsizing a wedding is also becoming very popular.

The term for this is “Micro Wedding,” and they are up and coming in the wedding world. More and more people are realizing that the large and extravagant weddings do not fit their vision, or do not line up with what they and their partner feel comfortable with. However, the traditional concept of elopement doesn’t work for everyone either. Now, though, the Micro Wedding perfectly marries these two concepts together!

Nino Lombardo, of Trapani, is a wedding photographer for -

Photo by: Nino Lombardo, Trapani, Italy

A Micro Wedding typically consists of five to 50 guests. The guest list is often comprised of family and close friends only and frees you from having to invite those people you feel obligated to. Instead, a Micro Wedding lets you invite only those you see vital to your special day.

Even though you may minimize your guest list, that doesn’t mean you have to minimize the experience or the details. In fact, limiting your guest list may give you more wiggle room in your budget to spend that money on things that may be more important to you, such as a photographer to document your special day full of the small elements that will make this day truly you.

2. SECRET WEDDING

A secret wedding can be desired for many reasons. You may not want to involve your family, you may want to get married before having a destination wedding in a different country, or you may just wish to avoid any planning at all. The list of reasons for having a secret wedding is vast, as are your options.

Lauren Lindley, of California, is a wedding photographer for Secret Cove, NV

Photo by: Lauren Lindley, California, United States

Depending on your location, you may be able to find a clergy member, judge or officiant to perform the secret ceremony if that is what you prefer. You don’t have to worry about anything else but yourselves during your secret wedding, and, instead of inviting family, you can commemorate the day with documentary-style photographs that the two of you can share with loved ones after the fact.

With as much or as little planning in advance, whether you go straight to the courthouse or opt for an exciting shotgun wedding in Vegas, a secret wedding could afford you the privacy you’re looking for.

3. SURPRISE WEDDING

Introducing the new twist to the Surprise Party – the Surprise Wedding! The Surprise Wedding is another up and coming trend in the wedding world. Imagine being invited to an engagement party, and then the happy couple ties the knot right in the middle of the event!

There are many factors to consider when determining whether a Surprise Wedding is right for you and your story, as it is one of the more complex and planning-heavy weddings on this list. What’s more, there are a lot of traditions that go along with a conventional weddings that will be skipped if you choose to go this route. The bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and naming a bridal party are among a few things that will be left out when planning this type of event.

In place of tradition, though, the fun and excitement of surprising your loved ones with a party they will never forget is gained. For couples who like to try new things, live for excitement, and want to throw tradition to the wind, the Secret Wedding might be the perfect choice for you. What’s more, this type of wedding makes for some pretty fun and memorable photographs as your photographer catches all the surprised looks on everyone’s faces! The biggest question of all to ask yourself is – can you keep a secret?

4. POP-UP WEDDING

Similar to a Micro Wedding, a Pop-Up Wedding is a wedding that leaves a small footprint, but a big impact! A Pop-Up Wedding has a small guest list, usually four to 20 guests. Perfect for the laid-back couple, it is best for those who want to skip the months of planning and stress and still get the wedding of their dreams.

The wedding is held anywhere, either at an existing venue or even a temporary venue that can be set up to fit your needs. They pop up either close to home or a destination far away—the important fact, of course, is that it is special to the couple.

Wedding Photographer Kathleen Ricker of Maryland, United States

Photo by: Kathleen Ricker, Maryland, United States

The details of the big day can stay as traditional or as unique as you wish. There can be food, flowers, photography (of course), decorations, and fun. The duration of the celebration is often short so the couple can focus the event on what is important to them. Think this is the ideal wedding for you? Hire your photographer and officiant, pick out your dream attire, and get ready to pop the knot!