So you're considering eloping...

We're in the middle of a pretty much crazy world, but the thing that shines bright through it all is love. Damn, I love being in love, don't you? At this point, I have no clue what's around the corner, but I know that Matt and I are going to tackle it together, hand in hand, and that keeps me going.

And because love is the only thing that matters, you better believe couples will continue to find a way to celebrate their love story and join in marriage. The world just got a little more confusing and setting a wedding date became a challenge, and a lot of couples are sharing that wedding planning just got super complicated. So if you've ever thought weddings are too expensive, too stuffy and traditional, or too overwhelming, an elopement might be the best decision you make, other than saying I Do!

You might have heard the word "elopement" buzzing around lately, so today I'm breaking down the basics of why a couple might want to elope because elopements. are. awesome. They used to be about running away secretly because the couple's family didn't approve, so you might have a weird idea of what an elopement is (it took me a while to finally help my mom understand). Today, elopements are intimate weddings with a select few witnesses, typically done in secret before announcing to the world that you're married.

Elopements aren't about running away to get married in secret.

They're about running towards something - your lifelong adventure together.

Eloping gives you the absolute freedom to create your dream day - whatever that means to you. Maybe you’re hiking to the top of a mountain for breathtaking views with your besties, heading down to the coast for an intimate beach ceremony, or partying in your own backyard with your parents and dogs.

At its most basic level, couples who choose to elope pick some way of making it legal (courthouse or officiant), hire a photographer, and find some way to celebrate. Picture this super simple elopement:

You and your partner spend your wedding morning together, getting ready at home while your photographer takes the cutest real-life pics. You head over to the courthouse with your two best friends for a signed marriage license and a first kiss. And then it’s party time, so you head over to your favorite brewery, where all your favorite people are hanging out, ready to celebrate your love and enjoy the taco truck that just so happens to be parked outside.

I don't know about you, but that sounds like such a wonderful, chill day to celebrate love. And the possibilities only go up from there! Because you get to define the day, we want to help you figure out if eloping is right for you.

So why do couples choose to elope?

You want to celebrate your relationship

Every wedding should be about the couple and their relationship, but in the hustle and bustle of a big wedding, you can get swept up in a lot of side conversations and awkwardly go through certain traditions before finally getting a few private moments at the end of the night.

Many couples choose to elope because they want a wedding day that is honestly focused on them, their love story, and the things they actually enjoy doing. They want that authenticity, to feel completely like themselves on their day, just all dolled up. There's no need to follow a set of traditions or expectations, so you can intentionally fill your wedding day with your favorite activities.

You get to focus on your favorite parts of your relationship, including your intimacy. Rather than sharing your wedding day with a ton of guests, you have all day to revel in your love and spend intentional time with each other, as well as those closest friends and family who have always supported your relationship. You don't have to stress the family drama or spend your whole evening caught up in conversation with guests. You get to soak up every minute of that "just married" feeling. Bottle it up, babe.

Weddings cost too much

I strongly believe that a couple shouldn't go into debt for their wedding - mostly because I'm still paying mine off. We feel so much pressure from pop culture, media, and the comparison game to have this full-blown gorgeous wedding that people will talk about forever. But not everyone can afford that, nor should you have to.

Maybe you don't have the money for a full blown wedding, or maybe you value experiences over material things. Either way, an elopement starts at $0 if you have a friend who's legally ordained, and you have total control over where your money goes.

Whatever your style, eloping allows you to splurge on some details that wouldn’t have fit into the budget with 100+ guests. Maybe that means going full glam with the dress, custom suit, accessories, and flawless hair and makeup. Or you want to remember every second of your day, so you’re going for your dream photographer and videographer. And now that you’re not thinking about 20 centerpieces, you can make sure your bouquet is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Planning a wedding is too stressful

Weddings have about a million moving parts and decisions to be made, so if planning a wedding feels like a nightmare, you can scrap most of the work by choosing to elope. There are still planning elements that go into elopements, but things can be as simple or extravagant as you want on your wedding day.

If the guest list has been a struggle, this is the first thing to bring relief with an elopement. You no longer have to worry about forgetting to invite someone, think about plus-ones, or try to fit all 150+ guests into nearby hotels. You don't have to worry about which friends are a part of the wedding party because you won't have one, and buying food, drinks and favors just got a heck of a lot easier.

The decisions and details continue to pile up until suddenly it's the night before you’re supposed to get married and you haven’t even written your vows! Weddings often feel more about trying to accommodate everyone and everything so much, and couples are left wondering what all of this is even for.

So instead of planing things you just don't care about, an elopement allows you to start from scratch and only add in the elements, people, and activities that are worth taking the time to plan. Your focus shifts from what will make your guests happy, to what will make you and your partner happy.

You don't like being the center of attention

People don't always believe me when I tell them I'm an introvert because I'm really loud, but when my husband and I decided to get married, we only included close family and friends for just this reason - we didn't want to be the center of attention. In fact, even with only 40 guests, Matt was still uncomfortable during our first dance, and halfway through he invited everyone to join us on the dancefloor so we were no longer the focus.

Introverts make up about 40 percent of the population, so it makes sense that there are plenty of couples who get anxious at the thought of a traditional wedding. One of my brides shared with me during her rehearsal that she was nervous about the first kiss because they never do PDA, but luckily she and her groom got caught up in the feels and had no problems during their ceremony.

The truth is, your wedding day shouldn't be something that makes you uncomfortable. It should be a day where you feel like the best, most beautiful, most in love version of yourselves. So whether that's just the two of you with two witnesses, or you have a group of 18 friends who bring out your best, elopements give you the freedom to design a day that is perfect for you and your relationship.

Life is an adventure

If adventure, wanderlust, and new experiences are a defining part of your love story, this is a beautiful reason to choose to elope. Because of the full freedom that eloping allows, couples can choose to join in marriage literally anywhere.

For some, that means visiting somewhere brand new to feel fully alive and fully in love. Many elopements take place outside, beside the coast or on top of a mountain, but any location that is special to you can make for an incredible backdrop for your vows (and some incredible photos). Couples might even choose to combine their wedding and honeymoon by getting married in a foreign country and then hanging out for a week.

No matter what, you know that life is an adventure, and you'll be happy to have incredible memories and gorgeous photos from your adventurous elopement.

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“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." - Mark 10:9

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