Everything You Need To Know About The Pros and Cons Of Eloping

October 25, 2023

Let’s Go Over The Pros And Cons Of Eloping!

Nowadays, there are so many resources to plan a traditional big wedding, and even in 2023, there’s this constant push to have one. Friends and family want to be there for one of the biggest moments of your life.

I mean, can you blame them?

I’m sure you’re purty rad!

Even the motivation to be surrounded by those you cherish might not be enough to convince you to say yes to the hoopla of a traditional wedding. And that’s okay!!!

But before you make that decision, let’s go over the pros and cons of eloping so you can make the best decision possible for you and your partner.

What’s An Elopement?

Not too long ago (and people still think this, too), elopements were almost always secret. Maybe someone was pregnant. Maybe Daddy hated the boyfriend. Maybe things just got too overwhelming.

It usually was between the couple and a priest. Or Elvis. The impending family drama was worth it because no one could say shit afterward.

Now? In the modern world we live in, elopements are just entirely different now. So many couples choose to elope for various reasons, including:

  • The idea of a traditional wedding makes their eyes twitch
  • Family drama just simply isn’t worth it
  • Some couples just want things to be more stress-free
  • They prefer to have an epic adventure and Grandma can’t hike the Grand Canyon
  • The planning process leaves them feeling overwhelmed

Nowadays, eloping means to focus on having a more intimate ceremony with a sprinkle of friends and family. When I say sprinkle, I mean less than ten!

two grooms walk down the aisle for their small elopement

What Do You Need To Plan For An Elopement?

Okay, just because an elopement is more simple than a traditional wedding doesn’t mean it doesn’t require a little elbow grease to pull off.

First, I’ll list the most important facets and then we’ll touch on the things I think you’ll appreciate investing in.

An Officiant

I mean, duh, right? While you can say your own vows during your private ceremony, you can’t just marry yourself! Any kind of wedding, to be recognized by the big bad government, must have an officiant.

This can be a professional (my recommendation) or you can ask one of your close friends. Maybe even your best friend!

No matter what you decide, don’t leave this to the last minute!

An Elopement Photographer

Also, a DUH! Don’t mind me over here, all biased and shit. I just know you deserve amazing photos!

But really, your smaller celebration deserves to have images that will help you remember forever the incredible experience you’ll have with your partner.

Your wedding photos, believe it or not, will be some of the only photos you have with your partner.

Of course, this isn’t always true for every couple, but most couples don’t do photo sessions every year or even every five years. I’d be a millionaire if they did!

So take advantage of the opportunity and make sure to get someone to document your most intimate moments! Elopement photographers know ways to not only make incredible elopement photos you’ll cherished forever, they’ll also help you make it an epic adventure.

Two grooms stand in chapel dulcinea saying their wedding vows

A Venue Of Some Kind

I’m using the term “venue” here loosely. Some wedding venues offer mid-week elopement packages. Other spots, like state parks or a friend’s home, can be a perfectly great venue for the moment.

The biggest thing you’ll need to decide first is your wedding date. Once you have the date nailed down, it’ll be easier to reach out to places to get more info.

Decide On The Guest Count

You’ll definitely need to decide if it’s going to be just you and your partner or if you’re inviting additional guests. Even just immediate family. Some family members might straight up beg to go with you.

You’ll have to figure out if there are family members you want to spend time with. And, of course, what about friends? For some, an elopement isn’t complete without a best friend or two.

So figure out if you want guests and go from there!

a groom cries at his wedding ceremony in a black and white photo

Additional Things To Add To An Elopement Day

Okay, we have the basics settled, but what else can do you add to this fabulous, special day? These are just some recommendations, but you can add all kinds of vendors or services to your big day.

A Musician

Some assume music is only reserved for a big wedding, but that’s not true!

While a quartet isn’t the best option for an elopement on the top of a mountain, you can always find ways to make things work!

As a side note, if you think a musician is a bit overboard for an elopement, then you can just pick a stellar playlist on Spotify.

A Wedding Planner

If your elopement is super simple, this probably isn’t something you need. You might be okay doing all the planning.

However, if you’re hoping to be utterly stress-free and receive guidance to cut down on decision-making, a wedding planner familiar with elopements is a great idea!

Planners can help avoid a stressful wedding day and make sure your wedding experience will stay more stress-free.

Keep in mind some planners are only focusing on wedding planning, not elopement planning, so make sure to double-check.

two grooms during their elopement ceremony at chapel dulcinea in Austin

Finding A Place To Celebrate

Some folx actually don’t always go out to celebrate afterward, but if you want to nosh on good food right after saying “I DO!” then finding a yummy spot is a MUST!

I know people have had an elopement have expressed that they felt that eloping allowed them to choose a restaurant that they couldn’t otherwise avoid with a large wedding.

Benefits Of Eloping

There are oodles of benefits of eloping, but here are some of my favorite reasons to elope!

Your Choice Of Locations Are Endless

The world is your oyster, as they say! You can choose anywhere in the world when it comes to your elopement!

Of course, when you’re planning an elopement abroad, it might cut down the possibility of anyone else being able to go, but for a lot of people, that’s the point.

More Emotional With Less Peering Eyes

I truly love it when couples feel comfortable enough to shed tears.

Even better: laughing in the relief of happiness.

An elopement gives you a sense of solitude, singular moments to yourself and your loved one. You can revel in the joy without feeling any obligation to entertain a mass of other people.

It’s certainly easier than walking down the aisle with 300 eyes staring at you!

two grooms exchange rings during their elopement ceremony

More Space For Intention

I like to encourage mindfulness during elopements, as well. Traditional weddings are more tied to, well, tradition, so elopements have a little more space to infuse intention into the day.

With fewer guests, you can write handwritten notes or even encourage a meditative moment during the ceremony.

You Don’t Have To Coddle Anyone

Raise your hand if you have that one family member who eyes your life critically, with a gleam of eagerness to point out flaws.

By eloping, you can successfully avoid judgment, gossip, and criticism (in theory).

You don’t have to spend hours arranging travel plans, activities or any nonsense Google could do for them, but they insist YOU help with.

So many clients come to me frazzled because their parents expected to be escorted around the island on tours and trips. Eww. Eloping removes all possible issues like this!

two grooms ring the bell at their elopement

More Time For Incredible Images

Some locations and shots take a lot of time. It can involve car rides, climbing, trekking, and sometimes careful maneuvering, all before the shutter clicks.

Big weddings mean you have you entertain people, meet certain expectations, and cut down on the photography time. Eloping in Austin means you have far more control over what happens during the wedding day!

We could go to an arcade, a museum, for ice cream or Whataburger! The sky is the limit.

Elopements in Austin are also AMAZING because so many cool murals and backdrops are so close to one another (although traffic is a bitch)!

More Budget-Friendly

A lot of local Austin wedding vendors are reporting that they are seeing clients realize that when they don’t have to figure out how to entertain and feed 150+ people, their money goes further!

Now you can invest in delicious food or maybe that llama you know you wanted or a champagne wall. Or, of course, you can put it towards the honeymoon!

Pick SE Asia and save beaucoup money!

two grooms pose for their elopement photos

Less Pressure = Less Stress

Big weddings have big schedules. Of course, I love it, and it’s so much fun! However, if elopements are the ticket right now, embrace the benefits, which include being able to chill out.

Of course, I’ll be honest…elopements run later than big weddings usually. However, once the ceremony is done, it’s as easy as pie!

Of course, while the whole concept of elopement implies stress-free, it also depends on whether or not you hate your Aunt Karen and invite her anyway. p.s. don’t invite Aunt Karen.

More Freedom To Be Yourself

I’ve seen so many brides decide that because they aren’t prescribing to the “norm,” that they can wear whatever they want. F*ck white, let’s choose more colors! I LOVE it.

Do your makeup in a funky way. Wear that bright eyeshadow. Wear those wicked shoes. Get naked. Overthrow the government. Create world peace.

The options are endless! The great thing about a funky town like Austin is that elopements have an opportunity to be weird!

a groom laughs with his partner in some trees for their elopement photos

The Downsides Of Eloping

We’ve gone over reasons to elope—so what are the downsides? I’m a firm believer in having all of the information before making a decision, so let’s go over the possible issues you might encounter.

There’s A Possibility Of Salty Feels

Celebrating with loved ones can be amazing. I mean, that’s why traditional weddings are so popular, right? You friends and family love you, so of course they want to be there with you.

But if you’re hoping for a wedding day that is low-key, then that guest list is going to need to be snip-snipped. And it might cause family drama.

You Might Regret It

Now, this is just a tiny possibility. An elopement will be special no matter what, but you could possibly regret not having family and friends there when you get married.

Mainly because you can always save up and have a reception with friends and family down the road. Do a vow renewal. It still doesn’t have to be a big wedding—you can just do what makes you happy.

two grooms stand together in grass for their elopement photos

You Might Be Doing It For The Wrong Reasons

Eloping is pretty trendy right now. I’m sure you’ve heard an epic story where people saved tens of thousands of dollars and avoided all the stress.

But this isn’t always the case.

Weddings are meant to be a celebration, and if you’re just trying to curb on how much you spend, you may regret not just taking more time to save.

Missing Out On Some Traditions

For some couples, there are wedding traditions they’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it’s a father walking his daughter down the aisle.

Others dream of having a big bridal party or throwing a big party.

The fact is, you can’t do a first dance in front of family if they aren’t there. You could possibly regret not having the traditional wedding experience that has traditional elements.

two grooms spray champagne together to celebrate their elopement

Is Eloping Selfish?

The definition of selfish is subjective. Is eloping selfish? Personally, I don’t think so. Getting married is about the marriage, not how many guests you invite or how much you spend. You’re welcome to do your own thing, even if it pisses people off.

Again, eloping is not everyone’s cup of tea—and that’s okay! If you aren’t sure is eloping is selfish, then consider having a big wedding.

Whatever you choose, do what makes you happy.

Wrapping Up

Some people find the idea of eloping self and others think it will offer a huge relief when it comes to planning.

But the whole point of getting married, whether it’s an elopement or a traditional wedding, is you gaining a new spouse.

Your elopement is about you and your partner. I’m sure whatever you decide, family and friends will be there to support you.

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