Photo by The Lous
What do you think of when you see the word ‘elopement’? Maybe you see a beautiful couple standing in the mountains of a national park or an officiant signing a marriage certificate at the county courthouse. But let’s take a deeper dive.
An elopement is whatever YOU want for your special day, and that’s the beauty of it.
It is a personal, intimate, and intentional celebration that is entirely focused on the couple instead of the guest experience or family obligations. It is defined only by what the couple wants and operates outside the confines of a traditional wedding. Elopements can be any style, any mood, involve a variety of events or rituals, include anyone, and take place anywhere. The options are literally endless!
The number one reason that people reported choosing to elope was that they wanted to experience a totally intimate celebration of their love – a day focused on just the two of them. Couples said they wanted to take away the pressure, anxiety, and obligation they felt about having a traditional wedding. Instead, they wanted a day authentic to them, which aligned with their values and vision! They wanted a “just us” experience.
Couples said they were free to melt into each other, focus on each other and celebrate their love in an uninhibited way that made the most sense for them – all because they chose to elope! No regrets, no stress, no pressure, no distractions – just two people committing their lives to each other.
For example, instead of running around the day of, making sure everyone and everything is in its place at the right time, maybe you take a hike with your partner and your pets. And you have the freedom to do that! Your only job is to plan the day in a way that feels most like the two of you. And, I have to say, this makes for some epic and genuine photos!
When you have to plan for 200 guests, your options are very limited by what you can pull off and afford. You have to take into consideration other people’s preferences, ideas of entertainment, comfort levels, tastes, and everything in between. I have seen with my own eyes year after year, logistics getting in the way of what a couple really desires for their day.
But, when you only have to plan for 2 people or even 15 people that you know more closely, those logistics are no longer an issue. You open the door to so many more options for the venue, decor, food, activities, and more. You can customize everything much easier.
This is EVERYTHING.
Have you ever heard a couple say, “I barely even got to hang out with my best friend at my wedding, it all happened so fast!”? I hear it all the time. Elopements allow you to spend your day with your partner and the people who matter most to you.
Also, guess what? Elopements don’t have to exclude friends and family. It’s YOUR day. Time is something that you can never get back, so spend it with those who know you and support you on a deep level. And if you are more excited about it being just the two of you, then go for it!!
It’s very difficult to have an environmentally friendly big wedding. Between people traveling, wearing single-use clothing items, using a lot of perishable flowers, catering items/food, and more, it’s hard to avoid a lot of waste. Eloping obviously involves fewer people and disposable items, which makes it easier to reduce your carbon footprint.
For me, the idea of walking down an aisle in front of 200 or more people was just overwhelming and not for me. But for many couples, the idea of planning a big wedding is very stressful and full of family obligations. It can become a full-time job (and you most likely already have one of those).
If the idea of planning a big wedding makes your anxiety alarms go off, pay attention to that and consider eloping. I can speak from experience that it definitely takes away stress and makes it way more fun!
For some, throwing a large, elaborate wedding is a way to give a gift to their family and friends. In this situation, the day represents much more and is an invaluable memory for them. I fully support this decision as well.
But many couples don’t feel the same way, and they absolutely shouldn’t have to conform to the norm.
If you simply don’t feel right putting in all of that money for one day or would get more pleasure putting that money toward a house, getting out of debt, traveling, or another reason, eloping allows you to strip everything back and intentionally place your cash where you place your value.
Maybe you can’t imagine saying your intimate wedding vows in front of a group of people but still want to celebrate with family and friends.
Great news: You don’t have to choose! You can do both!
When my husband and I got married, we eloped but then threw a party with family and friends. We shared our wedding photos and video with our guests so they could feel like they were still a part of it. And trust me, our friends and family were just as excited to celebrate with us.
So make your grand, mountain top elopement happen this year and throw your big wedding celebration on your wedding anniversary.
I know there is a lot of nervousness around the idea of announcing to family and friends that you are eloping. We hate the thought of disappointing them, but the truth is that no matter what you decide to do – elopement, intimate wedding, big wedding – you can’t please everyone and that’s okay. It certainly takes bravery, but when we are talking about the best day of your life, it is 100% WORTH IT. Please remember in all of this, the two of you and your love and happiness are the parts of it the day that matters the most.
If you are interested in chatting more about what an elopement looks like or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Let’s make magic, babes!