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Micro wedding. Elopement. Or Minimony?

Micro wedding. Elopement. Minimony. Sequel wedding. What's the difference and which is best for you?

Small weddings are rising to the top of any bride’s radar this year, unfortunately not as part of the original wedding plan for most couples.

While there is a lot good coming from these difficult times, I am so sad for my couples who have been robbed of the timing, venue, size of guest list or 2020 date they had envisioned when they got engaged and started planning their wedding days. Anyone involved with weddings this year has felt the weight of redirecting their expectations, so I won’t linger on this low note.

As brides have to reconsider their original wedding plans and their expectations, small, contemporary wedding celebrations are taking the spotlight. The terms may be used interchangeably, but with some guidance from The Knot, a leader in providing guidance for all couples getting married, let’s iron out what defines each wedding type and help determine how you may benefit from each in revising your wedding plan.


Micro weddings have all the elements of a traditional wedding but with a downsized guest list of up to 50 people. Couples still enjoy sending invitations, planning a ceremony and reception, cutting the cake and having their first dance together, just with fewer guests in attendance. In finding ways to operate safely in our coronavirus containment environment, some venues may restrict total wedding celebrations to 25 people or fewer.

A micro or intimate wedding may be best for couples who want to maintain the tradition of their wedding event as much as possible or whose priority is to keep all of their original vendors included for their special day. To achieve a micro wedding this year, it may be necessary to reschedule the original wedding date if the desired venue has been closed in adherence to local or state restrictions. But hey, with such a smaller guest list, the couple may ideally save some money to apply to their honeymoon or another special aspect of their wedding day.


Typically, this is a spontaneous “let’s run away and get married” celebration that entails little planning. With elopement, there are no sending invitations and waiting on RSVPs to return, no planning a rehearsal dinner, and no seating chart to haggle over. The two items the couple does need to plan for are their marriage license and officiant. With those two things in place, your elopement is a go!

Elopement is ideal for couples who wish to remain private in stepping forward together in marriage, while celebrating their day with capturing portraits or enjoying their favorite meal at a local restaurant with just the two of them. Elopement could also be a welcomed experience for couples who no longer want to ride the risk of hosting a large wedding celebration later and whose main desire is to become husband and wife sooner rather than later. Some couples have opted for eloping on their original wedding date and then allowing the celebration with friends and family to happen when it can happen later, but this is creeping into the sequel wedding, which we’ll talk about further down.


Take or leave elements of the traditional wedding, this is more of an experience than an event that includes exactly what the couple wants on their special day. This type of wedding is simplified and customized to the personalities and wants of the couple. A minimony can include handwritten vows, hors d'oeuvres or a meal, a small cake cutting or no cake at all, a dozen guests or just your parents and siblings! Minimonies typically include a minimalistic guest list of less than 20 people typically of just very close family and friends.

This option can be best for couples who find they love specific aspects of their wedding plan and feel their day would be incomplete without them, whether it’s the venue, the flowers or your favorite flavor of cake. The minimony can be the perfect blend of the couple’s favorite people, wedding vendors and traditions, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it.


This is an option for couples who want to keep their original wedding date, celebrate with their unaltered guest list but are okay with waiting to safely party with their friends and family a few months or a year from now. Sequel weddings start with the marriage ceremony portion of a traditional wedding day with close friends and family in attendance and may likely include wedding portraits together to commemorate their new anniversary date. Then, the traditional wedding reception with food and a full guest list will be scheduled for a later date that best suits the needs of the couple and their families.

In the past, sequel weddings are ideal for couples celebrating weddings with different cultural traditions, families traveling across states or continents, or who want to spread out the wedding budget. Today, sequel weddings help our self-proclaimed “corona brides” enjoy getting married on their original wedding date while still looking forward to celebrating with hundreds of their friends and family later.

Whatever shape your wedding takes this year or next, be encouraged that your marriage celebration is important and you do have options! This year’s wedding planning just requires more patience, understanding, and flexibility than it used to.

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