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Spot the Differences: Elopements, Micro Weddings, and Traditional Weddings

Whether you’ve been secretly planning your wedding for years or you’re newly engaged and are learning the lingo for the first time, you’ve likely spotted a few types of weddings that may have given you pause. In this case, I'm referencing elopements, micro weddings, and full or traditional weddings. Each type of wedding differs from the next – in this case mainly in size – so today I thought we would explain each one and share the benefits for Colorado couples. Keep reading below!


Elopements are definitely not new. In fact, couples have been eloping for years! What is new, however, is their popularity. As a result of 2020, many couples have had to rearrange their wedding plans. In an effort to celebrate in a scaled down fashion, elopements have been in the news.

When you think of an elopement, thoughts of a couple escaping to a beautiful locale to exchange vows with a photographer at the ready to capture the moment likely fill your mind. And, that’s definitely one way to elope! However, elopements can also include a select number of guests (think: parents, siblings, and a few close friends).

Typically, elopements do not have a guest count that exceeds 10 people because the whole idea is to keep things small. What they may lack in observers, though, elopements can more than make up for in beauty. Many couples still opt to include gorgeous florals, a ceremony and even a short reception (a champagne toast paired with cake works perfectly), and plenty of photos.

The fun thing with elopements is you can be a bit more spontaneous because you are inviting fewer people, plus you can also celebrate in areas that might not be on your list for a more traditional wedding (parks work beautifully). The options are truly endless!

Micro Wedding:

Another wedding to trend as a result of 2020 is micro weddings! Similar to elopements, these weddings also have smaller guest counts, and most do not exceed 25 guests. That means you can consider many different venues, ranging from boutique hotels to restaurants, parks, and more, for a micro wedding.

The main difference between a micro wedding, which is sometimes also referred to as an intimate wedding, and an elopement is the overall flow of the day. Micro weddings are often scaled down versions of more traditional weddings, so couples will still recite their vows during a ceremony before transitioning into cocktail hour and a full reception.

Just like elopements and traditional weddings, micro weddings also offer plenty of opportunities for beautiful details, and you will likely also want to plan to share first and parent dances. You might be surprised by how lively your dance floor becomes when your favorite people surround you!

I’ve loved seeing micro weddings grow in popularity this year, and I do expect them to continue to trend for years! I plan them for our couples who wish to celebrate Monday-Thursday.

Full or Traditional Weddings:

A full or traditional wedding is likely what comes to mind when you imagine a wedding day. A traditional wedding involves a larger guest count (typically anything higher than 25-50 people or the guest count of a micro wedding), and it almost always includes a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Traditional weddings are most often hosted at venues that specialize in weddings and events because they can accommodate higher guest counts and plenty of tables. For this type of wedding, be prepared to spend more than you might on a micro wedding. Your guest count helps to drive your budget, and more people will require a larger space, additional rentals, more centerpieces, and sometimes additional entertainment (i.e.: a band with more players).

Traditional weddings do come with plenty of perks. The main one, of course, is inviting all of your family and closest friends. There aren’t too many things that compare to witnessing your favorite people all together in the same space, many for the first time.

Do you plan to elope, or does a micro or traditional wedding sound ideal? I would love to know! Also, feel free to send us a note. I’m happy to plan any type of celebration with you so you can enjoy the feeling of being a guest at your event, no matter the size.


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