There have been SO many versions of  small marriage celebrations have been rising in popularity in the last 5 years, but with the pandemic, elopements, minimonies, and micro-weddings have all been increasing in the last year as couples creatively plan their wedding!

So what is the difference between them all?


Easiest to define, as it’s the closest to a regular traditional wedding. It’s a wedding that is 50 guests or less. Couples usually book all the same vendors they would a traditional wedding (venue, photographer, videographer, florist, hair + makeup artist, DJ, catering, cake etc.)


Ceremony only with the couple, an officiant (can be virtual or in person), and a small group of friends/family (approx. ~10-15 people), with some key elements you see in a traditional wedding such as vow exchange, first dance, small cake cutting. Usually no food service to guests are involved, but it’s up to the couple and the current local restrictions. Vendors involved: photographer, officiant, cake, florist.

Sequel Wedding: 

The BIG shabang wedding celebration that is scheduled for a later date; this is what couples have been planning for when they push out their wedding, especially if they do something like a minimony or elopement. They can do their ceremony all over again, or this can be just their giant reception party that has been pushed out to a later date from their ceremony. Vendors involved: all the same as a traditional wedding – venue, photographer, videographer, florist, hair + makeup artist, DJ, catering, cake etc.


In the past, elopements have been defined as “spur of the moment” wedding/marriage celebrations (think shotgun wedding in Vegas baby!), that typically involve just the couple, their photographer, and an officiant. Sometimes a handful of friends or family can attend, similar to a minimony. However, elopements are no longer a last minute, spur of the moment type of celebration! Elopements have evolved to being include being more of an adventure-based outing out in nature! Elopements have a TON of flexibility, but doesn’t necessarily mean that couples skimp on the cost. Many elopement photographers advertise as being an adventure photographer, which means they scout locations out in nature on a trail, help you obtain the necessary permitting (many local and state parks require a permit for weddings of ANY size), and do much of the same intensive work as a regular wedding day (if not more in my opinion, as they are acting as a partial wedding planner). Vendors involved: photographer, videographer, florist.

So I’m curious – what type of wedding most resonates with you?? There is honestly no wrong way to choose how to celebrate your nuptials.

What matters most is honoring the dynamic of your relationship with your partner!

Big or small, with friends or family, or without – ALL types of weddings matter and are uniquely beautiful because it’s about the two of you!

For information on getting married outdoors…

There are seriously SO many options the San Francisco Bay Area! Check out all the options in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes over 400 parks in the Bay Area. All you’ll need to do is apply for a Special Events Permit that is required for any sized event. It costs about $60 to obtain a permit :). There are SO many beautiful locations here in the Bay Area to choose from, so you have a lot of flexibility in terms of what you might want to do!

Thinking about any of the above, but not sure how you want to celebrate? Book a free consultation with me so we can discuss your wedding photography needs!

Until next time my honeys!