This article is for you if:
You've been thinking about your perfect wedding day for SO long and have a perfectly curated Pinterest board complete with every last detail, color scheme, and hair accessory. You know EXACTLY what you want. A big, extravagant wedding is all you've dreamt about your whole life.
There's another (albeit very small) part of you wondering if a smaller wedding or elopement might be the way to go. These types of ceremonies are gaining popularity and the romance of it all is really exciting...
So, I bring you a list of five reasons why you should at least consider a smaller wedding or elopement.
1.) It's cheaper.
It almost goes without saying that having a smaller wedding or elopement is less expensive than a larger one. Going smaller allows you to save money when it comes to accommodating large groups at a venue, catering/cake, invitations, etc. This substantial savings might allow you a little more time to experience an amazing honeymoon or to do something practical like purchase a home together!
2.) No strict timelines.
Larger weddings come with strict timelines. You've probably heard so many people say that their wedding day was a whirlwind, they barely sat down to eat, they didn't even get a piece of their own cake (I know I didn't), etc. The reason for this is that there are SO many key events that need to fit into a small amount of time and that requires things to stay on task and move quickly. With smaller weddings or elopements, you have so much more freedom to do things on your own terms! If you have a photo or video team, you can spend as much time as you'd like with them capturing the romantic shots that will hang on your mantle forever. You can sit down and actually enjoy your meal or cake without having to worry about what's next on the checklist. You'll be able to soak in every single moment without feeling rushed.
3.) Less stress.
One of the biggest reasons people choose to have smaller weddings or elopements is to minimize the amount of stress that goes along with planning an event on such a large scale. Even though most wedding vendors I know do their absolute best to make the process as easy as can be, there's no doubt that it can be difficult finding the right vendors, meeting with them, understanding their process, integrating what they do into the timeline of your day, etc. Doing this on a smaller scale (or eloping and only hiring a few vendors) helps you turn stressful planning into something enjoyable and that can be done at your leisure.
4.) You don't have to sacrifice your vision.
There is no law that says smaller weddings or elopements can't be fabulous. Your Pinterest board is still fully usable, you'll just be doing everything on a smaller scale. The dress or tux of your dreams? Buy it. That cake you've had pinned for years? Get a mini version. Those centerpieces? Oh HELL yes, you can buy less because you won't have as many tables OR if you're eloping, just do a sweetheart table for the two of you! You really don't have to sacrifice a thing.
If you have the right photographer, they will be able to capture every single thing about your day in a beautiful way.
The photos you see below come from a vow renewal I photographed as part of a service I offer in addition to wedding photography. This service basically allows you to send me your Pinterest board and I handle everything (with your input) from design, color scheme, florals, cake, etc, just on an incredibly small scale. I put it all together, you and your partner arrive, and you enjoy the experience while I photograph it all. This is perfect for people who didn't love their wedding photos and would like a "redo", vow renewals, and elopements. Looking at these photos, does it seem like this couple had to sacrifice anything about their vision?
Definitely not. Click here to contact me if this is something you'd be interested in doing!
5.) You have more freedom when it comes to location.
Have you seen the epic photos underneath waterfalls or on top of a cliff overlooking amazing landscapes? Those. Could. Be. Your. Wedding. Photos. In a lot of cases, these locations are FREE, too! I know of lots of locations like this right here in Michigan (although I'm always willing to travel, too). This lets you circle back to item #1 as you save even more money with venue cost.
With all of this being said, if you still choose to have a big wedding, that's okay too! I've never photographed a wedding I didn't absolutely love. There's good, beautiful aspects in both options; it's just about finding what's right for you as a couple. There are no wrong choices here.