Elopement vs Micro Wedding

August 16, 2022

Elopements and micro weddings have kept their popularity, even as bigger events have opened up. It’s not hard to see why! Having an elopement or a micro wedding allows you to keep your wedding intimate and keep the focus on you and your marriage. This was important to Mariia and Kevin, a sweet couple from Charlotte. They tried simply eloping, but their wedding then turned into a micro wedding. When it comes to elopement vs micro wedding, there are a few differences to pay attention to.

wedding stationery by Zola bride in simple a line gown groom on Old Savannah Tours wedding ceremony at Whitefield Chapel wedding ceremony at Whitefield Chapel wedding ceremony at Whitefield Chapel wedding ceremony at Whitefield Chapel

Different Guest Counts

An elopement is often just the two of you or under 10 guests. For an elopement in Savannah, you will often not need to rent any chairs for the ceremony, so you don’t need to rent the whole square. With an elopement, you can also do an intimate dinner at a restaurant without having to rent a whole space. Of course, there are quite a few intimate dining rooms at restaurants downtown if you want more privacy!

A micro wedding is often under 50 guests, meaning you will need to find a ceremony and reception space that you can rent. Think of micro-wedding as a cross between an elopement and a traditional wedding! However, just because you have fewer guests doesn’t mean you can’t go all out with decor and design! The smaller guest size means that you can focus on your budget on more details and guest experiences. Think more flowers, a custom dessert, and fun gifts.

bride and groom outside Whitefield Chapel bride and groom portraits in Savannah Old Savannah Tours trolley

Location Flexibility 

When you’re debating elopement vs micro wedding, one thing to pay attention to is where you want to get married.

Elopements can happen anywhere! While you will still need a marriage license just like any wedding, where you actually get married can be anywhere. In Savannah, you can walk onto the beach, or right in Forsyth, and get married! All you need is an officiant and a witness. Some public locations require permits, but most are easy to get.

Micro weddings have more guests, so you do need a rented space. Whether it is a square or venue, you will need space for seating and rentals.

Mariia and Kevin wanted a meaningful ceremony location, so they chose Whitfield Chapel. Located at Bethesda Academy, this is one of the most popular chapels in Savannah. Completed in 1925, the chapel is nested under majestic oak trees, with plenty of privacy. Of course, we had to get portraits under their ironic road of oak trees.

wedding party for intimate wedding bride and groom under Savannah oak trees bride and groom under Savannah oak trees bride and groom under Savannah oak trees bride in simple a line gown bride and groom in downtown Savannah groom in blue suit

Different Planning Timelines

While elopements are sometimes thought as a quick decision, couples these days still take some time planning. Most elopements are planned 2-3 months ahead of time, to make sure couples have time to book all their vendors and purchase their attire.

Micro weddings are typically planned in the same timeline as a traditional wedding since it involves more vendors, like a venue, catering, etc. 9-12 months is the typical planning period for micro weddings.

bride and groom in downtown Savannah black and white wedding photography bride and groom portraits in Savannah park black and white wedding photography bride and groom portraits in Savannah park

Pick The Right Photography Coverage

Even if you decide an elopement or intimate wedding, you need plenty of photography coverage! Couples sometimes think that just an hour is enough time to capture it all – but that will be too rushed. For elopements, we suggest at least 2-4 hours. This way you can capture some getting ready, your details, the ceremony, and portraits after.

For micro weddings, 4-6 hours is suggested. While there are not as many moving parts, you will still want plenty of photography time. Especially if you are traveling between locations, like Mariia and Kevin did! Traveling from the ceremony to the reception took about 30 minutes, so adding more photography time meant we could spend time downtown getting portraits.

For Mariia and Kevin, I stayed long enough to capture a very amazing, choreographed first dance! When it comes to micro weddings, I recommend coverage from getting ready through the first dance/cake cutting. If it’s only an intimate dinner without further dancing, coverage isn’t necessary past that.

bride and groom portraits in Savannah park bride and groom outside Vic's on the River bride and groom entrance at Vic's on the River bride and groom first dance

These are the main things to think about when you’re thinking about having an elopement vs micro wedding, but both options allow you an intimate experience. You can really dedicate your budget to creating exactly what you want and putting together an amazing experience for your guests.

I love working with weddings of all sizes! If you’re interested in working together, reach out! I’d love to hear all about your wedding day plans!


Wedding Gown: Etsy

Rings: Malak Jewelers

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Veil: Etsy

Jewelry: Tiffany & Co

Hair and Makeup: Royal Makeup and Hair

Stationery: Zola

Ceremony venue: Whitefield Chapel

Reception venue: Vic’s on the River

Florist: Madeline Read Floral

Officiant: John Peters

Cake: Blushed Bakes by Reva

Videographer: Luxe and Lady Fern

Transportation: Old Savannah Tours


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