Traditional Wedding vs. A Small Wedding: Which one is right for you? | Elopement Photographer

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You deserve to have a wedding day that you’re excited about. But, you might be wondering about what you envision your wedding day to be. Should you go with a more traditional route or is a small wedding or elopement the better fit for you and your partner?

The beauty of today’s world is that you have options. You can do what feels right for you and your partner on your wedding day. You can go very traditional or you can go completely outside the box and do something no one else has ever done on their wedding day.

Let’s talk about what kind of wedding day you could have.

What is the difference between a traditional wedding and a small wedding?

The biggest difference between a traditional wedding day and a small wedding day is the size of the wedding itself. This includes but is not limited to: the size of the bridal party, guests invited, and venue. These aren’t the only differences to look at when considering what type of wedding day is best for you as a couple.

Traditional weddings are more about involving all of those you love to celebrate your next chapter. Elopements and small weddings are more about creating an experience to celebrate your love.

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What is an elopement or small wedding?

My definition of an elopement is a unique wedding day created specifically for you and your partner where your love is the main focus while spending the day doing your favorite activities together to celebrate the next chapter of life together. An elopement or small wedding is best for couples who don’t follow traditions, value experiences and want a wedding day that feels unique to them.

Elopements don’t have to follow traditions. You don’t have to do what your family or friends want you to do. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing just because “it’s what you’re supposed to do”. You get to plan a day that 100% reflects you and your partner as a couple.


Some ideas on what you can do for your elopement:⁠

Say your vows on the top of a building⁠ in Chicago

Elope on a boat⁠ in Michigan

Throw a big party⁠ in your backyard

Have an intimate ceremony⁠ on the top of a mountain in Glacier National Park

Have a picnic⁠ at the Badlands of South Dakota

Go stargazing⁠ in the back of your pickup on your parents farm

Rent out a drive-in movie for all of your favorite people⁠

Go out for pizza at your favorite spot downtown after you say your vows

Run around the beaches in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Get ready with your partner in a rented apartment in Europe

Elope in NYC or New Zealand or even Italy!


Do you and your partner have a favorite spot in town? Say your vows there. Do you have a tradition of getting pizza once a week at your favorite pizza place? Grab a slice after your ceremony with all your friends and family. Do you enjoy walking downtown in the evenings? Let’s take a stroll. Heck, do you like kayaking or canoeing at the lake as the sun goes down? I’m down. ⁠

Eloping is a small wedding with just you, your partner, with or without a small handful of your closest friends or family. Getting eloped typically doesn’t happen at a venue, but if a couple decides an elopement wedding in a venue is best for them, it’s usually a smaller venue.

Elopements can happen anywhere! You can elope in your backyard, on top of a building, in a city park, or even on top of a mountain. Honestly, you can get married wherever feels right.

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You don’t have to do what your family wants or expects you to do.⁠

You don’t have to get married where “everyone else” gets married at.⁠

⁠You can celebrate your love in a way that feels perfect for you and your partner. Think of it this way: what would be the perfect date with your partner? Put all of your favorite activities into your wedding day! ⁠

Interested in talking about the elopement packages I offer? Hit that button below to talk about your elopement or small wedding!

This Sounds Great, I Want To Elope!

What does a traditional wedding day look like?

If you want to invite all your friends and family, have a big party and love a big event, then a traditional wedding day is probably the best wedding experience for you.

Traditional wedding days usually take place in a church or a large venue with 80-250 guests invited and a large bridal party. Most traditional weddings have a full venue set up with tables and decorations, a wedding planner, and a large buffet or plated dinner. These wedding days usually have a big party after the ceremony where the guests all gather with music provided by a DJ with food and drinks.


True to its name, traditional weddings typically follow age-old traditions. These usually consist of:

Saving the first look for the aisle or having a big reveal before the ceremony

Following the traditional ceremony format in a church or venue

Having a bouquet toss, cake cutting, formal dances, etc.

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If your perfect wedding day is getting married in your family church with a big party afterward, that’s totally cool! I just want you to know that you can plan your wedding day exactly as you and your partner want it to be. ⁠

Interested in talking about the wedding packages I offer? Hit that button below to talk about your wedding day!

Traditional is More My Style, I Want to Talk About My Big Day.

Misconceptions about both traditional weddings and elopements

There are misconceptions about both traditional weddings and small weddings. Let me tell you about them:

Let’s talk about traditional weddings first. 

You have to follow ALL of the traditions.

You have to make sure your family is happy with the wedding day’s events.

The day has to follow the typical wedding day schedule.

Now let’s talk about misconceptions about small weddings and elopements.

Getting eloped is considered a “shotgun wedding”.

You can only get married at the courthouse.

An elopement or small wedding does not require any planning.

I will always encourage and support your decision to create a day that uniquely celebrates you and your love. You deserve a safe space to truly be yourselves and get photos that represent who you are together, at this moment in life.⁠ Your wedding day is ALL about you and your love for your partner. ⁠


⁠The point is, do W H A T E V E R you want on your wedding day. I’m a huge advocate for creating a wedding day that you are excited about and feels like an absolute dream day for you and your partner.

I could seriously go on with this list. Need ideas? I’m your girl. ⁠Let me know if you need help creating a day that’s completely yours! ⁠

Interested in talking about wedding and elopement packages? Hit that button below to talk about what kind of wedding day you could have!

Let’s Talk About Your Wedding Day

Are you still thinking, “Is a traditional wedding right for me?” or are you wondering “Should I Elope?”.

I’ve created a quiz just for you. Take the quiz by hitting the button below to help you decide.

Traditional Wedding vs. A Small Wedding: Which One is Right For You?

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