Wedding photographer, Starbucks enthusiast, and lover of all things romance and weddings.

MEET Ashley

Well what a year 2020 has been. If we had a fast forward button, I think at this point, everyone would push it. I know this holds true for all my amazing couples. Many of them had/have planned amazing wedding days that are on hold, cancelled or about to look so different. I started thinking about this and the new “normal” we are about to enter. With that I thought about how amazing the small wedding days and elopements I have gotten to be a part of were. After that I knew I had to put a post together about the 8 reasons small weddings kick ass!

A bride & groom stand on the shores of Lake Michigan in Glen Arbor Michigan looking at each other. 8 reasons small weddings kick ass
Mr. + Mrs. McGrady on the shores of Lake Michigan in Glen Arbor, Michigan. They married with just their parents and siblings on the outlook of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.

Planning is easier!

Let’s start with the first part, and that has to do with all the planning! Holy cow if you’ve pulled up any wedding planning app at any point in your life it gets overwhelming fast. After years in the event planning industry I know it can feel daunting. That is the best part about small weddings LESS PLANNING! It will decrease the anxiety around all the logistics with your guests and the events of the day.

Fewer guests = less drama!

We know families aren’t perfect and there is likely a disagreement of who to invite. Smaller weddings immediately limits the number of people you can have. Based on the data pulled from 2019 of couples who married, the average wedding last year was only 110 guests. Smaller weddings are becoming more common. This is due to a few things but mainly because couples strive for more intimacy on their day. Smaller = more intimacy. It also means getting to spend more time with the people who mean the most to you.

Trying to cut the guest list, but not sure where to start? Read this blog I wrote to cut your guest list drama free!

A groom looking at his bride walking toward him on the shores of Lake Michigan at the Maritime Museum in Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes
Mr. + Mrs. Kuhn married on the shores of the Maritime Museum at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. They married with only their daughter, parents & siblings in attendance.

More venue options!

Having a larger wedding means you have to watch your guest list. Usually venues have maximum occupancies. This means cutting that guest list sometimes even when planning a day to fit them all. With a smaller wedding you get to virtually choose from ANY venue! Maybe its your favorite location like the coast line of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. Possibly you’re considering the Tiger statue at Comerica Park. Where ever it is the world is at your finger tips! Just promise if you travel you’ll take me with you!

Flexibility of the design & feel for your day!

Smaller weddings tend to give you more control over the design of your day. With the flexibility of your venue or location you can really curate a style thats you as a couple! Not to mention being able to really allocate cost to the areas that are most important to you!

A bride & groom standing in a lodge at Camp Wathana in Holly Michigan. 8 reasons small weddings kick ass.
Mr. + Mrs. Kopko exchange vows in the lodge at Camp Wathana in Holly Michigan. With their parents, siblings & close friends.

The photos are ALL about you!

Easily one of my favorite parts of smaller weddings is the pressure taken off photographers of the extensive wedding day list. A smaller wedding focuses solely on your people and the two of you! Which as a side note, the two of you saying “I Do” is my FAVORITE part of the day! So allowing me to focus on what matters is so much fun! The list of things and people are fewer! For example no extensive family photos, just the ones who are there. Many times there isn’t a wedding party to photograph. It allows us to sneak away & spend more time together similar to your engagement session!

The biggest is YOU SAVE MONEY!

While not always, a smaller wedding can help you save money if done right. I have couples who decide on the small wedding so they can still buy a house! Maybe spending that money on more important things is important to you. There is nothing wrong with that! Especially considering in the United States the average couples spends around $28,000 on their wedding! That averages about $215 a person! Not to mention did you know that about 60% of couples end up increasing their budget mid way through due to costs? Having fewer guests can help you allocate that money to bigger life expenses after the wedding. Oh and don’t forget the honeymoon! Take that money and go on that trip you’ve always wanted!

Two couples snuggled together looking at each other. 8 reasons small weddings kick ass.
Both couples had small weddings with just family + friends with no regrets!

You don’t have to be the complete center of attention.

If you get anxious in front of a bunch of people, a smaller wedding can help with that. Not to mention there isn’t a swarm of people interrupting you while you eat. You won’t have to visit every single table after dinner before enjoying your evening together.

The best one… YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT!

You have more freedom to decide WHEN you want to get married! Ready in the next week? Go to the courthouse get your license, message me, I’ll get you an officiant and we will make it happen! We can be ready by tomorrow if we need to be! However maybe some planning has to happen, like making sure your parents, siblings and best friends are available to travel to Sleeping Bear. Thats okay because now you have the freedom to decide when to make it happen.

A small wedding takes place at the Maritime Museum in Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. 8 reasons small weddings kick ass.
A small wedding takes place at the Maritime Museum in Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.

Whatever you end up deciding, big or small it’s your day you should make it what you want! However, I wanted to ensure you had at least 8 reasons small weddings kick ass! Just remember having a smaller wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have real florals, the dress of your dreams, all those pieces still fit in the puzzle too!

For pricing information on small wedding + elopement photography click here!

P.s. Fun fact! The couple in the top pick are siblings of the couple standing in the lodge! The McGrady’s got married first & loved their small wedding so much, that her sister wanted the same! At their wedding there were there couples I had photographed 🙂


8 Reasons Small Weddings Kick Ass!

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You read that right we almost moved to California in JUNE! How about a little life update from this end of the internet world. Whew where to even begin. I’ve been so fortunate already to see some of my favorite families already this year. More of you I know I will see this fall and […]

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