Reasons to Elope:

When we think about reasons to elope, more than 10 pop into our minds. After interviewing and featuring hundreds of couples who elope around the world, we thought we’d share the top reasons we tend to hear about the most.

Why should you trust us? Wandering Weddings is an elopement planning resource for couples who aspire to plan their wedding day at an epic place around the world. We have a member directory of over 300 skilled elopement vendors who have years of experience at their given location. Aside from creating epic features and resources for our couples, we are also elopement photographers ourselves! 

Most importantly, we have been in your shoes. Our team has planned both big weddings and elopements. Point is, we can definitely relate to how you must be feeling on your planning journey. 

We made sure to include experiences from real couples who decided to forgo traditional wedding planning and have an epic adventure together instead. If you don’t know whether you should plan a traditional wedding or an elopement, then see if you agree with any of these reasons to elope. If you do, then you may want to consider planning an elopement!

 

1. You Want to Focus on You Two

We have featured hundreds of elopements, and the number one reason why they decide to elope is almost always the same, “we want to be able to focus on each other”. 

It’s ok if you’re thinking about eloping because you want to enjoy the moment together and be completely present. It’s also no surprise that this is the number one reason on our list. 

More and more couples crave to have an authentic experience where they can soak in every moment. Deciding to elope, means deciding how you’re going to celebrate your wedding day together, despite what anyone else wants or recommends. 

Reason to Elope From a Wandering Weddings Featured Couple:

“There was no rush to get back, and I felt like we were able to have time together as a newly married couple to laugh, play, and have fun. We were gone for four hours hiking in our outfits while other hikers congratulated us. It was completely stress-free, and I felt that we both were allowed to enjoy the experience fully and just focus on one another.” [Kaylie, the bride from this adventurous Yosemite National Park elopement wedding ]

 

2. You Want Something Intimate and Meaningful

Does this sound familiar?

You attend a wedding and the bride and groom spend the whole night saying hi to everyone, barely eating, and being pulled from one side of the room to the other. At the end of the night, they are happy they are finally married, but they barely remember anything. 

Couples usually decide to have a big wedding because they want all their family and friends present on their big day to celebrate with them. While this is a great idea, it’s almost impossible to be fully present, to be honest.

Let’s think about it…If you have a large number of people at your wedding, how many of those people are you going to spend time with? How long are you going to dance with them? Talk to them? Let’s not forget that you’re probably limited to 4-5 hours at your venue for your wedding! 

We have also been to those types of weddings, and that is why we created this resource, for couples like you. It’s ok to want something more than just a couple of hours of blurred conversations and greetings. 

You deserve a wedding day that is intimate and meaningful. You should be able to look back on your wedding day and remember the little details you incorporated that will most certainly be forgotten or unnoticed at a bigger wedding.

Reason to Elope From a Wandering Weddings Featured Couple:

“We choose elopement to tell our stories in a different way, to make it more memorable and meaningful. And besides that, for us, an elopement is a special event that we can experience together and make a unique mark in our lifetime.” [Hoang Anh, the bride from this Vietnam mountain elopement]

 

3. You Both Want to Explore Somewhere New

Photo by Cedar & Pines

One of the best reasons to elope is probably having the opportunity to explore somewhere new together. A lot of couples who decide to elope are adventurous and value experiences over material items. 

Deciding to elope is also a great idea if you’re thinking about combining your honeymoon and wedding day into one big event. How awesome would it be to say “I do”, and then instantly turn your vacation mode on without worrying about flight delays or hauling your luggage?

Elopements are also different from destination weddings where you have to worry about all your guests, including their arrival times and accommodations. 

By deciding to elope together, you also have fewer limitations on where you can celebrate your marriage together. Do you want to hike 10 miles? Go for it! Maybe you want to elope on a beautiful black sand beach in the middle of winter? Let’s plan it! Or maybe you want a romantic elopement on top of Santorini’s white rooftops? Do it! There are so many possibilities when you decide to elope, and that is reason enough for so many couples to plan one. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“We are big adventure seekers and have always done things to the beat of our own drum, both individually and as a couple. We dated for 10 years before we got married, and we just wanted it to be the most epic adventure yet. What better way to do that than run away to a place you’ve never been and confess your love to one another” [Mandy, the bride from this Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement]

 

4. Wedding Planning is too Stressful for You

When you decide to plan a wedding, there is a lot of planning that is usually involved. You have to consider way more things when planning a traditional wedding compared to an elopement. 

Some of the questions you’ll think of as you’re planning for your wedding will probably include: 

“Should we have a bridal party? Who should we invite? Do we have to include plus 1s? Do we need to include transportation? How much alcohol do we need? Nothing else is included in that price? Do we need to have favors for guests? How much is it per plate?! I can only stay in the venue for 5 hours? Why do I need all of this? “

The questions and decisions that usually arise during planning a traditional wedding can be a lot for some couples and very stressful. Couples have told us they usually plan for over a year and still found themselves getting things ready the night before their big day.

This is one of the most special days for you and your partner. You both deserve to enjoy the most of it without wanting to pull your hair out.

Planning an elopement allows you to still put your beautiful wedding inspiration Pinterest board to use, AND also saves you from becoming bridezilla or fighting with your partner from all the stress of the long list of things that still need to get done.

Compared to wedding planning, elopements can take as much as 3 months to plan sometimes! While there is some planning involved during elopements, it’s not even a quarter of what’s required for bigger weddings. 

Wondering what you need to plan an elopement? We break down how to elope in 7 easy steps.

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

I’ve spent more time writing grad school papers than I did planning our day… I really can’t explain how stress-free it was. Alex really didn’t care about too many things, he just wanted to get married, and he wanted our dog, Ace, there. Other than that, he was down for anything. Planning our elopement was so much easier because we weren’t forced to discuss silly details that neither of us really cared about…” [Meghan, the bride from this Rocks State Park elopement]

 

5. You Want to Avoid Any Wedding Day Drama

We know you have seen movies and heard stories about the drama that comes with big weddings. A lot of this drama, unfortunately, encompasses the family and immediate friends of the bride and groom.

When planning your wedding, with multiple personalities involved, there are bound to be some individuals who don’t agree, or who butt heads with one another. Then there is the issue of your family, from each side, thinking their wedding tradition should play a part on your big day.

With that being said, your wedding day is your day. If you want to have all the wedding traditions, even on a beach in Hawaii, then go for it. If you just want to say your vows and forget the rest, then do it! We are all for it.

Remember that no matter who you are and what you want to do, it’s completely up to you. 

We also want to remind you not to become overwhelmed with what your family thinks is right or wrong. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to get celebrate your marriage.

If you want to throw all the planning, drama, and extras out the window and elope, then that should be reason enough. 

Wondering how to announce your elopement to your family and friends? Check out our 5 tips on announcing your elopement!

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“Our families are completely different from each other; his is very supportive while mine is incredibly opinionated. We spent a whole year trying to plan a simple, outdoor wedding to accommodate both sides, but in the end, we realized that my family might sabotage the whole thing by turning it into theirs. I did not want to spend my day pleasing everybody and being told how to put on a great show. Eventually, I discovered an adventure wedding, and everything clicked: it was us, and it was for me. ” [Trang, the bride from this Mt. Baker elopement]

 

6. You Want to Save Money

Let’s talk numbers! A topic that can easily send you into an anxiety attack. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by just the thought of how much it’s going to cost to have a big wedding, then that should be a big red flag.

Another reason why so many couples have decided to forgo a traditional wedding is to avoid starting their forever, forever in debt!

Did you know the average cost of a wedding in the US was $33,900 in 2019, according to The Knot. Not to mention this cost does not include honeymoon expenses! What?!

While this is fine if you’re ok spending this much money on a wedding, this is not ok if you have other plans that may be put on hold for a one-day event. 

If you find yourself pushing back some important to-dos on your list together because of your wedding day expenses, then maybe it’s time to elope instead. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

If you still want to celebrate at a later date, which we did, it’s a great way to go when you’re on a budget and/or just reducing the amount of stress there can be with a traditional wedding. Colorado really is one of the best places to elope in, just endless beautiful views to give you that adventurous type of place to say your vows.” [Keara, the bride from this Elopement at Great Sand Dunes National Park]

“We are both passionately opposed to the wedding industrial complex — the idea that you need to have and spend at least $40,000 on a wedding to prove your love and marry each other. We wanted our marriage to be about us and wanted our ceremony to focus on what we care most about — each other and the commitment we were making — not the bridesmaids dresses, centerpieces, or table linens.” [Jessie, the bride from this Big Sur elopement]

 

7. You Want Something Different

If you made it this far, then you’ll probably agree with this next reason why most couples elope. They want something different.

For some couples, the thought of getting married at an indoor venue, surrounded by people they’ll barely talk to, and barely enjoying themselves doesn’t sound ideal. The thought of even wearing a white wedding dress doesn’t even appeal to some brides!

This is ok! Different is beautiful. 

Planning an elopement is the perfect cure for your wedding planning blues. 

There are so many opportunities for you both to do on your wedding day that exceeds the traditional ceremonies.

We actually love it when couples incorporate their favorite wedding traditions into their elopement day! You may be thinking, “what does that even look like?”

Imagine sharing your first dance as the sun sets over the mountain tops, or cutting a mini cake together on a picnic blanket with your best friend and popping a champagne bottle. The limit does not exist. 

One thing to remember is that no elopement is the same, and there is no correct formula for planning your elopement because, at the end of the day, it is your elopement. 

It’s your opportunity to go on the path most do not pick and make your own traditions. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“This special celebration of love is about the two of you, and you should do… what makes you happy… our plans changed so many times… I took a step back from all the wedding planning and asked myself what [was most important] to me, and I came up with these things: I wanted us to exchange our vows outside somewhere beautiful, but I also wanted to get married in a Catholic church. I [wanted] to celebrate with all our family and friends, but really all that mattered to me was that James and I were together… And of course, I wanted an awesome photographer to capture it! That’s when I proposed the idea [of] an elopement… [with] the bigger church wedding separately with our family and friends [later]. We chose both!” [Yen, Bride from this Elopement in Yosemite National Park]

 

8. A Big Wedding Doesn’t Feel Like You

A big wedding is not for everyone, and that’s ok. A lot of couples may not agree with their families’ wedding traditions or wedding traditions in general. Some couples may not even like being the center of attention. These couples may also want a more casual environment for their wedding day.

It’s ok to think outside the box for your wedding and not want to fall within the status quo. That’s doesn’t make your wedding any less of a wedding. If you aren’t loving the idea of planning a big wedding, then try planning an elopement instead and see how you feel!

You should do something that reflects your relationship together. If that means renting a cool Airbnb, sharing some pizza at the end of your hike, or going on a ski adventure, then elope!

It’s also important to note that you can plan an elopement and bring immediate family or friends along to your adventure. You don’t have to be completely by yourselves if you don’t want to. Again, do what makes you happy. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“We didn’t feel like we had to have a traditional wedding in order to show the world that we are married- this is such a special part of our lives and spending it alone was the only way we wanted.” [Jasmine, the bride from this simple mountain lookout elopement in Idaho]

 

9. Leave No Trace Philosophy 

Not only does a big wedding cost a lot of money, but a big wedding also produces a ton of waste. All that planning requires stuff you’ll probably only use once, including flowers, party favors, and so much more.

If you’re planning a wedding with 150 people, that can easily equate to hundreds of pounds of waste produced. For what? 

It’s ok to realize the amount of waste big wedding produce, and it’s not uncommon to worry about it since so many other couples feel the same way. 

You probably have a Leave No Trace philosophy (LNT). LNT is when you are conscious of not disturbing the planet with waste or footing. Essentially, you leave no trace of you ever being there in the first place. 

So if you value experiences over material things, then grab your partner and plan an epic adventure with just your wedding attire and a bouquet (if you want), because that’s all you really need to elope. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“We looked at each other, and then looked around at the beauty of the land and all of the friendly hikers that stopped to enjoy the ceremony. Eloping allowed us to live in the moment and not rush to the next thing. It was a surreal moment that didn’t seem real.” [Kaylee, the bride from this Red Rocks elopement]

 

10. You Want Amazing Photos From Your Wedding Day

People usually have a different idea of what it truly means to elope. They usually think couples who elope plan their wedding last minute or just don’t care about their wedding day.

This is so beyond the truth. Thanks to social media, people are realizing they don’t have to sacrifice their wedding day portraits when eloping. 

So many couples have told us they elope, so they can have more pictures of each other. These couples also want wedding photos that reflect who they are as a couple. They don’t want anything too posed. We love this reason to elope. Instead, they want to capture the raw emotion between them that day. 

When you elope, your photographer and videographer can capture that. When you elope, you don’t have any distractions. Your elopement team can focus entirely on the two of you. When you reflect on your wedding photos years from that day, you’ll remember each and every detail like it happened yesterday. 

So if you’re looking for a more romantic and personal experience with epic backdrops, then this reason is for you. 

Reason to Elope From a Wanderings Wedding Featured Couple:

“There is one particular photograph of me reading my vows to Grif. My chin was quivering, and I had tears in my eyes. Even though only the back of Grif’s head is showing in the picture, I can tell he’s smiling. I get happy tears just thinking about it because I have never had a photo perfectly capture exactly how I felt in such an amazing moment.” [Maddy, the bride from this Southern Iceland elopement]

So what do you say? Are these reasons enough to convince you to elope? How many of these reasons do you align with? We’d love to know, but more importantly, we’d love to help you with your elopement planning journey.

If you’re starting to love the idea of eloping, then check out our list of best places to elope in the US and the world (because who needs restrictions right?)

Convinced with these reasons to elope? Ready to start planning your elopement?

Search our Wandering Weddings members HERE!