In normal times, between 20,000 and 30,000 weddings take place every weekend in the United States, according to the wedding planning site TheKnot.com.  But in less-than-normal times, say during the current pandemic, couples have been forced to rethink, reschedule, and replan their wedding ceremonies.
Fortunately, the wedding industry and couples themselves have come up with some innovative ways to salvage their wedding plans. Three of these options are the minimony, the micro-wedding, and elopements.
Let’s take a look at these three options to find the best fit for you and your partner:
What is a minimony?
If you’ve never heard of a minimony, you’re probably not alone. But in this time of quarantines, social distancing, and small group gatherings, odds are you’re going to become more familiar with the term.
A minimony is just what it sounds like a miniature wedding ceremony. A minimony serves as a sneak peek at what your postponed “sequel” ceremony will look like at a later date. It’s the precursor to the big party.
According to a survey by Zola, one of the leading wedding planning platforms, of 2,000 engaged couples who were planning to marry during the pandemic, half opted for a minimony instead. 
A minimony usually has no more than 10 guests, sometimes fewer if you count the photographer and officiant on the list. It’s a way to keep your gathering small and safer. While some couples do choose to stop there with their minimony serving as their “wedding,” others use the minimony as a prequel to their planned and larger sequel wedding ceremony in the future.
What is a sequel wedding?
While a minimony might become a necessity due to the pandemic, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo your dream wedding.
You and your partner can still move forward with your originally planned wedding ceremony, scheduling it at a later and safer time. The minimony allows you and your partner to start your life as a married couple with the sequel wedding on the horizon.
What is a micro wedding?
Compared to a minimony, a micro wedding has a slightly larger guest count with 50 or less guests. This is obviously not as small as a minimony but still pared down considering the average guest list for an American wedding is 131, according to TheKnot.com. 
Micro weddings also don’t include the sequel wedding ceremony. The micro wedding itself is the big day and often exactly what some couples want – small, simple, and intimate.
While micro weddings and minimonies are essentially small versions of a more traditional wedding with invited guests and plenty of anticipation, elopements are a category in and of themselves.
What is an elopement?
Couples who opt for an elopement can still dream and plan the wedding they desire. In fact, an elopement can be more unique largely because couples aren’t pleasing anyone but themselves. There’s no need to accommodate the desires of Grandma Jean or Uncle Louie because they won’t be there.
Elopements are surprises. So there are no invitations to be sent, no receptions to be planned, no seating charts to agonize over – just you and your spouse and a whole lot less stress. And unlike the minimony, there will be no sequel wedding.
So how do you determine if an elopement is right for you? You might want to think about your attitudes about weddings and other life events. Are you a traditionalist? Have you been thinking about the specifics of your weddings since fifth grade? If the answer is yes, an elopement probably isn’t the best option for you. And that’s OK.
But if you’re a person who likes to defy tradition just a little, an elopement could be for you. If you love the idea of having a destination wedding in some amazing location, but you know inviting guests would be financially impossible, an elopement offers a great option. Or if you know that family dynamics will make a traditional wedding unpleasant, might be time to think elopement.
Whether you choose a micro wedding, a minimony, or an elopement, just know that you can make your ceremony special, memorable, and unique to you and your spouse..
Need some ideas or a little help with the planning of your ceremony?
Check out our destination wedding checklist to get started.