Have you ever weighed out the benefits of eloping?
Not every couple dreams of having a big wedding. For some, they prefer the privacy and freedom of eloping.
A true elopement is when a couple gets married by themselves. This means no friends or family are present as wedding guests. Lately there’s also been a lot of buzz around small weddings, a sister of sorts to elopements.
This article can apply to both true elopements and some small/tiny/intimate weddings. To keep things simple, I’m going to refer to all of the above as an elopement.
Traditional wedding ceremonies can be fun, no doubt about that! They also can also be tedious and consuming of both time and energy. Wedding planning is no easy task.
A traditional wedding can require elaborate preparations and it can cost you considerably. Of course, most are willing to sacrifice time, energy, and money for the perfect environment to begin life together.
Years ago, eloping was scandalized.
Now that eloping is gaining in popularity, you can choose to tie the knot untraditionally without suffering the social stigma. In fact, you’ll likely be the envy of those who wish they’d considered a non-traditional wedding!
Eloping is still a novelty. There are countless options to create your own unique elopement. Therefore, the opportunity to differentiate your wedding from others is endless.
Whatever your reason to elope is, it’s a way to celebrate the love you share in an intimate way that is 100% your own.
At many traditional weddings, you’re told when to walk, sit, stand and hold hands. The whole production can seem like more of a show than an intentional experience for you two to share.
When you elope, you relieve yourself from doing what’s expected of you. In turn, you free up your time to spend doing what feels right to you.
You can spend your morning making breakfast and drinking coffee, soaking it all in together. After that, you can run through the waterfall you just said your vows in front of.
When it’s just you, you leave room for the spontaneous moments. These are the moments that seem too magical to be true. The moments you’ll remember your day by.
When you elope, you can easily push aside your overbearing mother-in-law’s vision for her dream wedding.
After all, the wedding is about having the day of your dreams and having a blast doing it. Similarly, it’s not necessarily about snagging 100 photos with MIL Karen and her 7 sisters… who you just met.
Was there an awkward feud between a couple of your family members or a bad divorce situation?
Most of the time, family and friends will put aside any differences they have with each other on your wedding day. If these awkward encounters or having to worry about who sits at a table with whom, for instance, adds to your stress level, that’s a good reason to consider leaving the drama behind.
An elopement might be right up your alley if your best memories together are hiking, exploring new places or jet setting around the world!
You can make new memories by traveling to a foreign country or planning a hike with a gorgeous view.
You’ll be saving money from linen rentals, DJ’s, food and party favors and more! Because of this, it’s a great opportunity to go an a vacay where you allow yourself to splurge! After all, it is your wedding day, so it should be MEMORABLE.
When you’re doing something this epic, there’s no right or wrong.
Pro Tip #1: Want mountain views without the pre-wedding hike? I’ve got one word for you. Helicopter.
Pro Tip #2: Pick a location with variety! – You can book your photographer for an adventure session in the your Jeep on day 1. Then on day 2, say your vows at a black sand beach, followed by dancing and live music at a local pub.
According to The Knot, the average couple will spend almost $34,000 on a traditional wedding. (If that’s not a reason to consider eloping, I don’t know what is.) An elopement can cost anywhere from the marriage license fee on up. This is totally dependent on what you’re willing to invest in.
Simple courthouse elopements fall on the cheaper side with more adventurous destination elopements raising the cost.
Many eloping couples choose to invest in travel, a bomb photo/video team. Often times the dress of their dreams and a bridal bouquet is also included. Some even hire a planner!
The good news is that you were likely planning a honeymoon anyway, so would have invested in travel regardless of having a big wedding or an elopement.
A couple can stay at a 5-star hotel, eat like kings and queens, see the world through a unique perspective, and return home with marriage certificate in hand – with enough left over to throw a reception, if they so wish.
With debt being a major cause of marital stress, it’s smart to sit down together and write out what you really value now and will value having invested in 20, 30 or 50 years down the road.
A conventional wedding can consume a year or more of advance planning and the day flies by before you know it.
What I hear time and time again, is how little time you’re actually able to spend with the person you’re committing your life to on your wedding day.
That sounds like the opposite of what a wedding should be about to me.
Elopements allow you the freedom to go at your own pace. This creates opportunity for special moments and can foster a go with the flow attitude.
Instead of being rushed from dinner to speeches to cake cutting and onto your first dance, you can have a pizza eating contest once you find the perfect backdrop for your meal and snack on cupcakes when you need a little fuel for your hike.
Really, there are no rules when it comes to eloping.
If you’re an introvert, you might get sweaty palms at the idea of reading handwritten vows in front of an audience.
You might even be distracted from the special moments because you’re more concerned with tripping on your walk down the aisle or are uncomfortable standing on a stage with hundreds of eyes on you and that’s totally normal.
Some people are made to be in the spotlight. Likewise, others have different wants.
If celebrating your love solo just sounds like you, you shouldn’t feel pressured to tie the knot in a way that you don’t resonate with.
Playing it loose is part of the thrill and can be one of the benefits of eloping.
Everything doesn’t need to be planned perfectly. When it’s just the two of you with little to concentrate on besides your love for one another the stress is not part of your memory.
From the beginning, your wedding planning is simplified when you choose to elope. This carries over to the wedding day. You won’t spend an elopement trying to track down the rouge groomsmen or navigating who’s cleaning up and bringing things home at the end of the night.
You’ve probably seen so many wedding photos from friends in your 20’s with similar aesthetics. After that, it’s hard to make your wedding look and feel different.
With an elopement, you have the freedom to choose a backdrop that’s truly epic.
If you’re venturing halfway across the world for a wedding ceremony, chances are, your imagery is going to stand out against the masses. This is especially true if the local wedding scene where you live doesn’t fit your vibe.
In an area where rustic barn weddings dominate, a more modern and adventurous couple might have a hard time finding a venue that well represents them, for instance.
In the end, there are several benefits of eloping.
In the end though, it’s not the ceremony that will make or break the relationship. Therefore, you shouldn’t get too hung up on how you choose to make it official.