The Top Reasons to Elope
1) A “JUST US” EXPERIENCE
Overwhelmingly, the very number one reason that people reported choosing to elope was because they wanted to experience a totally intimate wedding experience just for the two of them.
Couples said they wanted to strip away the pressure, anxiety, and obligation that they personally felt about having a traditional wedding—and instead, they wanted a day that was more true to who they were and what they wanted—a “just us” experience.
Elopement is a beautiful option for people who don’t feel like the traditional wedding route is the right fit for them and it grants them the freedom to decide how to commit their lives to each other. It creates a magical, intimate way for couples to make their wildest, most romantic dreams about their wedding day come true without asking them to sacrifice a single, intimate moment between the two of them.
By eloping, these couples said they were free to melt into each other, focus on each other, and celebrate their love in an uninhibited way that made the most sense for them.
The second most frequently reported reason that couples said they chose to elope was because of authenticity—both for the actual ceremony and for their true authentic selves.
Some couples felt that the authenticity—the real reason behind getting married—was swallowed whole by the wedding industry in expectations that didn’t simply make sense to them.
For so many couples, a big, traditional wedding isn’t an honest, true reflection of who they are or what they want, and that’s OK.
Just like it’s OK to want to have a big, traditional wedding, too.
The point is, everyone is different, and everyone deserves to be authentically themselves on their wedding day and to have a day that feels right to them.
For some people, that does look like a traditional wedding. For others, it’s something very different.
Either way is perfect—I have always believed that people deserve to know that on their wedding day, they should do exactly what they want.
Because, at the end of it all, your wedding day is about the two of you— about the love you have for each other and the life you’re going to build together.
SHOULDN’T THAT DAY BE THE TRUEST REFLECTION OF WHO YOU BOTH ARE?
3) INTIMATE & INTENTIONAL
For a lot of couples, the main reason they chose to elope was because they wanted the opportunity to really focus on intimate, intentional moments during their wedding day, and they didn’t feel that a larger, more traditional wedding would afford them those moments.
Often times, with big weddings, it’s much harder to allow for intimate, intentional moments. And that’s no fault of the couple or the guests, it’s simply because of the nature of traditional weddings—there are more people, certain things you normally do, etc.
Many couples felt that, with bigger, traditional weddings, there’s less time or space for intimacy and intentionality—two things that they truly valued on the day they planned to commit their lives to each other.
Elopements can afford you the opportunity for intimacy and authenticity without the fear of becoming absorbed in the details, timelines, and sheer number of guests that are often associated with traditional weddings.
It’s simply a little easier to get lost in the planning, the details, the guests, and the scheduling with bigger, more traditional weddings—for some couples, that’s simply not what they want for their wedding day.
4) LESS FAMILY DRAMA
One of the realities of life is that sometimes, people have complicated families.
Not every person in the world has that dynamic, close-knit relationship with their family that automatically makes them feel entirely comfortable and fully free to be themselves. And you know what? That’s OK. Just like it’s OK to have a family you are super close to.
Some couples said they chose to elope because they didn’t want to deal with family complications on their wedding day.
Even couples who do get along well with their families sometimes choose to elope to avoid family drama because of the nature of traditional weddings.
SOMETIMES NO MATTER HOW WONDERFUL THE INTENTIONS, WEDDINGS DON’T ALWAYS BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE.
Because weddings are sometimes steeped in family tradition, obligation, and expectation. For some people, that can become stressful or overwhelming. That’s OK—there’s no right or wrong way to have a wedding.
The reality of it is this—this is your day.
This is your shot to create something uniquely beautiful with your partner that you’re going to look back on forever.
You should make sure that no matter how you choose to get married, you’re doing what you want to do and that you’re giving yourself the chance to be your most authentic self.
Your wedding day is about you and the love you have for your partner.
BE BRAVE AND MAKE THE DECISION THAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU.
5) VALUING EXPERIENCES OVER STUFF
The idea of investing a significant amount of money into an adventure elopement versus one, big wedding day was a driving force behind why most people choose to elope.
People who value experiences over tangible things tend to be drawn to elopements. Not because they don’t also want to invest money in their beautiful wedding day, but because they have a different set of desires.
THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A WEDDING IN THE UNITED STATES (ACCORDING TO THE KNOT’S DATA FROM 2018) IS ABOUT $33,931.
That’s $33,931 spent on things like decorations, venues, food, drinks, and more.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. A lot people really love planning and investing in a more traditional wedding. But, for many—that sounds like a frivolous nightmare. Couples who elope have a different set of priorities and would prefer to use the money they want to invest in their wedding day on an adventure or an experience, and that’s OK, too.
6) STRESS & ANXIETY
Some couples say they’d choose to elope because they desire a wedding day that’s less stressful.
While it might not be the case for everyone, planning a big wedding can sometimes pile on the stress, especially for people who aren’t initially super invested in that type of wedding to begin with.
The idea of a traditional wedding in its purest form does sound really wonderful—a day where you’re surrounded by your family and friends, all celebrating your love.
Except, you’re surrounded by all of your family and friends—that’s a lot additional planning and preparation to account for. While that’s definitely doable, most people aren’t party planners—they’re not automatically prepared to plan for that kind of event. And sometimes, if that’s not your thing, it can make you dread your day.
7) TOO MUCH PLANNING
A lot of couples chooe to elope (or would choose to elope) because they wanted either to minimize or totally eliminate the overwhelming planning that often goes hand-in-hand with having a huge wedding.
Like I have said before, planning a big, traditional wedding can definitely become overwhelming simply because of the nature of it. You’ll have more people to think about, more choices to consider, more things to strategically plan out.
That’s not always a bad thing. Some people really love planning events and truly enjoy the idea of a traditional wedding. I think that’s great. But a lot people aren’t interested in that, and it’s always been important to let people know that it doesn’t have to be that way for them.
Elopements can free you from some of that stressful planning.
They make it easy to plan the wedding day you want, melting away some of the stress, anxiety, and pressure that can come with a larger, more traditional wedding.
Don’t get me wrong—I am not saying that elopements are these last-minute, no-effort ceremonies that are devoid of meaning. You’re just free to put as much planning (or as little planning) into your elopement as you want. It can be as laid-back and relaxed or as stringently planned as makes sense for you.
If the big party planning thing doesn’t appeal to you, that’s totally fine! Just plan for what you and your partner want.
Begin your lives together in the way that makes the most sense for you—happy, free, and entirely in love.
8) NOT THE CENTER OF ATTENTION
A lot of people like to elope because of social anxiety and the desire to have a day that didn’t make them the center of attention.
Think about it—if there are as many introverts in the world as there are extroverts, it makes sense that having a traditional wedding (which, typically directs a lot of attention to the bride and groom) might not appeal to everyone.
That’s the beautiful thing—everyone is different.
EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN, UNIQUE AUTHENTIC VERSION OF WHO THEY ARE, AND FOR SOME PEOPLE, THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE A TRADITIONAL WEDDING.
I recognize that there are a lot of people out there who are overjoyed by the idea of a larger, more traditional wedding, and I think that’s wonderful—but I also think it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of people who’d prefer not to be the center of attention on their wedding day.
If that makes sense for you, you don’t have to choose a traditional wedding. You can have a day where you’re free to be who you are without worrying about who’s standing there watching you.
9) START LIFE TOGETHER WITH AN ADVENTURE
Some couples are choosing to elope because they want to start their lives together with an amazing, intimate adventure.
WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO KICK OFF YOUR BIGGEST ADVENTURE EVER WITH THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE SOMEWHERE TOGETHER?
A lot of couples are really invested in seeing the world together and think that their wedding day is the perfect opportunity to start.
While every wedding is different, some couples chose to elope because they wanted to have their own, epic adventure that didn’t follow tradition.
FOR SOME, CHOOSING AN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT WAS A WAY TO OPEN THE FLOODGATES ON POSSIBILITY, GRANTING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO ANYTHING THEY WANTED.
You can take a hot air balloon ride together.
You can hop in a helicopter and whale watch from above.
You can rock climb. You can paddle board. You can hike. You can road trip. You can snowshoe.
You can do anything and everything you want to do to kick off the start of your lives together. The options are absolutely infinite.
Some people believe that elopement photography helps to capture real, true, and intimate moments from their day.
A lot of people perceived that traditional wedding photography wouldn’t really capture them as they truly were—that they seemed a little too posed and fake, or that the emotions in them were created just for the photographs.
SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT ELOPEMENTS AFFORD THE PHOTOGRAPHER THE TIME & OPPORTUNITY TO CAPTURE REAL, BEAUTIFULLY GENUINE MOMENTS–OR THAT THE PHOTOS WOULD BE WAY BETTER & MORE GENUINE BECAUSE THE COUPLE WAS ABLE TO BE IN THEIR TRUE ELEMENT.
Memories are vital.
They’re cherished forever, and people know how important that is. They want to make sure the photos they have from their day are genuine and real, that they reflect how they were truly feeling.
That way, when they look at them, they’ll be launched back to that day, feeling everything all over again.
THERE’S SO MUCH BRAVERY IN CHOOSING TO STEP AWAY FROM TRADITION AND CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE IN THE WAY THAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE. DON’T LET THE WEDDING INDUSTRY TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU.