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I'm an elopement and wedding photographer based in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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What’s the difference between an elopement vs micro wedding? If you’re currently planning your wedding you might be wondering the same things!

Elopements vs. Micro Weddings

When you think of a wedding you likely have a clear idea of a stereotypical wedding day, right? If you think of an elopement, you might think of a couple going off somewhere gorgeous and getting married quietly by themselves. The pandemic brought a new type of wedding into the mix: the micro wedding. Due to venue restrictions, travel, guest concerns, many weddings in 2020 and 2021 were downsized to a “micro wedding.” 

Today’s blog post explores the subtle differences between an elopement and a micro wedding!

Elopement vs. Micro Wedding


Elopements have really evolved over the recent years. To your grandparents or probably your parents’ generations, an elopement used to mean a couple was running away to get married in secret without family and friends knowing. There was a negative connotation to the term “elopement”. Today elopements are no longer only for secret getaway weddings, but for couples who are opting out of a traditional wedding day for something more private and representative to them. 

Typically an elopement involves just the couple or the couple and a small number of people (usually under 10 guests). An elopement is more focused on the ceremony alone and doesn’t involve a reception or other big traditional pieces of a wedding day.  

Elopement vs. Micro Wedding

Here a few different ways that an elopement can look today: 

  • A couple going off to a beautiful location just themselves. 
  • A small ceremony with a few family and friends.
  • A ceremony and small reception with friends and family. 

From a photographer’s perspective:

 As a Las Vegas elopement photographer, I’ve photographed various types of elopements like the ones described above. When a couple comes to me for elopement photography, it usually involves coverage of their ceremony. If family and friends are involved we’ll do various group photos with the couple.  Then we’ll go off to one to two beautiful locations for portraits of the couple. Sometimes this is just a few hours or I’ll spend half or most of the day with the couple. Most of the time, I don’t photograph the reception or dinner that might happen after. Just because it’s an elopement doesn’t mean the day has to be quick. You can spend your entire day making it your own, with as much or as little photo coverage as you desire!

Elopement vs. Micro Wedding

Micro Wedding

Next, how is a micro wedding different from an elopement?

According to a definition by Brides magazine, “A micro wedding is an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests. They still feature time-honored traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale.”

Basically, a micro wedding has the main components of a traditional wedding, but with fewer people. 

Bridesmaids in Light Blue Dresses

From a photographer’s perspective:

A micro wedding day feels like a traditional wedding day but on a smaller scale due to guest count. Photography coverage for a micro wedding usually involves getting ready photos, ceremony, wedding party, family, portraits of the couple, and a few hours of reception coverage.

When to have a micro wedding or an elopement?

If you know your wedding day is going to be on the smaller scale, then you’re already looking at either an elopement or micro wedding. Here are some reasons why one over the other might be better for you: 

An elopement might be for you if: 

  • Getting married in an epic or fun location with just you and your partner is what you envision. 
  • Your ideal wedding day involves only a handful of family and friends. 
Las Vegas Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

A micro wedding might be for you if: 

  • You dream of a typical wedding day. You want to get ready with your best friends, and then head to your wedding ceremony. And you both want to celebrate the night away with your loved ones.
  • You’re planning a wedding in a destination location or want to keep it small, so you’ll have a smaller guest count. 

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to go! Regardless if eloping or a micro wedding is more your style, there are thankfully no “wedding police”. You get to decide the rules and what term to use for your day! 

Las Vegas Elopement Photos

Las Vegas: the perfect elopement & micro wedding destination

Las Vegas is a city known for its diversity. Whether you envision a ceremony officiated by Elvis or a luxury experience at a hotel, weddings of all kinds and sizes are welcome here!

For example:

Wedding, elopement, or micro wedding: there’s a space here to make your wedding day happen in Sin City! Be sure to check out my post on How to Elope in Las Vegas!

A Little White Chapel Las Vegas Elopement

Las Vegas Elopement Photographer

If you’re looking for a local Las Vegas wedding photographer, I’d love to hear about your elopement or micro wedding plans! Get in touch with me here

© 2023 katelyn faye photography