From micro weddings to surprise ceremonies and receptions, there are plenty of nontraditional ways to get married in this day and age. If you're considering a modern celebration and don't want a huge amount of fuss attached to your big day, here are six alternative types of weddings you might want to consider.
While we're unsure who recently coined the term, this wedding trend has been around for longer than you'd imagine. A micro wedding is typically a small affair, with immediate family and a handful of very close friends in attendance for both the ceremony and reception. If you're working with a limited budget or prefer to be out of the spotlight, this could be the perfect nontraditional celebration style for you.
Destination Micro Wedding
Take your micro wedding show on the road and it's sure to be unforgettable for everyone involved. As you'll be saving money by having a very small guest list, you may find you're able to splurge on taking care of accommodations for your guests. Even if you can't, your closest loved ones are often more than happy to travel for your nuptials.
A surprise wedding is typically set up as an engagement party, anniversary celebration, or birthday party that guests have no idea will ultimately turn into a wedding. You might open up the ceremony to your guests or simply show up post elopement in your wedding attire. The risk of a surprise wedding is that some guests won't make it, thinking it's not your actual wedding, so you may need to swear your VIPs to secrecy if you have to let them in on the plan.
Before you brush off this idea because of familial obligation, we're going to let you in on a not-so-little secret: The majority of destination weddings you've attended have been faux weddings set up for the exchange of vows to take place in front of friends and family. In most states, you have to have a local ceremony (at a courthouse or elsewhere) in order for your marriage to be legally recognized at home. Most couples keep these little ceremonies a secret, while some couples choose to have these secret weddings be their one and only nuptial event.
It used to be that elopements were seen as impulsive and exclusive, but modern couples have found creative ways to make their elopement feel just as thought-out and special as a larger celebration. A destination elopement typically includes the couple and just one or two witnesses, though they may invite friends and family to join them in their locale for a post-elopement celebration. By letting friends and family in on the plan pre-elopement, the celebration may feel more inclusive.