There are many benefits of eloping and many reasons why you should elope but out of the 100+ reasons I could have written about I’ve condensed it to 5 very important and top reasons why people elope and why you should too!
The more people realize that eloping isn’t what it used to be; (running to the courthouse to get married in secret, or going to a dingy chapel in Vegas). Rather it is about intimate special moments, values, and simplicity, the more people realize that eloping may be perfect for them!
As a California-based elopement photographer who combines their love for the outdoors with their passion for capturing moments, I wanted to share 5 reasons why so many people elope instead of having a traditional big wedding.
1. More Authenticity And Less Performance.
Choosing to elope puts the focus on nothing else but the love you have for one another, especially during the ceremony. One of my favorite things is to simplify the ceremony by going to a remote location where nobody else is around. This gives permission to couples to write their vows in a way that’s vulnerable and really from the heart. Nobody else is listening to them say their vows except each other.
Although I’m obviously in the general area taking pictures while they speak their vows, my attention is very split and focused on photo-related things like exposure and composing the photo, so I’m only picking up bits and pieces. There’s nothing wrong with declaring your love and promises in front of a larger audience, but saying your vows around a bunch of people can make them become more performative and less genuine. It allows you to cherish the day and each other rather than having the distractions of wedding details and time constraints.
With big weddings, couples typically love hosting, parties, planning, and value being around all their family, ceremonial traditions, and bridal formalities on their wedding day.
With elopements, couples value the experience of being with each other (or just a few important people that mean the most to them) over the parties and wedding industry templates and standards. They love crafting a day that’s unique to their personalities, the adventure, the intimacy of the day, breathtaking photos, and unforgettable experiences.
2. The “Just Us” feeling
When having an elopement you have more alone time during the day with your significant other, it feels like it’s just you and them and no one else. Elopements are so much more intimate than big weddings. Although it fits certain personality types to have a wedding where all the people you and your parents know from all over attend, being able to have an intimate wedding with just you and your partner as well as your photographer and officiant (or in this case just me, your photographer since I’m ordained too!) is much more meaningful.
Additionally, what’s so amazing about elopements is that you can choose who you want to come to your wedding. There are no obligations when it’s an elopement you don’t have to feel obligated to invite your cousin’s “+ 1” you’ve never met or your dad’s law firm partners. YOU get the freedom to choose who attends your wedding and most importantly who makes you the happiest at your wedding. So if you decide to do it alone, even better!
3. Save Money
Eloping just to save money is not a good reason to why you should elope. It’s only a perk. If you are only eloping to save money, you very well could have regrets down the road. Eloping is more of a personality fit. But since saving money is such a great perk, here’s some information to give you more context.
The average cost of a big wedding in California is about 39K, and that’s with selecting a run-of-the-mill venue, run-of-the-mill-food choices, florist – you get the idea! You can have an all-day, high-end elopement for a third of that! And that’s including extras like a helicopter ride too! A common misconception about weddings is how the cost is broken down. The RECEPTION is what costs the most; food & beverage catering minimums, decorations for every table, live band, DJ, cake and dessert table. Not only that, but you will definitely need to hire a very qualified party event planner to bring all those elements together in order for the event to be functional and flow.
4. More flexibility and less planning
Weddings can take a year or more of planning with a lot of detail involved. Elopement planning can take as little as three weeks! I have past clients who are living proof! Besides, when you have an elopement there’s WAY more flexibility. Since it’s just you and your partner, things like location, timing, etc are a lot easier to coordinate and manage. You won’t have to worry about accommodating others. Your time, your wants, and your needs come first when you decide to elope!
5. Choices (locations and more)
Last but not least, the choices you have with elopements are endless!! With elopements, every single “rule” or obligation that we think “big weddings” have is non-existent. With elopements, couples have WAY more choices and control over their wedding day.
Especially for the location! Yes, there are many different locations you can choose from for a big wedding as well. BUT, elopement choices are completely different. With elopements, you can go hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, go to the beach, or have a picnic at the top of a mountain. Your “venue” can be waterfalls, sand dunes, desert flats – anything that speaks to you. This is one of my favorite and top reasons why you should elope over everything else!
The benefits of eloping lead down a path of simplicity, authenticity, intimacy, love, stress-free beginnings, reduction of costs, and adventure! If you choose to walk down this path, Let’s do it together!