Elopement Planning | The Small Wedding Dictionary

We have been planning elopements and intimate weddings for years (Those are the terms we’ve settled on!). There has been a recent explosion in the popularity of elopements and intimate weddings, especially with all of the havoc Covid-19 has wreaked on more traditional weddings. With the increase, we’ve seen the creation of some cutesy new terms…But what do they mean?! Let’s break it all down!

  • Elopement: The modern definition of “Elopement” has evolved over the years and is a broader term that doesn’t always mean getting married in secret or spontaneously. Couples elope for all sorts of reasons and these days elopements are often more planned out. However, we’ve received inquiries for next day elopements (Not kidding!) and for elopements more than 2 years out (Also, not kidding!). The way The Greatest Adventure defines elopements has changed over time but we now consider elopements to include the couple and up to 12 guests! Most of our couples will include some sort of adventurous element but an elopement doesn’t necessarily need to be adventurous–Get married in a city park, at a courthouse, at an Airbnb or in your family’s backyard, do what feels right for you and your partner! Some of our elopement couples simply want a ceremony and photos but most will have a small picnic or meal together. The beauty of an elopement (and all small weddings) is that you can do whatever you want, with less people telling you what to do and how to do it!


  • Intimate Wedding: The Greatest Adventure’s Intimate Wedding Planning package includes up to 25 guests. The VIPs usually include immediate family and closest friends! Couples that choose to host an intimate wedding usually host a ceremony and a reception of sorts and will pick and choose between the traditional wedding elements they want to incorporate. With an intimate wedding you can go all out on the most important people in your life (something you may not be able to do with 200 guests) and make it a more personalized experience! In fact, for most of our intimate weddings, the cost per guests is actually higher than what we see with our bigger weddings.


  • Micro Wedding: A “Micro Wedding” is essentially the same thing as an intimate wedding and (depending on which wedding blog you’re reading or which planner you ask) can be for up to 50 people. Again, The Greatest Adventure considers a small wedding to be no bigger than 25-ish guests. We’ve found that once you go above that number, it is harder to find Airbnbs to host your wedding at, to get permits for ceremonies at national parks, for us to fit rentals in our truck, etc. so the logistics become more or less the same as a “full-size” wedding.


  • Minimony: “Minimony” (aka mini-ceremony) is a term that was recently coined by The Knot, in response to Covid-19. We have been calling them elopement-style ceremonies but either way, they are small ceremonies followed by a bigger reception later on! The Knot states that a Minimony can include up to 10 guests but this will very from planner to planner. If you’ve had to postpone your plans but still want to get married on your original date AND celebrate with the whole gang, Minimonies really are the best of both worlds! Some of our couples have even chosen to split up the two portions of the day on purpose!
  • Sequel Wedding: Another term from The Knot, a “Sequal Wedding” is the postponed/delayed celebration! Most of our couples will welcome guests with drinks and apps, share photos and/or a video from their Minimony, sit down for dinner (or not) and then party with their people!

Covid-19 has definitely shaken up the wedding industry but we can thank it for lowering expectations on what a wedding should look like and inspiring everyone to be flexible and get creative! Personally, we’re pumped more couples are hopping aboard the small wedding bandwagon, no matter what you decide to call yours!

Need help planning your elopement or intimate wedding? Contact The Greatest Adventure Weddings & Elopements to set up a complimentary consultation!

Cheers & happy planning!