Should You Elope? 3 Signs You Should Ditch the Ballroom

You’re engaged and starting to plan this thing. There are so many moving parts involved in a wedding! Venue, wedding party, invitations, photographer, videographer, the dress, decor, favors, speeches, vows, officiants, oh my. If you’ve ever fantasied about a different way, this article is for you. 

It’s normal to romanticize the simplicity of an elopement, but is it really a good choice? There are several things you should consider before ditching the big venue.


An elopement might be for you if…

You want an intimate ceremony where the sole focus is you and your partner.

Your ideal guest list is short and sweet, and your priority is having a quiet and heartfelt ceremony. The intimacy of a small ceremony is nothing like a ceremony with a couple hundred well-wishers. If you want to keep it simple, an elopement might be a good fit! If you want to feel that support of a group, or you have a very long “must invite” list, an elopement might not be reasonable.


You want to focus your budget in a nontraditional way.

Weddings can be expensive, as you’re finding out! The details add up. The average wedding in 2018 was $28,000. Major costs of weddings include: venue, florals, photography, catering, videography, invitations, cake, rehearsal dinner, hair and makeup, rings, favors, music, etc.

If you want to do a big wedding you can certainly have a lower budget- but that might mean compromise. That’s perfectly wonderful if you are excited about it, but consider the costs of an elopement. 

The average elopement in 2018 cost $8,000. You’ll still need a dress/dresses and/or suit/suits, photographer and/or videographer, permits, flights and hotel if somewhere far away, maybe a venue if you don’t want to do it outside, but that’s about it. You can spend your entire budget on the big-ticket items that are most important to you, and skip the rest.


You want epic photos in an epic place.

Another reason (and my personal favorite, aka photographer motivations 101), is you just want freaking awesome photos. This world is full of so many incredible places, so why not get married on a cliff overlooking the ocean? You can choose somewhere special to the two of you, somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit together, or somewhere that an elopement can seamlessly flow into a honeymoon.

There are literally millions of wonderful places in this world. If you value the outdoors, epic photos to show your grandkids, and weaving your vows through the landscape around you, eloping might be for you. 


Wrap it up

Whether you want to avoid the stress of a big wedding, simplify costs, prioritize photos, or just keep it simple, elopement might be something to consider.

The most important thing is weighing your options and seriously evaluating your priorities. Elopements can be wonderful, but so can big weddings! You really have to think about what I call the *Big Five*. This is the 5 that you absolutely don’t want to compromise on. If your list is venue, attire, sit down dinner, live band, and sparkler send off, your ideal wedding would look different than someone who prioritizes attire, photography, videography, intimate ceremony, and view.

I hope this helps you design the wedding that fits you and your partner best!


Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or advice for someone considering an elopement!