Sometimes the big wedding is just not your jam. And that's okay. You're not alone.

As a photographer who has seen weddings of every size and loved every one of them, I'm here to promote the idea that your wedding doesn't have to take a year to plan in order for it to be special. Sometimes all you need is your partner, the courthouse, a few friends to act as witnesses, and you've got yourself a wedding!

Seattle Courthouse weddings are some of my favorites to shoot.

Seattle Courthouse weddings are some of my favorites to shoot.

Over the years, many of my couples have confessed that they've seriously considered eloping instead of planning a big, traditional wedding. A small-but-growing number of those couples have actually decided on a more low-key event. This is a trend I'm happy to see growing.

Societal ideas about marriage are changing. More people are marrying later in life than ever before, and they're marrying for love. If marriage itself is changing, why shouldn't weddings change a little, too?

Many couples are choosing to kick off the start of the marriages with much smaller ceremonies, only inviting a handful of their family and friends to witness. Others marry privately at the courthouse and then throw a big party later on. Some host a backyard barbecue, a nice dinner at their favorite restaurant, or hike to a mountaintop instead of marching down a church aisle. 

Some of my couples are major introverts and don't like the idea of being the center of attention amongst hundreds of people. Some host a pizza party for 2 dozen of their friends after marrying at the courthouse, and then use the money they saved on a big wedding to travel Europe for a month. Yep. I've seen that, too.

There are a hundred ways to get married. They're all special. They're all worth photographing. #smallweddingsmovement

Browse Intimate + Courthouse Weddings by Krista Welch below

Highlights from Claire & Mike's Seabrook, WA wedding by the ocean. An oceanside elopement with only family surrounding them. Destination Elopement Photography by Love Song Photo, LLC