The Top 5 Reasons to Elope

The Top 5 Reasons to Elope

February 12, 2024
February 12, 2024

   Wedding planning can, without a doubt, be a very daunting experience. Even with a planner, this is your big day, and you’re sure to worry about the little details, who to invite, what your friends or family will think about the wedding, what vendors you need- the list goes on and on.
   Today, eloping has evolved into such a valuable experience for couples. You trade the venue, decorations, the huge catered dinner, the pressure and standards for the experience of a lifetime!
I’m here to not only give you the top 5 reasons to elope, but to also address common misconceptions about eloping, so that you don’t feel like you’re losing out on the things you love by ditching the traditional wedding!

Airbnb Elopement
Eloping in the United States

Misconceptions about Eloping:

   “Eloping means I can’t celebrate with my friends and family.”
   Not at all! While you may have to limit your ceremony guest count, eloping doesn’t mean you have to celebrate your wedding day without those you love! You can plan to invite the friends and family members the two of you are very close with, and then hold a gathering with additional friends and family- that way you get to celebrate your big day the way you want to, and you can still celebrate with your distant friends and family afterward!
   Not only does limiting the guest count during your elopement save money, since you’re not having to host 100+ people, but you also get to focus on what matters- you and your other half! Your closest friends and family already know how you’ve been and what you’ve been up to, so you don’t have to spend your entire wedding day conversing with dozens or even a hundred people to catch them up on your life! You can soak in the experience with your partner, without distraction, and enjoy your day to the fullest!

​   “I don’t want to go to a courthouse and then go home.”
The best part about eloping is there is no right or wrong way to do it- you just dream of the best day ever, and then make it a reality! Have a destination you’ve dreamed of visiting for years? Plan an elopement adventure there! Have a bucket list of activities you want to do, like horseback riding on the beach? Imagine how awesome it would be to do that during your elopement!
   Eloping opens a door of possibilities, without the pressure or standards!

​   “I don’t want to hike in my wedding dress.”
   No need! There are so many scenic locations in the world that are so easily accessible! You don’t need to plan a several-hour hike to reach a surreal location! Don’t mind hiking, but don’t want to hike in your wedding dress? No problem! You can safely pack your wedding attire in a backpack, and when we get to the location, you can freshen up and put on your dress and attire! I carry a pop-up changing tent with me during every elopement for these exact scenarios, so you can easily change in private and not have to risk getting your dress dirty before you get those epic photos!

​   “I don’t want to take photos for 8 hours.”
   So many think eloping means reading your vows, exchanging rings, and then spending an entire day taking photos! While you can plan to visit scenic locations for your elopement adventure, it doesn’t mean you need to be posed and prompted for the entire day! (I promise, your photographer won’t have enough poses to do a huge 8-hour photoshoot!)
   You can wonder ahead of your photographer and take in the sights, plan activities like a sail boat ride, or an off-roading tour- anything your heart desires! 

Reason One: The Value in Eloping vs. a Traditional Wedding

  If you are one that lives by the phrase, “experiences over things,” you may be really drawn to the idea of eloping!
According to Zola, “The average wedding expense for couples getting married in 2024 totals around $33,000, up slightly from $29,000 in 2023.”
Based on previous years, this number continues to rise. For an average 8 hour wedding, that means couples, on average, are spending over $4,000 per hour for their wedding event.
   Couples typically plan a 3-7 day stay in their elopement destination, which allows couples to experience several days of adventure and fun activities versus one day like a traditional wedding! While couples may spend $10,000 on a week-long stay in their dream destination, that money spent holds so much more value than a $10,000 venue they will have for one day.
   Not only does an adventure elopement typically cost about half of a traditional wedding, but it also holds so much more value as it allows you to have memorable experiences!

Reason Two: No More Pressure or Standards

   In 2024, a large majority of couples report that social media heavily influences their wedding planning. With the bar continuously rising, it often puts a lot of pressure on couples to have the “perfect” wedding day, when in reality, it isn’t typically everything they dreamed of.
   Eloping allows couples to plan a day that they truly love without outside pressure. No family or friends (other than those that fully support you and your partner!) trying to sway your decisions, no trends to try and stay on top of- you only have to plan a day that truly aligns with the values, desires, and dreams of your and your partner!

(Check out this super cute bridal party! Yes, you can still have bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers when you choose an intimate elopement!)

Reason Three: Less Distractions

   Couples who are planning a large wedding with over 100 guests are bound to be conversing with guests after the ceremony- and before they know it, the day is over. With music, guests, vendors, and a fast-paced day, many brides report having a foggy recollection of their wedding day.
   When you elope, you cut out of all of those distractions and you get to focus on your partner and your marriage (which should be the entire point of a wedding day!) There’s no need to set aside ten minutes in the bridal suite or step outside to have a short conversation with your partner, when you can enjoy each others presence the entire day without distraction! When you keep your guest count small, and only invite the people in your day-to-day lives that the two of you are close with, you cut out the need to catch up with 100+ people and get to spend the day soaking in every part of your adventure!

Reason Four: Less Stressful

   Planning an elopement is not only less stressful, but the planning process also tends to be much more enjoyable! Instead of trying to create a guest list, determine which vendors are a good fit for you, or what the color and aesthetic should be, you can focus on what sights you wish to see, and what activities you dream of doing!
   While there is some planning that is needed in order to plan an adventure elopement (especially if it’s in a destination you’ve never been to,) planning a day that is everything you dram of, is much more fun and a lot less of a daunting task!
Always dreamed of hiking through the canyons of Utah? Or maybe you have always wanted to spend two weeks in a European country- there’s no limit to what you can do for your elopement!
   Want help planning your adventurous elopement (anywhere in the world?) you can get in touch with me and we will make your dreams a reality!

Reason Five: Flexibility

   When you are planning an elopement, there’s a lot more room for planning the when, where, and what compared to a traditional wedding. You can elope anywhere with value to you and your partner- whether that’s in the mountains you’ve always dreamed of standing on top of, your favorite beach to visit on vacation, or even the park you two met at!
I recommend doing research on your destination (especially if you’ve never been there or been during the time of year you want to elope,) to get an idea of the weather patterns for the best chances of avoiding inclement weather!

Answers to Common Questions, to Determine if Eloping is the Right Path for You!

How much does it cost to elope?

The cost of eloping can be as little as the cost of your marriage license, however, to really have an epic experience, most couples spend around $15,000+ on their elopement in the United States. This is the average cost for a week-long stay in a U.S State, an awesome elopement photographer, and experiences within the elopement destination! Eloping doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap,” but more so investing in experiences that hold way more value than a typical large wedding.

Can we invite guests to our elopement?

Of course! Typically, elopements can have up to 30 guests (though this number may be lower depending on the location of your ceremony,) which means you can still have your closest friends and family, but not have to spend the entire day catching up distant relatives and old friends on what you’ve been up to for the last 10+ years.
Another alternative is hosting a follow-up “reception,” which a lot of couples who elope tend to host so that they can celebrate with their friends and family without having to do a huge event with a venue, decorations, etc.!

How do I tell my friends and family we’re choosing to elope?

This is usually the biggest drawback for couples- breaking the news that they won’t have the traditional wedding that everyone is expecting. You can talk to those you are close with and let them know that the two of you are planning something a lot more intentional, intimate, and valuable before hand, or you can even keep it a big secret and wait until you return home to share your epic photos from your adventure!

What are the pros and cons of eloping?

In addition to the top 5 reasons to elope that I mentioned in this article, there are many more pros to eloping! Eloping is more personal to who you are, it’s an opportunity for you two to cross things off your bucket list, it’s a lot more relaxing and intimate for you and your partner, and the photos are pretty badass!

If your idea of the dream wedding day is partying the entire day, and not getting a chance to enjoy a meal from your $4,000 catering, that’s totally okay- but if you would prefer the sounds of laughter and nature, eloping is a much better choice (I may seem biased, but I truly believe it is the best way to start your marriage!)

Ready to Plan your Epic Elopement?

If reading your vows on a mountaintop at sunrise, or sharing a first kiss under a cascading waterfall sounds like your idea of the dream wedding day- lucky for you, eloping is a thing, and I’m here to help you plan the entire experience and to document the adventure!
Eloping isn’t for everyone, and ultimately, every couple deserves to have the wedding day of their dreams (and for some, that is a traditional wedding,) however, if you’re anything like me and would much rather ride a sailboat at sunset than talk to a hundred people for hours on end- consider throwing out the rulebook and plan an experience you’ll never forget!

Want an elopement-expert’s help from beginning to end? Let’s chat about everything you dream of and make it a reality!

Dreamy elopement with horses in montana