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An Elopement + Wedding Photographer based in Colorado.

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What is an Elopement?

Elopements vs. micro-weddings vs. weddings

From a Colorado Elopement and Wedding photographer’s point of view!

What is the best option to celebrate your special day?

In the realm of love, commitment, and jubilation, couples now have countless options to celebrate their marriage. While traditional, grand, and large weddings have long been the favored choice, elopements and micro-weddings have gained immense popularity in recent years. Having experienced a wide array of wedding styles, such as destination ceremonies, elopements, micro weddings, traditional extravaganzas, and even large-scale celebrations with over 200 guests, I understand the significance of these diverse festivities and the unique experiences they offer. As you contemplate the best way to honor your marriage and wedding day, allow me to delve into the distinctions between three primary wedding types: Traditional, Micro-Weddings, and Elopements.

Elopements: Embracing the Essence of Intimacy and Adventure (aka, my FAVORITE)

When discussing elopements with your grandparents, they might connect it to a secret act of running away to get married. In previous generations, this concept was often met with disapproval. However, elopements have transformed into purposeful, intimate, and significant ceremonies. The true essence of an elopement lies in celebrating the couple’s love story instead of adhering to societal norms and spending the day with distant acquaintances who may not be seen again for many years.

Couples who opt to elope often seek the allure of privacy, adventure, simplicity, and the opportunity to craft cherished and unique memories. Elopements can take shape amidst awe-inspiring mountain views, snug country cabins, or even bustling urban settings. I recently encountered a couple that eloped right on the side of a steep river bank in Moab, Utah. By embracing elopements, couples can have the freedom to be themselves and avoid the overwhelming pressure and tension that accompanies the planning of a big, conventional wedding.

Many misconceptions surrounding elopements suggest that they are selfish or a fallacy, but these assumptions could not be further from reality. Elopements actually distill a wedding down to its core essence: a celebration of love and commitment. It shifts the focus away from the guests and redirects it towards the two individuals who are deeply in love and embarking on a lifelong journey together. Rather than spending your special day engaging with distant relatives or acquaintances, elopements allow you to dedicate the entire day to your person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. Not so selfish in my opinion!

Micro-Weddings: The Best of Both Worlds

Micro-weddings, as their name implies, blend the intimacy of elopements with the inclusive nature of traditional weddings. They strike a delicate harmony, steering clear of both no guests and an overwhelming number of guests. By involving a modest guest count of approximately 20-50 individuals, micro-weddings allow couples to cherish meaningful moments with their closest loved ones.

Embracing a more laid-back ambiance, micro-weddings frequently occur in one-of-a-kind locations such as National Forests, Airbnb’s, National Parks, Private Ranches, Boutique Hotels, and more. These gatherings present an opportunity to engage in an intimate and heartfelt ceremony, all while relishing in the joy of commemorating the day alongside cherished loved ones.

Weddings: Keeping it Traditional and Celebrating in a Big Way

Weddings symbolize the timeless commemoration of love and devotion, commonly encompassing a substantial guest list and a meticulously planned timeline. These ceremonies take place in majestic venues ranging from churches and ballrooms to backyards and outdoor gardens. By embracing weddings, couples are able to showcase their love grandly, surrounded by the warm embrace of their family and friends, soaking in the abundance of happiness and adoration. A wedding typically displays an array of dazzling decorations, extravagant flower arrangements, ceremony, reception, drinks, and dancing. Weddings are the ideal choice for couples desiring to share their special day with all the people they know (and some they don’t), having a good time celebrating with ALL THE THINGS and creating beautiful memories with loved ones.

A wedding typically invites a range of 50-400+ guests, with some encompassing multi-day festivities while others are held in a more intimate and casual setting, such as backyards. Although there is still room for personalizations, typical weddings often keep to normal traditions.

Which is the best option to celebrate your special day?

There are several factors to take into account:

Finances: The budget you allocate will undeniably influence the size and lavishness of your celebration. Elopements and micro-weddings tend to be more cost-effective, allowing you to allocate your budget towards the aspects that hold greater significance to you, rather than excessively expensive items like lavish and large venues or extravagant $ 50-per-plate meals.

Personal Preferences: What is your unique vision for your special day? Do you value intimacy, adventure, and a relaxed atmosphere above all else? Or do you lean towards an exhilarating celebration encompassing loved ones and friends?

Logistics: Consider the logistical aspects such as the location, travel requirements, and any legal considerations (i.e. marriage license, permits). Elopements provide more freedom and flexibility in choosing a destination, as they are not bound by traditional wedding venues. On the other hand, weddings and micro-weddings may require more meticulous planning and coordination to ensure a smooth and successful day.

Guest List: Think about the people you wish to celebrate with and the number of guests you envision sharing your special day with. If an intimate gathering feels more authentic and personal to you, elopements or micro-weddings may be the ideal choice. Additionally, keep in mind that you have the option to elope initially and then plan a larger celebration at a later time if desired. If you or your future spouse don’t like being the center of attention, I HIGHLY recommend a private ceremony or eloping!

Remember, the most important aspect of your special day is to create an experience that truly reflects your unique love story and values as a couple. Whether you opt for an elopement, a micro-wedding, or a traditional wedding, each celebration style offers unique opportunities and experiences that matter most to you and your future spouse. Elopements provide an intimate and adventurous experience, allowing you to focus solely on each other and the love you share. Weddings, on the other hand, allow for grand-scale celebrations that can truly showcase your love and commitment to one another. Micro-weddings strike a perfect balance between intimacy and celebration, offering a more personalized experience with a smaller guest count.

Regardless of the celebration style you choose, I am here to capture the love and sincere emotions of your special day. The memories you create will be cherished for a lifetime, and these are the things that truly matter!!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding day and enjoy the process of planning!



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Colorado wedding and elopement photographer