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What is a Micro-Wedding?

Micro Weddings: How Do They Differ from Traditional Weddings and Elopements?

Your wedding is about you and your partner. That means that various options are available for whatever suits your needs. People often think about traditional weddings, but micro weddings and elopements are becoming increasingly popular.

Recently, I’ve been hearing recently is people referring to small weddings as elopements. But I think, “A small wedding is not an elopement!” They’re two different ideas! It almost seems like small weddings are becoming synonymous with elopements for some, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The two are completely different things. A small wedding is not the same as eloping with your partner.

I want to clarify things because if you’re planning a wedding, you must know what options are available. Let’s talk about micro weddings in this blog post so you can decide what is best for you and your partner!

What is a micro wedding and how is different from an elopement?

What is a Micro Wedding?

While many couples opt to have a big wedding with hundreds of people, that’s not everyone’s style. A micro-wedding is a wedding that is still pre-planned but has a small guest list (usually less than 50 people in attendance). As you would for a larger wedding, micro-weddings are planned, usually with a wedding planner, and the couple picks out traditional wedding ideas. These ideas include flower arrangements, music, venue, food, and other wedding components.

Planning a micro-wedding has been becoming more and more popular. You’ll often see micro-weddings incorporate wedding industry trends such as:

  • Intimate receptions.
  • Live music.
  • Wedding favors for guests.
  • Untraditional wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses.
  • Cocktail hour with unique drinks.

There are so many ways to create and make a micro-wedding unique. Another perk of throwing a micro-wedding is that your budget has more room to splurge on little details that make your reception special to you and your partner. The details matter in wedding planning, so what’s better than having a bigger budget to get things just right?

What is a micro wedding and how does it differ from a traditional wedding?

How Does a Micro Wedding Differ from a Traditional Wedding?

Let’s dive deeper into how a micro-wedding differs from a traditional wedding. As I said, a micro-wedding is much smaller, but it is still planned with ample time beforehand, like a traditional wedding. The main differences between micro-weddings and traditional weddings are logistical.

In other words, micro-weddings are often held on weekdays or Sundays; they’re much more affordable than traditional weddings, and it’s easier to book a venue because the event includes fewer people than a traditional wedding does. So, at a micro-wedding, all the fun, love, celebration, and memories that come with a traditional wedding are still there. The main differences between the two are related to the scale of the party!

What is a micro wedding and how is different from a traditional wedding or elopement?

How Does a Micro Wedding Differ from an Elopement?

There are some substantial differences between an elopement ceremony and a micro-wedding. For one, elopements are smaller than a micro-wedding. At an elopement, the couple will only bring their closest friends and family—the guest list is often under ten people. Even more, an elopement is planned close to the couple’s marriage date. So, if a couple elopes in August, they will only plan their elopement a few months or weeks in advance. There is generally never more than six months of planning for eloping couples.

It is also very common for elopements to be at a destination. For many micro-wedding couples, asking your friends and family to travel abroad or even across the country is impractical. So, more often than not, micro-weddings will be located close to wherever the couple lives. Things are a little different with elopements because they have such a small guest list. Sometimes, couples will get married at extravagant destination locations.   

Finally, elopements tend to be a little more affordable than micro-weddings. Of course, if a couple decides to elope at an expensive destination, it might still be an expensive event, but often, elopements are price-conscious. As we went over earlier, micro-weddings are less expensive than traditional weddings but are still more expensive than elopements in most cases.

What is a micro wedding and how does it differ from other weddings or elopements?

What are Some Micro Wedding Venue Ideas in East Tennessee?

Many venues nestled within the picturesque landscapes of East Tennessee are fit for a micro wedding. This region is renowned for its rolling hills, charming homesteads, and rich natural beauty. East Tennessee provides a remarkable canvas for those who wish to exchange vows in an atmosphere of intimacy. These venues, tucked away amidst the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, are the ideal match for couples embracing the micro wedding trend.

Micro Wedding Venues

Smaller weddings can take just as much time to create as larger weddings. Consider these ideas if you are looking for creative ideas for small groups and close friends. Here are just a few options for your intimate celebration.

Whitestone Inn

One East Tennessee staple in the wedding industry for intimate affairs is Whitestone Inn in Kingston, Tennessee. This charming inn sits on 360 acres of pristine countryside, including beautiful rolling hills, lush gardens, and breathtaking views of Watts Bar Lake. To help ease the stress of the wedding planning process, Whitestone Inn offers wedding planning services.

Mountain Mist Farms

Mountain Mist Farms is a wedding venue in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the standout features of Above The Mist Weddings is its stunning panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The venue also boasts all-inclusive packages to help couples create a stress-free micro wedding to save money.

The Magnolia

Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this Smoky Mountain Wedding Venue is a destination couple’s dream. With an extended view of the Smoky Mountains, you will surely find sweeping romance at this popular mountain venue for your micro-wedding.

RT Lodge

RT Lodge is situated on 60 acres of wooded land. Lush gardens, walking trails, and a tranquil lake surround the lodge. Further, RT Lodge’s culinary team is known for its gourmet cuisine at the local’s favorite restaurant. It’s perfect for many small weddings or micro wedding celebrations.

The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farms

The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farms is set on a sprawling 57-acre property with stunning views of the East Tennessee countryside. The venue features a tranquil pond and beach, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wedding. The Knoxville venue offers several event spaces, allowing you to tailor your wedding to your preferences.

Many more wedding venues can fit all the elements of your dream wedding day. Make sure to view my wedding venues page for a look at all the venues for an intimate experience.

micro wedding at RT Lodge in Maryville, Tennessee

How Does Your Photographer Fit into a Micro Wedding?

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. Accordingly, you need to have high-quality photographs that document and celebrate your special day. Having friends and family take photographs on their phones isn’t enough. You want your loved ones to be able to enjoy the day, and if they’re taking pictures, they’ll be distracted—they won’t be living in the moment.

For couples who have a micro-wedding, it is still so important to have a professional photographer. Things will look slightly different than at a traditional wedding, but a professional photographer is still necessary. Since your intimate wedding venue will be smaller and there will be fewer people there, you’ll be able to get away with less photography coverage. This means not only will your wedding photographs be beautiful, but they’ll also be less expensive than they would be for a traditional wedding.

Choose Erin Morrison Photography for Your Micro-Wedding

Planning a wedding requires you to make many decisions, and you want to make the right choices in everything related to your wedding. When choosing a wedding photographer, choosing a kind, creative, and committed professional to bring your vision to life is crucial. As a photographer, I want to make the photography portion of your wedding planning process easy for you.

I love learning about the couples I photograph and translating your love into photographs that last a lifetime. You shouldn’t have to be stressed about the photographs accompanying your wedding day—you have enough to think about. So, if you’re ready to take one thing off your plate, documenting your special micro-wedding would be an honor. If you want to learn more about my availability and pricing packages or have questions, contact me for more information!


Natural light + honest photographer for all humans.


Knoxville, Tennessee



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