Please Don’t Elope
Elopements vs Traditional Weddings...which one is right for you?
Did the title throw you off? If so, good! Choosing to elope is not for everyone. It’s not a fad, an impulse decision or something you do to look cool. I’m sharing REAL reasons why the couples I’ve worked with, to photograph and guide their wedding day, have decided to elope over hosting a conventional wedding. My hope is to resonate with engaged couples and empower you to create a unique celebration true to who you are as individuals and a couple, whether you decide to elope or have a traditional wedding.
Your wedding day should be an intentional celebration, joining lives together in a way that is true to your personalities, relationship and journey. Elopements offer an opportunity to create a custom wedding ceremony without the pressures so many couples experience when hosting a large wedding. I believe whether you choose an elopement or traditional wedding, you need to ask the hard questions that allow you to determine what kind of celebration is true to you!
Here are a few reasons couples I’ve guided through an intentional wedding have chosen an elopement over a traditional wedding.
Create a Celebration True to You
The wedding industry presents an image of what a wedding day should and shouldn’t look like. Many couples I’ve worked with have said the production and stress of a large, traditional wedding became too much. Often, the day becomes more about entertaining guests, than reflecting the couple’s personalities or relationship.
Eloping allows couples to create a day reflective of their values, priorities and connection without the pressures to entertain guests, appease certain family members or book certain vendors. Instead, the day celebrates the new family being formed. The couple experiences the freedom to focus on one another and be present in an intimate way, rather than stressing out over meeting the expectations of others.
For many couples, a big conventional wedding isn’t an honest reflection of their personality, relationship or how they want to start their life together. Elopements allow you to create a celebration true to you.
An Intentional and Joyful Day
Wedding days often become a production and glorified photo shoot focused on fitting in all the photo requests from family. Eloping allows you to plan an intentional and intimate day centered around the joy of committing to a life together.
Customize your wedding day to highlight your relationship and commitment. Is there a date that’s special to you, such as the anniversary of your first date? Do you want your wedding to reflect your adventurous and outdoor spirit, like having your wedding in a National Park?
Do you prefer to spend the morning of your wedding day together exchanging gifts and reflecting on your relationship? Or, would you rather not see one another prior to the ceremony? Will you write personal marriage vows, exchange traditional ones or both? This desert elopement is a perfect example of your options!
All of these questions that I ask in the planning process, help couples create an intentional elopement true to them!
A Wedding Day in a Safe Space
For many, family dynamics or strained relationships add an extra layer of stress to their wedding day, leaving them on edge. Anxiety and worry can be overwhelming and take away from being present and joyful. Not every couple is close with their family, and that’s okay! These couples want a day where they can be 100% themselves, which means no one else being present.
On the flip side, I’ve had couples that are close to their families choose to elope. Why? It’s often due to expectations, obligations or certain traditions they don’t feel reflect their relationship.
Choosing to elope doesn't define or reflect the relationship you have with your family. It simply means you choose the best environment to join your lives together and start your family!
An Experience Over a Production
Many of the couples I’ve worked with value new experiences and adventures over things. By choosing to elope, you start your new life in a memorable place while experiencing a new culture, landscape or activity. Whether you’re eloping at a new location from your bucket list or a place significant to your relationship, the day stays true to the experience rather than stuff! There’s no need for a wedding cake, caterer or other vendors unless you want them!
Do you want to hike in the morning, then exchange vows during sunset?
Or, is the beach and water more your thing and you want to go for a swim, surf or fish at some point, such as this intimate destination wedding in Todos Santos?
The possibilities are endless to customize your elopement experience to what you really want for your wedding day.
A Customized Experience
Weddings often become cookie cutter, doing things at your wedding due to your wedding planner’s suggestions or because you are unaware of other options. An elopement provides an opportunity to build a customized wedding experience based on your interests and relationship.
For example, you can have 10 of the closest people in your life at your elopement, sharing an intimate family-style dinner with stories or words of wisdom shared instead of traditional toasts. Eloping allows you to have an intimate and meaningful environment customized exactly the way you desire. I’m here to ask the hard, but crucial questions to make your day a memorable experience!
Not the Center of Attention
Not being the center of attention is probably the most common reason couples I work with choose to elope! Not everyone likes being the center of attention. Many are introverts, like me, and sharing personal vows in front of an audience is nerve racking! For us, it’s easier to share our hearts and enjoy a celebration in an intimate elopement ceremony.
Can you still do a first dance or cut the cake? Heck yes! I’ve had couples hire musicians, play music on a speaker or have a friend play music while they dance on the beach after the ceremony. You don’t have to sacrifice special moments when you elope. In fact, eloping gives you more freedom to design the wedding day you want.
A Day About Both People, Not Just the Bride
Often the bride becomes the center of attention when having a large wedding, and the groom gets pushed aside. Elopements allow you to create a wedding adventure that reflects your personalities and a day you’ll both love!
Choosing to elope requires you to talk with each other through the priorities of your day, creating a day true to your relationship and ultimately a deep bond. It allows both the bride and groom to make decisions that make the day their own, not just the bride to making decisions on her own with the groom just showing up. What an amazing way to start your life together as partners and spouses!
For those on the fence about eloping, I hope this provides clarity and the confidence you need to have the celebration of your dreams! If not, know I will be here each step of the way, cheering you on and bringing your dreams to life!
Plan Your Perfect Elopement
I’m dedicated to crafting intentional and adventurous wedding experiences for couples. You can read more about me here and check out my travel dates here! If you’re interested in an elopement or intimate wedding, contact me so we can discuss and plan your perfect wedding day. I act as the guide and photographer to build the true, adventurous wedding celebration true to you.