April 9, 2022
Whether this question occurred before you even got engaged, or you turned to each other in the middle of being 10 tabs deep in different venues, Pinterest boards, and seating chart templates – if you find yourself asking your partner, “should we elope?” that can be a scary thing!
There are a lot of expectations around weddings, perpetuated by the wedding industry, and often by family and friends – so a lot of couples don’t even realize that there might be other options. If you’re wondering, “should we elope?” this guide is all about answering that question, and some signs that eloping is the right decision for you!
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what eloping means – so if you’re picturing a courthouse ceremony and feeling like that couldn’t possibly feel as meaningful or special as a big wedding, don’t worry! I’ve got something even better.
I’m talking about the new definition of eloping, which involves taking back your wedding day, and making sure that every step of the way, you’re prioritizing the two of you and your experience. An elopement is a wedding day that’s intentionally small, with a focus on the couple and what truly matters to the both of you – that can mean eloping in the forest with your closest friends, tying the knot on the beach with no one else around, celebrating at a cabin with your family, and anything else you can imagine!
To learn more about what it means to elope, check out this guide.
If the two of you are wondering, “should we elope,” but you aren’t quite ready to make the decision, I’m here to help! These are some signs that eloping is right for you.
Now, I’m not trying to convince you here – I think the best way to get married is the one that’s true to you and reflects your relationship. An elopement isn’t better than a big wedding, but it might be better for you, which is what really matters!
Your wedding day should be something you look forward to, not a day you’re dreading or eager to get it over with. And honestly, one of the first signs that you should elope is often just a gut feeling – the one that comes up when you think about getting married in front of 200 people, or about spending $15,000 on a venue, or about spending the day rushing from place to place and worrying about not having enough time.
Because big weddings are so ingrained in us as what we’re “supposed to do,” this realization may not even cross your mind until later! Some couples know from the start that it’s not for them, but my partner and I didn’t realize it until AFTER we had started planning a 100 person wedding, and even put down a deposit on a venue. This is pretty common, so if you’re in the middle of planning a wedding and suddenly get the feeling that maybe you don’t want this after all, don’t ignore it! Sure, maybe the feeling is temporary because you stayed up too late and looked at too many color schemes, but it might be a sign that you should elope instead – so sit with it, and think it over.
You’ll never regret getting married in a way that makes you happy, but you might regret going through with a wedding day you realized you don’t actually want.
A huge reason that a lot of couples choose to elope is because they just don’t like the idea of all eyes being on them, all day. For some people, the thought of sharing their vows (which are probably the most meaningful thing you’ve ever written) in front of an audience, just doesn’t feel right!
Whether it’s stage fright, or you’re an introvert, or you just feel that the moment would be more meaningful if it was shared with just your partner (and maybe a few loved ones), this is a sign that you should elope!
Another big reason that couples consider eloping is because wedding planning is actually a lot of work! While elopements definitely require planning too, it’s usually a lot more laid back, and a lot more fun, because instead of figuring out how to entertain 100 people, you’re thinking about what would make your wedding day truly incredible and meaningful.
If you’ve been procrastinating planning your wedding because just the thought of it stresses you out, or you’ve started but are finding it tough to continue planning, that’s a sign that eloping might be right for you!
Big weddings often seem like they’re about everyone but the couple, and the day you get married can easily slip into pleasing other people. That’s a huge bummer, because the two of you are getting married! You’re supposed to, you know, enjoy it.
One of the best things about elopements is that they’re so customizable. Your wedding day can truly be anything you want! Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, a quiet day together, a small ceremony with your nearest & dearest – you can do absolutely anything when you elope.
If you like the idea of having flexibility and freedom to decide how you get married, eloping might be right for you!
It’s no secret that weddings are expensive, and when you compare the cost of eloping to the cost of a traditional wedding, the difference is pretty massive! But, I don’t want you to think that elopements are for couples who don’t want to invest in their day or couples who are “cheap.” The smaller budget can definitely be a sign that eloping is better for you, but it’s more about the value of your day, not the cost. If you spend $$$$ on a huge wedding, but none of it really matters to you, that’s so different from spending less on a day that means more.
Here’s what I mean by that – your elopement can include plane tickets to Iceland and a stay at a luxury resort, or it can be a day where you hike to a waterfall for the cost of a park pass. The value of the day comes from the experience you have, and from making sure that it’s exactly what you want! Eloping allows you to prioritize, and to decide what you really want to spend your money on – so if the experience you have on your day is more important to you than buying a ton of decorations (or things you won’t ever use again) that might be a sign that you should elope.
For some couples, celebrating with their loved ones and dancing the night away with childhood friends, extended family, and everyone they know is a wonderful way to begin their marriage.
But if you know that’s not who you are, and that isn’t how you dream of getting married, beginning this next chapter of your lives with an adventure, tying the knot in a gorgeous outdoor location, and making sure your day is unique and personal, and a true reflection of your relationship, might be right for you!
The first step is often the hardest – deciding to elope seems like half the challenge! But after the two of you decide that this is right for you, get in touch with an elopement photographer.
Do this as soon as possible, because my job is to help you plan your day! I’ll be there as your elopement resource and adventure buddy – supporting you in the brave decision to get married your way, and helping you navigate elopement locations, permits, marriage laws, timelines, and everything you need for the perfect, unique-to-you wedding day. I got married in a forest in Oregon, with just 12 guests and a ceremony that was just right for us – and I think every couple deserves a wedding day that feels true to their love story.
Contact me if you’re ready to elope, and let’s start dreaming up all the possibilities!