What does it mean to elope?
Back in the day, an elopement was more of a sudden secretive “shotgun” wedding. This is when couples spontaneously ran off and married without telling their parents. Nowadays, elopements have evolved into planned intimate ceremonies that usually involve just the couple, an officiant, and sometimes a witness or two. Lately, we have seen an increase of couples turn their elopement into epic adventures by traveling to breathtaking destinations. Sometimes even including an elopement photographer and videographer into their vendor shortlist . However, your elopement doesn’t have to be in a stunning destination. A lot of our elopements have been in backyards, living rooms, parks, city hall, and other local spots. We’ve also seen a growth in Micro-weddings. These are similar to elopements just add more decor, details, and guests.
Why should you elope?
Overall, choosing how you tie the knot comes down to you as a couple. We can’t say that one is better than the other. We honestly love them all. What we can do is give you some reasons why you should consider eloping. This way you can decide for yourselves if it’s for you.
Compared to a traditional wedding, elopements are significantly cheaper. Especially, when you consider your honeymoon. You are dishing out money for the venue, food, beverages, decor, flowers, Dj, Band, photographer, videographer, etc. If you are looking at your budget and just can’t fathom dishing out the money for a big wedding over a house or another large investment, an elopement or even a micro wedding might be the best option for you.
Want to learn the difference between elopements, micro-weddings, minimonies, destination weddings, and larger traditional weddings?
2. LESS OVERALL STRESS AND ANXIETY
Whether or not you hire a wedding planner, the stress of planning a large wedding can really run a person down. There are a lot of decisions to be made, people to rely on, guest lists, seating charts, floral arrangements, and the occasional fire to put out. Even if you have a planner, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a stress-free environment.
Now, take a deep breath, hold, and exhale. Come back to elopements. Yup. The idea of eloping is a weight off of your shoulders, right? If not, that’s totally cool, too. We have plenty to share with you when it comes to traditional wedding day tips!
3. NO OBLIGATORY INVITES AND LESS FAMILY DRAMA
What we've learned one important lesson from when parents want to pay for the wedding. Sometimes the wedding loses the soul of the couple. Parents can tend to dictate certain aspects and details of the day because it’s their money, rather than gifting the experience and allowing the couple to create a celebration that is truly authentic to who they are. If you aren’t able to set boundaries and terms you all agree on, eloping might be an excellent alternative than having a wedding day that doesn’t feel like it’s yours. We have a personal acquaintance who was only able to invite five of her friends to her wedding because her father needed to invite all of his coworkers. Since he was paying for the wedding. She uncomfortably invited friends telling them she couldn’t invite their spouses, and fumed about how she wouldn’t know a third of the wedding party. These situations can put you in a tough bind and make your wedding feel more like work and obligation than an actual celebration.
In addition, if you have any family drama, eloping is a wonderful way to just avoid it!
Diving Deeper into family drama
Family drama can feel embarrassing. My family is far from put-together and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of how a family should look like when you’re planning your wedding, viewing photos and films of all of these seemingly happy drama-free moments. You don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes. In fact, we try not to have our couples even see those moments if we can, unless they ask us. If we think it could be funny, then we’ll check in with them first. It’s not out of having everything look perfect but more-so because those moments can really be a downer to a day focused on celebrating your love and happiness together as a couple. It’s not a day focused on how your uncle was causing a scene, sister was acting a-fool, or best man got so drunk he was escorted out (yes, these have all happened). Although, we don’t personally intervene in these scenarios, Adrienne and I have tapped many people on the shoulders to remind them to enjoy the moment, ask them to step out of the aisle as we prepare to capture first kiss, and symbolically it’s a gentle reminder that they’re on camera.
4. INTIMACY AND PRIVACY
Whether you’re an introvert and being in the spotlight makes you queasy, or you just prefer your privacy, eloping will allow you the most intimacy out of all of your wedding ceremony options. With an officiant, 1-2 guests, some details, and maybe even the incorporation of a getaway, you can count on your elopement being fully focused on the two of you.
5. “JUST US” EXPERIENCE | AUTHENTICITY
Traditional weddings, and even micro weddings can have their limitations. Venues have rules that can put a damper on some of your ideas, timelines tend to be strict, your bill can drastically increase with some of the smallest ideas, and guests tend to have an expectation of how the day unfolds. It’s hard (but not impossible) to get very creative with traditional weddings. Larger traditional weddings also feel as if there is a lot more on the line causing you to avoid seemingly risky ideas. As I mentioned before about weddings losing the soul of the couple, that can happen here, too. Elopements on the other hand can potentially contain zero to few limitations depending on how adventurous you get.
We highly recommend you honor yourselves, your ideas, and your creativity. We love to see couples have that come as you are air about them. Life is short. Live it out loud. Explore the options that best represent you. We promise you won’t regret it!
6. ADVENTURE AND EXPERIENCE
This is your opportunity to go on one of the most amazing adventures of your lives! Life is an adventure, your future is an adventure, have fun, explore, go somewhere breathtaking, or do something astounding. Elopements are all about you and the experience you share together!
7. EXTENDED HONEYMOON
It’s not unheard of to extend a destination elopement into a honeymoon. You’re already packed and away from home. You can either stay where you eloped to or head off to new destinations. If you don’t think you’ll have this opportunity to travel in the near future, this is your chance.
8. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
If you are environmentally conscious, this one is a huge bonus. Elopements are environmentally friendly when compared to larger celebrations. From food waste to toilet paper and napkins, unwanted decor, certain types of confetti, and more. Large weddings can be done with minimal waste when you put the work in or when you find the right vendors and venue, but for those who want to keep it simple, eloping is a wonderful alternative.
BONUS: HEALTH CONCERNS
With 2021 being the cleanup of 2020’s Covid-19 Pandemic. You might opt to elope now so you can continue with your life plan and have a larger celebration or traditional wedding later on. We’ve had over a dozen couples go this route in 2020. Some are now focusing on buying their first home together, or starting a family, and a majority have larger weddings planned for the future. If you’re nervous about investing in a larger traditional wedding now, then eloping or having a micro-wedding might be the perfect alternative. It could also fulfill on your excitement rather than feed into the disappointment you’ve already faced this past year, and all while simultaneously keeping you on track with your personal timeline.
No matter how you decide to get married, our best advice is you to do you. It’s a celebration of your love and future. You may want to have a huge celebration with friends and families, or you may want something a lot smaller, personal, and intimate. You may want to elope and have a big party later. Whatever your wedding looks for you, we are here to help guide you when it comes to capturing your experience through photography and videography. You can find out more about what we offer on our website, follow us on Instagram for up-to-date content, and subscribe to our email list for alerts on new blog posts, updates on events, giveaways, and more!