TYPES OF INTIMATE WEDDING CEREMONIES | METRO DETROIT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER


Blue vow books for couples. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

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?


COMMITMENT CEREMONY


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.


Couple commitment ceremony in Metro Detroit park. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Couple running through field in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Nicole Leanne Photography taking photos at couples commitment ceremony.
Commitment ceremony champagne toast at sunset. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

ELOPEMENT


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.


TRAVERSE CITY


Vintage RV van in Northern Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Nicole Leanne Photography photographing couple in Northern Michigan.
Bride and groom running through sand dunes in Northern Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Couple holding hands looking out over Michigan lake in Northern Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

MARQUETTE


Bride and groom standing on rock looking out over the lake in Northern Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom walking on Northern Michigan lakeshore. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom kissing at sunset after wedding on Michigan lake shore. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom at sunset embracing on a Michigan lake. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Black and white photo of bride holding wedding dress walking on rocky terrain in Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

HOLLY HOTEL


Intimate wedding at Holly Hotel. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom walking in Downtown Holly Michigan. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

EASTERN MARKET


Bride and groom dancing at Eastern Market Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom cutting cake at Eastern Market Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Overhead shot of bride and groom kissing at head table. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Black and white photo of bride and groom dancing at Eastern Market Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom dancing at sunset at Detroit's Eastern Market. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Orange door at Eastern Market Detroit with bride and groom walking in front of it. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

MINIMONY


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.


BACKYARD AT HOME


Black and white of intimate outdoor wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom cheers with beer on wedding day. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Intimate home wedding ceremony. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Black and white of home with small group of family and friends outside. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

HERITAGE PARK


Heritage Park in Metro Detroit wedding. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom Heritage Park wedding. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom Heritage Park wedding. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

MAPLE COVE


Maple Cove wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Maple Cove intimate wedding with family. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Maple Cove intimate wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Maple Cove Bed and Breakfast intimate wedding. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Maple Cove intimate wedding ceremony. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

MICRO WEDDING


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.


BACKYARD BOHEMIAN WEDDING


Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard Bohemian wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

BARN BACKYARD INTIMATE WEDDING


Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard wedding couple dancing in field. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Backyard wedding in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

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,


Leather jacket with painted flowers. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

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!