Is it worth it to elope? The short answer being – heck yes it is! Am I also biased? Maybe. I’m guessing you’re reading this blog post because you’re teetering on the idea of either eloping or having that big wedding your mom has been dreaming about since the day you were born. Big stakes. I get it. As someone who eloped herself (and it was a dream), I am incredibly passionate about eloping and really encourage everyone to think about it. It’s an easy idea to shoot down at first thought – I know, because I did the same thing – but entertain me for just a few.
Eloping is all about having a modern wedding, done your own way, free from such traditions as tedious seating arrangement charts and small talk with all of those relatives you barely even know. When you elope, your wedding day becomes all about your love – because, after all, does anything else really matter? Wink, wink.
These days, elopements are much different than they used to be. They can be everything and MORE. But are elopements legally binding? Yes – as long as you complete all of the paperwork required by your state, then an elopement is completely legit. So no worries there.
If you’ve been asking yourself “Should I Elope?”, then I’m here to give a little nudge. It was truly one of the best things my husband and I ever did. Here are five amazing benefits of eloping that might just tip you over the edge. Here we go.
Why is it better to elope? My husband and I loved the idea that it was only about us. We chose to elope without any friends or family, as we wanted our wedding to just be about our love – free from the opinions and feelings of others who might want to micromanage our day. I personally did have some fears creep in that it would be so sad if it was just us. Man, was I wrong.
When you elope, you get one of the biggest blessings anyone could ask for: quality time alone together. You can just breathe and soak in all of the beauty of your day, take your time getting ready, savor that morning coffee, and spend as long as you like on your first look. On the morning of my own elopement, my husband and I went on an early Starbucks run and wrote our vows together. For inspiration, we explored the California coastline, envisioning ourselves where we would be standing, marrying one another in just a few hours’ time. Talk about romantic.
I might be a destination elopement photographer, but I was also a bride who eloped – and believe me, those extra moments we had together on our wedding day absolutely made everything worth it to us. Big Weddings are so exciting but if we are being honest, chaos can ensue. Moms doing one thing, the sisters are running wild etc.
Having a lot of relatives around would’ve taken away from this intimacy for us, and we really wanted our wedding day to be nothing but positivity – we all know how stressful siblings and family members can sometimes be (although we love them), so it was better for us to just pull the plug and elope.
You want to look back on your wedding day with happiness and mega-smiles, because there’s nothing worse than what-ifs and regrets about how you spend your day. Mindset was really important when it came to my husband and I deciding to Elope. We were going back and forth in our minds with negative feelings but once we flipped the negatives into positives, the decision was clear.
What will people think? > Now is the time to be selfish for us, it’s our day
What if we regret it? > But what if we don’t?
I always dreamed of the bigger wedding > Doing it smaller is so us though
Oh my GOODNESS, I had no idea how truly expensive weddings were until I started planning my own. I’m talking about serious sticker shock, which is another awesome reason to love elopements – they’re much more affordable than big weddings. Forget feeding 100 mouths and hefty venue payments!
Real talk: how much of an elopement budget do you need? The average wedding in 2022 costs around $25,000, but elopements can range from $5,000–$8,000. It all comes down to what you want your elopement to include, but generally, it’s massively more affordable.
This frees up extra money for honeymoon splurges, house deposits, or just saving for your future together, so it’s a super savvy financial move to plan a killer elopement that won’t leave you stressing about your bank balance.
As a money-conscious US elopement photographer, I’m super glad to work with you to create a photography package that suits your needs but still gives you those “I can’t believe that’s us” wedding photos! Photography is an investment, but the right photographer will guide you towards the best package for your needs. Your time is now. Your dream elopement is waiting.
Often, couples think eloping means needing to say bye to all those fun wedding traditions, like cake-cutting or dancing. So not true. Elopements actually leave more TIME and room for all the extraness you want.
Your elopement can be like a mini wedding, complete with your wedding cake of choice, a first dance, and exchanging your rings. Want to party the night away and dance on the porch of your Airbnb? You can – and I encourage it! Don’t rob yourself of fun by thinking that you have to do your elopement a certain way. Leave room for flexibility and do it exactly how you want. There is no rulebook to this.
You can definitely still have it all when you elope. You have the freedom to make the day (or the whole weekend!) exactly how you want it to be. There really are no rules about eloping, so go all out. Need ideas? Let’s Google our hearts out together. Believe me, I got all the ideas if you want them.
As someone super passionate about US elopement photography, I am happy to wake up early (or stay up till the crack of dawn) to ensure you get every moment on your elopement adventure captured on camera. Do you want sunrise photos at Big Sur on the California Coast? Or are we going to the Amalfi Coast of Italy? Say no more.
This is a super fun bonus: when you elope, it can 100% double as your honeymoon! You can elope in literally the most magical place imaginable, then make it your honeymoon destination and stay a few extra days. My husband and I stayed just under a week in Carmel by the Sea and it was a great amount of time. Want to stay longer? Guess what?! You can. Make it a 2–3 week honeymoon, a 4–5 month celebration of love, or a full-on gap year of romance – the choice is all yours.
The idea of having a huge, traditional wedding, feeling exhausted the next day, then packing and heading to an airport just sounds so rough, so we loved the idea of a combined wedding/honeymoon. That way, your celebration starts from the moment you arrive at your destination, which is going to be stress-free and so much more relaxed than a separate wedding day and honeymoon. Oh, and this totally saves money as well – woooo!
You two will seriously treasure this time together so much, and I’m glad to offer elopement packages in the US (or beyond) to ensure you get meaningful photos you can look back on for years. Most clients come to me thinking I won’t travel far and wide for them – negative. I will go wherever you need me to go. Anything you want, you get. Period. Need more hours than the typical 4-5? Done.
One commonly stressful thing about traditional weddings is relatives (though I know this isn’t true for everyone!). Your family may have endless opinions about how your wedding should be – but these are very often different from what you actually want. Whether it be your wedding dress, colors schemes, venue choices, food preferences… Ditch it, woman.
When you elope, the only opinions that matter are your own. You can find your dream dress, pick a fairytale location, and even decide on a color scheme you love, knowing that the day will be exactly how you imagined it to be. To an absolute- T.
You can still include relatives in your celebrations in other ways, but to us, the idea of our ceremony being just about each other was perfect for us. You could also think about doing a livestream, or a small reception gathering once you get back. There are a ton of ways to include your loved ones without them physically being there.
I would 110% elope again if I could! If you’re ready to plan your dream elopement, it’s more simple than you may think.
To make your eloping legally binding, you and your partner will need your ID’s and complete some important paperwork. Once that paperwork is complete, you are ready to go! Our officiant Brian Borgia in the Big Sur was super knowledgeable on the legal side of things. If you are completely stumped on your next steps within the state you are eloping, ask your photographer or officiant!
The main question is, did the convincing work? haha. Looking for more details on your next steps? Let’s plan that dream day together.
As you can tell, I’m pretty much the cheerleader of Team Elopement, so I really encourage you to consider it. If you have any questions, I am a quick Instagram message or email away. I’m so ready to hear about what you’re thinking and I’m sure those idea gears are already turning. Let’s make it all happen for you!