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Pros and Cons of Elopement

Should You Elope? We Weigh the Pros and Cons

Under-the-radar weddings have long appealed to celebrities aiming to keep their nuptials private, but elopement is not reserved for the rich and famous. There are plenty of upsides to making a private commitment in lieu of a large, public ceremony! To help you decide which type of wedding is right for you, here are the good and bad aspects of eloping:

The Pros

  • It's Far Less Expensive: Elopement beats traditional weddings in basically every cost category. You'll save massively by avoiding reception catering for tons of guests, large venue rental fees, decorations and flowers for a large space, bridal party costs (from bridesmaid gifts to hair/makeup styling), and other large costs.
  • You Call All the Shots: Elopement takes away the anxieties of everybody else's opinions and requirements. If you opt for a private ceremony, you and your partner will probably do all the planning — say goodbye to grandma's disapproval about the non-church venue and bridesmaids who are vocally upset about your wedding colors!
  • It's Practice in Saying "No": Many of your loved ones will be disappointed in your choice to skip out on a large wedding, but this your day with your betrothed. Defying everybody else's marital expectations will be great practice in standing up for your own wants and opinions.
  • The World Is Your Oyster: Without having to worry about inviting extended family and tons of friends along, the world of wedding opportunity grows a whole lot larger. You can make your commitment in an Airbnb property in Iceland or exchange vows on a Thai beach; the possibilities are endless.
  • Rules Go Out the Window: Forget every wedding tradition you've ever known. All that matters during your elopement is that you say the vows and sign the paper . . . the rest is up to you! Not a fan of bouquet tosses? No problem. Include the traditions you love and leave out the ones that bore you.
  • Only the VIPs Are Present: If you choose to have any guests present for your elopement, they are going to be the friends and family who matter most to you and your spouse.
  • Photographers and Videographers Love You: Since capturing emotion and special details is their job, photographers and videographers love to work on elopements. The intimacy of elopement ceremonies and the stress-free timeline that comes without a large reception makes for wonderful photos! You can get much more creative during your portrait session when you're not limited to a 45-minute cocktail hour.
  • Bye-Bye, Stress: Sure, there are still plenty of things to plan for an elopement, but a lot of the pressure is taken off without a massive guest list. Fewer obligations during your big day make it much easier to relax and take in the experience with your new partner.
  • Privacy: It's hard to share a moment with your significant other when 200 other people are watching you, waiting for certain reactions. An elopement allows you to focus completely on the promises you're making to one another and say them your way.

The Cons

  • Potential Hurt Feelings: When loved ones find out that you've eloped, there may be some hurt feelings about not receiving an invitation. In a perfect world, everybody would be selflessly happy about your marriage and choice to wed in a way that made you happy, but unfortunately that sometimes isn't the case.
  • Fewer Gifts: One of the most awesome wedding traditions is gift-giving. By skipping out on a traditional ceremony, you'll also be skipping out on having your registry taken care of by guests.
  • Less Extravagance: If fancy soirees are a passion of yours, elopement may not be the best wedding route for you. There is often much less glamour at these smaller ceremonies due to unorthodox locations and fewer attendees. However, the money you save on a big wedding can be used to fund an extravagant honeymoon or put towards a house.
  • Fewer Witnesses to Share the Memories: Despite the many upsides to inviting fewer guests, one negative aspect is that fewer people will be able to reminisce with you about the wedding. You can have a video made and sent to everybody, but there is a difference when they've not actually experienced the elopement.
  • You're Dependent on the Photographer: Because there are so few attendees during an elopement, there won't be an Instagram hashtag dedicated to your nuptials. Without any of your loved ones taking personal photos, you're completely reliant on the photographer to capture things perfectly!

Sources: Olivia Palermo, Figtree Pictures via Style Me Pretty, Rad + in Love via 100 Layer Cake, Harmony Loves via Green Wedding Shoes, Flickr user amerainey

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