Is elopement for you?

Why you should consider elopement.

You got the ring from the love of your life! Yay, congratulations! Now it is time for you to start planning the special day. This is the time that you have thought about and dreamed of since you were a child. When it comes to planning your wedding day, there is so much detail that needs to be included. Obviously we think about the dress, the suit, the venue, the photos, and those big things. But there are so many other things that go into the planning. There is the food, the chair covers, the place settings, cake flavors, party favors, song lists, seating charts, flowers, and the list goes on. It can be extremely overwhelming! Now, don’t get my wrong, I love weddings as much as the next person. I am a wedding photographer for a reason. These days are beautiful and I love feeling the love between two people. But what if, we could get the wedding process accomplished with less than half of the stress?

When I was younger I remember hearing the term “elope” and instantly thinking of Las Vegas or a couple who was married in a courthouse and did not invite their family. As I am now much older I have a whole new thought process about elopement. Eloping is the private intimate moment between you and the love of your life vowing yourselves to each other for the rest of your lives. Imagine doing this on the mountains surrounded by the most glorious scenery, or on the beach with the sand between your toes, or even surrounded by tall pine trees where the sun breaks through the trees. How incredible would that be?! To top this off you have had no stress in planning this beautiful moment. There has been no stress within your family or social circle. At the end of today you’ll be married and with more money in your pocket and less stress in your head.

I have photographed over 20 weddings in the past 2 years. I have seen the behind the scenes. I have spoken with brides & grooms as well as the families. I have witnessed moments when I can see the bride or groom thinking “why does this have to be so complicated?” I decided to write this blog post to highlight some reasons why I believe you should consider an elopement rather than the big wedding ceremony.

  1. Saving Money – Wedding venues can be extremely expensive. We are talking thousands of dollars! There are caterers, DJ’s, wedding party outfits, decorations, florals, day of coordinators, photographers, videographers, etc. All of these expenses add up quick! I recently stumbled across a Facebook group post where brides wrote down their budgets for their weddings. The cheapest budget was $10K going all the way up to $60K. Eloping could save you tons of money! You could get married in a beautiful location in any state. You could be married in a National Park with paying a permit of only $50-$300. You would not have to worry about all of those extra expenses for guests and guests entertainment. However, of these expenses I still highly recommend a photographer/videographer. As bias as that may sound, being married in such a beautiful place, you definitely want to capture that to remember for the rest of your life!
  2. Saving stress and drama – Unfortunately as much as we would like our wedding planning to be stress free, that is rarely the case. We put our most loved ones in our day but sometimes that doesn’t even leave the process stress free. There are decisions to be made at all times, and not everyone will agree with you. Eloping is private which means that other people will not be nearly as involved in the process. You will have less decisions to make and less people involved to argue with about how things should be handled.
  3. Making the day about you – The amount of weddings I have been to where the bride and groom have been told to hurry because their family members or guests are waiting. The bride and groom have had to cut photos short, skip out on things they want to do, and stress about timelines. I am a very caring and considerate person & I would never tell someone they shouldn’t care about others. However, I do feel so bad for bride and grooms who have to alter their day because of their wedding guests. You want those memories and you want those photos (this is why you hired a photographer). Wedding days should be fully about the two people sharing the vows and their love.
  4. Intimacy – Don’t forget what the day is about. It is about the two people who are becoming one. Not all of our moments have to be shared with a crowd of people. If you know me you are probably rolling your eyes because I am always sharing my news and business with anyone who will listen. But I am not the same way about my marriage. My husband and I go through intimate and important moments all of the time, but those moments we keep personal. The beginning of your marriage should be one of the most intimate moments of your marriage.
  5. Adventure – Elopements can give you the opportunity to go some place amazing and beautiful. You can travel and venture to different and new places. You can journey through the mountains, along the sand flats, through the woods, or on the beach. Sharing the experiences together of the adventure that you are on and the one that awaits you in the future.
  6. Simplicity – It is really is as simple as that. The details are cut in half. The cost drastically drops. No guests lists. You and your loved one. That’s all.
  7. Focusing on your marriage and not the wedding – How many times have you known a couple to disagree on a wedding decision? Color or tablecloths, flavor of cake, how many photos you have to take, etc. Your wedding day should be about the reason behind the wedding, the marriage. Focus on what you are committing and not the party that follows.

I feel like this is a topic that I could spend HOURS talking about. The list goes on and on in my head. I am not saying weddings are less significant. I love weddings and they are just as much special as elopements. Your day should be exactly how you want it. If that means surrounded by 200 people then that is perfectly fine. If your day means walking through Yosemite National Park in a wedding dress and suit with only a photographer following you, that is perfectly fine too. Ultimately the decision is always yours to make.

The take away message is that you have options. We do not always have to follow in tradition of marrying in a church and celebrating with 100+ guests. Times are changing and so are traditions. It is always okay to start your new traditions. Whatever you do, remember the day is about you and your significant other!

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