If you're here, you might be asking yourself - what the heck is this "elopement" thing I keep hearing about?
Chances are, unless you live under a rock, you've heard the term elopement. Maybe you even know someone who chose to elope instead of having a traditional wedding. But what exactly is an elopement? And a better question yet, is eloping for you?
Eloping might be for you if:
- You want to have a wedding day that is focused on you and your person (not your guests)
- You don't want the stress of planning a big wedding
- You love adventure and having an adventurous wedding day sounds exactly like you
- You don't like to be the center of attention and would rather have a private wedding day
- You want to do something unique and non-traditional for your wedding day
- You are looking for something a little more budget friendly
If any of those apply to you and you want to learn even more about the benefits of choosing to elope I encourage you to continue reading this article!
Eloping isn't the same as it used to be
The dictionary definition of elopement is " to run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent" or "to escape" and for some, that may still be the case - but it doesn't have to be. My favorite definition of elopement comes from Adventure Instead - "An elopement is an intentionally small, intimate, meaningful, authentic wedding day that’s a true reflection of your relationship—where the focus of the day is really about YOU TWO." These days, eloping isn't limited to running off to a courthouse or rebelliously fleeing to Vegas. Eloping no longer means you have to get married in secret, in fact, many "elopements" even include close friends and family. Eloping simply offers the opportunity to have a wedding day that is entirely your own. Whether that's traveling somewhere with just your person and getting married in a remote location, or having a little back yard get together with your closest friends and family. Choosing to elope allows you to do exactly what you want on your wedding day without worrying about meeting everyone else's expectations.
Eloping is typically cheaper than a traditional wedding
According to a 2018 study by The Knot, the average cost of a traditional wedding is $33,931!! That is a whole year's salary for some people. Eloping, with the exception of a destination elopement, is much more budget friendly. Another 2018 article by The Knot cited that most elopements, on average, cost about 90% less than a traditional wedding. Even top tier all-inclusive elopement packages average around $10k-$15k and these often include everything from elopement photography, lodging for you and even a small number of guests, flowers, an officiant and sometimes even tux/dress rentals. Meaning even if you choose the very top of the line elopement packages, you can still come out at less than half of the average cost of a traditional wedding. There are also many ways to have epic elopements for less than $5,000 if that's more feasible for you. Either way, it's still immensely cheaper than having a traditional wedding.
However, I will note that just because you're not doing the traditional wedding thing, doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in your wedding day. It doesn't mean you can't have the dress of your dreams or a beautiful location. In fact, in most cases choosing to elope gives you even more options for your wedding day, which brings me to the most important aspect of eloping....
Eloping allows you to have a wedding day that is all about you
When it comes to eloping, there are SO MANY OPTIONS. That's honestly one of the best parts. What works for one couple, might not work for another and that's ok! That's part of the fun. You get to do what YOU want on YOUR wedding day. You don't have to listen to what other people or social media have to say. An elopement can be anything from getting married in front of a waterfall in Iceland, to getting married in a Taco Bell parking lot if that is what you truly want to do on your big day. The only voice you need to listen to regarding your wedding day is that of your heart and your person's heart. It is your wedding day. Make it YOUR wedding day.
Your day is not about pleasing other people - It is about the love that you and your person share. I'm not saying you shouldn't include your friends and family. If that's what you truly want to do, then by all means, include them! There are so many ways to have family or friends be a part of your wedding day without having a traditional wedding. I personally plan to have a hiking elopement that includes a few close friends and then later have a reception with additional friends and family. I love them and want them to be a part of our wedding, but it just isn't feasible to have them all hike out to a remote location and that's what my person and I really want. Other couples may have family drama and not want to invite anyone to the ceremony and also not have a reception. That's ok too. If you don't want to invite anyone to take part in your day, you don't HAVE to. The day you get married is one of the most important days of your life. Invite or don't invite whoever the heck you want. You deserve for it to be a day that you remember for the rest of your lives and for the right reasons. You don't want to remember your wedding day as the most stressful, chaotic day of your life. You want to remember it as the happiest.
To sum it all up -
Eloping = Your day, your way.
If having an elopement sounds like something you'd be interested in, I'd love to chat about how we can work together to create your dream wedding day. In additional to being an elopement photographer, I can also act as your personal elopement guide and best friend. This means you don't have to worry about finding the perfect location, applying for permits, or creating a timeline. I can do all of that for you - making your wedding day even easier! All of my elopement photography packages (even destination elopements) include everything you need to make all your wedding day dreams come true.
Click the button below to fill out my contact form so we can get to work making your wedding day the best day of your life.
Need more information on how to elope in the south east? Check out the following blog posts - Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina.