January 30, 2020
Let me guess… you thought getting engaged & planning your wedding would be full of excitement & fun. Maybe it was in the beginning, but I know for me at least, those feelings faded so quick it’d make your head spin. Soon it became full of pressure, obligations, monotonous researching, & frustrating decision making.
If you’re not too deep in the wedding planning trenches, you might be considering your options…
So, if you’re here, you’re probably considering eloping. Or are at least curious about it! EEEP! I’m so very excited for you!! If I could go back and tell my wedding planning self what I know now, we would have saved all the headache and just eloped.
There are so many reasons people choose to elope, there’s so much more to it than just saving money or avoiding family drama. I bet you’d be surprised to hear that neither of those are the #1 reasons people elope. But I do have to warn you…
Choosing to elope is not always an easy decision.
Even for people who are certain eloping is for them. There’s a lot of side issues that pop up when you choose to go against the grain, and have your wedding your way. Family/friend disapproval is, unfortunately, top on the list. It can be a very difficult decision for some.
But is it worth it? Ab-so-freaking-lutely.
You can find out-of-the-box ways to include your family, share your experience with them through pictures afterwards, and even have a party to celebrate after!
A few common misconceptions about people who choose to elope include being lazy & don’t want to plan, having estranged relationships with their family, or that they’re just looking for a cheap way out. While some of that may be true, and may be the reason some couples choose to elope… it’s not the majority. I personally, have a very close relationship with my family, but I’d totally choose an elopement in hindsight! Anyway…
Without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons couples choose to elope!
This one is short, but still important!
An elopement brings the importance of the day back into focus. The union between two people who love each other.
Traditional weddings tend to have a production vibe to them. There’s not a lot of time to really spend in your heart, connecting with those around you. They’re busy, chaotic, but also very fun.
I think a wedding day deserves to be both an intimate, vulnerable, showcase of love that two people have towards one another, as well as a fun celebration with those you hold dearest in your heart.
If having both sounds up your alley, check out this blog post with tips on doing just that!
I want to first start this off by saying, not all people who choose to elope have distant/dysfunctional relationships with their family members. So, if you’re thinking “I’d never elope because I’m way too close to my family & can’t imagine this day without them.” you can still elope and invite your people!
I think when you start inviting dozens of people, the stress increases, and the chance for drama increases. Even if it’s not family causing the drama. A lot of people like to gossip, about who was and wasn’t invited, or why so-and-so didn’t come. Keep it small, meaningful, & intentional.
However, there are many people who have dysfunctional families (who am I kidding, we’re all a little dysfunctional, right??). But some family dysfunction is to the point where you wouldn’t feel safe or free to express yourself and be vulnerable with your partner.
You might not even want to risk having any sort of ill feelings present on this sacred day. To keep drama to a minimum, I think it’s best to only invite those who are 100% there for you and your love, and who aren’t going to make any part of the day about their wants or concerns. If that’s simply you and your partner, that’s great! If that’s a few of your close friends & family, that’s great too!
Weddings can be hella expensive. The U.S. average is $36,000. This is for one day. ONE. DAY.
We spent less that that, but more than I care to admit. And, in case you were wondering, yes, it’s on my list of wedding day regrets. I just can’t. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
There’s a way that weddings start to become about the details. The tables & chairs, monogrammed napkins, bridesmaid dresses, the color pallet, detailed centerpieces, all perfectly curated. All adding up to thousands of dollars. Thousands, spent on stuff. Stuff that only lasts for that one day.
Not to mention the environmental impact of having a traditional wedding.
You hear people talk about spending that money on something more tangible. Like a vacation where you’ll make memories, or to start savings for a downpayment on a house. But I’m not sure how many people actually take that suggestion seriously.
There’s something that feels important about having a wedding celebration. But I think there’s a way to have both, if you think outside the box enough… and not let yourself get swept away by the pressure to “do it big”.
You can have a more intimate party, that costs less. Where you can have meaningful connections with those who are closest to you and deeply love & support you and your partner.
If going on a trip is more important, then do that. Make your wedding day a part of an epic trip. Go to that bucket list destination you’ve always wanted to, but haven’t yet. Splurge on that trip & make your wedding day an epic adventure.
This is the second most popular reason couples make the decision to elope, and it’s a big one. Make it to the bottom for a shocking statistic about wedding days!!
Having a traditional wedding is STRESSFUL. I know you’ve heard it from pretty much anyone & everyone. Even if you hire a wedding planner. It’s just the nature of the best y’all.
Whether it’s the actual planning of a 100+ person event, the HMUA or caterer running behind, a dramatic family member, someone from the bridal party is sick, or you’re having an outdoor ceremony and it’s supposed to be thunderstorms, there’s bound to be something. Something that’ll cause stress in a day that’s jam packed with events, requires multiple people/businesses, and detailed coordination to pull off.
I am not an easily stressed person. I feel like I do pretty well under pressure and am often calm when others are not. But I was stressed on our wedding day. I think part of it was because we held it at our home in the country, so we knew where things were and spent a lot of the morning running around finalizing everything and making sure things were where we wanted them.
But even the reception was stressful for me. I was running around saying hi to everyone, I barely sat down to eat, we had the traditional dances & toasts, and I don’t remember most of it!!! Y’all, this is a common side-effect of a stressful wedding. Couples don’t remember their wedding day. Read that again!!
This is it! The most common reason couples choose to elope! Wanting a more us-centered wedding day experience. Which is totally awesome and really mindful thinking!
So often couples get swept away & bulldozed by their own weddings. I’ve photographed dozens of weddings and the couples are often so busy they don’t have much time to spend together, alone, soaking in the greatness of the day.
Sometimes, when they choose to do a first look, they get a few intimate moments to themselves… before it’s off to the next portion/event of the day.
During the ceremony, many couples report feeling stressed or insecure about saying their intimate vows in-front of hundreds of guests was intimidating.
Even at the reception, they spend a lot of time fluttering from table to table trying to visit with all of the people they invited to this event! Sure, there’s the first dance and if you’re lucky (I was not) you’ll have time for a lot more… but between so many traditions, like the garter toss, bouquet toss, cake cutting, & toasts, there’s a lot of time spent away from each other or entertaining others. At least, I know this was my experience with our traditional wedding, leaving me with plenty of wedding day regrets.
With an elopement you get to truly cherish every moment with your spouse. Aside from getting ready, you’re almost never apart. There’s no pull to perform certain traditions or make your rounds to be sure and “Well let me at least say hi.” to everyone you invited before they leave. Let me tell you from experience, it is impossible to have meaningful connections with 100+ people in one evening.
Even if you choose to invite a few guests, there’s intimacy and safety with elopements that allow for true vulnerability on your wedding day, that traditional weddings just don’t provide.
In the end, the decision is up to you and your partner. Every couple is different so every couple will have a unique mixture of reasons influencing their decision. I believe it’s important to go in the directions your heart calls you.
If eloping makes your heart sing, find a way to make it happen! After all, this whole thing is all because of the love you feel in your heart for your partner.
Do any of these reasons speak to you and your thoughts? What are your reasons for wanting your wedding the way you do (elopement or not)?
I love hearing your wedding & elopement stories. Let me know in the comments!!