Does the thought of walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of people terrify you? Do you get hives at the thought of all the planning and drama involved with big weddings? That’s okay, you are not alone. Huge weddings aren’t for everyone and luckily, there are alternatives. If you’re craving something a little more intimate and/or outside of the box, then eloping may just be the answer. If you’re curious about this alternative, then I gotchu! Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of eloping and some notable pros and cons to consider.
What does it mean to elope?
The secrets out! First of all, what is an elopement? The meaning of elopement has shifted significantly over the last several years. Where it used to refer to marriages done in haste and in secret, the new meaning is more nuanced to include destination weddings that are more intentional and intimate. The negative connotations and stigma typically associated with elopement are now becoming a thing of the past.
Can I still have a traditional wedding after I elope?
Ummm…hell yes you can. Remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to YOUR wedding and there is no right or wrong way to do things. Most recently, with the arrival of the Coronavirus, it was next to impossible to have large weddings with family and friends in attendance. A LOT of couples were forced to make hard choices, and many chose to continue with getting married, but postponed any large wedding and reception until it was safe.
Also, let’s be real for a second, weddings are EXPENSIVE! Some couples just aren’t able or willing to finance a standard wedding. For them, having a smaller and more intimate ceremony initially, and optioning for a larger wedding or vow renewal later, or even years down the road, is a more ideal choice.
Either way though, elopements have garnered a lot of positive attention and become a popular choice for couples.
The Pros and Cons of Eloping
Now that you are a little more familiar with what elopement actually is, here are several pros and cons to consider as well:
Pro: You can save a lot of money
According to The Knot, the average wedding costs are bouncing back quickly to pre-Covid numbers at approximately $22,500 for a traditional wedding…OUCH!
Alternatively, while eloping isn’t free, it is still a lot more cost efficient. Linens, décor, catering, open-bars, venues—these are things that you typically don’t have to worry about with eloping. The money you have to use for your wedding will actually be used towards creating the most memorable and exciting moments for you and your partner—not, on things such as chair-covers and center-pieces.
Con: Family and friends can get a little salty about it
No matter what you say or do, there is going to be SOMEONE who gets upset at the idea of you eloping. A lot of times couples are pressured into the big wedding they didn’t want because of trying to satisfy the family. In the end, this is all about you and your partner. NOT THEM! So, I say do whatever the hell YOU want to do. There are some great ways to include family and friends afterwards. You can always have a celebratory dinner or party when you get back from your elopement with those who were not in attendance.
Pro: WAAAAY less stress
There’s no way around it, wedding planning is stressful! There are so many decisions to make. What color linens would you like? How much should we spend on the catering? Do we really need to get a photobooth? Omg, and don’t even get me started on seating charts! With an elopement though, so much of that goes out the window.
Of course, with all weddings there are still a few decisions that need to be made…or are there? Fortunately, I help my couples with everything involved when it comes to planning their elopements. You just show up and I got your back, it’s that easy.
Con: Missing out on some traditions
There are a few traditions that occur at large weddings that just aren’t going to happen with an elopement. If it is your dream to be walked down the aisle in front of hundreds of your family and friends, then eloping may not be right for you.
I have found ways to incorporate a lot of traditions, such as a cake cutting and the first dance, but if you opt for an elopement, be mindful of the things you will be missing out on. I encourage everyone to make a list of the things that they absolutely cannot do without on their wedding day so we can discuss the feasibility of each item and see if elopement is a good option.
Pro: You can get married anywhere
This is my favorite thing! You can literally get married wherever you want AND turn it into your honeymoon! All of the money you would typically spend on food and entertainment for hundreds of guests could go towards an epic wedding adventure in Iceland or Alaska!
The possibilities are endless! Seriously, think of somewhere that you have been dreaming of vacationing and let’s turn it into your dream elopement.
Con: You may wish some people were there
Even if you decide that an elopement is the best decision for you, there may still be a few pangs of regret about not having all your old college buddies and/or co-workers with you celebrating, and that is OK! Couples who choose to elope, often find that throwing a bash afterwards or even an engagement party before-hand is a satisfying and fulfilling way to include those people.
Also, a fun idea for an afterparty is to have a slideshow of your epic wedding adventure playing in the background and letting your friends share in some of your cherished moments, such as that romantic helicopter tour to a glacier or sultry camel ride through the desert.
Pro: You actually get to spend the day together
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from my traditional wedding couples is that they barely got to see each other on their wedding day. A lot of this is because, not only are the bride and groom busy prepping and getting ready for the wedding, but after the ceremony it’s time to cut the cake, do all the dances, and then greet and talk to all the guests. After the whirlwind of activities, most people realize that they barely got to spend any real time together on their special day.
With an elopement the experience is totally different. The day is 100% about you and the things that are important to you. Want to wake up and have breakfast together and then help each other get ready? You totally can! You get to spend the entire day doing the things that you have decided to do together.
So, what’s the verdict? Does an elopement sound like a good choice for you? Are you still riding the fence and have a few more questions? Feel free to ask me anything that’s on your mind. At the end of the day, all I care about is helping you find what your dream day looks like and making it come true. Memories are special moments that tell your story, so let me help you make some amazing ones. Check out our packages here!
Yes to eloping and doing things your way!!! You have awesome photos as well!!! <3
So many great pros and cons! It’s definitely a super personal decision and love this guide to help them through the process. Awesome!
I am loving the vibes here! immediately transports me into nordic lands.. great post about the reasoning about eloping :))
Such great information here for a bride to read.. Good job!
I love everything about eloping, great job showing all of the pros and cons!
Great resource with some practical pros and cons…thanks for sharing!
Yaaaaaas, the answer will be always yes! yes! yes! You have given so many reasons to do so! Elopements are magical!
Thank you for pointing out all the benefits of eloping. My fiancé and I are considering an elopement because I have a lot of drama in my extended family. I think it is a good idea and will start looking at all our options for a fun and unique destination wedding.
I like the idea of spending the entire day together as a couple, thanks for pointing that out. I don’t like big events, and am considering eloping for my upcoming wedding. My fiancé is also happy to elope, since he has a lot of family drama. I think that eloping might be a great choice for us.
That’s awesome he is on board with the idea as well! If you need any guidance you just let us know!