Elopements + Micro Weddings (And How To Do Them Right)

A desert wedding in Ojai at Red Tail Ranch, vintage bride and groom under a rainbow
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Wedding planner, designer, photographer and creative entrepreneur who helps curate epic events and sparks joy for clients through curated photography art. Let's hang and chat!

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The Best Way To Celebrate An Elopement or Mirco Wedding

A desert wedding in Ojai at Red Tail Ranch, vintage bride and groom
Photo by: Kayla Lilli Photo

For some couples (and even some of my clients) I think we were all hoping this summer would bring better news in the way of Covid-19. So many couples have postponed their big days, but as the dates gets closer, it’s becoming clear that the larger celebrations they originally planned will not be a possibility. While I know how absolutely devastating this feels, I want to ensure you can still have the best wedding day ever! With restrictions on gathering sizes still unknown, I wanted to talk about the differences between elopements and micro weddings, and how they can be just as special, if not more so, to celebrate your marriage!

Elopements vs Micro Weddings: What’s the difference?

Half circle floral arch with pampas grass for wedding ceremony at Triunfo Creek Vineyards
Photo by: Wild Whim Photography

There are a few different nicknames to describe these celebrations: From micro weddings to minimony, pop-up wedding, intimate wedding, etc. And while the idea isn’t new, it’s gaining more popularity in these recent times. However you call it, the basic difference between them is the guest size. An elopement will generally only include the couple, officiant and a witness. Maybe 2-4 others that include immediate family or close friends. Once you reach an expected guest list of 10 – 50 people however, I consider that a small, intimate wedding (or “micro wedding”).  Micro weddings generally do not go beyond 50 guests. 

Let’s Get Celebrating!

First look at Triunfo Creek Vineyards in Malibu or Agoura Hills Bridal Portraits

No matter if you’re thinking of an elopement or micro wedding, the best part is that while the guest count may be smaller, the excitement and joy doesn’t have to be! This is a great opportunity to use funds towards your absolute wildest design dreams. Have you envisioned getting married under an arch covered top to bottom with florals, or a destination style wedding in the middle of the forest? You may now have it within your budget to make that happen! This is also a great opportunity to spend more time with those nearest and dearest to you; and avoid family politics when it comes to who to invite. 

The first step, as with a larger wedding celebration, is to go over your budget and your vision for the day. Keep in mind the same rules apply for who’s paying for what. However, with a smaller guest count, you might be able to spend a little more in areas previously not available. A few ways you can splurge on your wedding day include: Having more than one outfit, hiring high end rentals, decking out your entire wedding with florals, ordering from your absolute favorite catering restaurant, getting personalized guest favors, etc. Think about the ways most important to you and your partner to celebrate.   

Afterwards, you must still secure a marriage license within your state. You’ll want to research your best options here since hours and closures have changed. In Southern California, there are counties that will allow you to either make an appointment or accept online applications. Keep in mind processing times may have been delayed, so it’s best to do this on the earlier side. And remember, you will still need an officiant and witness. Some officiants are even offering virtual ceremonies! 

Feathered Arrow Is Offering Elopement + Micro Wedding Packages!

A Romantic Fall Wedding reception at Maravilla Gardens, sweetheart table with lace linen and magnolia leaf garland
Photo by: Jenny Quicksall

While you may feel like an elopement or micro-wedding is more manageable because of it’s smaller scale, I would argue that as is with any sized wedding, you will want to hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner will help you secure vendors that are working within the right safety protocols, and we are keeping up to date with the most current Covid-19 changes to weddings. Most importantly, we are there for you as a couple! Don’t spend your wedding day fussing about floral arrangements or trouble shooting a vendor who might be stuck in traffic. Your wedding day should be stress free so you can be completely immersed in the celebration! That is why Feathered Arrow will is now offering special Elopement + Micro Wedding packages to our services! I’m so excited at the curated package we’ve put together to help you have the best wedding day ever!

If you’re ready to get your party started, contact me on my homepage here and let’s chat! No wedding is too big or too small for myself and my team!

Feathered Arrow Signature Kari Dirksen


Expert Party Planner, Podcaster, and Creative Entrepreneur.

I'm a creative entrepreneur at heart and have been running my business for over 10 years and have planned and executed over 150+ weddings. I'm an expert in this industry and care deeply about my clients and making sure they have the best experience. I just launched a podcast with my work wife, Gabby Pinkerton of Cause We Can Events, called Just Another Biz Podcast! Go check it out!

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