The Beauty of Small: Unique Micro Wedding Ideas for Intimate Celebrations
Whether you’ve already committed to a small ceremony or you’re still toying with the idea of a micro wedding, your ceremony should be as unique, heartfelt, and personal as your love story. And if you’re looking for micro wedding ideas to make your ceremony unforgettable, you’ve come to the right place.
At Simply Eloped, we’re all about curating personalized experiences for couples. And we’re sharing some of our favorite micro wedding ceremony ideas for people planning intimate and downright fun celebrations for their big day.
Embracing Intimacy: Why Micro Weddings Create Unforgettable Moments
Before we explore elopement tips and micro-wedding reception ideas, let’s touch on why these small celebrations can be so impactful for couples (and their guests):
- Micro weddings are intimate – Romance is inherently intimate and vulnerable—and celebrating that romance should be, too.
- They’re less stressful – Planning and pulling off a big wedding with hundreds of guests can be emotionally taxing. Since they’re smaller, micro weddings can present less of a planning burden to couples.
- They’re more affordable – Many of today’s couples have financial priorities outside of throwing an opulent wedding ceremony. Scaling back is a great way to save.
- They’re unique – When you host a micro wedding, you’re already bucking tradition by keeping the guest list short. For couples looking to have a one-of-a-kind wedding, small ceremonies can open the doors for more creativity when planning an intimate celebration.
Curating the Guest List: Tips for Crafting an Intimate Wedding Experience
One of the most common pressure points of planning a micro wedding is putting together a smaller guest list. So, who do you decide who makes the cut and receives a wedding invitation?
- Consider an “all or nothing” approach – Does anyone but you, your partner, your officiant, and your wedding photographer need to be at your intimate celebration? If you don’t feel strongly about having guests, you might opt for a traditional elopement.
- Include major players in your love story – Perhaps you invite the person who set you up on that first blind date, the people who helped you pull off your hare-brained proposal, or anyone who played a direct role in your relationship.
- Ditch family guilt – People with close family ties can find it difficult to shake off guest list guilt. Even if you’re only inviting family, remember that you don’t have to invite every relative.
Creative Venue Ideas for Micro Weddings: Small Spaces, Big Charm
What about choosing where you’ll get married? Big event spaces might simply be too large for your smaller wedding. Consider alternative micro wedding venues more suited to intimate celebrations, like:
- Small religious facilities (if you and your partner are religious)
- Outdoor gardens and parks
- A friend’s backyard
- A picnic area
- A small group space in a bar or restaurant
But remember that your wedding venue should resonate with you. If you and your partner are bonafide adventurers, spending weekends hiking or exploring the outdoors, consider shortlisting only outdoor wedding venues, for instance.
7 Ideas for Small Wedding Ceremonies and Elopements
With some general tips in mind, let’s explore seven out-of-this-world micro-wedding ideas to amp up the intimacy and joy at your upcoming nuptials.
#1 Get Hitched in a National Park
Speaking of venues, National Parks make excellent ceremony sites for elopements and micro weddings. National Parks offer:
- Seclusion – Sprawling parks like Yosemite National Park in California and Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado offer countless opportunities to get away from crowds and enjoy a quiet ceremony with your loved ones or even just your significant other. If a wedding venue surrounded by nature sounds right up your alley, be sure to check out our Colorado elopement packages, Hawaii elopement packages, and more for the ultimate inspiration.
- Breathtaking views – Saying “I do,” aside a mountainscape, crystal clear lake, or crashing sea waves can be powerful. These micro wedding destinations offer a chance to connect with your partner and the natural world.
- Low prices – While some parks require permits or pavilion rentals for events, prices are generally low. If you’re looking for cost-saving wedding ideas, a National Park wedding might be right up your alley.
- Activities galore – Want to take a hike the day before your ceremony to work off the jitters? Camp in the wilderness on your honeymoon? Take a refreshing dip in a cold creek right before putting on your outfit? National Parks have activities built in, making it easy to plan (or improvise) pre- and post-ceremony fun.
#2 Pick a Theme
If you and your partner met at a Halloween party, love throwing movie nights in your home, or simply can’t resist fun decor, throwing a themed micro wedding is a great way to make your celebration all the more joyful.
While you could always choose a more niche theme, here are some general ideas to get you started if you are looking for wedding inspiration:
- Movies (or a specific movie)
- Books (or you and your partner’s favorite book)
- Holidays (an October wedding could have a Halloween theme, for instance)
- A hobby (like painting, hiking, or biking)
If you decide to throw a themed elopement, go all in:
- Find (or make) themed decorations
- Consider wearing costumes (or inviting guests to do so)
- Make a themed playlist
- Adorn your invites with themed graphics
#3 Personalize Your Vows
Next on your micro wedding checklist? Vows. When it comes to composing one-of-a-kind vows (or ways to share your vows with your partner or guests), your options are nearly limitless. If you’re looking to buck tradition, here are some ideas to spark your creativity for when the big day arrives:
- Word draw challenge – For some inside fun between you and your partner, consider choosing a few random words that both of you must incorporate into your vows.
- Rhyming vows – Writing vows that rhyme can be challenging, but doing so can pose a fun challenge
- Musical vows – If you or your partner are a musician, consider writing your vows in the form of a song to be played at your ceremony (or in private).
- Share vows privately – If you’re a little nervous about the intimacy of sharing your vows in front of guests, consider sharing your vows with your spouse while you’re alone before or after your ceremony.
#4 Decorate—Or Don’t!
Traditionally, wedding decor includes table settings, lights, flowers, and more. But, this is your wedding to decorate however you see fit.
If you’re looking to create an intimate decor palette, consider:
- Using trinkets, artwork, or decorations that currently hang in your home (or that could after the ceremony)
- Incorporating heirlooms from other family weddings (like commemorative champagne glasses or place settings)
- Thrifting your decor or crafting your own
Alternatively, you could opt out of decorations altogether. For instance, if you’re getting married in a lush forest, the light streaming through the trees and the naturally-blooming plants might not need to be enhanced with store-bought flowers or string lights.
#5 Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Whether you’re feeding a few guests or just yourselves as a couple on your wedding day, you can get as creative as you’d like with your food and drink options:
- Keep it simple – Order pizza or takeout from your favorite restaurant after your ceremony for a quick, simple, tasty solution.
- Incorporate your venue – Getting married near a campsite? Consider cooking hot dogs or s’mores over a roaring fire.
- Take a DIY approach – Cook your own post-ceremony meal ahead of time, ask guests to contribute to a potluck, or let your guests mix their own drinks with ingredients you provide.
If you want to use a traditional vendor for a wedding reception, but you want something unique, consider serving something that you don’t normally find at weddings, like:
- Grilled cheese and tomato soup
- Breakfast and brunch fare
- Poke bowls
#6 Capture Unique Footage
Photographers and videographers are the resident creatives of the wedding industry—and photos and video offer prime opportunities to take a unique approach.
Simply asking your photo and video vendors for creative ideas is a good place to start. If you tell them you want to shake it up, they’ll brainstorm poses and sequences that match your vision and your micro wedding venue.
But there are certainly other non-traditional approaches to photo and video:
- Hand out disposable cameras to guests after the ceremony
- Opt out of posed photos altogether in favor of a candids-only approach
- Create a video guest book, asking guests to say a few words to the videographer instead of writing in a physical book
Be sure to communicate with your vendors as much as possible about your photo and video ideas. Your creatives are there to help you capture your moments on your terms.
#7 Set Up Non-Traditional Seating
Instead of the standard seating arrangement (an aisle separating two banks of chairs in rows), you can arrange your guests any way you’d like for your ceremony. And, if you’re getting married in a small or unconventional space, the typical arrangement simply might not be ideal.
Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your seating brainstorm:
- Opt for blankets, beanbags, or folding chairs for a beach wedding
- Let guests place their own chairs wherever they choose
- Have guests form a semicircle for optimal viewing
- Forego the aisle altogether and merge rows into one section
Keep in mind that this might change your aisle-walking logistics. This is yet another way to give your micro wedding that personal touch.
Celebrate Your One-of-a-Kind Love Story with a One-of-a-Kind Wedding
Hosting a small wedding or an elopement ceremony is just one way to put your personal spin on the festivities. Get creative with your venue choice, vows, seating, and more to fit your preferences. After all, your special day should be as unique as your journey to finding (and choosing) each other.
If you’re looking for a micro wedding planner who can help you bring all of your non-traditional ideas to life, consider Simply Eloped. When it comes to curating singular experiences for couples, we’re the industry’s best: we’ve helped bring over 10,000 micro weddings and elopements to life, and we’re just getting started.
Explore our elopement destinations and start planning your unforgettable ceremony today.