Guide to intimate weddings + MICRO weddings

If you are wondering what a “microwedding” is, I hear ya boo. It was a term I wasn’t very familiar with until recently. Traditional weddings, microweddings, big fat Greek weddings ahh! Before we launch into what a mircowedding is, let’s start with what the difference is between an elopement, microwedding and the standard wedding.

ELOPEMENT- generally planned only a few months ahead of time, usually 15 or less guests, often there is no formal reception perhaps a dinner at a restaurant or in a backyard kind of thing.

MICROWEDDINGS – generally under 50 total including your vendors (photographer, catering etc.) think 40 guests! An intimate and luxurious experience.

TRADITIONAL WEDDING – You know, the standard wedding, who knows how many guests, this totally varies! We see everything across the spectrum from smaller intimate weddings to 300 people, big damn parties.

Bozeman micro wedding

Let’s talk Microweddings

Perhaps you were planning a fabulous, larger wedding but now you are looking at planning a smaller but super fabulous wedding? The Mirco-wedding is for you! Keep it amazing, keep the gorgeous florals maybe let the floral designer do something really special for you. Splurge on the fine dining for your now pared down guest list. Spoil them with a live band or a to-die-for dessert table. Think smaller guest list but high end experience!

The thought is to keep your guest list at 40 or so people so with vendors included (photographer, officiant, planner, catering etc) to keep it under 50. This has been the magic number for many local and state officials when they talk about events being restricted in the near future due to Covid 19. This is a great plan if you are trying to avoid events that will need to be rescheduled. You don’t need to think of this event as less than, it can be amazing! A larger wedding makes it pretty difficult to find time for speaking with the people you love, now you will have time to actually visit with your guests.

Paring down the guest list to your closest friends and family means you will actually get to spend time with them on your big day. It’s a great excuse to cut your “half-cousin-whatever” that you don’t even know! Perhaps your old friend from high school that wants to bring their 5 kids just didn’t make the cut. This is not a bad thing! Create a wonderfully curated event for your nearest and dearest!


Advantages of microweddings


With a smaller guest list you can hold your event in so many places, from your favorite restaurant to an exclusive retreat.

Examples – Everett’s 8800 at Big Sky Resort, Sage Lodge, Lone Mountain Ranch, Mountain Sky Ranch, Firelight Farm, The Resort at Paws Up, Foster Creek Farm, The Ranch at Rock Creek, Moonlight Basin


This is something I hear about often; “the day went so quickly and I barely got to speak with all the guests!” With 40 or so guests you will probably get a chance to say hello and chat.


Your microwedding doesn’t mean low budget, in fact you may spend the same amount as a larger wedding but make it a more of a luxury experience for your guests. That could mean exquisite dining, unique welcome gifts, activities the day before or after? The event of your dreams just on a smaller scale.


foster creek farm micro wedding

Let’s talk Elopements

Elopements have been growing in popularity for the last 5 years or so. When I first started out photographing weddings 10+ years ago elopements weren’t really a thing in Montana or at least they weren’t really popular. They really started to blow up when people started seeing stunning destination elopements on instagram and the like. People basically could have the most beautiful locations and just a few of their loved ones if they wanted. Hair and makeup, high end florals and such ensued. Now I currently shoot 5-10 each year and totally adore being part of these intimate ceremonies and portraits.

What I totally love about elopements is how it cuts out a lot of the drama. By this I mean, no complicated seating charts, timelines and coordination of all the the things! It is super intimate, I have even been the only witness several times and it is beyond humbling and heart warming to be part of it. Sometimes there are guests, usually parents or siblings, children and besties. We can plan it for almost any location even the side of a mountain if you like! There are also many venues that have packages just for this and even airbnbs and the like who will allow it if it is very small and not a “party”. Many of my elopements have had zero venue costs. This allows them to spend their budget on photography, flowers, hair and makeup, their officiant, a cake and champagne if you like and a dinner after. I was even invited to a wonderful dinner at Chico Hot Springs in the Wine Cellar room after and elopement. It was such a joy to join them after we finished our photos! And the food is amazing, just a side note.

One piece of advice for an elopement location

If you are traveling for your elopement find a beautiful Airbnb or VRBO to stay at. You already need somewhere to stay for your amazing Montana adventure but this also gives you your location! Check with them about their rules, most do not allow “weddings or parties” but I have found that explaining that there will be only 8 guests and no large party usually gets approval.

foster creek farm micro weddingcake at mircoweddingmicrowedding in MontanaBozeman wedding invitationsfoster creek farm montana wedding venuemontana micro wedding

If you are interested in making your mircowedding dreams come true I know some amazing local vendors in southwest Montana that would love to create it with you.


Vendor love:

Venue –Foster Creek Farm

Styling – Bash

Floral designs- The Flower Hat

Rentals – Montana Party Rentals

Calligraphy – Bontemps Calligraphy 

Paper goods –  Icepond Press

Dress – Bash / Alexandragrecco

Menswear- Revolvr

Makeup artist – Fumi

Hair – Brook of Brooklynn Studio

Cake – Lux Spirited Sweets

Jewelry – Alara Jewelry

Table linens – Latavolalinen

Silk ribbon- Tonoandco

Velvet box  – The Mrs Box 

More Elopements + Microweddings


Micro Wedding – Luxury Winter Wedding

Rocky Mountain Elopement

Paradise Valley Elopement

Mountainside Elopement – Chico Hot Springs