Over the years the wedding industry has seen a shift when it comes to how people celebrate their wedding day. Elopements and Micro-Weddings are becoming more and more popular (especially in 2020), so I wanted to share some of the main reasons why elope or have a Micro Wedding.
First of all, What does elopement mean?
The meaning of the word elopement has been changing over the years. What before meant running away from your family and getting in married in secret at the courthouse, now has a whole different meaning. When you choose to elope it doesn’t mean your wedding matters any less than a big wedding. It also doesn’t mean you don’t care about family and friends. It just means you have chosen to spend one of the happiest days of your life focusing on you and your partner!
We had a “traditional” wedding, I guess. We had a total of 90 guests celebrating with us. But, when we were planning everything, I remember telling Stephan there were plenty of traditions and reception events I was totally okay with skipping. And the main reason was, for me, our wedding day wasn’t about those events. Our wedding day was about the people that were apart of our relationship. And I wanted TIME to celebrate with them, and fully enjoy their presence.
There’s a million and a half ways to define elopement, but, more than anything, I believe eloping means choosing a focus. Whether it’s your relationship’s story, the location you choose, or your mutual love for the outdoors, couples that elope put their priorities in other elements. They focus on the most meaningful elements that define their relationship and make them a priority on their wedding day.
And What is a micro wedding?
A micro wedding is a mix in between an elopement and a traditional wedding. It’s like having the best of both worlds! It’s when you include some of your favorite humans in the world (usually less than 50 guests) on your untraditional wedding day! You can mix and match and include some elements of a traditional wedding, like flower girls and bouquet toss, and include some fun games that can only happen when you don’t have 200 guests. Hayley and Pablo, for example, had each of their family member reading a message to them during their ceremony. They also each had a message from Pablo’s family (originally from Argentina, so because of COVID, they couldn’t fly), and they read it all in Spanish! It was so special and intimate, and they couldn’t have done that in a traditional ceremony.
The options are endless, really. Even though we try to define those words, I think the main thing to understand is: there are no rules. Your wedding day is such a special day, and it should be celebrated exactly how you want it to be celebrated! Now onto the why’s.
WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ELOPE?
Choosing to elope grants you the freedom to have your wedding day be exactly what YOU want it to be! The options are endless, and sometimes that can be overwhelming. That’s why often photographers/videographers help you with a LOT of the planning process. From helping you with picking the location to creating a great timeline, and getting those amazing golden hour shots, their experience in being apart of those days goes long way.
#2 Less Stress
If the idea of a traditional wedding just doesn’t ring your bell, guess what? That’s okay. Some people really do enjoy the wedding planning process. Some people have always dreamed of a traditional wedding day, and they should have that. But if to you that just screams stress and anxiety, then eloping or having a micro wedding might exactly what you need! It takes the weight out of being the center of attention, and of having to plan a party for 150+ people!
#3 Make it Authentic
Along with the first reason, freedom, it comes authenticity. When you elope you can basically build a day that speaks to YOU. If you want to spend your wedding day watching the sunrise at one of your favorite hikes in the world, you can. If you want to end that day having a picnic on the beach, and drinking champagne with your feet on the sand, you can. You get the point: you get to have a wedding day that fits exactly with who you are.
#4 Fewer Costs
In the United States, the average cost for a wedding is $30k. In most cases, couples tend to go above that and spend 50k to 60k. That seems insane, doesn’t it? But it’s pretty normal. When you elope, it doesn’t mean you won’t invest on your wedding day, but your investment will look different than a traditional wedding, that’s for sure. Maybe you’ll invest in a plane ticket, to get married in a place you’ve always wanted to go to. Maybe you’ll make a whole trip out of it and combine the wedding + honeymoon together! That sounds amazing, right? And it’s possible!
It’s hard to say the exact cost of an elopement, just because the options are endless, and each couple does it differently, but overall, the average cost of an elopement is about half of the average cost of a traditional wedding!
#5 Epic Experience
First things first, it’s not all about the pictures, truly. It’s about your story and getting to live your wedding day just like you want to. It’s about remembering your wedding day and wishing it was never over. And for the adventurous at heart, here comes one of the biggest bonuses of eloping: you get to have some of the most epic wedding pictures in history while enjoying your day to the max. It’s the best of both worlds!
ALWAYS remember to check if the location you chose requires a wedding permit. Most National and State Parks do! For Yosemite, for example, you may check their permit requirements HERE. To make your life a little easier, I wrote a GUIDE TO ELOPE IN YOSEMITE, check it out!
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