About Kate
Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.  And, with my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you. SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision. I changed course so that you can too.  Ready to explore eloping?!  Let's Chat!
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Choosing Your Wedding Type: Micro vs Elopement vs Minis (+ how say your “why”!)

How-To & Tips

So while the landscape of COVID continues to evolve, so do the options for the wedding type you can choose so you don’t have to delay your “I Do.” You’ve likely seen mention of a micro wedding, heard about someone who had a “minimony,” or saw something on Instagram about eloping. But what the heck are these??? 

This article will give you a bunch of key info to help you in your wedding journey!  It will: 

  1. Break down the differences between a micro wedding, a minimony, and an elopement, 
  2. Give quick questions to help you decide about which one is best for you, AND, 
  3. Includes suggested wording to explain why you chose your wedding type in a way that shows love but firmness in your decision😊

You’ve got this!!! Let’s go! 😄

guests and couple gather around back patio at minimony, a wedding type with just a few guests and a laid back celebration.

Wedding Type #1: Minimony

Borne out of necessity in the swirl of 2020, a “minimony” is a term coined by The Knot.  Our friends at the bastion of all things wedding industry defined a minimony as “a mini ceremony held with your loved ones, or simply a moment of commitment shared between yourselves.”   

Whether held in a living room at a couple’s house, in the backyard of a family member or friend, or anywhere else near home, these intimate ceremonies of 10 or fewer folks had originally been designed to let you say “I do!” sooner. Lockdowns, assembly size restrictions and other limits that have been prevalent for everyone’s safety could be neutralized by a little bit of technology and a lot bit of flexibility. You know that Zoom wedding trend? Yeah, that’s this!😉

BENEFITS: While some of the early COVID restrictions in place have been lifted in many places, a minimony might just have staying power. Why?

  • They can be FAST. Get your marriage license. Decide your close-to-home ceremony spot. Coordinate an officiant & witnesses as needed in your state.  Decorate with houseplants and order delivery of a bouquet from Farmgirl Flowers to hold/wear as your wedding florals. Wedding garments or not, the choice is yours! And… BOOM. You’re ready! It could be as straightforward as that!   
  • FLEXIBILITY. Some states are still allowing an online officiant as celebrant to make your fully virtual minimony marriage legal! Check your local laws on virtual weddings. If virtual isn’t an option, decide on hiring a justice of the peace or similar to come to you.   
  • LOVED ONES can still attend. Minimonies (as defined) can have up to 10 guests as long as you abide by any local restrictions gathering sizes and use COVID precautions. CDC guidelines, local rules or restrictions may vary! 

Looking for a virtual option? Rad! With a virtual minimony, you may be able to have even more of your crew join the celebration vs a traditional in-person wedding. Not everyone is able or willing to travel, especially now. Favorite aunties, grandparents, far away loved ones — all benefit with a virtual option as they can still experience your day in this special way!

While a number of couples turned to Zoom, there are specific companies out there that provide live-streaming of weddings. For real! Modern-day solutions for modern-day needs.😀

Couple sits on a picnic blanket in front yard, smiling at each other and holding wine glasses.

IS A MINIMONY FOR ME?

Countless couples have turned to a minimony as their wedding type solution since 2020. If any of these feel right to you as a couple, a minimony could be a good option for you:

  • Waiting be damned! We want to be married now, NOT later. 
  • Where we live, it’s still hard to — or, we’re not allowed — to have a larger sized wedding gathering.  
  • We’d still like a traditional, full-size wedding later, so this is an appetizer to the main dish.
  • There are loved ones & guests we would like to see at our wedding. But we’re not sure how (or if!) they’d travel to us.
  • Guest experience is less critical to us. We think they’ll be happy for us no matter how we involve them.  

YES! LET’S MINIMONY!  

If you’ve decided that a minimony is for you, it can be hard to explain why you are choosing something that’s a bit new, and possibly very non-traditional if you choose a virtual event!   While every conversation is different, sometimes, all you need is the seed of a response to get you going. So, feel free to try the below on for size:

“Thanks! Yes, we’re so excited to be engaged, and have decided we’d like to do something for our wedding a little more quickly instead of waiting. We love all of you, but recognize it’s a big deal to ask someone to travel now and we absolutely don’t want our wedding to cause anyone that kind of stress or financial burden. So, we’ve decided to have what they’re calling a “minimony” now.” 

[OPTION 1] “It’s a silly word, ha, but yeah, it’s basically a mini ceremony at our house with just a couple of local friends to serve as our witnesses. We booked a local justice of the peace to come officiate 🙂 It’ll be tiny, but we’re super excited to be able to say ‘I do!’ now and celebrate with all of you as the world circumstances allow:-) We have a virtual guest book if you want to leave us a love note in celebration—that would mean the world to us!”

[ALT OPTION-if you’re doing video!]  “It’s a silly word, ha, but yeah, it’s basically a mini ceremony at our house with just a couple of local friends to serve as our witnesses in person with our officiant we hired. But we want to share with all of you too!  So, we’re going to offer a virtual option so you can all watch our ceremony live from wherever you are! It’ll be a little different than we’re all used to with weddings, but we’re super excited to be able to say ‘I do!’ now, AND still share the moments with all of you. More details to come, but we hope you’ll log on and join us — that would mean the world to us!”

In this backyard minimony wedding type, the couple stands nose to nose for a portrait, hugging and smiling.

Wedding Type #2: Micro Wedding

Let’s first acknowledge that all things are relative. Why? Because technically, a “micro wedding” is a more traditional-feeling wedding, just with 50 people or less. Maybe it’s just me, but 50 is not a tiny amount of people, especially when plopped down in one place at the same time. LOL.

While micro weddings have been increasing in popularity over the last 5+ years, the shift gained a ton of traction with couples in 2021. Keeping guest counts down meant wedding plans could continue in more traditional ways, despite COVID restrictions/impacts.

BENEFITS:  A staple pre-pandemic, micro weddings offer a beautiful blend that continues to be a good solution for lots of couples. Why?

  • Special LOVE for your guests. Micro weddings aren’t just about keeping guest counts down, it’s also a LOT about changing guest experience.  
  • BUDGET. For couples who may have budgeted for a much larger event, realizing that having 100, 150, or more guests in attendance can feel too risky, stressful, and fraught with challenges. This leaves them in an interesting spot… 

Option A — Spend the money we’d saved, allowing us to provide a fuller, more high-end experience for our fewer treasured guests? Or… 

Option B — Spend only what we’d planned per person, and save the rest for something else awesome?!  

Depending on what matters most to you and your partner, you can definitely come out ahead with a micro wedding 🙂

  • FLEXIBILITY. Smaller guest counts mean greater options for venue, food, experiences, etc. And, the smaller the crowd, the more the flexibility in structuring your event schedule & flow so you can better enjoy your time with those who were so carefully selected to attend.
Couple exchanges vows in front of their guests at their micro wedding, a wedding type that feels traditional, just smaller.

IS A MICRO WEDDING FOR ME?

What’s right for others may not be right for you!  But if you can’t imagine your wedding experience without a party and being surrounded by loved ones, or if any of the below feel right you as a couple, a micro wedding could be a good option for you:

  • We can’t imagine our wedding without our friends and family there. Coworkers & old friends aren’t required, but there’s definitely a core group of folks we want there!
  • We’re here for the party 😉 Even though it’s a smaller group, the social aspect of the celebration is really important to us.  
  • We’re excited for there to be fewer folks to mingle with, so we can spend more time with each of them.
  • We’d be happy to use the investment we’d planned for a big wedding to make our guest experience at the wedding even better, or to pull that extra spend back to something that makes us happy:-) 

YES! LET’S MICRO WEDDING!  

If you’ve decided that a micro wedding is for you, it can be uncomfortable to explain “why” you are choosing to possibly limit someone’s access to what they thought they could/would be participating in. While every conversation is different, sometimes, all you need is the seed of a response to get you going. So, feel free to try the below on for size:

“Thanks! Yes, we’re so excited to be engaged, and have decided we’d like to do something for our wedding that’s flexible and low-key. We love all of you, but recognize it’s a big deal now to ask a lot of folks who don’t know each other to assemble, and we absolutely don’t want our wedding to cause anyone that kind of stress or worry. So, we’ve decided to have a micro wedding instead, with a much smaller group of attendees!

It’ll be different than the big party we’d originally envisioned, but we love we’ll be able to say “I do!” now, in a way that feels right for us. The good vibes and well wishes we’ve been getting from everyone are amazing — we totally feel and appreciate the love you’ve all given us!”

Wedding Type #3: Elopement

I want to bust up the biggest myth, right here: an elopement does NOT mean you have to run away and do this thing alone! In the new, modern view of eloping, an “elopement” is choosing to marry in a place and in a way that is focused on the couple, with just a few guests (or, no guests!). An elopement is so hard to define because it is so infinitely variable, based on the couple. From the more traditional courthouse ceremony, to a multi-day backpacking vow reading, to a helicopter-accessed ceremony spot, to a beautiful local park — there are truly no rules. 

The surprising twist is that an elopement isn’t lame anymore! 😉 Elopements can be thought of now in reference to a more grand adventure, a personal experience, or your ceremony plus your honeymoon rolled into one! (PS: read about some common elopement myths we’re busting here.)

BENEFITS: Stress levels, cost, and experiences catered to the uniqueness of your relationship with your partner all make elopements the right choice for many couples. Why?

  • COST. Eloping can save you thousands (and I mean thousands!). If budget is a logistical consideration on your celebration because you want to spend your money smarter and more meaningfully, eloping is an attractive alternative. And, it’s one that won’t feel like a “lesser” celebration than a traditional wedding would be. You’re still incorporating things that have special meaning to you!
  • EXPERIENCE and ADVENTURE. Having an elopement could be that excuse you need to visit a bucket list destination or finally try that thing you’ve been wanting to do for years. And what better way to do it than with the love of your life at your side?! 
  • The STRESS of planning can be way less…well, stressful! I won’t say that planning an elopement will be stress-free, as especially if you’re traveling or bringing a few of your crew with, as coordinating the pieces can still be a little to handle! But compared to the tiny details of a more traditional wedding type (invitations, seating charts, RSVPs, planning for food and navigating vaccine status/negative COVID testing for a hundred or more, etc), you’ll have a lot less to deal with when you elope.
  • INTIMACY. You don’t have to elope totally alone — but whether you want to, or would still rather have your crew tag along, elopements are great for that more private celebration that keeps the focus on you, your partner, and your love. ❤️
Couple explores the rocky shore at their elopement, a wedding type you can customize to be fully your own!

IS AN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT FOR ME?

Elopements have become wildly popular over the last few years, especially as COVID restricts the ability for traditional weddings. Just because it’s all the rage, doesn’t mean it’s right for you! But if you really love the idea of an elopement, here’s a few things that you might be thinking:

  • A traditional ceremony doesn’t feel like it fits my partner and I. We’d rather do something that feels really special for us instead of trying to fit into what a wedding “should” be. 
  • We’re craving an adventure! We love to be out exploring new places or have a favorite special place, and exchanging vows somewhere amazing sounds like the best day ever. 
  • We’re excited for there to be very few folks to celebrate with, so we can have actual quality time with those we do invite!! Or: we’re excited for our vow exchange to be just the two of us, as that feels safe and beautiful to us.
  • We’d be happy to use the investment we’d planned for a big wedding to book a trip that includes some amazing activities as well as our ceremony! 

YES! LET’S ELOPE ADVENTUROUSLY!  

If you’ve decided that an adventure elopement is for you, it can be uncomfortable to explain “why” you are choosing a wedding type that still holds a negative connotation for a lot of people. While every conversation is different, sometimes, all you need is the seed of a response to get you going. So, feel free to try the below on for size:

“Thanks! Yes, we’re so excited to be engaged! As we started planning, it became quickly clear that while we love all of you, we knew the only thing that felt right for us was to do something out of the box for our wedding. So we’re eloping!

For our ceremony, we’re going to [travel, do x/y/z], and are working on incorporating our immediate family into a part of the adventure! We’re so excited, as we can’t really picture ourselves enjoying all the formalities of a traditional wedding. So, this feels right to us, and we took comfort in knowing you all love us, too, and will celebrate us no matter what our elopement looks like! We’re really looking forward to such a unique experience!”

[Pro Tip--if you’re sharing your news AFTER you’ve eloped, simply use the response seed above, but, in past tense since it’s already happened. Example: “Thanks! Yes, we were so excited to be engaged!…” ]
Groom looks down at bride, holding her hands and smiling.
couple leans in for a kiss on the rocky shores at their elopement.

It’s ok to feel uncertain, sad, or worried when you’re thinking about a wedding type that’s completely different than you originally envisioned! Change is hard, and adapting and accepting takes time and mental energy for you, your partner, and the folks you love 🙂 Hang in there, you’ve got this! 

If you need a little more guidance on how to break your wedding plans to family, I have some additional advice for you here. If you’re bouncing on the edge of your seat to get started on planning your non-traditional celebration, I can’t wait to talk more with you! 

About Kate...

I put  my photography, obsessive planning, and all I’ve learned in my life + business + travels to work as an accomplice & adventure concierge for elopements of all kinds. 
Freeing couples just like you to have an adventurous wedding unlike any other!

SEARCH

CATEGORIES

How-To Planning Tips

Location Inspiration

Elopements-Us Two

Elopements-Us 2 + Crew

Activity Inspiration

Hi! I’m Kate, 

and I’m in your corner.

Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.

With my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you.   SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision.  To create a safe space for couples to create a wedding experience that feels right.

I changed course so that you can too.

Freeing couples to get married exactly how they want to, with no limits on what that looks like.   Is that bold?!?  Maybe, but you're ready!

Let's build your elopement adventure!

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