Eloping in the past was reserved for people who might have been having a shotgun wedding or were running away from something. But now more and more people are realising that eloping isn’t just about escaping, it’s about celebrating your commitment and starting your marriage on your own terms.
There are so many possible reasons for people to choose to elope, but here are few of the ones that I personally believe are true.
Being married is one of the greatest things you can do in your life. It’s the ultimate symbol of interpersonal commitment you can make. Wedlock is a celebration of a union, of joining a club or tribe of people who are like you and committed to the most influential interpersonal relationships you will have in your life.
As a society we’ve become some accustomed to wedding traditions that we’ve kinda forgotten what the point of it all is. Going back in history a wedding was an acknowledgement and sanction of a commitment to the relationship with each other. Weddings are the celebration of the union between two people who are in love with each other and they want to honour that commitment in a lasting way.
Today most people believe that this commitment should be shared with family and friends as well. These celebrations have become bigger events over time, and now have their own cultural expectations associated with them. The focus of the marriage has become a little less important, and the celebration and its many details is a bigger focus.
An elopement is a lot more intimate, as it’s limited to just a handful of people at most. With less people around trying to get a piece of you, there is a more relaxed and chilled atmosphere that isn’t running to schedule. You can just focus completely on each other and the experience of getting married, and having a wicked time celebrating the story and art of you both.
If you think about it, an elopement does not require you to divide your attention the way a traditional wedding would. You won’t have to play host, try to feed, entertain, stick to a schedule, or manage other people’s expectations. Just thinkin’ about all of those things seems crazy right!
Instead, you get to have an awesome time, be present, and start your marriage off in a meaningful way.
It’s ironic. The day that we are told should be the happiest of our lives is usually one of the most stressful! Even when you outsource your planning to someone else, or are doing it yourselves, planning a wedding is probably going to be the biggest event you will manage in your life. You are basically an Event Director for your own family and friends’ festival. Picking where everything goes, the music, the drinks and food packages, so many moving parts that will test you and your relationships.
As the Event Director, you won’t be the only person that is stressing out though. There’s a whole team involved in pulling off this event. It’s often stressful for the wedding party and parents that will have their own tasks on the day. It can even stress out your guests, who will have to make all sorts of babysitting and travel arrangements to make it to your big day.
An elopement is a lot easier to plan and far less stressful. It’s easier to plan a wicked celebration for a handful of people, than a festival for a whole tribe. You won’t need to be an Event Director, and you won’t need to hire one either. And you won’t need to manage anyone’s expectations or make sure anyone else is doing what they need to on the day.
You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. There’s probably no other time in your life that you will feel the tension of this than on your wedding day. Even if you have great relationships with your family, the wedding planning process brings up a whole range of challenges and dynamics that you might not realise exist now. Like who is sitting next to who, and expectations of how people want to be involved or not.
On the day there could be arguments, drunk uncles, passive aggressive digs across tables. Sadly, this dynamic is just something that many couples feel forced to take on. Often people will need to have special plans to mitigate potential issues. But sometimes these plans won’t even stop that Aunty or Uncle from stealin’ the show with their wild outbursts.
All of this drama goes away when you elope. Awkward family dynamics are avoided and you can instead focus on having a fun, drama-free time with those who actually matter!
The average wedding in Australia costs $36,000 (and is rising). How much of that money is spent on your experience vs everyone else’s?
Some will say that an elopement is more affordable than a traditional wedding, which can be true. Some couples choose a simple ceremony, while others still want a lavish do even if the guest list is much shorter or non-existent.
But another way to think about it is putting the same money into an amazing experience for you and your lover. Imagine what an experience like that could be. Instead of spending 50% of your wedding budget on feeding guests and keeping the drinks flowin’, where could you go and what could you do? Travel overseas, interstate, do somethin’ you’ve always wanted to do. How could you make this the perfect day for YOU?
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your elopement, every dollar you spend will be dedicated to things that matter to you, and yours truly. You have more control over your budget and where each dollar is going. The same could never be said about a traditional wedding!
If there was ever a day where you get to be yourself surely the start of your marriage is that day. On one of the biggest days of your life, give yourself and your lover the freedom to be exactly who you are.
Eloping gives you a chance to show up like yourself and enjoy being free from the expectations of everyone else. Let loose and not worry about what other people may think.
When you choose to elope, you have an opportunity to celebrate what makes you unique. Whether it’s a hobby or interest, or a shared passion for adventure, travel or food. Your elopement can be a celebration of the art of you. The simple, the unique or the every day. Your day should be real and reflect not just your love, but who you are.
We should all be looking at how we might make things more sustainable. The fact is, the carbon footprint of a traditional wedding is a lot larger than we could have guessed!
Is it important to you to be more conscious of your impact on our planet? Well, in that case, an elopement might reflect your values and principles a lot more than a traditional wedding would.
Everything from having a lot less guests (reducing your carbon emissions from transportation), to a more conscious approach to your product and vendor selection (only purchasing sustainable items from ethical vendors) are examples of how a simple elopement can be way better for the environment.
I love shooting elopements! Among other things, I love that I am able to focus completely on the loved up couple. There’s a bit of magic that happens at an elopement which is unlike a wedding. At a wedding generally you have so many things to try and photograph that creatively you are challenged with. With an elopement the main focus is on the people and their story. Not on all the other stuff that can just get in the way. This frees you up to have photos of the things you love. Love a particular time of the day like sunrise or sunset? Do your photos around that time of day that you love, rather than around a run sheet that works for your guests.
Your wedding isn’t just a celebration of your love, it’s a symbol of a new beginning. I like to think of it like a band that’s creating their greatest hits into one new album. Combining all the greatest hits of your lives together into this one magical record. Create the new album with some heart that speaks to you as the person and not what people expect you to produce. Life is too short to be told how to live.