Updated: Nov 7, 2018
Wedding planning can be overwhelming, and at some point in every couple's planning process they seriously consider if it would just be better to elope. Eloping is great, but it's not for everyone. If you are one of those couples who are on the fence about the idea then read on!
Reasons to Elope
Money: Most couples who elope say that they wanted to save money, and with the average cost of a wedding in 2018 tipping over $30,000 it's an understandable decision. The cost of escaping for an intimate wedding and honeymoon typically is tens of thousands of dollars less, and overall there's a lot less hassle of months and months of wedding planning.
Save your Sanity: Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Not only are there endless options, but depending on the family dynamic it'll seem like you're planning the wedding your mother-in-law wish she'd had, rather than the one you want. In general people can get pretty crazy when it comes to planning a wedding. With an elopement you won't wake up to nightmares over tablecloth patterns, invitation options, bridesmaid dress drama, or the stress with organized seating. This is especially true for those who have anxiety, or people-pleasers. Before you know it your wedding has turned into a "How do I make everyone else happy?" show and less and less about the two people getting married.
Family Drama: What is a wedding without a little family drama? Being photographers who've documented a plethora of weddings we've learned how to navigate these minefields, especially during family formal photo time. No one wants drama on their big day and often times choosing to elope is a decision that is chosen so there's no family arguments, hurt feelings over who gets to do what, or divorced family members glaring daggers at each other throughout the event.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: You have two sisters, now which one do you choose to be your maid of honor?! Or lets say you have five best friends, but in which order do they walk in? And let's not forget that everyone has a different style and body type, so chances are one (if not more) are going to be unhappy with either the dress design, cut, or color. Let's not even get started on gifts for them all, paying an hair and makeup artists so they all have the same polished aesthetic you're going for, and travel expenses. By eloping you've already eliminated that minefield and all your girls and guys still love you while thinking they're the number one BFF in your life, or the favorite sister.
Family Can Come: Yes, you can still have family at your elopement! Eloping now-a-days isn't the same it was back in the day. Traditionally when people think of eloping they think it's just two people plus a couple witnesses in a dark and dreary room at their local city hall. But times have changed and often an elopement can have a dozen people or so. You can still have a dress, flowers, nice dinner for everyone...pretty much all the glitz and glam that's associated with a huge elaborate wedding, but on a much smaller, and affordable, scale! It's a solid compromise to get immediate family off your back about not having a huge affair, you'll be able to actually afford it without breaking the bank, and oftentimes you'll be able to have a much nicer posh event than you would if it were 100+ people you were hosting. This option is so popular with Millennials that we end up photographing at least ten of these intimate nuptials each year.
Romance: There's something very old-fashioned and very romantic with the idea of running away together. Whether it be your local city hall, Vegas, a tropical destination, or heading to the big city, the idea and thought of running away with the one you love certainly is romantic.
Wedding Clothes: Have you ever heard a bride say that she just wants to wow everyone when they see her in her dress? Well, with eloping you just want to wow yourself. I mean, technically you can wear whatever you want at a big wedding as well, but let's just be real for a moment. There will be a lot less people who will judge you if you choose not to wear a big white fluffy Cinderella inspired get-up. You won't have to schedule an appointment at a bridal salon with all of your best friends, mother, sisters, grandmothers, AND the grooms mother, sisters, and possibly grandmothers. I've seen those shows on TV where the Bride goes in, falls in love, and says yes to her dress. And if you've seen them you'll have noticed that oftentimes the Bride ends up with a compromise because mommy dearest doesn't like it, or grandmama thinks you absolutely need to wear white while you have your heart set on cream. With eloping you dress for you, and get to actually enjoy the process of choosing whatever your heart desires.
Bridezilla & Groomzilla: Some people just don't handle stress well. Have you ever noticed how some people will turn into Bridezillas or Groomzillas and suddenly no one is having fun and everyone is just wishing that time would fast forward to the day after the wedding? If you know that you don't handle pressure well you might just want to save yourself from screaming at your BFF over napkin folding, or what style she decided to wear her hair.
Wedding Photos: Plenty of photographers, us included, specialize in elopement photography. Without the stress and drama of trying to get 8 Bridesmaids and 8 Groomsmen to all be camera ready at the exact same time, you'll only have to think about getting yourself ready. Not only does that mean more time for your photographers to create unique and custom photos for your wedding day, but you'll get to truly spend this time with your significant other without a group of people taking your attention.
Easy Breezy: Let's say you have a 200 person outdoor wedding planned but as you get closer you realize it's forecast to rain. Well, with eloping that problem of relocating all those people to an emergency last minute indoor option suddenly goes away. No cake toppling over. No Bridesmaid trying to hook up with a Groomsman she just met, and no embarrassing drunken speech from a sibling who decided to use this moment to turn the wedding speeches into a roast.
Vows Your Way: Without the knowledge of your super conservative aunt sitting just ten feet away, judging every stitch of clothing as well as exactly what you put in your vows, you'll instead be able to be completely and utterly yourself. You can mention whatever dumb silly inside joke that you and your fiance have together, and you won't need to feel like you're going to have to explain yourself multiple times throughout the evening.
Party On: It's kinda like having your cake and eating it too. Just because you've decided to elope doesn't mean you can't have a big party later on. If you want to party like a rock star after your actual wedding your stress levels will drop drastically. You're already married at that point, so you may as well boogy down without worry that things will go wrong. It's just a celebration at that point!
The Two of You: When you decide to elope you actually get to spend the day together. And honestly that's something that doesn't get to happen at a traditional wedding. It's so much easier to talk to every single guest at your wedding if there aren't any. And isn't that ultimately what you want? Your best friend by your side?
Whatever you decide to do, a big elaborate wedding or a small intimate affair with just the two of you, keep in mind that it's about two people who love each other coming together and celebrating that union.
Thinking about eloping and wondering if we're available? Send us an e-mail! Include all the details of your vision, and include some details about you and your spouse-to-be. Hot Tip: We love hearing how you met and how (s)he proposed!
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