Intimate Wedding vs. Elopement: What’s the difference?  // Seattle Elopement

Intimate Wedding vs. Elopement: What’s the difference?  //

Seattle Elopement

Your day has finally arrived; Congratulations, you’re engaged! We are so thrilled for you and can only imagine the excitement you’re experiencing; after all this is such an exciting time!  When the dust settles you will soon realize that now is when all the hard work begins. There is so much planning, designing, and creating needed to tell your love story right it can all be a bit overwhelming. If you are like us, you’ve been dreaming of this day since you were old enough to put on your mom’s heels and steal a swipe of her favorite lipstick.  When it comes to your big day you might find you are asking yourself what it is that you want?

This blog post is going to help you learn the difference between an intimate wedding and elopement. We hope that in defining these terms for you that it’ll help you decide if either option is perfect for your nuptials. Knowing these differences and deciding what suites your needs will help you better manage your time, money, and resources early on in your planning process.  But before we go any further I only feel it is fair to say that this is only a matter of traditional opinion. I am sure, like everything else, there are exceptions to rules. In that same spirit, I am sure that some of the things we discuss under “intimate wedding” can be found at an elopement and vise verse. If you need a general sense of the two; here it is.

Intimate Wedding

Intimate weddings are often the same as your “typical” wedding but with a much smaller guest list. Venues tend to be smaller as they do not need to accommodate many people and therefore give a much more “intimate” feel. Intimate weddings are perfect for brides who are struggling to narrow down that guest list, but don’t want to be inviting people they haven’t connected with in years; like Great Aunt Mag from Alaska who you saw in a polaroid once. Often time brides think they want an “elopement” as the term is associated with simple design and detail. However, in reality, they are looking to have an intimate wedding gathering. Intimate weddings may or may not include formal photography of family, bridal party, etc. but would be focus on the couple, and a more journalistic approach to their love story!


Elopements are perfect for the couple who isn’t looking to necessarily share their day with anyone else but one another. Sure, you might have parents and siblings there but you may forego having any other friends or family present. Most brides who choose this as an option are looking for adventure. We travel to hard-to-reach places, where there is zero interruption, and the focus can be on the vows you exchange with one another. Photography is often focused on the intimacy of this vow exchange, capturing the spirit of these special moments, and then creating timeless works of art. Often elopement ceremonies are shorter than intimate or traditional weddings. And, because there is no one else present, elopement photography often yields more portraits of you and your groom together.

We hope that this blog helps you decide what kind of wedding might best suit your needs. At Runaway With Me Elopements, we know that whether you plan to have 50 people or 2, your story deserves to be told beautifully. We can’t wait to hear more about you and your vision for your big day!

Written by Ashley of Beginning and End Photography

Interested in having an Elopement or Intimate Wedding?  Inquire with us today to reserve your date!

Runaway with Me Elopements is an All-Inclusive Elopement experience based out of the Seattle, Washington. We offer Pacific Northwest Elopement photography to surrounding PNW destinations such as Mt. Rainier, Oregon, Olympic National Park, Oregon Coast, Deception Pass Park, and so much more!

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