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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’ve decided to host a smaller wedding, you may be wondering how to start planning a micro wedding. Much like a larger wedding, there are some essential first steps to take that get the bulk of your planning out of the way from the get go! That’s the nice thing about micro weddings – there is less to worry about in planning all around. (P.S. wondering what a micro wedding is? Click here!) Let’s dive in where to start planning a micro wedding or elopement.

Elopement Photography - Eloping in Ouray, Colorado


Like a large wedding, you will want to start with figuring out your budget. How much can you contribute, and is anyone else contributing? If your family members are helping out, you will need to ask them for an idea of how much they can give. Add that to the amount you have saved and what you think you can save up each month, and you’ll have a good idea for how much to budget. 

Couple exchanging private vows at Woods Walk in Crested Butte

Guest List

Next you’ll need to consider your guest list. Who matters the most to you to have as a witness your vows, or at least participate in parts of your day? Many couples choose their immediate family, and maybe their closest friends. Bear in mind you can always have a reception/party with more of your friends and loved ones after the big day if that is something you want!


You can work on finding a location while you plan your guest list or after you’re all set. This wedding location doesn’t have to be a formal venue with so few people, but it still could be! Do you love the San Juan mountains? Want to camp by an alpine lake? Love off-roading to an incredible waterfall? All of these are great micro wedding location ideas! Or you could simply invite everyone to Colorado’s “Napa Valley” here in Palisade and get married among the vines while staying at the Palisade Base Camp. 

It’s a great idea to visit these locations if you can, and choose a time of year you want to get married there. You’ll also need to verify whether you need any permits for your location and then solidify the date/place you’ll exchange vows and celebrate with your loved ones!

Dylan & Lexi - Wedding at Talbott's Cider in Palisade by Amanda Matilda Photography


If all of this already has you overwhelmed, I’d definitely recommend that you hire a planner! They’re not just useful for larger weddings. Hiring a local wedding planner, especially if your micro wedding is a destination wedding, gives you boots on the ground to help you with each step from your wedding location!

Other than that, once you have a location and date set you’ll need to consider what vendors you’ll want. You will certainly want a photographer to document the celebration! You might want to invest in a planner, florist, and dress clothes too, depending on your vision and ideas for the day. Do you want to share a cake? Maybe you want to hire a mobile bar for you and your guests? Will you need rentals for tables, chairs, an archway, or linens? Consider exactly what you want the day to look like and break down what you might need to hire to make it happen. Prioritize your vendors within your budget and begin getting quotes so you can figure out exactly where your budget will be going.

And that’s it! These initial steps for how to start planning a micro wedding will help you with most of the process and from there most of the little details will fall into place. If you’re interested in photography coverage for your micro wedding click here to get more info!

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