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How to Turn a Picnic into a Microwedding

Coming into 2023, there are so many new ways to customize your wedding day into the celebration of your dreams that fits your vision and budget. A term that’s garnered popularity post-pandemic is the concept of the microwedding. A microwedding typically refers to a wedding with a guest count under 50 guests, which includes a traditional ceremony and possible mini-reception. Having a guest count this intimate allows for more flexibility with your timeline and location selection. It also lends more freedom with your wedding budget. Microweddings are the perfect blend of the intimacy of an elopement with the tradition and grandeur of a wedding. If you want a picnic wedding at brunch time or a sunset wedding on the beach, the possibilities are endless!

The benefits of having a microwedding extend to more than just preference. There’s a lot of practicality to add to the pro side of your list, if you’re debating whether a microwedding is for you. With a smaller group of guests to accommodate, you’re given more flexibility with your budget to splurge on what matters to you. This can mean the difference between which venue you’re able to select and what food and beverage choices you make. Scaling down on guest count or wedding size doesn't have to mean cutting back on details.

With Rachel and Neil, they were able to create a microwedding with the ones they loved. It included an intimate ceremony at sunrise and a catered brunch picnic in the forest. Take a look with us at their wedding day itinerary and see how they were able to turn a picnic into their microwedding!

Microwedding Ceremony at Ryan Beach

Rachel and Neil started their itinerary with a first look at Ryan Beach bright and early. Although most think of golden hour at sunset, many forget about the majestic glow of sunrise! It creates a soft glow coupled with a dreamy ethereal haze for the perfect photo shoot. The spectrum of golden pastels created a magical backdrop. The lighting set the perfect mood against Rachel’s lace applique dress while Neil’s blue tie and cream-colored boutonniere complimented their romantic scene.

After taking advantage of the location for some formal portraits and detail shots, they led straight into their ceremony with their favorite people by their side. Since their guest list consisted of just their top VIPs, they opted to omit chairs. This way, they were able to be surrounded by love while standing at the altar and get everyone’s adoring faces in their photos.

While a microwedding allows you the opportunity to incorporate a traditional timeline, it leaves the flexibility to make those traditions your own. From limiting your guest count to choosing unconventional ceremony locations, keeping your wedding exclusive gives you a wider range of options to choose from.

Microwedding Reception Picnic

Much like a traditional wedding, this microwedding couldn’t be complete without a reception! With a small trip from Ryan Beach to Apgar Picnic area, this wedding group was able to celebrate Rachel and Neil with a picnic brunch. Taking advantage of all the picnic area had to offer on its own and with the addition of a few small details, this brunch was elevated from picnic to microwedding reception in no time.

With an area as stunning as the Apgar Picnic Area offering views of nature surrounding Lake McDonald, it took very little to complement the space. To bring Rachel and Neil’s wedding vision to life, they opted for a golden hour color scheme in their floral from Mum’s. The muted peaches and pinks paired with green glass rentals and woodsy décor elements made the tablescape feel organic and natural.

This microwedding brunch reception was made complete with champagne (or mimosa!) toasts along with their meal. In between the delectable pastries and charcuterie spread provided by The Kopper Kitchen was a minimalistic wedding cake with touches of floral to fit their effortless, natural theme.

Champagne and cake to celebrate getting married to the one you love… We can’t think of a better way to start a day than this!

Adventure Session

At this point, you may be thinking the reception would mark the end of their microwedding celebration. Well, if you’ve been following along with us at An Epic Elopement long enough, you’ll know we’re all about making the most of your wedding day. If your perfect day includes adventure, romance, multiple photo sessions, time with family, a reception, or more, we’re here to make it all happen for you!

That’s exactly what we did for Rachel and Neil! Following their picnic reception, we were sure to take full advantage of their surroundings. Added to their wedding day itinerary was time for a second newlywed formal portrait shoot around Lake McDonald. Incorporating this second shoot after their reception wasn’t just about maximizing their portraits. They were able to get shots with different lighting in a different area and explore the wonders of Lake McDonald!

Adventure sessions and microweddings can go hand in hand. Each is about making the most of your day while you embark on the adventure of a lifetime: Marrying the love of your life!

Private Boat Ride

As if Rachel and Neil haven’t convinced you enough about all the benefits of creating your own perfect microwedding, their wedding timeline hasn’t ended quite yet. To truly bring their celebration to an end, they gathered their wedding party and took a private boat ride on Lake McDonald. This was not only another chance for breathtaking photos, but also an opportunity to soak in the events of the day with the ones who matter most. With full bellies and full hearts, they set sail to wind down the morning and bask in the milestone they all shared.

While they soaked in the sun atop the old-fashioned tour boat, they shared one of their first dances as husband and wife on the bow. Complete with twirls and twists, they swayed cheek to cheek.

As every meant-to-be romance goes, they sailed away into the sun and lived happily ever after!

A Word from Katie:

Rachel and Neil, getting to be a part of your celebration was like getting a front-row seat to an epic romance. I loved every moment of bringing this day to life with you both. I wish you both the adventure of a lifetime and hope you have many more memorable days like this to come!


Florist // Mum’s Floral

Caterer // Kopper Kitchen

Ready to Plan Your Microwedding?

Based in Kalispell, Montana, An Epic Elopement specializes in all-inclusive elopements, micro-weddings, and intimate weddings. Here, you get the full experience of having a traditional wedding, but with a little more adventure included!

Are you ready to start your elopement journey? Send me a note describing your elopement vision and let’s make it happen!


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