Why eloping is better than a traditional wedding
SEVEN TOP REASONS TO ELOPe
There may be different reasons why you’re reading this article, but one thing is certain. You don’t want a traditional wedding with a couple hundred guests that is focused on serving them instead of doing what you want. Good for you!
You’re not alone; when faced with the enormous task of planning a wedding, many couples consider just eloping. Traditionally speaking, an elopement was limited to the happy couple, but in the last decade or so, this has been redefined to include your closest family or friends as well. Your dad can still walk you down the aisle and give you away, even if your wedding is not a traditional one.
That was also the main focus of our elopement (or intimate wedding, whatever you want to call it). On the day, we were surrounded by 20 of our closest relatives and friends – parents, siblings and best friends. And it was the best decision we ever made!
Why? There was no stress, no timeline, no program we had to stick to. Everyone was with us for the entire weekend, so basically it was just a short holiday with us saying “I do” in between. Some of the guests were surprised by our choice, especially since we are wedding photographers. But we have seen so many weddings professionally and we knew exactly what we wanted for ourselves. And even more importantly – what we didn’t want.
We want to share those stories with you and maybe help you find some inspiration and motivation for you to take the step you’ve secretly been wanting to as well.
We’ll start with our own story: We eloped too. Well, maybe not in the strictest sense, it all depends on your definition of an elopement. For us, an elopement and an intimate wedding are pretty much the same. To others, eloping may sound more like an adventure, something like hiking to the top of the mountain, while an intimate wedding is more of a relaxed gathering and celebration. But both have something in common – they both focus on you two and the people that are most important in your life.
Want to hear from other couples and why they decided to elope? Keep on reading the 7 top reasons to elope...
“In the years before we got engaged, we were guests at numerous weddings of our friends. All those weddings were great, and each wedding was unique. But the more we thought about it, the more we saw that this just wasn’t what we wanted. Although we love our families and have a lot of great friends, we just didn’t want to spend our entire wedding day accommodating them and having the same small chat with each of our guests. We wanted to do something just for us! So, we decided to take a week-long hiking trip and said our vows at the top of a mountain. We had so much fun the entire trip and because we focused only on ourselves, we feel our elopement was even more meaningful.”
"We wanted to focus on us."
"At first we planned to have a traditional wedding back home. We already booked a wedding planner to help us with planning, as we knew that we didn’t want to stress about anything. But even though we hired a planner, there were still a million decisions to be made: Who should we invite? Do we have to include plus-ones? Do we need to provide transportation? Do we need favours for our guests? How much food should we serve? How late can we stay at the venue? How long can the party be? Should we have a bridal party…
The list of questions just kept getting longer and longer. And the decisions were harder and harder to make. We even started fighting about it and the funny thing was that we were fighting over things we didn’t even care about.
A couple of weeks into planning we decided to skip all that and plan an intimate wedding instead. We still wanted to have our parents and best friends with us but in a more casual and relaxed gathering. And you know what, it was the BEST DECISION EVER!”
“We wanted to avoid all the stressful planning.”
We wanted something different
“I knew I didn’t want to get married in a church, in a big white wedding dress with a long veil. That just isn’t me. I was so happy when my partner agreed when I suggested we skip the traditional wedding and do something completely different. Something that is “more us”. So, we decided to combine our destination elopement with our honeymoon, and we spent 3 weeks travelling around Europe.”
We both love our families, but we hate all the complications with our divorced parents. We barely make it through Christmas each year, so when it came to our wedding we said: Heck, no! We are not going through this on OUR wedding day! We decided to elope, and it was awesome. We decided to elope abroad and called our parents right after the ceremony to show them the rings. It was a brilliant idea. They were all happy to see us happy, no resentments because they were not invited or anything. I think they were a bit glad they didn’t have to see each other in person too. Win-win for all of us!”
"No family drama,
“We wanted an adventure and to travel somewhere new”
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Seven Top Reasons to Elope - WHY ELOPING IS BETTER THAN A TRADITIONAL WEDDING
“We were both traveling around the world when we met. Our love and passion for traveling brought us together and we wanted that to be a part of our wedding day. We’ve already seen so many places, so we decided to travel somewhere we have never been to before. This way it wouldn’t be just about our elopement, but also a great traveling adventure. We ended up with a big world map on our kitchen table, we closed our eyes and picked a random location. The first two attempts were a failure because we pointed to France and India, where we’ve both been to before. The third time we pointed to the south of Italy, so that’s where we eloped!”
“I work in the wedding industry and from day 1 of our engagement, I already knew I didn’t want a traditional big wedding. I’ve attended hundreds of traditional weddings and it always bugged me how much time the bride and groom spend on saying hi to everyone, accepting congratulations, asking how everyone is doing, if they are having a good time, or if they need anything? Basically, it’s all a big party and the happy couple are the main hosts, so they feel obliged to do this.
At one wedding I started talking to the DJ about this, and he agreed with me. Later that day we started doing some random calculations and we were shocked. Let’s say you have 120 guests at your wedding, and you spent 2 minutes talking to each one. That is 240 minutes, which is 4 hours! That’s nuts! The average wedding day is about 8-10 hours, so just thinking about spending half that time on random conversation was a huge deterrent. I wanted my wedding day to be about me and my husband, about our love, our story, the ups and downs, our past and our future. I felt the only way to have a meaningful day like that was to have a small wedding, with a couple of our best friends and our parents.”
"We wanted an intimate and meaningful day!"
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Seven Top Reasons to Elope - WHY ELOPING IS BETTER THAN A TRADITIONAL WEDDING
“We are two simple, down to earth people. We don’t care a lot about material things, we prefer to spend our money on experiences like traveling, hobbies, learning new things… When we started planning our wedding, we were overwhelmed with how much it all costs – at least $30.000 just to prove to others that we love and want to marry each other? No way are we doing that!
But that didn’t mean that we didn’t want to be married or have a real wedding ceremony. Eloping seemed like a very attractive alternative and when my husband suggested that we elope to our honeymoon location, I was immediately persuaded.
And that’s what we did. We had the most amazing 14 days of traveling around Italy, exploring new places, enjoying fantastic food and we got to say our vows in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We spent more than we usually would when we go travelling, but the total cost was still way, way lower than a traditional wedding at home would cost.
When we got back, our family and best friends threw a surprise party for us, to celebrate us getting married. It was a simple barbecue in our backyard, but we were so happy because it showed how well they know us and that they understood that all that mattered to us was them and our love.”
“We didn’t want to spend all that money on stuff we didn’t care about.”
These couples mention the 7 top reasons to elope and why they avoided a big, traditional wedding and decided to elope or have an intimate wedding instead.
Here are a few other reasons that we heard from other couples as well:
“We felt eloping would give us a much better opportunity to be relaxed in front of the camera because we would be free. No schedule, no restrictions or obligations to other people. And it was just like that. We are 100% sure we made the right decision – our wedding photos are out of this world and we will forever remember that epic day just walking around, exploring the landscape and having a wonderful time.”
“My family lives in Australia and my husband’s family is from Canada. Just picking the right location for our wedding was too complicated and we knew we couldn’t accommodate everyone, so we decided to forget the whole big wedding thing and elope instead.”
"We always talked about getting married in the French Alps, even before we got engaged. We didn’t want to give up that dream, but we also couldn’t cover all the expenses to host a big wedding for all our guests there. We decided to elope on our own and have a simple backyard party at home afterward.”
”Just the thought of all those people looking at me while I walk down the aisle made me so nervous. I am so happy my husband felt the same way and that we eloped with our parents.”
If you believe an elopement or a small, intimate wedding experience is what you both want, we’d love to help.
Where would you want to elope?
We hope the article - 7 top reasons to elope - helped you form an idea of what you want. We talk to a lot of couples that think about having an intimate wedding or eloping, but the pressure from their families or friends is too strong. And we’re sorry to say, but we’ve also heard so many stories of couples who regretted going through with a big wedding instead of eloping like they really wanted.
Did you find yourself in any of the stories these couples shared with us?