austin + destination wedding photographer

Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin

Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin

For Couples

January 3, 2022

I’m a photographer in Austin, Texas capturing sophisticated celebrations, elevated experiences, and refined clientele around the globe. 

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As a wedding photographer, I often get asked about the difference between an intimate wedding and regular-sized wedding! If you are deciding between a smaller affair and a large wedding, I wanted to share some differences between each and how photography packages may differ!

Elopement vs. Intimate Wedding vs. A Large Wedding

The main difference between the two weddings is the number of guests.

  • An elopement is typically under 5 guests, or just the couple and an officiant.
  • An intimate wedding has around 15-30 guests.
  • And a large wedding will be one with 75+ guests. 

When deciding what type of wedding, consider what you want the feeling to be. If you want it to be very intimate, with a smaller reception, more focus on the ceremony and photos, an elopement might be the best option.

If you want it to be a more relaxed affair, with just your closest family and friends, intimate weddings are wonderful! You can create a dinner party vibe while still having fun on the dance floor. 

If you want a huge party with tons of dancing, and an all-night party, a larger guest count is better for you!

Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin

The Pros of an Intimate Wedding

There are so many wonderful reasons to plan an intimate wedding!

Unique Venues

One of the best parts of an intimate wedding is your choice of unique venues. A smaller guest count can open you to so many options. Since you may only be designing one table for your closest friends and family, you only need space for a few tables. This means you can have one giant table or a few smaller ones. You can also get more specialty items, like fun appetizers or delicious wines! Nothing holds you back.

Smaller venues are often more distinctive and have more character. You can choose cool bars and restaurants around Austin for a unique look.

You Can Go Out On Fun Things

Another great part of an intimate wedding is how you utilize your budget! You can spend more money on flowers since you have fewer tables to decorate. You could get that vintage convertible getaway car you have always dreamed of!

A couple of mine recently ended the night by walking through pyrotechnics! It was such an incredible, fun, and unique moment. They could splurge on this piece due to their smaller guest size, and it was so worth it!

If you want an heirloom piece that you can take home and frame, hire an artist to paint a portrait of your day! These are such great pieces you can cherish, and guests love to watch the artist’s work.

You Can Personalize It More

Smaller weddings allow you to really personalize your day even more. You can pick a personal and remarkable location that otherwise wouldn’t have worked with a large guest list. Or you could do a destination wedding on the top of a mountain or a tropical resort! The sky is the limit!

For an elopement I recently photographed in New Orleans, we were able to visit some of the special places to them as a couple and capture portraits there. The smaller guest size meant we could have more photography time and get these special spots.

More Time With Your Loved Ones

A big advantage of intimate weddings is that you can truly enjoy the time with your guests. At bigger weddings, couples sometimes spend most of their wedding talking to people, not dancing and having fun! Or, sometimes they can’t say Hi to everyone. With an intimate wedding, you can really connect with those you love, and enjoy every single minute of it!

More Time For Portraits

And of course, you get more time for portraits! If you have an intimate wedding, we can spend much more of your photography time on the two of you. Instead of having 1 hour to capture it all, we can spread it out 2 hours before your ceremony or an hour before the reception. We can escape for a little bit longer at sunset to get those incredible golden hour pictures you dream of.

Elopement in New Orleans Evening wedding reception at Commodore Perry Hotel in Austin

Elopement Packages

When it comes to photography, customization is key! Every intimate wedding will be different, so I have different packages to cater to the different sizes and types.

If you are planning a smaller wedding with a minimal reception, this is an elopement package. This is perfect if you want to focus on the ceremony and photographs, with a private dinner reception afterward. These require just one photographer and fewer hours of photography. My packages are 3 hours of coverage, and you can include an album. No matter how “small” your wedding is, having an heirloom album is so important! I want you to have this beautiful piece that you can look back at again and again. Every wedding, no matter the size, deserves a beautiful album.

Intimate Wedding Packages

An intimate wedding, or micro-wedding, will have 15-30 guests. These will include more photography hours since there is still a reception after. These are typically 5-7 hours of coverage, depending on dancing or any reception details. We will typically start 2 hours before your wedding to photograph getting ready images and couples portraits (or bridal party portraits if there is no first look). Then we will photograph the ceremony, couples and family portraits, and the beautiful reception and fun toasts. 

Smaller Wedding Packages

If your wedding has 50-60 guests, you will most likely have the same amount of photography coverage as a bigger wedding. This usually is 8-10 hours. Just because there is a smaller guest count doesn’t mean there aren’t fewer details! The wedding day is still the same amount of time, with a 4-hour reception. So, you will want the photographer there the whole time!

Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin Intimate Wedding vs. Large Weddings In Austin

Intimate Weddings in Austin

No matter what size of wedding you choose, I have a photography package to fit your needs! Whether you need 3 hours of coverage for your elopement, or 10 hours for a 200+ person wedding, I would love to be there to photograph it. We are quickly booking for 2022 and even into 2023! So reach out today so we can talk all about your vision and your perfect day!