The Power of the Micro Wedding

General, Inspiration,
4 min read Sep 12, 2019

the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2024 is $33,000

Updated 05/11/2024

The Microwedding Rationale

So the bells are ringing, and the rings are soon to be exchanged—congratulations! You must be over the moon. You also might be thinking about the financial realities of getting married.

As of 2024, the average cost of a traditional wedding is $33,000 total.1 That’s quite a price tag on happily ever after, especially when you could be spending that money on:

  • A gorgeous, envy-inducing honeymoon
  • Years of rent with your new spouse
  • A used or new car
  • One semester at Harvard2

Our suggestion? A microwedding.

What Is a Micro Wedding?

A micro wedding follows the traditional pattern (ceremony, then reception) while paring down the guest list to cut your costs significantly. It’s a small wedding with no more than 50 guests, and often fewer.

There’s a perception that micro weddings are a more casual, relaxed affair, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you and your fiancé(e) want long dresses, short guest list—or high society, low on chairs—that’s a completely valid way to go.

One of the most obvious benefits of a micro wedding is in the cost, but there are other reasons to go micro.

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Micro Wedding Pros and Cons

A small wedding ceremony makes for a lot of flexibility.

  • An intimate affair – With fewer guests to greet, you can spend more time making real memories with each one.
  • More venue options – Since your wedding venue doesn’t need to hold a huge crowd, you can look at more varied and unique spots.
  • Destination doable – With a smaller guest count and a freer budget, a destination wedding becomes a real possibility. Imagine you, your family, loved ones, and closest friends on that perfect beach!
  • Light on logistics – A smaller guest list translates to easier planning, lower hassle, and less stress (sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?).
  • A focus on favorites – When your wedding budget isn’t being stretched by endless accommodations for a crowd of hundreds, you can pour your resources into specific details that you care about, like delicious food or overflowing flowers.
  • Beyond tradition – Having fewer people to corral, appease, and potentially pay for gives you the freedom to do more activities centered around you and your partner on your wedding weekend.

When it comes to microwedding cons, it’s hard to find fault with a more affordable experience. But it’s true that, by nature of its origins, elopement offers even greater flexibility and non-traditional flair.

Micro wedding vs. Elopement

How is a microwedding different from elopement? Let’s dive into micro weddings vs. elopements.

A micro wedding is, at the end of the day, quite like a regular wedding in shape and form. It’s the size, and sometimes the level of formality that differs.

Elopement, on the other hand, can be anything a couple imagines.

From an intimate celebration in a circle of friends, to an exchanging of vows with no guests at all, elopement leaves room for a couple to get creative and express their love story any way that feels right.

Elopement: The Backstory

As any Jane Austen lover knows, eloping has not always been a term denoting sunshine and rainbows.

Originally, elopement was a term that meant running away to get married without the consent of one’s parents. It was a last resort for two people who really loved each other, but couldn’t gain the approval of the society around them.3

In recent years, elopement has taken on a new meaning.

It’s retained some of that rebellious, tradition-defying spirit, but it doesn’t mean that your parents or loved ones will be caught unawares!

What Elopement Looks Like Now

In the past, elopement was often a heat-of-the-moment decision. Now, it’s often a small, planned ceremony with plenty of unique flair.

A few examples of modern elopements:

  • A church ceremony with just family + no reception
  • A circle of friends watch your vows on the beach at sunset
  • A hiking elopement, where you journey to the mountain’s peak with an officiant3
  • A small group of immediate family and friends watch your vows at the top of a New York skyscraper

Wild or casual dress code, fantasy or sci-fi themed—whatever you can dream, an elopement makes it possible.

Which Should You Choose?

If you’re stuck between a micro wedding and an elopement, ask yourself this question: Do I want that traditional ceremony and reception, or do I want total artistic freedom?

If it’s yes to the former, you might be happier with a micro wedding—after all, at its core it’s a normal wedding at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re more inclined toward the latter, elopement was made for you.

Paint Your Perfect Elopement with Simply Eloped

A micro wedding can give you the classic, picture-perfect ceremony on a budget. And both a micro wedding and an elopement scale down your guest list to give you back more of your time, budget, and sanity during one of the happiest seasons of your life.

At Simply Eloped, our dream is to help you build the perfect wedding with a less-stress mindset. We’ll listen to your vision and make it reality, with our hands on the wheel and your eyes on the ever-after.

Browse our elopement packages to see how it works, where we can take you, and all that your special day could be.



  1. Forbes. Average Wedding Cost: How Much Should You Budget For Your Big Day?
  2. Harvard University. Tuition and Fees.
  3. Merriam-Webster. The Changing Meaning of ‘Elope.’
  4. Simply Eloped. Hiking Elopements With Simply Eloped.
General Inspiration
Written by Tori Ward

Victoria Ward is a writer at Simply Eloped as well as a Keats Marginalia scholar and Storyfort finalist for her fiction and creative nonfiction. When she is not writing about elopements, she writes grants for her research and non-profit work.