What Exactly is Elopement Wedding?

"Elopement" recently a popular term can have different meanings depending on the context, and in the past, it referred to an act of running away or escaping, in order to get married without the knowledge or approval of others, especially parents and relatives. These days to elope means to have more of an intentional ceremony, including some special activities such as hiking or another adventure outside that bonds the couple. Modern elopement means choosing to be married in a beautiful landscape or place which the couple finds appealing. Most often it's just the couple, officiant and the photographer but some couple decide to include a few loved ones. Most of my eloping couples decide to run away just the two of them and leave or the planning, elopement location scouting, timeline creating to me, but there isn't any official rule to what to call an elopement anymore. In general I like to refer to elopements as gatherings of 10 or less including the couple, intimate wedding or micro wedding with guests 10-30.

intimate westren wedding
arches elopement with a couple holding hands
lgbtq elopement wedding in Utah
arches elopement with a couple holding hands
wedding bridal party
intimate elopement wedding

Top Reasons Couples Decide to Elope

  • The cost:

The main reason why couples choose to elope is the cost. Not many of the brides know but an average wedding in America costs around 35000$. That's a price of a new car, decent downpayment on a house or in many cased yearly salary for some people. The budget is deciding factor in terms of what do I want included in my wedding, what can I go without, what's important, what's not. Elopements are much more budget friendly with your photographer choice and travel being the main expense.

  • The simplicity- in general elopements are meant to be simple in terms of no structure, no rigid schedule, certain traditions or expectations. There is no right of wrong when it comes to eloping and what you can or can not do. Many couples decide to keep it simple and have a ceremony in a beautiful place followed by a hike and picnic with portraits.
  • Lack of stress in planning: there are still logistics that need to be taken care of when eloping and you can read more on that in my blog but in general most couples consider eloping stress free comparing to having a big wedding. You still have to find the photographer, location, get necessary permits and plan a trip to your elopement destination but you don't have to worry about expensive venues, catering, dj's, excessive florals, pricer wedding dress etc.
  • Intentionality: Eloping couples like to focus on what's important to them on this special day. How intentional they want their wedding day to be. It's really about their vision and nobody else's.
  • Choosing the scenery that speaks to you: Pick the scenery not a venue. Literary if you want mountains, the beach, the desert or lakes you can pick your dream scenery and your photography can help you find the right location to exchange your vows. Most outdoor elopements don't even need any permits, and in the worse case they cost around 100-200$, now compare that to a real wedding venue.
  • Prioritizing experiences and memories; it's really all about you and what the two of you want to do on your elopement day. If you like hiking, go on a hike to a beautiful lake, if you like rock climbing do just that. Sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do on your elopement day so make it a fun one.

teton elopement wedding with the views
intimate elopement wedding
intimate elopement wedding
intimate elopement wedding
intimate elopement wedding

Top Reasons Couples Decide to Have a Traditional Wedding

In the contrary a traditional wedding might seem enticing

  • if you want to have all your loved one around you. Sometimes it's hard to narrow down who do you want to invite and the number easily gets bigger and bigger. For some couple a wedding is a good opportunity to have both families meet and celebrate together.

You can also read my blog o how to include them in an elopement here.

  • If you don't want to travel and have an indoor venue in mind.
  • traditions are important to you including a big reception, dinner etc.
  • you want the wedding experience.
  • family pressure and expectations. That's not the best reason to have. wedding but unfortunately it's a common one. Many couples wish they could elope or have. macro wedding but the pressure from their families is too big, so they do it to make other people happy.

Before deicing what kind of wedding you're going to have it's important to answer these questions:

What is important to me and my partner?

What is our budget and where do we want to spend it?

Is it a venue or is it the honeymoon or something else?

What scenery do we both love?

Do we care more about traditions or experiences that are more us?

Who do we really want to have around on our wedding day?

What do we really want to do on our big day?

Are we very traditional or more open minded and spontaneous?

Wither way have fun planning your elopement or wedding. And whatever you choose make sure it was 100% your decision!

In conclusion: The goal for both elopements and weddings stays the same. It's the  commitment to your to your partner. It’s the journey, the experience, and the adventure that makes elopements and weddings so different.

If you're thinking of eloping or having an intimate wedding in the outdoors, make sure to contact me.