You’re both madly in love. So in love, in fact, you’re considering eloping. So why not take the plunge? What’s standing in your way?
For some couples, it’s concern for the feelings of their family and friends who might have wanted to be part of the wedding day. For others, they may worry about stigmas associated with eloping—maybe they worry that the decision to elope feels rushed or haphazard.
Regardless, if the stress of planning an enormous wedding is leaving you feeling more exhausted than excited, elopment is worth considering. Most of us only plan to be married once, and want to do our best to get it right the first time. And what’s the key to getting your wedding done right?
Doing it your way.
Here Are 3 Good Reasons To Elope:
1. You’ll save time and money. Cost of Wedding.com estimates that the average American wedding has a price tag upwards of $25,000. By eloping, you drop the cost of invitations, catering, venues, live entertainment, and more. That’s cash you can put toward a down payment on a house, a more memorable honeymoon, or even a more extravagant wedding gown.
2. It’s deeply intimate. Some couples find that their wedding day ends up being more about their guests than it does about themselves. They spend so much of their wedding day aiming to please family and friends that once the day is over, they realize they haven’t had a moment to themselves since the ceremony. Eloping, on the other hand can be an incredibly intimate, rewarding experience. Why not spend the entire day focused entirely on your new spouse?
3. It asserts your identity. Especially for couples who worry that certain friends and family members might be hurt by their decision to elope, this is a great time to assert your identity, and do something special just for you. Your marriage won’t be about anyone else but the two of you, and eloping is the perfect way to establish that.
Feeling the urge to elope now more than ever? Here are a few tips on how to do it right.
1. Figure out where you plan to elope first so you’ll know exactly what you need. If you plan to go overseas, you’ll not only need certain legal documents, but you’ll need to book flights and accommodations as early as possible to be sure you can get the dates you want. If you plan to stay stateside, you’ll still want to be sure that your ideal wedding locations is available—you can’t just walk out onto any seaside mountain ledge and get hitched! Make time to do your research.
2. Get the legal stuff squared away, and don’t procrastinate. Before you go dress shopping, be sure to get any legal documents you may need for your elopement ready to go. For some couples, that might mean getting legally married in the states before hopping on a plane to meet your officiant in Ireland. For others, that might mean obtaining passports before even booking that flight. Some of these legal processes might take longer than you think, so do them first.
3. Hire an amazing photographer, at the very least. You’re going to be saving a ton of money by eloping, so go the extra mile and hire an incredible photographer. Plan to budget anywhere from $2500-$4000 for this. You won’t regret it.
4. Don’t hold back—celebrate your way. Want a huge ball gown? Go for it! Horse and carriage? Do it. None of the above? That's fine too. The best thing about eloping is that you don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations but your own. Plus, since you won’t be spending any money putting all your bridesmaids and groomsmen up in hotels for the night, you’ll have a little extra cash to splurge on anything your heart desires.
5. Decide if you want to announce your wedding before or after it happens. However you choose to announce that you’re eloping, have some fun with it! En lieu of invites, send out “We Got Married!” cards. Instead of a big reception, invite all your closest friends and family out to a big backyard cookout and announce your plans to elope there. Make it as unique as your relationship.
6. Prepare for what you plan to say to anyone who may feel hurt that they didn’t get to be a part of the wedding. First of all, know that your decision to elope doesn’t merit an apology to anyone. It can be hard to hear that someone who means a lot to you was more concerned about the role they’d be playing in your wedding than they are about your happiness. Empathize with their feelings, but remember that you’ve done nothing wrong by choosing to elope. If it helps, work with your partner to decide in advance how to respond to anyone who might need to be reassured how important they are to you, and that your decision to elope had nothing to do with them.
The decision to elope is a deeply personal one, but one that can come with bountiful rewards too—both financial, and emotional rewards. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your love your way, and whatever you do, just remember that a little planning can make a world of difference.
How did you get married? Did you have a big wedding or elope? Share your wedding day stories in our comments section below.