This pandemic has couples considering eloping who likely never would’ve considered it. As an elopement photographer and an individual that eloped myself, I want to reassure you that eloping isn’t just a plan B. So this is for those of you trying to recoup from the loss of your big wedding and for those that have been on the elopement train all along.
Eloping isn’t a lesser option. Eloping isn’t shameful. Eloping is still a wedding day. Eloping is beautiful.
So here I am to convince you that eloping is the best. I think more people need it as their plan A and here’s why:
Anyone that has planned a wedding or helped plan one can tell you how many times people have inserted their opinion about what their wedding should look like. When you elope, you simplify the wedding details to only what you want. If you like a bunch of typical wedding traditions, keep them around! If you think they’re dumb, skip them. You’re not obligated to anything because eloping intentionally refocuses the day on you.
If you really think about it, wedding schedules are pretty restricting. Your wedding should be about celebrating your connection and the start of forever together. It’s totally fine if a ceremony and dance party structure does not look like a fun day to you. Think about what you actually enjoy doing. Maybe that’s kayaking, hiking, getting coffee together, visiting breweries, or whatever else it may be! Think about your perfect day and those are all options for eloping. Don’t let weird traditions keep you from actually enjoying your wedding.
Eloping doesn’t necessarily mean running off and it’s only the two of you (though it sure can be). You can invite family, friends, and whoever is important to you. But the key here, if you don’t want them there, don’t invite them. That may mean 10 people or maybe just the two of you. You don’t have to justify who you do and don’t invite. You don’t have to be on bad terms with someone to not invite them. It simply comes down to whether you want that individual present for such an important day. When I got married, I was a bit terrified of wearing my heart on my sleeve and committing to my husband for the rest of my life in front of my mom’s cousin’s coworker and Freddy from that one family reunion. Like how did you even get here? The list of who you need to invite to not offend anyone gets long. Your day is important and you are only obligated to invite who you actually want there.
Have you ever heard anyone say their wedding went by in a blur? When you’re trying to greet everyone, checking to make sure everything is running smoothly, and getting pulled different directions all night, it’s easy for things to fly by. Eloping intentionally slows down the day and shortens to guest list so it lets you absorb every moment.
Eloping also isn’t a cop-out for people that don’t want to pay for a full wedding. It is for people that would rather put their money towards something that matters to them. I don’t know about you, but monogrammed napkins and feeding that mom’s cousin’s coworker seems like a waste of money to me. Why are spending money on stuff that’s to please the people that come to your wedding? It’s your day, focus on what matters. Take all the money for things that are insignificant to you and put it towards getting married at an epic destination. Or maybe take a helicopter tour or zipline or go whale watching or take a Jeep tour. Think about all the awesome, memorable things you can do to celebrate when you’re not paying to feed 100 people.
When there’s so many people to greet at a wedding, there’s less time with your new spouse, your wedding party, and immediate family. When you focus your time on a small group of people that matter, you get to dedicate focused time to those people. If you chose to invite someone to your elopement, odds are they played a big role in your relationship and who you are. You want to be able to share special moments with those people plus actually get to see your spouse. You’d be amazed how many couples feel like they hardly saw their significant other and closest loved ones on their wedding day.
When you have to fit 100-200 people, you’re limited on where you can get married. If you elope with a small group of people that matter, there’s significantly more options that open up. You can pick a mountain lake at the end of a 5 mile hike or just take a stroll on the beach. Think about your favorite vacation spot ever and that’s now a venue option. Saw a cool spot on Pinterest? Explore it for the first time on your day.
Elopements limit people and hence limit the potential drama. I’m a pretty drama free person and my loved ones are also pretty drama free but I was shocked at how much drama there was around the reception part of my wedding. Even if everyone is easy going, you’ll feel pulled around and stressed. It’s hard to start drama and create chaos if it’s just 10 people total on a beach sitting in lawn chairs.
Your wedding day should be full of emotions. Are you the happy tears type? Well then you should be shedding all those happy tears without thinking twice. Being on display for an entire day doesn’t exactly put you in that head space. Eloping gives you so many avenues to create a safe space to FEEL. You can say vows with just the two of you without another soul hearing (even if you have guests!). You can create a section of time with zero disturbances (and yes, that includes your photographer) where it’s just the two of you celebrating your new milestone! I took just 10 minutes on my elopement day to talk and dance on the beach with my new spouse. By far the highlight of the entire day. You should feel all the feels on your day and have no fear entirely expressing those.
That’s right, you get to pull the selfish card. You get one wedding day, OWN it. Even deeper than that, when you chose to elope, you chose to take an unconventional route because you know it’s what’s best for you and your partner. You’re starting your forever relationship by saying you’re going to do what it takes to take care of your relationship. And that is totally awesome. The whole point of getting married is committing to each other and sometimes that means breaking the mold.