If you can invite guests to an elopement, then how is eloping any different from having a wedding? PSA: elopements are not running away in secret against the wishes of your family. For centuries past, eloping was often considered a shameful act done in private or as an irresponsible, impulse decision. However, the definition has shifted in recent years to mean a more intimate and intentional wedding day.
Generally speaking, weddings tend to have much larger guest lists. Many of those attending may not personally know or have ever met the couple. Because of this, a lot of production goes into a wedding to entertain and wow guests. Weddings are big, fun parties with lots of moving parts. It’s important to keep wedding guests entertained while the couple and those in the bridal party are busy getting photos. Many aspects of the wedding day revolve around capturing or re-creating certain photos from a shot list. Posed photos often take up a lot of time. There are also cultural and religious influences in play that come with traditions and expectations of their own.
For many couples in America- due in large part to social media- huge, budget-blowing weddings have become the standard. Every year, The Knot does its Real Weddings Study. In 2019, the national average for weddings was $33,900. Due to the pandemic, people spent slightly less on average during 2020 and 2021. However, that number is back on the rise as couples return to pre-pandemic wedding norms. According to Zola, the average wedding budget for 2022 and 2023 falls between $20,000 and $40,000. Couples are spending more money on their weddings than ever.
Elopements have little to no production as the day is focused on the couple’s experience and ability to spend quality time with each other and those closest to them. Guest counts are much smaller, if there are any guests at all. Guests who are invited have a very personal relationship with the couple.
Price isn’t usually the main reason couples choose to elope. However, it has the added benefit of saving a lot of money. According to Wandering Weddings, couples who elope spend an average of $2,000-$15,000 on their elopement day. All without having to give up a beautiful, impactful wedding experience. Eloping couples have the opportunity to craft the wedding day of their dreams on a much smaller budget because they are more intentional with what they purchase. While some elopements can be more extravagant, most only hire between 2-3 vendors. By hiring fewer vendors, you can get higher quality professionals, because your budget isn’t spread as thin.
Many couples know they want a private vow ceremony but also love the idea of having their friends and family there with them. Consider a full-day or multi-day elopement. This option allows you to break up the day (or days) and have the best of both worlds. Read your vows privately to each other at the peak of a mountain at sunrise, with plenty of time to explore and spend quality time together. Later that evening or the next day, your guests can join you for a fun dinner celebration at your Airbnb or hotel. Plan a group ceremony to involve guests who weren’t present for your vow reading. There are so many ways to include friends and family without compromising on your dream elopement. I’ve even seen a full-blown field day complete with potato sack races, fun group competitions, and karaoke!
If you want to celebrate with everyone you’ve ever met at the party of the century, freaking do it! If you’re not so keen on being in the spotlight, prefer to spend your money only on what deeply matters to you, or have a complicated family dynamic, eloping might be for you! You are free to create an incredible day revolving around experiences that make you feel alive and refreshed and ignite that passion for your partner. A marriage commitment is a big deal, so do it the way that speaks to your soul, not how everyone else says it “should be”. If you’re looking for an adventure elopement photographer for your Texas or Oklahoma elopement, submit an inquiry here or visit my website, Elope with Rachel, for more elopement inspiration and tips!
If you can invite guests to an elopement, then how is eloping any different from having a wedding? PSA: elopements are not running away in secret against the wishes of your family. For centuries past, eloping was often considered a shameful act done in private or as an irresponsible, impulse decision. However, the definition has […]