Eloping has a new definition – it no longer means running away to Vegas or getting married at the courthouse in secret. Now, it means ditching the commercialized fluff for a small, meaningful wedding. Eloping focuses on why you are getting married. How you get married matters.
The number one reason to elope: you want a wedding day focused on you two NOT pleasing other people. You are committing yourself to your partner. Your wedding day should reflect that. You get to skip the family drama, fanfare, frivolousness and “show” of throwing a party for your loved ones.
Many couples elope because they are private and introverted. They want the ability to be themselves. 100% authenticity comes when they don’t have to put on an “act” for other people. The thought of walking down the aisle and sharing their whole heart in front of hundreds of eyes is frightening. They don’t want to be the center of attention.
You don’t have to compete with everyone else getting married. There is no keeping up with the Joneses because you have no guests there to judge you. You don’t have to worry about anyone else. The only thing that matters is to make sure you and your spouse have the best day ever together.
You are able to intentionally spend your money on things that matter. The average wedding spend for 2019 USA couples was
$33,900*The Knot 2019 Real Wedding Study
Would you rather that money be spent on the venue, food that gets eaten, flowers that wilt, favors that get thrown away or on creating memories with your new spouse?
Many couples elope as a way to kick-off their honeymoon. They want a day of unforgettable adventures such as hiking, boating, going on a helicopter ride, etc. Whatever you love or have always wanted to try, you can do on your wedding day!
We didn’t want to waste money on all the fluff that goes into weddings. We spent money on the things that last, we didn’t care about decorations or fancy cakes or a big glamorous venue. We wanted the bare essentials, to us it was about what weddings are truly all about, celebrating love. Lastly, we wanted to marry in a place we feel close to God in. Nothing makes you feel smaller, more vulnerable, or in more awe standing at the edge of a 1,000 canyon.https://greenweddingshoes.com/intimate-horseshoe-bend-elopement-india-jay/
Along with creating memories, couples that elope also want their day to be meaningful. They don’t want to toss a garter (which seems awkward) just because a wedding magazine says they have to. They want to share their vows together privately and only do things that are meaningful to them. Elopements make it easy to blend cultural traditions. You don’t have to pick, you can keep traditions from both sides of the family that you want. Or makeup your own.
Believe it or not, majority of brides don’t remember much from their wedding day! How sad is that?! Their wedding day is so rushed, stressful and overwhelming that they don’t have time to process it.
So many brides report having foggy memories of their wedding days, and it’s no surprise — with all the stimulation and people and excitement it’s hard for your brain to slow down long enough to process and store any memories.https://offbeatbride.com/wedding-day-memory-loss/
Elopements are not rushed because no one is waiting on you. There isn’t a strict timeline or wedding coordinator rushing you off to the next event. You get to decide when you are ready. You have time to soak it all in. Elopement days are laid-back, stress-free and easy-going.
Let me tell you a story about one of my brides (I’m a wedding photographer)…After their ceremony, we walked out the doors of the venue to start taking family photos. Most of her family had left instead of joining us. We waited and waited…in the sun…in the Summer. We took the photos we could while my assistant wrangled up family members from all over the property. By this time, my bride and groom were starting to sweat in their heavy wedding attire. As I was getting everyone positioned for the photo, my bride whispered to me with teary eyes:
I can’t wait for my wedding day to be over.
My heart broke for her. No one should want their wedding day to end. It should be the best day ever! But I understood. Family photos on the wedding day are my least favorite part too – many people complain, the bride and groom have to stand and fake smile for a long time, it is like wrangling cats. I get wanting nice photos with your guests, but most of the time, the bride and groom are pressured into taking a ton of photos they didn’t even want or need.
I’ve also ran across sticky situations when people want to be in the photo and some people want them out of it like divorced parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, estranged family members, fights starting because people want to be next to or not next to certain people.
Once those are over, if I am lucky, I get 30-60 minutes for husband and wife photos. I have had wedding days where I literally got 5 minutes because the day was running so behind. We can totally get good photos during that time, but they will be somewhere on the property of the venue since there is no time to travel. These photos are quick. We run through poses fast with little time to make them meaningful.
On the flipside, I know you don’t want your wedding day to be an 8 hour long photo shoot but think imagine this:
We go on a hike to your ceremony site. You see a beautiful meadow of wild poppies along the way. We have time to stop and take photos there. I am taking photos of you two holding hands hiking up the trail. I got photos of your bouquet in your backpack. We get to the top where I get photos of you two enjoying the view, then exchanging vows, having your first dance alone on top of the world.
Then I get to ask you questions and play games that will bring you closer together. Smiles can happen naturally because we are not worrying about guests waiting on us. You watch the sunset peacefully together while I take photos from afar. Then we hike back down and capture some photos of you two with the stars. When you look back on your photos you will remember all of these moments and emotions.
Couples that elope are in their element in the great outdoors. They don’t want to look back on their wedding photos to see forced smiles and remember how stressed out they were while the photo was taken.
Meaningful documentation of their love story is important to eloping couples. Beautiful photos of themselves in an epic place are what they want to hang on their walls. That’s what best represents them to share with their loved ones and future generations.
If you any of these reasons to elope resonated with you, you should totally consider eloping! You get to define what your day looks like. The best part is that you can have the best of both worlds; The intimacy of an elopement and lots of love from a big wedding.
If you still want your best friend or your parents at your ceremony – do it! Maybe you want to elope on a Friday then have a big dance party on Saturday to celebrate with all your loved ones – do it. We eloped (view more here) and had our reception a few months later.
Your wedding day celebrates your love and is the first day of the rest of your lives together. No matter what you decide, just make sure it is YOU.
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Why do you want to (or did) elope? Please tell us in the comments! You can check out my own elopement story here.