5 reasons why you should elope
Let’s get real — weddings are changing! Even if you haven’t been tuned into the wedding scene lately on Pinterest or Instagram, amidst a global pandemic and loads of restrictions it’s obvious that plans — maybe even your plans — have had to be rearranged. From cutting your big wedding plans to medium-sized, small and even micro, COVID-19 restrictions have put traditional weddings through the wringer. If you feel hopelessly lost and ready to just call it off and wait until 2022 — there’s an alternative you may have cast aside too soon.
For the past few years, elopements have been making a comeback and becoming “trendy” alternatives to the traditional weddings of the past. And we’re not talking about a Vegas elopement (though those are actually on-trend too) — we’re talking about a trip across the country, driving a jeep through a desert, dancing under the stars and never-stop-holding-hands kind of celebration.
Ready to learn more about the new definition of “elopement” and how it could be the best decision you and your love will make in 2021?
Let’s dive in! (literally — you can have an underwater elopement too)
Reason 1: You get to forget everybody else’s expectations
If you’ve already started to plan your wedding (or have been to any wedding ever) you know that traditional weddings aren’t always about the couple. There’s what your mother-in-law wants, or what your grandparents need, what your friends say you have to do or, honestly, just what you think you need to do.
But let’s just break it down a bit. At its roots, a wedding is a celebration that surrounds the signing of papers that legally bind you with your love. Everything else is just, well, tradition!
An elopement, then, is a ceremony without guests (or with very few) in which a couple gets hitched without a reception or public celebration attached. In the past, it’s been defined as the antithesis of a traditional wedding — something secretive, sudden and improper.
But in the 21st century, eloping is a bit less taboo. It basically just means planning an epic adventure focused on your connection with each other and allowing many traditions to fall to the wayside.
If tradition is important to you when planning your wedding, you can still incorporate elements of that into your elopement. You can still have something old, new, borrowed and blue. Your dad can still walk you down the aisle — even if that aisle is a trail on the top of a mountain. And you might choose to have a party a few weeks or months down the road — with all of your friends and family in attendance.
The point of an elopement is you get to build your wedding day from the ground up. No expectations, less stress, more authenticity.
Reason 2: An experience curated for you
What is an elopement if it’s not in Las Vegas and isn’t a small wedding? You decide! Start anywhere you want, but maybe ask yourselves the question: What screams “us”?
Love to travel? Pick a spot you’ve always wanted to go, book a neat AirBnb and wrap your honeymoon + ceremony into one.
Foodies? Grab tacos at a food cart after saying your vows and get some funny shots dancing on top of picnic tables.
Experienced mountaineers? Consider having a sunrise wedding on the summit of a mountain!
Have a place that’s special to your heart, like your grandparents' cabin or a secret spot close-to-home? Bring along a few of your favorite people and make your vows surrounded by loved ones. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The best part about this is it’s all about you. Every decision you make will reflect your unique connection with one another and further the special quality of this day. And if planning this kind of adventure still makes you stressed, you can hire an amazing elopement planner — or hire a photographer who specializes in planning elopements with epic photos in mind.
You won’t be asking: what do we need to do? You’ll be asking: what do we want to do?
Feel less stressed already? Us too.
Reason 3: Every moment is intimate & special
If you’ve been to a traditional wedding, you know the drill. The day starts with setting up and getting ready, then guests arrive for the ceremony, you get hitched and run off for a photo sesh as newlyweds, meanwhile, there’s a cocktail hour, then dinner with speeches and lots of toasting, then a bit of dancing before everyone leaves.
For some, this might sound like the best day ever! But being the center of attention, with everyone waiting to talk with you (or paying $1 to dance with you), isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. Without setting intentions around the wedding day, the true purpose of the day can get lost in all the fluff. But at an elopement, this isn’t a concern.
You two are on your own for most of the day (with a photographer if you wish). With a small party of guests or just the two of you, the day is a lot more intimate and special. If you’d like, you can say your vows just to each other, with nobody else within earshot. You can take time to hold each other before the ceremony and focus on your partner alone throughout the day because they’re the only one vying for your attention.
Plus — because you planned all of this together, with your relationship and passions in mind, everything has a deeper meaning, one intertwined with your love story.
Reason 4: All that other stressful stuff goes *poof*
If you’re already planning, you may have stumbled across this number: $33,900. That’s the cost — on average — of a wedding in the United States. So, where does that money go? For traditional weddings, the most costly items are catering, the reception & ceremony venues, transportation, wedding planners, photographers and videographers, as well as smaller items like attire, music, florals & decor and cake.
How much you spend on your wedding is up to you, and whether you spend $200 or $50,000 at the end of the day it’s all about your vision for the day and your relationship! If you’re looking to save money, or just want to do something different, elopements offer a way for you to redirect your money into a trip of a lifetime or even put a down payment on a house.
You can also be selective about who attends your ceremony. If you have experienced anxiety over how to avoid family drama, you can decide to do an elopement without any guests or only invite the people that you truly really want to be there.
Reason 5: You can still have an epic party!
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean everyone misses out! Plan to have a party a few months down the road (or even the same week!) with friends and loved ones to celebrate your marriage.
You could have dancing, cake and music, all of the same things as a traditional wedding — but instead of doing everything at once, you are able to intentionally have a day for just you and then a day for everyone else to celebrate.
In the end, it’s all about uncovering what your dream day looks like— and doing what needs to be done to make that happen. The good news is, there are so many resources out there to help you figure it out — and so many examples of couples who prioritized authenticity above all else and created a spectacular day that meant the world to themselves and their loved ones.
Have questions or need more inspiration before making a decision? Take a look into our blog archives to learn more about planning your perfect wedding.