Skip to content

Elopement vs Micro Wedding: Tips from a Central Coast Photographer

  • by

Let’s be honest, planning a wedding can be stressful. There are so many things to navigate, photography, videography, guests, catering, florals, and we haven’t even skimmed the surface yet! So maybe you’re thinking about a micro wedding or an elopement. Which is probably exactly why you’re here. So how can you make the most of your day without all the bells and whistles? As a Central Coast elopement photographer, I’m here to help you out and provide a few tips and tricks to make the most out of your day, and a few things to think about.

Micro weddings central coast

Why elope?

Weddings come with a lot of pressure. Inviting the right people, along with the cost associated with it can result in a lot of stress for couples, which is why eloping and micro weddings have started becoming more popular. Imagine marrying the love of your life, without having to worry about all the small details, having to worry that there is enough food, it’s not boring, that the stationary is perfect. Sounds perfect right? So quickly what the difference between an elopement and micro wedding? There are a few different views on this, but simply put.

Elopements can come in two ways, firstly a legal-only ceremony with less than 10 guests (inc vendors). Here you’ll legally wed and get your bridal portraits afterwards. Many couples opt for this option in a casual setting. Maybe a beach, park, or in the forest. These weddings are beautiful, and allow couples to engage in their bridal portraits in a way that is truly them. In these sorts of elopements, the location is just as important to the couple as the marriage itself. As an elopement photographer, I love the fact that the location holds a special place in the couple’s heart. It makes for fun and beautiful photos, which might not be traditional, but often hold a wow factor. Some couples who opt for this elopement often host a party afterwards with their friends and family either later in the day or at a later date to save their money and take the stress off the day of having a ”wedding”.

Engagement photography

Elopements can also be travelling for a wedding, where the couple and guests travel for a wedding. Sometimes this is overseas, where the couple will legally wed when they arrive back home in Australia. But more often than not they may travel to a luxury resort and get married with their closest friends and family. In these situations, the guest list also remains small, due to the travel nature of the wedding, and high cost associated with guests attending.

Micro weddings however are a different ballpark. More often than not, a micro wedding is a traditional wedding without the guest list. Most micro weddings host 10-30 guests and those selected are the nearest and dearest. The day for these weddings runs very much the same as a regular wedding, but the stress is taken off it, capping your guest list at a small number means you don’t need to include the cousin you haven’t seen in 5 years, just because you’re inviting another. People understand the minute that you’re hosting a micro wedding that the guest list is slim. And this is probably one of the reasons that micro-weddings are growing in number.

Micro weddings are also significantly less expensive than traditional weddings for a few reasons. Fewer guests means less food, less alcohol and if you’re DIYing fewer plates, favours, cutlery etc. And many venues also offer mid-week micro wedding packages which can save you THOUSANDS!

Central coast elopement photographer

Tips for elopements and micro weddings

So we’ve just decided we want to elope or hold a micro wedding. Yay. Now that that decision has been made here are some tips from a Central Coast elopement photographer which will help your day run a little smoother.

  1. Think about your lighting.

Just because you’re having a smaller wedding doesn’t mean that you need to skimp out and not get some beautiful photos. So if you have a location in mind, take a minute and think about the lighting and time of day. Your photographer will be able to help you with this on the day (and ideally before hand), but often you’ll of already booked a location or celebrant by this time so timing may not be flexible. Is there tree coverage? Will the sun be harsh? Are there shadows on my face? Can I see without my sunglasses with this light? These are all things to consider. Sometimes it’s as simple as moving a few metres over or pushing the ceremony back or forth an hour or two. But other times this isn’t possible, so keep this in mind when you’re looking at locations. Check the area out at the time of day you’re hoping for, and see how it looks.

As an elopement photographer, my biggest tip, especially if you’re looking for a short photography package is plan your ceremony around the good light. Ideally golden hour. This is 1 hour before sunset. This is the best time for you bridal portraits, the worst time is going to be in the middle of the day, so keep this in mind when looking at your timelines.

central coast wedding photographer

2. Choose a photographer who likes the same thing as you

    This might seem obvious, but it’s not, especially if you’re eloping. If you love the great outdoors, love hiking, being in nature, or picturing a beautiful landscape on a cliff, choose a photographer who also likes this. There is no point in booking a photographer based on price, only to find out the day of, that they hate being in nature, and won’t get their feet a little dirty for your photos. You will be disappointed. Do your research and look for something more than just the rates of your photographer.

    3. Legals only ceremony?

    If you’re looking at an elopement or micro wedding to save some moolah, find a celebrant who will offer a legal-only ceremony. These ceremonies are short and sweet. Plus you’ll save a fair bit of money by not having a personalised ceremony.

    elopement photographer lake macquarie

    4. Find local vendors

    Sure, that photographer you love from Sydney may be your dream photographer, but if you’re crossing this bridge to save some money, look for some local vendors first before investing in the travel for someone else. Travel costs for vendors add up really quickly, and sometimes their travel may be more than the services they offer. Try and keep it local to keep the costs down.

    5. Do it your way

    You probably already have something in mind. So now you need to cut the noise. If you’re imagining an elopement in the first, with your partner, the celebrant a photographer, and nobody else. Go for it. This is your day, remember that, and you need to do it your way. Just remember that you need two witnesses, and you’re good to go.

    Hopefully, these tips have helped you plan your upcoming nuptials and made the process a little bit easier for you.

    If you’re looking for an elopement or micro wedding photographer based around the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle or the Hunter Valley I’d love to help you! I have packages starting at $660, and would love to be a part of your day!

    You're not leaving us just yet are you?

    Enter your details below and save your cart for next time