WHY COUPLES ELOPE

March 5, 2021

Elopements have EXPLODED in the recent years. When you factor in the impact of Covid-19 alone, you can definitely understand why. But, have you ever thought about an elopement? Truly thought about it?

Most of us think about getting married to that special someone someday (some more than others) but, how have you envisioned it? Maybe you’ve dreamt of the big classic wedding. An elegant ball room, beautiful dress with a long train, a large party with hundreds of people all vying for your attention. There’s nothing wrong with that! A big traditional wedding is perfect for some.

BUT…

Maybe you’re wishing there was another option. Maybe your desires are for something different. And we hear you!

Sarah and I have photographed both big weddings and elopements. Here’s some of not only our own thoughts, but also what couples have expressed to us in regards to why they chose to elope.

Intimacy

Intimacy is the #1 reason people choose to elope.

Most people out there would agree with us when we say that a major desire couples have on their wedding day is to truly feel the magnitude of the day. It makes sense. This is the day that comes once in a lifetime. Couples want to commit themselves to each other in a way that is real, raw, and vulnerable. This requires a level of intimacy that some find hard to achieve with others watching them.

Eloping, no matter which way you slice it, almost always increases the intimacy shared between the couple.

Being able to share your vows with the love of your life in a place with amazing backdrops and sounds, without the distractions surrounding guests, allows couples to truly be in the moment. They’re able to be 100% connected with one another and therefore are free to have a time of true authenticity.

The reality is, that some people are either more introverted or simply feel pressured to “put on a show” when they’re the center of attention. This can not only add stress but, it can also keep them from being truly in the moment with one another since, in the back of their mind, they’re focused on the crowd, how they look, the party they’ve put together, etc…

Through eloping, couples are able to set aside any fear or anxiety arising from others and instead place their focus on being intimate with each other.

Concerned With The Experience And Not The “Stuff”

Couples choosing to elope typically are the types of people who seek experiences above all else. To them it’s not about the material things that come with weddings; the dress, flowers, gifts, etc… It’s about making sure they walk away with memories of their day that are filled with joy and excitement.

They’d rather come home with a story, their story, to keep in their hearts and minds and to be able to share with others.

TIP: This is why it’s SUPER important to have a photographer who can capture your story completely and truthfully so that you have the memories of the day memorialized forever!

Wanting A Unique Wedding Day Experience

Some people love tradition. Others are drawn to the idea of doing something different. Something a bit more out of the norm. They want to “break the mold” so to speak.

With minor differences aside, traditional weddings all operate the same way. It looks something like this:

Hair & makeup, getting ready moments, first look (optional), ceremony, family portraits, newly wed portraits, grand entrance, toasts, dinner, parents dance, open dance floor, bouquet/garter toss, cake cutting, and the send off (optional).

Elopements?

They don’t have to follow or fit within this pattern. They can incorporate or exclude whatever they’d like (with the exception of the ceremony of course). To give you an idea about what we mean, here are some things we’ve seen couples do during their elopement day:

  • Wine Tasting
  • Have a Picnic
  • Play Music Together
  • Go Horseback Riding
  • Go Sailing
  • Hike Up A Mountain

Skies the limit! Seriously, if you are thinking of eloping, take time to dream up the most amazing day filled with things that are exactly 100% you. If you don’t know where to start, be sure to check out our blog 7 Things You Must Know When Planning Your Elopement to get you started on the right foot.

Wanting To Stay Focused On Each Other

Weddings can be extremely fun but they can also be stressful! One main area of stress for a lot of couples is their guests. With traditional weddings, the truth is, as much as the wedding day is about you two, the day is equally about your guests. Many couples have to answer questions like these:

  • What food will we serve and what will my guests enjoy?
  • Does anyone have food restrictions or allergies that we need to accommodate for?
  • Will my guests dance or enjoy themselves?
  • Which songs will my DJ play that’ll get people up and moving?
  • Who can I seat next to who?
  • Are there any family feuds going on that make it awkward for us to sit someone next to each other?
  • What about family photos? Will I need to separate Aunt Janet from Uncle Bob?

And on and on…

With traditional weddings you are forced to spend time and energy on things outside of the two of you; it’s what comes with playing host to a large party. Elopements however, are different!

By cutting down on or eliminating guests all together you’re free to plan an entire day around the two of you. You’ll be able to really craft something that is specifically special to you and your relationship.

The Best Bang For Your Buck

It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot. We have a whole break down of cost comparisons between traditional weddings and elopements on our blog Why Are Elopement Photographers So Expensive if you’re interested in learning more about that specifically but, as a quick snap shot, traditional weddings average around $34,000 (based on 2019 calculations) vs elopements that range on average between $5200 – $17,000.

According to the data, the statistics show that on average, elopements cost between 50 – 85% less than a traditional wedding!

This is something that without a doubt will interest some couples out there. Many couples who are in the stage of life where marriage is the next step are often also thinking of buying a first home or starting a family by adding little ones into the equation. The more money people can set aside, the more they’ll be able to build up other facets of their lives.

In addition, couples who choose to elope get a 2 for 1 experience. What do we mean? Our experience photographing traditional weddings and talking with our clients tells us that, more often than not, couples are having to forego their honeymoon due to one reason or another (often financial/work related). This is not the case with elopements. Many couples end up eloping in either very special or bucket list destinations which require travel and lodging. It stands to reason that couples are then able to extend their stay to include sight seeing, leisure activities, tourism, lounging, etc… It becomes a great opportunity for couples to have a moment to connect and be with each other before returning to the hustle and bustle of every day life.

In Summary

There are more reasons than what we’ve talked about that drive couples to elope instead of have a larger traditional wedding. These points are just a few of the main ones that we continue to come across and will likely continue to drive the elopement market so to speak.

In all reality, elopements are no longer what they used to be. Some taboo thing that couples used to marry in secret. These days elopements are just as intentional as their wedding counterpart. Recent statistics show that over the last few years interest surrounding elopements have increased tremendously; as of 2019 a total of 91% of couples surveyed said they would consider an elopement over a wedding. With all of the craziness that Covid-19 has created and the social distancing, the increased trend for elopements will most likely continue to grow in popularity.

If you’re interested in eloping, we’d love to connect with you!

Send us an inquiry and we’d be happy to start planning your dream day!

Sarah & Brent

SARAH AND BRENT ARE A HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM BASED OUT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WHO SPECIALIZE IN PLAYFUL, INTIMATE, FREE SPIRITED PORTRAITS FOR THE WILD AT HEART. THEY HAVE SHOT ALL THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND PLAN TO TACKLE THE GLOBE ONE LOVE STORY AT A TIME. WHEN THEY'RE NOT BEHIND THE LENS YOU CAN FIND THEM AT LOCAL COFFEE SHOPS, DISNEYLAND, OR HOME HANGING OUT WITH THEIR CATS.   

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Sarah & Brent

SARAH AND BRENT ARE A HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM BASED OUT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WHO SPECIALIZE IN PLAYFUL, INTIMATE, FREE SPIRITED PORTRAITS FOR THE WILD AT HEART. THEY HAVE SHOT ALL THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND PLAN TO TACKLE THE GLOBE ONE LOVE STORY AT A TIME. WHEN THEY'RE NOT BEHIND THE LENS YOU CAN FIND THEM AT LOCAL COFFEE SHOPS, DISNEYLAND, OR HOME HANGING OUT WITH THEIR CATS.   

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Sarah and Brent are a husband and wife team based out of southern California who specialize in playful, intimate, free spirited portraits for the wild at heart. They have shot all throughout southern California and plan to tackle the globe one love story at a time. When they're not behind the lens you can find them at local coffee shops, Disneyland, or home hanging out with their cats.