Planning an Elopement – Pros and Cons

Planning an Elopement

Are you considering planning an elopement? If you’ve found this blog you probably are! Eloping is an incredible way to get married! It’s intimate and meaningful wedding experience that’s a lot different from a traditional wedding. However, eloping isn’t the right fit for everyone. Some want an extravagant big wedding celebration while others want something more intimate.

Here are some pros and cons of eloping that’ll hopefully help you decide the right decision for you!

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Pro: It’s cost-effective

This is probably one of the biggest reasons to elope. Eloping with your special person is the perfect choice if you are looking for a cost effective way of getting married. The biggest costs for traditional weddings are receptions. For elopements, typically more than 50% of the budget goes towards the photographer. We all know weddings aren’t cheap, and if money is tight, you can save thousands of dollars going for something smaller. The average cost of a wedding is $33,900 according to the Knot.

Con: Accept change as they happen

Let’s face it – the unexpected can happen. There might be too much mist on the morning of your elopement, or a storm is passing through. Accept that your plans can change on a whim and go with the flow. Especially if you’re doing an outdoor elopement weather can change at any time.

Pro: You can incorporate it into your honeymoon

If you love seeking adventure, why not combine your elopement with your honeymoon? You will save money by foregoing a large guest list in exchange for the wedding and honeymoon of your dreams. The African sunset or the red rocks of Moab can be your backdrop and provide you with the most stunning photos and memories to last you a lifetime!

Con: Friends having extravagant weddings might be jealous of your stress-free elopement

Planning a big wedding is a stressful time for most brides, but elopements are far more easygoing. Your friends and family who are spending a fortune on a big wedding might get jealous of your big day.

california elopement photographer

Pro: You’ll have an adventure

If you and your fiancé love traveling or want to explore a new place together, now is your chance! Starting your marriage with an adventure, seeing incredible sights, and sharing unforgettable moments that will last forever are everything you will both get to enjoy with an adventure elopement. It’s the perfect way to start your new life together!

Adventure elopements can be anything you want them to be. Think hiking to your ceremony destination, plunging into the warm ocean or lake in your wedding attire, or saying your “I do’s” at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

There are no rules, so do whatever makes you and your loved one the happiest!

Con: Getting dirty

Expect your elopement attire to get dirty. But that’s okay! A dirty dress stained from hiking makes for spectacular photographs! Expect your elopement attire to get dirty. But that’s okay! A dirty dress stained from hiking makes for spectacular photographs!

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moab elopement

Pro: There is less stress

Planning a wedding can be stressful. From finding the perfect venue to selecting service providers, these can all put a person under a lot of stress. Opting for a small, intimate wedding is romantic, and your big day will be focused solely on you and your future spouse.

For the small details, an elopement wedding planner or elopement photographer will ensure everything runs smoothly. Sleep better at night knowing there’s minimal planning, and enjoy the tranquility of your union.

Con: Wedding gifts might come later

Couples often expect to receive an abundance of cards and gifts to open after their wedding. Eloping couples wedding gifts might be delayed until after their wedding day. Don’t miss an opportunity to send your registry to loved ones if they want to bless you with something special after the big day. You can still receive presents for your special day, but they might just come at different times!

california elopement photographer

Pro: Eloping saves time

Traditional weddings can be pretty time consuming to plan to figure out a venue, food, seating charts, invites, and more. If you elope and hire an experienced elopement photographer like me who assists in planning it’ll save so much time! I give you vendor recommendations, location scout, give you a packing list and more. This will save so much time! Planning an elopement wedding doesn’t have to be time consuming.

Pro: There’s no family drama

What’s a wedding without family drama, right? Maybe your mom wants you to invite your third cousin you haven’t seen in 10 years, or several of your intended guests aren’t available on the date you want to get married. This could turn any bride into a bridezilla or a groom into a groomzilla!

Your wedding should be drama-free and the happiest day of your life. Planning an elopement means you get to cut the family drama, and you won’t have to worry about making everyone happy. Your day should be about you and your partner’s happiness!

If your friends and family care about you and your partner, they will understand your decision to elope. Decide on an option that’s best for you as a couple and put your happiness first above everyone else!

Tips For Planning an Elopement Wedding

  • Chose a destination that has meaning for you and your fiancé
  • Hire an elopement photographer and videographer
  • Your honeymoon can be combined with your destination elopement
  • Ensure all of your paperwork is in order
  • Let go of any feelings of guilt. Your friends and family will understand
  • Celebrate with your guests at a later stage


How long does it take to plan an elopement? This can vary. I see couples who plan in a month or and some who plan a year plus in advanced. If you’re wanting to get married in a popular place that requires a permit like a national park you need to apply well in advanced to reserve your permit. Permits are limited for places like national parks. And if you’re traveling to a destination, purchasing a flight, booking accommodations, you’re going to want to book in advanced. Also, when it comes to booking vendors like photographers, florist, hair and makeup artists, their schedules may fill up fast.

How much does it cost to elope on average? On average, an elopement usually costs around $4,000-$10,000. This includes money spent on vendors like photographers which usually a large portion of budget goes toward.

Is an elopement a legal marriage? Yes, as long as you still do the legal things like getting a marriage certificate and following your states marriage laws. If you’re getting eloped abroad, be sure to check that country’s marriage laws.

Rule for reception after elopement? There’s no rules when it comes to eloping. If your planning a reception after elopement you can show all the photos you took from your elopement day if you have it a couple of months later. It’s the perfect way to celebrate with family and friends so they can feel like they were apart of your special day.

california elopement photographer

Meet Your California Elopement Photographer

Hi, I’m Tiffany – a California elopement photographer who travels worldwide! I offer a variety of elopement packages that range from half day to full day coverage.

Not only do I help document your elopement, but I also help to craft it. I’m here to help make sure that you have the best experience ever. I help assist in finding the best location for you, handcraft your timeline, give you vendor recommendations, elopement planning guide, elopement planning checklist and so much more! 

I’m a huge outdoors lover and adventure seeker which is where my passion for documenting adventurous elopements comes in. I firmly believe that your wedding day deserves to be intentional and focused on you. Elopements absolutely have my heart!

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