Updated: Feb 9

There is an overwhelming number of decisions when wedding planning - date, vendors, venue, and now with more restrictions couples have to decide what type of wedding to have and how many guests to invite! If picking colors weren’t hard enough, now couples in 2020 are facing more challenging choices! Before you had two options, or at least you thought you did. You either could choose a traditional wedding, big or small, or elope for a more intimate setting. But now there are more options and ways to customize your wedding day to make it suitable for you, your loved ones, and ultimately the vision of your wedding day. Two new terms have hit the wedding scene this year - micro weddings and minimonies!

I’ve been documenting more intimate weddings this year than any other year and I absolutely love it! Each intimate wedding is unique, infusing the couples’ individuality and personal story. I’ve captured commitment ceremonies, elopements, minimonies, and micro weddings! So, what’s the difference?


I documented my first commitment ceremony this year and it truly is a beautiful way for the couple to honor their original wedding date or say forever and always before having a wedding at a later date. A commitment ceremony, according to The Spruce, is "is simply a public affirmation of a couple's commitment to one another." I captured Julia and Jenna’s commitment ceremony at Stony Creek and they both wrote the most beautiful vows, or commitments to each other, that were funny, emotional, candid, and filled with so much love! There was lots of laughter and a few beautiful tears shed. Following their ceremony, we chased the sunset and danced in the field to Abba. They rocked out to Dancing Queen after popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate their commitment to each other.


Elopements hold a special place in my heart as they combine my love of travel with my passion for photography, but elopements are not always what they seem. Now, elopements can be very laid back intimate affairs close to home or they can be adventurous getaways. I love the intimacy and individuality that can be intertwined with traditional and non-traditional components. According to Simply Eloped, “An elopement wedding is typically thought of as running away without telling friends or family, but that definition has changed over time. Now, an elopement wedding means that you are tying the knot and celebrating with just yourselves or a small gathering in a minimal, more casual fashion.”

I’ve had several couples before 2020 decide to elope because they wanted a more casual, less stressful wedding. I just documented an elopement at Black Rocks in Marquette and I’ve documented an elopement in Traverse City - both amazing elopement destinations. But elopements can be close to home as well! Like this elopement at the Eastern Market in Detroit, or this elopement at the Holly Hotel.






The new wedding term in 2020, minimony! As if we didn’t already have enough wedding vocabulary. According to The Knot, a "minimony" is a smaller ceremony that is followed by a sequel wedding. It is a mini ceremony held with a small group of loved ones that allow the couple to solidify their union and honor their first proposed date. The key difference of a minimony versus an elopement or micro wedding is that a minimony preludes a "sequel wedding" to come that brings the couples' vision to life of their wedding with everyone there to celebrate.

Many of my 2020 couples are opting for a minimony this year! It allows them to have a smaller, intimate ceremony this year and then celebrate with everyone at a “sequel” wedding next year! I’ve captured minimonies at home, like this one in Leonard. And I’ve also documented minimonies at casual venues, like this one at Heritage Park or at Maple Cove Bed and Breakfast.





Whoa, we are not done yet! There is another wedding term that hasn’t popped up much until this year - micro wedding! Brides define a micro wedding as “an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests. They still feature time-honored traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale.” So basically, a micro wedding is just a smaller, intimate wedding! This is nothing new! I’ve been documenting “micro weddings” since I started capturing weddings in 2014 and they’re the type of timeless wedding that’s not traditional. Micro weddings are often mini weddings that incorporate various elements of the couple’s personality into every aspect of the day.

Laura and Edgar’s backyard “micro wedding” suited them perfectly! Laura dreamed of a casual, cozy feel for her wedding, drawing in vibrant colors to set the celebratory mood. And Edgar, from Barcelona, enjoyed eating Spanish inspired food, including paella. Missy and Tyler also had a beautiful, intimate backyard wedding at home. Missy, being a creative herself, hand made many of the decorations and poured her creative spirit into every aspect of the wedding. Their close friend, Cass, married them and her raw emotion was absolutely heartwarming.



Wow! Who knew there were that many options? I love helping my couples navigate the wedding planning process, including deciding which type of wedding is best for them. I may not be a wedding planner, but I’ve captured enough weddings to know the ins and outs! By creating a real, deep relationship with my couples I know them more personally and I am able to help them in the decision making process if needed.

So, are you planning your wedding but not sure which one to choose? Reach out! I’d love to hear from you and assist you in planning your wedding, whether that’s just giving vendor and venue recommendations or if you’d like to go in-depth with all the details of your day!

All my love,

The stunning vow books in the first photograph were created by the talented Tiffany from The Ambrosia Rabbit. And this wicked cool 'til death custom hand-painted jacket was artfully designed and painted by the stunning Meghan of Lux Wedding Co. Check these lovely ladies out and get your wedding calligraphy designed and curated by the best!

Another great option right now is having a full wedding outdoors while following state guidelines! Check out Erin and Charlie’s backyard for inspiration! P.S. Did you know their wedding was published in Metro Detroit Weddings Magazine? Grab yourself a copy here!

I captured an elopement in Florida, virtually! Interested in knowing how and seeing more? Check out this virtual elopement here!

Considering eloping or planning your wedding? Reach out and let's plan your adventure!


Nicole is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of the Metro Detroit area. Residing in Royal Oak, she photographs in Michigan and abroad. She began her career in 2012 and is now a published artist and professional photographer. Nicole started documenting weddings in 2014 and passionately pursues photography daily, teaching film and digital photography to high school students, and documenting life and love on the weekends. Specializing in Weddings, Portraiture, and Lifestyle photography, she is a diverse and creative artist. Does this sound like the photographer for you?

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