Top 10 Reasons to Elope in 2023

Reasons to Elope

You might be on the fence about having a big wedding or an elopement. So you might be asking yourself “why elope?” The meaning of eloping has changed a lot over time. An elopement is an intimate and meaningful wedding experience that focuses on you instead of getting caught up in the production of a wedding. If a big traditional wedding doesn’t seem like a fit for you then eloping might be the way to go. Here are 10 reasons to elope!

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1) To Focus on the Two of You

One of the biggest reasons why you should elope is to focus on the two of you. With traditional weddings it’s easy to get caught up in the production of the wedding instead of focusing on why you’re even having a wedding – to commit the rest of your lives to each other. So why elope? You want a “just us” wedding experience. Elopements give you the freedom to choose to do what you want. If you and your loved one love hiking you can do that. Or maybe you want to try something new like a helicopter tour or see a new destination? Whatever is authentic to you it’s your choice to pick how you spend your wedding day. 

2) An Intimate and Authentic Wedding Experience

Ultimately, when you plan a big wedding the focus is always on the guests. You’ll get caught up in the timeline, preparing for guests, venue shopping, and it’ll turn into what feels like a production. So when it comes to one of the biggest reasons of why do people elope? They value having an intentional wedding day that is centered around their love. You can say your vows in an intimate and private setting that takes the pressure off of you. Maybe what feels most authentic to you is getting married in the mountains with your closest family and friends or hiking to a beautiful lake? When you choose to elope you’re saying yes to having an intimate and authentic wedding day. 

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3) Wedding Planning Was Too Stressful

Let’s face it, planning a big wedding is really stressful. There’s so much that goes into it like finding the right venue, coordinating with family and friends, etc. It can quickly make your engagement season a process that isn’t enjoyable! I’ve seen so many brides and grooms who are planning a big traditional wedding who are anxious and stressed by it all. 

A big wedding can often become a huge production that is about everyone except for you. The day that you commit the rest of your lives to each other should be centered around YOU. Your wedding day should be focused on what’s important to you and not the expectations of others. 

4) Less Stress and Anxiety

As someone who has photographed big weddings I’ve seen so many couples stressed out on their wedding day and not being able to fully enjoy it. As a photographer, this makes me so sad because everyone deserves to enjoy their wedding day. It should be one of the most special days in your life so why go through the stress and anxiety? 

I’ve even heard a lot of couples say that they couldn’t wait for their big wedding day to be over! You don’t want this to be you! When couples were surveyed it found that one in four didn’t even remember saying their vows on their wedding day. It can be so easy to get caught up in everything that’s happening at a traditional wedding. A big wedding of 150+ people is usually the biggest event that most couples have that’s centered around them. With an event like that it can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. 

You shouldn’t feel stressed and overwhelmed on your wedding day. The way you get married should bring you peace and joy. My couples that have eloped have said that they felt relaxed, present, not rushed, and free of stress when they eloped. They had a wedding day that was completely centered around them that they fully enjoyed. 

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5) Leave Behind the Family Drama

Everyone has relatives that can be difficult. Your family might stress you out and maybe they’re getting too involved in wedding planning. Not everyone has a tight close knit family either. You might have difficult family dynamics and maybe it’s even hard to fully be yourselves with your family around. If you don’t have that close relationship with your family it’s OK. 

Even couples who are super close with their family still choose to elope to avoid family drama. It can get complicated when planning a wedding with others as well. Eloping can prevent unnecessary stress that can come with planning a wedding with family. 

Overall, if you don’t have a supportive family, a traditional wedding can be an emotionally taxing experience. Your wedding should be a day where you can be your authentic selves with no expectations or judgement from others. Caring about what people think shouldn’t be reasons not to elope. Make whatever decision feels right to you.

6) You Don’t Want the Pressure on You

You might not like to be the center of attention which is OK! Having a traditional wedding means being the star of the show. You’ll say your vows in front of guests, do first dances, and do all the traditional things. About 50% of the population is introverted so it makes sense that some wouldn’t want a big traditional wedding. If spending a night-in with your partner versus going to a big party sounds like your ideal night then eloping might be right for you. Everyone has their own unique personalities that make them who they are so don’t feel bad if you’d rather not have a big celebration. Saying your vows in front of others can be a very vulnerable thing to do. If you elope you’ll have the freedom to completely express yourself without worrying about what others think. 

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7) Save Money

According to The Knot the average wedding cost $33,900. 40% of the budget goes towards the venue and catering according to Brides. If you elope you will be cutting down on those major expenses and can put it toward your elopement experience. You won’t have to worry about making your wedding centered around guests. When eloping couples were surveyed it wasn’t that they didn’t want to spend money on their wedding day, they just wanted to use the money differently. The couples valued experiences over buying material items. So if you’re looking for reasons to elope, you might want to think about where you want to spend your money for your wedding.

8) Visit a New Destination

Eloping gives you the opportunity to travel to a new place. Most likely if you’re eloping you’re not going to do it at the local country club. You can pick somewhere new and exciting! To brainstorm places to elope, think about what you like doing together, what climates you like, and where you want to honeymoon. Your elopement can be an extended honeymoon! 

9) Leave No Trace Principles

If you’re planning a big traditional wedding with 100+ people it can produce a lot of waste. The average US wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of CO2 according to ZeroWaste. It’s becoming more common for couples to have more sustainable weddings. As your elopement photographer I follow the Leave No Trace  principles because I’m committed to preserving the integrity of the environment. 

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california elopement photographer

10) Epic Photos

There’s a common misconception that couples who elope don’t care about their wedding experience and don’t want to invest in photos. However, that is not the case at all. Couples who elope care a lot about their wedding experience and having it documented. Traditional weddings have all day documentation so why wouldn’t you have all day documentation for your elopement?

There’s another misconception that couples who do have photos taken of their elopement only have a few quick pictures for a couple of hours and that’s it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Elopements deserve all day coverage just like traditional weddings. You might be thinking, would we just be posing in front of the camera all day? The answer is no. I don’t have my couples do weird, awkward poses that look fake. Elopements give you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the moments so I photograph real authentic moments between the two of you. You’ll be able to look back on little moments like getting ready, your first look, saying your vows, going on an adventure and all the precious moments in between. 

How to Figure Out if Elopement is For You

Ultimately, your wedding day should be focused on the two of you and your commitment to each other. When it comes to figuring out if an elopement is for you think about what will bring you the most joy and peace. Caring about other’s opinions and how they feel shouldn’t be reasons not to elope. A lot of couples are worried about what their family or friends might think even though they know eloping is right for them. There’s so many ways you can still include your loved ones in your elopement with or without them being physically present. Check out my blog post to learn how to elope with family.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Reasons to Elope

Why do couples elope? When it comes to the top reasons of why elope instead of having a wedding couples wanted to prioritize having a “just us” experience. Eloping is an intentional and authentic way to get married. It focuses on the two of you and your love instead of focusing on the production of a traditional wedding.

What are the benefits of eloping? Eloping has a lot of benefits. It’s a stress free wedding experience that allows you to focus on committing the rest of your lives to each other. You can visit a new destination and choose to prioritize your money towards the experience of having an elopement, instead of a venue and the experience of guests.

What are the pros and cons of eloping? There are so many pros of eloping like not having the stress of wedding planning, saving money, you won’t be the center of attention, you can get married anywhere, and so much more. The cons of an elopement can be getting your wedding dress dirty due to adventuring in it and having to be comfortable with plans changing – the outdoors can be unpredictable.

What does it mean when someone has eloped? The definition of elopement has changed over time. It now means to have an intimate and authentic wedding experience. More couples are now choosing to elope to have the elopement of their dreams.

How do you explain why you’ve eloped? Telling family and friends you’re eloping or have eloped already can be hard. Explain to them the importance of eloping for you and show them photos of elopements. You can involve your family in your elopement even if they aren’t physically present. Check out my blog post to learn more about how to elope with family click here.

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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 guide 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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