How To Decide Between An Intimate Wedding or Elopement In 2020 - Reagan Suitt Photos

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I’m Reagan Suitt, a Riverside based intimate wedding + elopement photographer, wifey and content creator with a passion for supporting women through the crazy seasons of dating, engagement and marriage. 

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All of the sudden intimate weddings, minimonies, microweddings and elopements are all trending on social media. Venues are cancelling on brides or demanding that their guest lists be cut in half or more. The season of the Rona has really made COVID brides take a harder look at what options they have for their wedding day and honestly, it doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever. 

Before you let the overwhelm of planning a wedding in this season take over, know that the first thing you need to decide is what type of wedding you’re having. To start, check out my post on the pros and cons of a traditional versus intimate wedding. If you’ve already decided you want to stay intimate… keep reading. 

Let’s start with some basic definitions. What’s the difference between an intimate wedding and an elopement?

Intimate Weddings

An intimate wedding is often defined in the wedding industry as a wedding with less than 50 people in attendance. According to The Knot, the average wedding size in 2019 was 131 people. In 2020, however, even 50 seems like quite a big wedding to host and you’re more likely to see an intimate wedding hover at around 10 people. 

Elopements

An elopement is defined in webster’s dictionary as “an act or instance of running off secretly, as to be married.” I would argue that 2020 has kind of changed that definition a little and elopements are no longer defined by secrecy. 

Now, you’re probably thinking “should I elope or having an intimate wedding?” 

Well I am glad you asked. Let’s think through the main difference between an elopement and intimate wedding: FAMILY.  

1. Is your immediate family able and willing to attend your wedding? 

On one hand, it seems simple that if you want to have your family there on your big day, then the intimate wedding option is definitely for you.

On the other hand, with COVID affecting everyone’s lives differently, your family may not be able to attend. I’ve seen elderly parents or siblings from out of state not be able to attend because they’ve chosen to stay at home.

This is a hard time for everyone to process, so make sure you have those conversations with loved ones before you make a decision. 

2. Did you want to get married somewhere that is easy to get to?

If your family can attend, are they willing to do so in a remote location? A lot of people are choosing to live their dreams and have an adventurous day in the great outdoors. Is this something you want, too? If so, you’ll also need to check in with family and see if they are able and willing to travel where you want to travel. 

3. What makes financial sense for you? 

Elopements and intimate weddings can cost as little or as much as you want. I know, so unhelpful… but it’s true.

The cheapest day is probably an elopement or an intimate wedding with no frills (or food). What you really need to think about financially is what seems important for you to spend money on? If you value experience and connection with your significant other, then investing in an elopement somewhere beautiful is probably the best choice for you. No answer is right or wrong, just choose what feels the most YOU!

So go forth, my friend and start the wedding planning process! You’re not alone in this and the resources are here for you. Whether you choose an intimate wedding, an elopement or even a traditional wedding, it’s going to be beautiful, special and yours. 

If you want to check out more wedding planning help, click through the tags in the sidebar to find more resources!

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How To Decide Between An Intimate Wedding or Elopement In 2020

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I’m Reagan Suitt, a Riverside based intimate wedding + elopement photographer, wifey and content creator with a passion for supporting women through the crazy seasons of dating, engagement and marriage.