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I'm based in Grand Junction, CO and capture the story & scenery of your favorite day. Serving Crested Butte, Ouray, Moab, Aspen and beyond!

If you’re pondering how to set up a micro wedding ceremony, navigating the intricate details can seem daunting at first glance. However, by considering just a few key components such as guest count, accessibility, location restrictions, and desired vibe, you can craft an unforgettable intimate celebration. Whether opting for a traditional setup to accommodate larger groups or embracing a laid-back, spontaneous atmosphere, there are so many possibilities to tailor the ceremony to your unique celebration. Let’s start with what key things to think about and finish with creative inspiration for your micro wedding ceremony setup.

How to Set Up a Micro Wedding Ceremony

What to Consider as You Plan How to Set Up a Micro Wedding Ceremony

Guests

When hosting a micro wedding, five guests is very different from 40 guests. Consider how many people you’re expecting as you begin to think about how to setup your ceremony layout. Having your chairs in the round or having guests gather around is a lot easier for a smaller handful of people, while more traditional setups can be easier for larger groups.

Accessibility is another important consideration as you think about who is coming to your ceremony. Grandparents, children, pets, and those with disability all affect how you plan your layout and even the location. If your guests will need to be seated for the ceremony you should plan to have it somewhere that allows setting up chairs. Make sure your plans work for all guests and consider their limitations and needs up front.

Location Restrictions

The locations you’re selecting for your micro wedding will greatly affect how to set up a micro wedding ceremony. You may have restrictions on number of guests, areas in the location you’re allowed to go with guests, and what you’re allowed to bring in for the ceremony.

National Parks & State Parks

While each park has their own rules and regulations about events in the park, national parks and state parks in Colorado and Utah seem to have many overlapping considerations as you plan your ceremony layout.

Group size

National and State Parks will have a capacity limit for guest count, and that cap may vary from space to space within the park. Typically you can find a park that allows up to 50 people at least, with more spaces opening up to you around 20-30 guests. If you have already made up your mind about which park to host your micro wedding at, be prepared for more restrictions on locations you’re allowed if you have more guests. Bear in mind, though, that you’re often allowed to take portraits outside of that limited ceremony location, so you two can probably still get those epic images you’ve seen even if you can’t get married at that spot!

Rules & Regulations

With events in National Parks and State Parks, there are a number of rules and regulations in place to make sure your event goes smoothly while also observing Leave No Trace principles to protect these fragile environments. Some parks will not allow you to bring in chairs or arches for your micro wedding ceremony, while some will allow it in locations that are paved or durable surfaces. For places where no chairs are allowed, you’re limited to a “gather around” type of setup for your micro wedding ceremony.

Some will allow you to have some light music playing while others forbid any amplification of sound at all. If you aren’t allowed any music, it might be a good idea to consider an intimate ceremony setup so that everyone can hear more easily.

Public Lands

Number of guests allowed are also limited in some public lands, though you can find more places in Colorado and Utah that allow more than a handful of guests on public lands than in National or State Parks. National Forests may allow up to 75 guests, while some wilderness areas max out at 10 people (including you and your vendors!) so bear in mind how many people you’d like to invite as you plan where to get married.

Leave No Trace is important in these public lands as they’re not as directly protected as the parks. You and your guests should do your best to stay on trails and durable surfaces to access and experience your ceremony. Get to know the area you’ll be exploring to know how to do your best to leave no trace, and also learn whether you can have furniture or arches brought in.

Vibe

The vibe of your event will be a big consideration for how to set up a micro wedding ceremony. Whether you want an intimate layout that feels less intimidating or you’re expecting a more spontaneous and fun vibe, these moods set the stage for the best way to set up your ceremony space.

Intimate

Create something close and intimate by seating your guests in the round – whether guests are standing in a circle or in chairs around you. This is especially nice for celebrations without an officiant as you can face one another – the photographer can circle around the whole group and capture that intimate vibe!

You could also do a half-circle set up with two aisles so you can both walk in at same time, each down your own aisle. This is a fun twist on tradition for a more off-beat celebration.

Spontaneous and Informal

This vibe is good for places where you can’t bring things in like chairs, arches, etc. Guests can gather around the couple or form lines on two sides to create an aisle – either way they’re likely just standing for the ceremony and gathered around informally. This can be nice for kids who might not have the attention span so they can be toward the back doing their own thing. It is usually best to save this for a shorter ceremony, since everyone is standing.

Laid-back and fun

Having a laid-back vibe for your micro wedding offers so many great ceremony setups. I’ve seen couples set up camp chairs for their guests to sit through the ceremony or even doing BYOC – “bring your own chair” – so that those who would like to stand can do so, while those who’d like to sit can sit toward the front.

If you’re looking for a really fun micro wedding setup – consider getting married on a boat in Moab! That is a very unique layout for your ceremony.

Other laid-back micro wedding ceremony setups I’ve seen include guests sitting on benches, large logs, or even hay bails (with or without blankets on them.)

Traditional

Looking for some formality for an otherwise off-beat day? A more traditional setup might be the best option for you. When you keep it simple and familiar it’s easier to fall back on a traditional layout, and the familiarity can help lower stress. If it’s all seeming like too many choices, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a traditional, but smaller, ceremony layout. It is, however, best saved for places that allow chairs to be set up.

Micro Wedding Ceremony Setups & Inspiration

How to Set Up a Micro Wedding Ceremony   How to Set Up a Micro Wedding Ceremony

Solomon & Laura | Micro Wedding in Marble

 

Alaina & Ryan | Ouray Adventure Wedding

William & Amy | Lake Irwin Wedding in Crested ButteKevin & Lynnette's Telluride Wedding at Mountain Village | amanda.matilda.photography

I hope this has helped you consider how to set up a micro wedding ceremony in your own unique way. Remember, there are no “rules” for how to host your ceremony – it’s all up to you to create the atmosphere you’re seeking. If you’re looking for a photographer who has practically seen it all, and who encourages you to create whatever the hell kind of wedding you want, click here to learn more about my micro wedding services and let’s chat!

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How to Set Up a Micro Wedding Ceremony

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