Top 10 Reasons to Elope – Is Eloping Right for You?

October 21, 2021

Elopement, Resources

In the last several years, and especially during the coronavirus pandemic, the popularity of choosing to elope over having a traditional wedding has exploded. You may even feel pressure to elope because it seems that so many couples are choosing to do it! Take a deep breath – eloping is a personal choice, and if you do it, it should be because you really want to! So how do you figure out whether or not an elopement is right for you and your partner? Don’t stress, I’ve got a list of the top 10 reasons to elope here for you to help you decide! If you answer “yes” to a lot of these questions, an elopement is probably best for you. If you answer “no,” then a more traditional-style wedding might be right up your alley. Let’s get started!

Couple standing in outside a cabin in Mt. Rainier National Park during their elopement ceremony.

Reason #1. You’re Looking for a Unique Experience

An elopement truly throws the rulebook out the window. Why spend time planning a wedding if your personalities crave a little adventure? Choosing to elope means that you can structure your day however you want – a hike, a hot air balloon ride, travel to a dream destination, you name it! A unique elopement experience can be much more memorable, and can be one of the top reasons to elope if you find that you don’t like a lot of the elements in a traditional wedding. 

reasons to elope: Couple hikes to their elopement in Yosemite National Park.
reasons to elope: Couple posing for portraits during their elopement in Yosemite National Park.

Reason #2. A Big Celebration Doesn’t Feel Like You

Listen, I don’t blame you. Large parties can be more trouble than they’re worth, and after a global pandemic that’s completely changed the way we gather and spend time together, big parties just aren’t for everyone. An elopement can still include a group of your loved ones, but if a more laid-back dinner or a day reserved completely for you and your partner sounds more like your idea of a good time, then you’re ready to elope!

reasons to elope: Couple's elopement ceremony and first kiss on a lakeside.
reasons to elope: beautiful views like this couple's first kiss lakeside

Reason #3. You Don’t Like the Idea of Being the Center of Attention

This one goes out to all my introverts! If the idea of standing up in front of a crowd (even if you know everyone in that crowd) really doesn’t appeal to you, this is a great reason to elope. Eloping relieves a lot of the pressure of a traditional wedding, including having to stand up like that in front of a large group. An elopement can be as intimate as you want – just you and your partner, the five people you’re most comfortable with, etc. It’s a great way to make the focus of the day you and your partner without the overwhelming feeling of a ton of eyes staring at you while you declare your love for one another. 

reasons to elope: private vow exchange like this one on the oregon coast.

Reason #4. You Want to Focus on A More Intimate Feeling

Speaking of focusing on you and your partner, an elopement is the perfect solution for having a truly intimate wedding experience. Even though a traditional wedding is still focused on you, it’s astonishing how quickly you can get sucked up into planning a party that caters to everyone, rather than just planning the day that you really want. And not all, but many couples who followed through with a traditional wedding report that they were surprised by how little time they actually spent with each other the day they got married. If you’re looking to do away with all the elements that distract from the truly important part of getting married, eloping is a great choice.

Bridal portraits in the forest of Washington.

Reason #5. You’re Looking to Explore Somewhere New

Break out the bucket list! If kicking off the beginning of married life by taking a trip somewhere you’ve always dreamed of visiting with your partner by your side sounds like a dream come true, that’s because it is! You don’t have to go far to create the perfect adventure elopement, as long as it checks the boxes for you and your partner. Whether you’ve had your eye on a special place in your own state, want to fly to the opposite coast, or head overseas for a romantic elopement getaway, having a memorable experience is a great reason to elope. 

Couple stands at cliff's edge of Canyon Trail Overlook in Zion National Park for their bridal portraits.
Couple embracing on the cliffside in Zion National Park.

Reason #6. You Want Less Stress When You Get Married

Have you heard your recently-married friends joke about how planning a wedding felt like taking on a second full-time job? Yeah, gross, right? I won’t lie and tell you that planning an elopement is a walk in the park, but with fewer elements to coordinate, it sure is easier than traditional wedding planning! Plus, you can find expert elopement planners to help make the process even easier. 

Couple embracing during sunrise bridal portraits at Yosemite National Park.

Reason #7. You’re Looking to Spend Less Money

Of all the reasons to elope, this one is definitely on the more practical side. I’m not going to tell you that an elopement is “cheap.” But it sure is cheaper than a traditional wedding! Most couples spend anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 to elope. The national average cost for a traditional wedding in the US in 2020 was $20,300 (and this was lower than in previous years because of the pandemic)! With both an elopement and a traditional wedding, you can make them as simple or as elaborate as you like, but overall, an elopement is going to cost less. 

Reason #8. You Want to Be as Eco-Conscious as Possible

The term “Leave No Trace” has become a bit of a trendy buzzword lately, but the importance of its principles are something many of us really take to heart! The footprint of a traditional wedding can be huge – where do those decorations go after it’s over? Are you really going to fork out the expense for dishware, or just give all your guests disposable plates to save money where you can? How many of your guests will be taking longer road trips, or even an airplane ride, to come celebrate with you? Now, I’m not here to bash on traditional weddings, because they are so beautiful, and every couple deserves to celebrate the way they want to. But the amount of waste produced by a party attended by 100-200 people is more than you think. If this worries you, an elopement may be the right call.

Couple exchanging vows during their outdoor Idaho Panhandle National Forest intimate wedding.
Couple celebrating their elopement with family in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

Reason #9. You Want to Avoid Family (or Friend) Drama

We all dream of a wedding that runs one hundred percent smoothly; parents get along, siblings cut the squabbling for a day. But on a day where emotions naturally run higher and more intense, sometimes it’s not possible to get that drama-free experience. And if this is one of your reasons to elope, don’t feel guilty!

Let me be the first to reassure you that eloping doesn’t mean you’re cutting your family out of the celebration. The beauty of an elopement is that you can literally create whatever experience you want, whether that’s a celebration before or after your elopement with family, a video call with them the morning you elope, or a viewing party with all your loved ones once you get your photos back. Don’t be afraid to set those boundaries in order to create the elopement you really want! Your family will be thrilled to celebrate with you in whatever way you invite them to.

reasons to elope: beautiful locations like this Elopement at the Salt Flats in Utah.

Reason #10. You Want EPIC Photos!

Your elopement is an opportunity to have photos of your marriage that really feel like you. I pride myself on delivering photos of elopements that are unfiltered and capture the essence of my couples. But there’s something about an elopement that just allows your spirit to really shine through! Plus, choosing to elope in a dream destination means you’ll have some of the best vacation pics ever. 

reasons to elope: spontaneous jumps into the lake like this washington couple
reasons to elope: spontaneous jumps into the lake like this washington couple

I hope these 10 reasons to elope helped you as you begin your journey toward married life! If you’re ready to chat more about what it’s like to have me as your elopement photographer, get ahold of me here!

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