Even though there are some obvious similarities, there are some huge differences between traditional weddings and an elopement.
You might be wondering which option is the best for you and your significant other, so we’re here to help you make the decision.
Both typical wedding ceremonies and elopement ceremonies are perfectly wonderful choices if you’re thinking of tying the knot, but there are important differences you’re going to want to consider.
You also might find that you’ve had misconceptions about elopement and that it is a better option than a traditional wedding for you.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about the differences between getting married and eloping!
Elopements Typically Involve Travel
Part of the fun of getting eloped is that it’s almost like a traditional wedding and a honeymoon rolled into one.
Unlike a traditional wedding ceremony that might be held at a local church or some other upscale venue close to the couple’s home or family, elopements tend to take place further away, such as at resort locations and vacation destinations.
This is because elopements tend to involve far fewer people than the average wedding, so it’s easy to fly several states away to a magical destination rather than having to wait until the honeymoon.
An elopement is sort of like a getaway or retreat combined with a wedding. In this way it’s perfect for couples who want to focus on the ceremony and save some money at the same time.
Elopements Involve Much Less Planning
While there is still plenty of things to consider with an elopement, they tend to be somewhat more spontaneous.
There are just far fewer issues to contend with in an elopement. You don’t have to worry about catering to a hundred people and fully decking out a wedding hall, not to mention arranging all the different services.
Elopements cut out a lot of the pageantry of modern weddings and go for a more minimalist, couple-focused way of doing things. There’s less money and time being spent on floral arrangements and expensive catering and more time for the couple to do what they want over the course of several days.
Taking the time to plan out an elopement has its benefits, but it’s not something that takes half a year or more of never-ending fretting and micromanaging like so many weddings tend to. Elopements are carefree and are much less stressful overall.
Elopements Cost Less
You’re not going to be breaking the bank with your average elopement. Because you’re not catering to so many people and there’s a lot fewer service and other matters to attend to, they simply cost less even with travel fare included in the conversation.
It’s for this reason that elopements are becoming increasingly popular.
Even for couples who go “all out” with their elopements, they still wind up costing less than a typical wedding. When you’re not shelling out $500 for a 3-tiered wedding cake and several thousand for décor, you’d be surprised how cheap getting married can actually be!
More Private Time For The Couple
One thing that’s always been true about traditional weddings, is that they rarely leave much time for the actual couple. In fact, it’s tradition that the couples don’t see each other until the bride walks down the aisle!
Elopements are somewhat different. There’s no hiding and tip-toeing around.
One of the most popular elopement activities involves a pre-elopement "first look" photoshoot held privately just for the bride and groom. Sometimes there aren’t even other people involved with the marriage itself – just the couple, an officiant, and the witness.
In this way, the couples get to decide what they do and when they do it.
Want to go out to eat at a beautiful restaurant right after the ceremony? Sure. Want to go snorkeling instead? Why not?
Elopements are much more free-flowing and allow for more personal time for the couples involved. It’s more like a romantic getaway than a wedding, which is why elopements are skyrocketing in popularity.
Many couples often feel drained by the time their wedding ceremony is over and they can’t wait for the honeymoon to begin. When you get eloped, the wedding is the honeymoon!
Elopements Have More Variety
Sure, there are barnyard weddings and even outdoor forest weddings, but these are few and far between and are somewhat difficult to plan.
Elopements, on the other hand, are meant to include sight-seeing and adventure.
When you’re planning your after-ceremony activities, you can include plays, cruises, bar-hopping, you name it. It is also easy to incorporate this variety into the ceremony itself.
It’s certainly easier to have an elopement on a beach or in a park than having a full-fledged wedding in the same locations. Fewer people and less “extras” mean a much easier experience for everyone, especially the couple!
Elopements Are Just More Fun
Traditional weddings can certainly be daunting, even nerve-wracking. There are many positives to traditional wedding ceremonies of course, but between the average cost and all the stress involved, we’re seeing a movement toward elopements all across the country.
Maybe the biggest reason for this is that elopements are just more fun!
There’s nothing like being free to plan your ceremony exactly where and how you want it instead of being tied down to location, tradition, and the expectations of other people. It’s not only liberating, it saves time, money, and a ton of unnecessary hassle.
This leaves the couple open to actually have fun with their ceremony rather than being hogtied by responsibilities and obligations to other people on what’s supposed to be their special day.
Instead of all the headaches that go into planning a monumental event like a traditional wedding, you can plan a romantic getaway in a beautiful location of your choosing, and elope on your terms.
These are just some of the major ways in which elopements are different than your usual wedding. From our experience, elopements just offer the couple more options and freedom to plan the event their way, which creates a myriad of possibilities for fun, excitement, romance, and memories you’ll never forget.
If you’ve been considering an elopement over a traditional wedding, you’re probably looking for something more than the usual. That’s great! Please feel free to look around our site at all of the elopement resources we have, including packages for couples looking to get eloped in specific hot locations, such as New Orleans.
Elopements truly offer a world of possibilities. Don’t be afraid to buck tradition and have one all your own!
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!