Couples are tweaking their plans to accommodate smaller events, and many are looking for elopement ideas and scheduling micro weddings in lieu of a larger event. Making a switch isn’t a bad idea, as you’ll see with this gorgeous event in DC.
TL;DR ~ Having a micro wedding in DC could be the answer to your dreams on your special day.
How to Have a Stunning Micro Wedding in DC
Washington, DC, serves as a beautiful backdrop for engagements, elopements, and micro weddings. All of these are feasible in the big city. Plus, guests will love that there are plenty of things to put on their DC itinerary beyond your big day. Of course, your wedding will still be the highlight!
This couple reduced their guest count from 140 down to 8, which called for a big change of plans. They handled it flawlessly and on a short timeline. It just goes to show how an elopement—family members included—can be simple yet lovely.
Why have a pop-up wedding—DC style? It could be a solution to having a small wedding.
Here are a few elopement ideas that mirror that of big events in this DC micro wedding.
1. Invest in your attire.
A micro wedding dress can be just as beautiful as one for a larger wedding. However, don’t be afraid to stray from the norm. This blue wedding gown is so stunning, and just look at the images by the reflecting pool! The hue is perfect. Both the bride and groom chose looks that were spot on.
2. Don’t forget florals.
You don’t have to overdo florals, but don’t forsake them. This couple chose a few wedding flower arrangements for their micro wedding backdrop. The bridal bouquet and boutonniere are equally lovely—and necessary.
3. Create special moments as a couple.
Sarah and Jeff still had a first look and handwritten vows. They also connected with their photographer before the ceremony to document their time. One of my favorite parts is that they took photos in interesting locations with their DC elopement photographer. And with gorgeous results, I’d say!
4. Scale back the reception.
Of course, with a micro wedding, you won’t have many to serve, so a trip to a restaurant can suffice. This couple rented a large hotel suite so that they could eat and converse at a safe distance. So smart!
A hotel suite is the perfect DC reception location for a couple who eloped.
Having a Micro Wedding in DC
Thank you so much to Sarah for answering our questions candidly and honestly. Their pared-down event was absolutely stunning!
What plans did you have to change to still hold your DC wedding?
Almost everything. We downsized from a 140-person event with a ceremony, dinner, and dancing at the DAR to an intimate ceremony and celebration with a total of eight in order to abide by CDC guidelines at the time. Bride, groom, both sets of parents, our officiant, and our photographer.
To do so, we had to coordinate with vendors across the board—venue, caterer, band, hotel—and keep our guests informed at the same time. You name it, we reworked it.
Why did you proceed with a micro wedding?
We didn’t want to put our lives on hold for a crisis that was and is completely out of our control. Although we were terribly saddened to be unable to hold the event as we had planned, it became clear to us that there was no guarantee that we would be able to do so in the fall or spring.
Handwritten vows add a special touch during a DC micro wedding.
Rather than wait for the unknown to unfold, we decided to prioritize what was important to us: beginning our new life together. Ultimately, June 2020 is the date that worked for us—even if the cosmos thought otherwise.
We had just finished a two-year long-distance relationship. Jeff was in Cambridge, MA completing his MBA and wanted to start our next chapter. We hope to celebrate with our friends and family when we can. Until then, we will enjoy our first year (or few years) of partnership.
How did your vendors react to the changes?
Our vendors across the board have been great. From some, we received a full return of the deposit. From others, flexibility in rescheduling so that we can apply the fees we’ve paid towards a larger event sometime next year or in 2022.
If we wanted to use a vendor for the much smaller ceremony we were planning, we started a conversation with them about how to do so as safely as possible. Our photographer Adam Mason was a great partner in this respect.
Their DC elopement photographer caught such fun moments before their micro wedding!
What precautions did you take?
Well, first things first, we uninvited 133 people. We didn’t want people to feel pressured into putting their personal health at risk. Two weeks prior to the event, we did our best to further limit our already limited social interactions to ensure a clean bill of health for the wedding.
On the day of our ceremony and reception, our key focus was v. It was fairly easy to accomplish during the ceremony. We had plenty of space to spread out now that we didn’t have 140 people in attendance.
During the reception, where folks would be eating and drinking, we rented a large hotel suite so that there was enough room to keep six feet apart and have a conversation. While planning the event, we tried to balance pragmatism, safety, and actually having fun.
We weren’t perfect in following our guidelines. But we did a good job setting expectations early and sticking to them throughout the weekend.
Some grooms just know how to accessorize—wedding face mask included!
What were the pros and cons of having a micro wedding?
The entire day felt like it was all about us and our relationship, which was incredible. We spent the weekend together reminiscing back on our 8-year relationship and chatting about what excited us about the decades to come.
Because it was such a small event, it didn’t require a lot of day-of coordination. We felt we had more mental energy to devote to each other. We spent the majority of our day taking portraits around DC.
“…we decided to prioritize what was important to us: beginning our new life together.”
We were making changes to the ceremony venue just two hours prior to our scheduled time. This was acceptable because we only had to communicate it out to 8 people.
The obvious downside to our kind of wedding is not being able to celebrate with all of your closest friends and family. We’d heard from friends who have gotten married that it’s really special having everyone you know gathered in one place for the sole reason of celebrating your relationship. We missed this.
That said, the door is still open for us to have the larger celebration we had originally planned. In an era where every week feels the same, it’s something for us to look forward to.
A DC elopement photographer can show you the best parts of the city for photos.
Did you learn anything by having to change your plans?
We learned how lucky we are. We have such supportive families, friends, and relatives scattered throughout the world cheering us on. We went through a grieving process when we initially made the decision to cancel the wedding and had to send messages to all of our guests.
The responses we got back were nothing short of amazing. It was incredible for us to see that kind of support during these stormy times. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people who love and care for us.
What are you doing about a honeymoon?
This quarantine is basically a honeymoon – we get to spend all of our time together!
Our two-week trip to explore Vietnam and Laos is canceled for now. We had come to terms with it until an errant calendar notification in late June informed us that it was time to head to the airport for our flight.
We’re trying to look on the bright side. Which is that we have some fun travel to look forward to sometime in the next year or two.
Now on to enjoy a peek into their wedding day!
Are you considering a micro wedding in DC?
We have inspiration from other brides who have had to reschedule or downsize. Let their stories be an encouragement to you!
DC Micro Wedding Vendors:
- DC Elopement Photographer – Mason Photography
- Micro Wedding Gown – by Leanne Marshall at BHLDN Georgetown
- Venue – DAR Portico
- Washington DC Hotel – The W Hotel
- Tux – Suit Supply
- Florals – Caruso Florist
- Hair & Makeup – Vintage Veils
- Jewelry & Rings – Eminence Jewelers
- Dinner (Takeout) – Maydan
- Submission Services – Published + Pretty
Shades of Blue Wedding Color Palette