Planning an intimate, micro or elopement wedding

Micro church wedding by Emily Andrews. Photographer Benjamin Mathers.

Are you organising a scaled down wedding following coronavirus? Or perhaps this was your plan all along? Many of our members are seeing an increase in elopements , micro weddings and intimate weddings for 2021. I suspect you know what an elopement is, but what about intimate weddings and micro weddings? Like most things, the exact definition will vary from planner to planner. But here is our loose interpretation for you.

Some of our members specialise in these type of weddings and its not just eloping to Scotland (although as member Weddings by Sara Jane will confirm, thats still very popular).

Elopement to Scotland

Elopement in Scotland by Weddings by SaraJane


The benefit of an elopement is that it is a romantic, private affair.  Couples might choose an intimate wedding with less than 40 people because they have small circle of family and friends; family disagreements might reduce the guest list; cost of a larger wedding could be an issue. My husband and I had our wedding ceremony on a beach in North Norfolk with only 35 guests. We only wanted to share our day with particular people and we had a wonderful weekend in which we were able to spend time with all of them on our wedding day.Rebecca WaldronWhite Rose Ceremonies

Celebrant member WhiteRose Ceremonies wedding on a beach

There are many reasons couples will choose to have a scaled down wedding, and reducing costs is not the only reason. In fact many couples choose a micro wedding so they can spend money on the areas important to them. That might be choosing an exquisite, intimate venue or indeed it might be booking their dream photographer. And for those organising an intimate wedding, it means they can spoil their guests and create the ultimate experience for them

Small weddings are a wonderful opportunity to make your guests feel extra loved and appreciated, while also making time for YOU to truly experience the celebrations. Valentina – The Stars Inside

Your Ceremony

This will vary from couple to couple and we always say, still have the ceremony that means the most to you. So this might be in church, this might be at a castle or perhaps you have an unusual location in mind for a non legal ceremony.

One of our celebrant members has conducted a ceremony on a punt before.

Elopement on a punt by WhiteRoseCeremonies celebrant

Elopement on a punt conducted by White Rose Ceremonies

Because your numbers are low it does open up venues that perhaps are unsuitable for larger weddings, like restaurants, yachts or even a luxury B&B with accommodation for guests . Just remember a ceremony is not legal if it is not a licensed venue.

Micro church wedding by Emily Andrews. Photographer Benjamin Mathers.

Micro wedding by planner member Emily Andrews

Your Wedding Breakfast

Having an intimate wedding means you can have a menu created specifically you, and you don’t quite have to cater for the masses. In some instances this could be holding the meal at your favourite restaurant or hiring a private chef. It also enables you to go to town with the table settings to make the dining experience truly spectacular.
Elopement by The Stars Inside
Having a smaller scale wedding means the guests can be lavished with the best food and drink their budget can afford . The focus of the day is on the ceremony, guests and the food.” Emily AndrewEmily Andrew Weddings & Events

Micro wedding in a restaurant planned by Busy Brides

When using a restaurant for your wedding you often have more say over the food that say a wedding venue. Also because restaurants don’t hold many weddings you will find they bend over backwards to help create the perfect day.” Sian BeltonBusyBrides Wedding Planners

Micro wedding in a restaurant planned by Busy Brides

Micro wedding in a restaurant planned by Busy Brides

Intimate weddings are a good way to have just the people you want with you to celebrate your special day. I have noticed a trend for these with mixed culture celebrant led weddings.Sonal Dave Wedding & Ceremonies Celebrant

Micro Wedding

Micro Church wedding by Emily Andrews

An alternative to elopement, is the idea of having a small marriage ceremony with your closest family, with a more traditional celebration at a later date. It is then your choice if you wish to have another ceremony, with a celebrant or even close friend or family member leading, as you would already be legally married.” Michelle MilesFusion Events & Weddings
We always feel its important to handpick the right suppliers for your wedding and this is no different. Think about your priorities, that could be your dress, it could be a Michelin chef, it could be your photographer and videographer. So what is important to you? Just because you are organising a micro wedding for example, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best suppliers for your wedding.
Elopement by The Stars Inside, photo by Nataly-J-Photography

Forest Elopement by The Stars Inside

With a small wedding, working with experienced photographers and videographers is even more important – they need to know how to blend in, how to be unobtrusive, and how to become a part of the day that your guests remember fondly.  ” Valentina The Stars Inside
Some couples have been relieved that the overwhelm has been lifted by having to cut down their numbers and are excited for the more intimate day with people they truly adore. One of the benefits to booking a restaurant for next year they may have more availability than the bigger venues.”JodieElla Bella Weddings & Events
I plan some of the most elaborate weddings but eloped to Gretna 15 years ago for my own wedding – just the two of us! We then did a vow renewal 10 years later – Having experienced both – an intimate ceremony was magical.Joy Hersey ToddUnique Weddings & Events


Finally there is less stress organising an elopement, micro wedding or intimate wedding. No need to spend hours on the table plan where you have just 20 guests for example. But it still takes time to source the best suppliers and spend time creating the right atmosphere with less guests. After all you want it to feel memorable not an intimidating experience. This is where a wedding planner can help you. They will help not only design but will help curate the perfect wedding for you.


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  1. […] For more advice on elopements or micro weddings read our blog post here […]

  2. […] Planning an intimate, micro or elopement? […]

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