So You Want to Elope?

Weddings are a Big Deal

Reverend Beidle with a couple at Belle Chapel
Reverend Beidle with a couple at Belle Chapel.

I get it. Weddings are often big, complicated projects that take time and energy from an already busy day. And everyone seems to want to put their thumbprints all over your event. Your mothers don't agree about the catering. Your best friend insists on doing your hair. Your buddies have seen Bachelor Night, Best Night Ever, and The Hangover too many times. You hate the ideas of standing up in front of a hundred people, some of whom you barely know.


Reverend Jim Beidle at a woodsy elopement
Reverend Jim Beidle leads Cami and Scott through their vows.

You want your wedding to be about you. At most, you want a dozen people, a quick ceremony, and an intimate dinner. You would be happy if it were the two of you, your two witnesses, and an officiant.

Relax, I've got you covered.

Micro-Wedding? Or Elopement?

Reverend Jim Beidle married this couple at Crystal Mountain
Reverend Jim Beidle officiated this Micro-Wedding at Crystal Summit.

While looking around the Internet and making up your mind, you've discovered Micro-Weddings. What the heck are those when they're at home? Are they interchangeable with elopement?

Well, they share some similarities. They're relatively quick, simple ceremonies. They both feature tiny guest lists. You can generally launch either within a week of contacting me and getting your license. There are some differences, however.


Revernd Jim Beidle sunset elopement in a lavendar field
Reverend Jim Beidle married this eloping couple at sunset elopement in a lavender field.

Elopement is the most impromptu form of wedding.

  •  Usually, the venue is your living room or back yard; occasionally, they're at the beach or in a park. Generally, it's a free or extremely low-cost setting that is meaningful to both of you.
  • Generally, you limit your 'guest list' to two witnesses, your children, and one or two very close friends. You keep it small, so things go quickly and easily.
  • Apart from your officiant, you might hire a professional photographer. Getting married quickly is critical, and creating memories is essential.


Reverend Jim Beidle joined this family together in a Micro-Wedding
Reverend Jim Beidle joined this family together in a Micro-Wedding at their cabin overlooking Puget Sound.

Micro-Weddings are more about intimacy and having some features of traditional weddings while keeping the crowd small.

  • Couples who choose a Micro-Wedding often partner with an intimate venue to add value to their day.
  • Your guest list is about a dozen of your close friends and family. You are keeping things small to manage the size of the event: no need to invite creepy cousin Vinnie, or your best friend's sister's plus-one.
  • In addition to your officiant and photographer, you might have one or two other vendors. A particular caterer or florist, for example. Hairdressing and makeup are also popular.

What I Offer

Whatever style you choose for your wedding, I have an affordable package for you. We will get to know each other and come up with your perfect celebration. Whether you have a spiritual upbringing or a more earthly background, I tune this brief ceremony to your requirements.

Copper Package

Together for 35 years
After 35 years together, this couple eloped at home.

I have perfectly positioned the Copper Package for your elopement, whether it is in your living room, in a park overlooking Lake Chelan, or on a Washington State Ferry. The Copper Package is also suitable for Micro-Weddings focusing on an intimate get-together with friends. With the Copper Package, I provide a complete ceremony, including one reading and a traditional blessing that I select after I have gotten to know you. The service typically takes between fifteen and twenty minutes.

Bronze Package

The couple and father of the groom at a Bronze Wedding
This couple chose a Bronze Package for their McMenamin's Micro-Wedding.

The Bronze Package makes your ceremony a greater focus of your wedding. Your ceremony script includes one or two readings and a blessing of your choice. These text passages allow you and your guests time to reflect on the change and commitment you are experiencing. These additions give value and meaning to your marriage ceremony because you select them. The options range from traditional scripture through poetry from Shakespeare to modern song lyrics. Choose your community blessing from a broad range of folk and traditional offerings.

With the Bronze Package, I help you write your vows, or personal pledges, to share your love in a profoundly individual text. If you choose to include this option, I will give you as much help you as want. I have written a course specifically to help people write their vows.

Putting a Ring on It

Elopement or Micro-Weddings are the perfect solutions for some couples. If you want a small, intimate wedding choose an elopement adventure. If you have a small guest list of close friends and family, have a venue in mind, and want a singular service, consider a Micro-Wedding. What works for you?