A wedding is a celebration of the couple’s love and commitment to each other. There are many types of ceremonies couples may choose elopement, intimate wedding, or traditional wedding ceremony. 

We are going to take a closer look at the difference between an intimate wedding and elopement and give you some great tips when it comes to planning for either type of ceremony. 

Intimate Wedding vs. Elopement: What’s The Difference?

A Closer Look at Elopement

Elopements have become extremely popular over the last couple of years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. Having a wedding with a limited number of guests on a very low budget has become an excellent option for many couples.

An elopement generally has under 20 guests. This requires you to narrow your guest list to only a few people. This can be highly stressful for some couples as they don’t want to hurt the feelings of the people they care about. 

One of the many reasons a couple elope is for a drama-free day! To avoid the drama of not hurting people’s feelings, you can just invite your best man and maid of honor, or it can be just you and your significant other. 

The best way to avoid hurting feelings is by being transparent and precise early on about why you are eloping. Then, most people will respect your decision and cheer you on as you prepare to marry.

What Defines an Intimate Wedding

An intimate wedding involves more guests than an elopement yet fewer guests than the traditional wedding, generally between 20-50 guests. Couples who host an intimate wedding usually want “quality” over “quantity.” 

Expect to do everything a larger wedding would have for intimate weddings, but you have the advantage of personalization and details. You will still need to reserve a location, reception DJ or band, photographer, and catering. 

One of the many great reasons to have an intimate wedding is the closeness of your guests. Friends and family will be right next to you when you say your “I do’s” and can even be involved in the ceremony itself.  Some ways to incorporate your loved ones are by having them do readings, lighting candles, or holding special objects.

Hiring A Photographer

Whether you are planning an elopement, intimate wedding, or huge wedding, one thing you never want to discount is a wedding photographer. Hiring a wedding photographer for your wedding makes all the difference in the pictures you will have for the rest of your life. 

Whether it is just you and your partner at the ceremony or 250 people in attendance, being able to preserve those memories is going to be something you want to cherish forever.

A Misconception About Wedding Photographers

There are a few misconceptions about hiring a professional photographer for an elopement or small wedding ceremony. It’s important to remember the value of what a photographer does and the time they have to schedule for a wedding. A photographer’s job is not reflective of the number of guests present.

If you are eloping, most elopements focus on the ceremony and do a fantastic after-the-event photo session in beautiful locations. The cost you invest in photography is worth the money you spend! Ask your photographer about pricing and elopement packages as you narrow down your dates with them. 

Remember that you will want to hire a photographer for your wedding. When planning your budget for an elopement or an intimate wedding, budget for these services. No matter how big or small a wedding, you will want to include this.


An intimate wedding or an elopement gives you the intimacy you may be looking for. Remember to plan ahead, just as you would a large wedding. All weddings should be filled with joy and celebration, no matter what size and planning reduce stress for everyone involved.

When hiring a wedding photographer in the Reno, Nevada, or Lake Tahoe area, contact B&B Photography. Blanca and Brandon are a husband and wife photography team, ready to make your wedding photography dreams come true. From planning a timeline to engagement photos and more, they will help you every step of the way.