7 Signs You should elope

So you’re wondering if eloping might be the right choice for you two. Being newly engaged is a whirlwind of emotions, and can bring on a lot of uncertainty of what your wedding will look like. So we compiled 7 signs that you should elope and why!

Signs you should elope instead of having a traditional wedding

What is an elopement or adventure wedding?

Eloping back in the day meant running off to get married at the courthouse in secret. But today eloping has taken on a whole new definition.

We define elopements as a non-traditional wedding experience, typically involving nature and with 20 or less people present. Elopements are often unique and a reflection of couples’ authentic selves.

Often elopements now look like hiking to a gorgeous spot to have an intimate ceremony, then activities you both love, of course in no particular order. Elopements also mean you can get married just the two of you and have a whole epic, private experience. Or you can include a few family and friends and have an intimate ceremony and dinner afterwards. Or if you’re like me and need a mix of privacy and celebrating with close ones, you can do a hybrid of both as well! What’s incredible about eloping is that you can get rid of expectations and have an intentional experience that is unique and personal!

Sign #1.

If planning a traditional wedding is more stressful than exciting

I’ve heard far too often the phrase “I just can’t wait for this to be over with.” and it breaks my heart every time. Yes, a little stress does come with planning anything, but you shouldn’t be ill and dreading your wedding day, or feel like you have to just get through it. Traditional weddings really are a big event with a lot of things to consider, pay, and plan for. (Like catering, guest favors, or transportation, etc.) Which explains why getting married is the third most stressful event most people experience.

But weddings shouldn’t and don’t have to be a major stressor for you.

I promise you can have the best of both worlds. Maybe you’re afraid of “missing out” on certain things if you elope. But the beauty of elopements mean you can incorporate whatever you want into your day, and leave out whatever makes you feel negatively. You can still incorporate traditions you do want, and throw out the ones you don’t. You can still invite guests or have a day for just the two of you. You can do whatever you want! Eloping gives you so many options to create a unique and personal experience that is memorable.

Walking along Black Rocks during the moodiest Upper Peninsula elopement

Sign #2.

You dislike being the center of attention / socializing

If you’re more introverted, shy, have social anxiety, or hate being the center of attention, eloping would be a MUCH better and happier option for you.

Let’s be real, some people really want to throw up at the thought of having 300 people staring at them all day, or having to socialize with a ton of people they don’t know. I totally feel that, and that’s okay! Traditional weddings are not for everyone and have a lot of expectations that might not fit you. It’s about time we started breaking down the traditional wedding template and creating unique wedding experiences instead.

Did you know 50% of the whole population is considered introverted? Yet traditional weddings don’t allow much flexibility in getting out of that bright spotlight or changing things up! Often traditional weddings have this weird stigma about pleasing the guests more than the actual couple. Far too often we’ve heard sad stories of couples who didn’t eat dinner or cake or even get to dance because they couldn’t get away from talking to people.

When you elope, it instead keeps the focus of the day on you two, and allows you the freedom to still have some guests and celebrate with close family and friends, or keep it private and spend the day just the two of you! So you can relax, be yourself, and not have any anxiety.

Sign #3.

You love the outdoors, hiking, or traveling

If this is the case, 1000% you should elope. Imagine that rush you get when being outside and seeing the breathtaking beauty of nature, and what it would be like to have an outdoor experience. You could go hiking, kayaking, road trip together, hang at the beach, and so many more possibilities!

And no, you don’t have to be a hardcore hiker that’s really in shape to elope! The above photo was taken on a half mile trail behind a neighborhood in Sedona. We had the whole area to ourselves and were able to explore and take plenty of breaks for rest and water. A good chunk of elopements I’ve shot were less than two miles of easy walking. A few alternatives if you want a remote, scenic location would be to take a 4×4, jeep, boat, or helicopter instead of miles of hiking.

If just being outside and feeling the fresh air in your lungs brings you joy, eloping would be the right choice for you.

Sign #4.

You highly value quality time with your partner

One thing we’ve heard from married couples, it’s that they felt like they barely spoke to their partner on their wedding day. With traditional weddings, it ends up being a rushed, cramped timeline that focuses on time with guests more than the two of you with each other.

If you highly value spending ample quality time with your partner on your wedding day, and want to share in an authentic, personal experience together, then eloping is the right decision for you. Eloping gives you so much more freedom with your time and how you want to spend it. You can have a whole day just to the two of you doing all your favorite things, or you can share in an intimate dinner and dancing with a few friends, or have a celebration when you get back from a coastal road trip! There are no rules when it comes to elopements, so you can decide how to spend your time with each other making unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

Most married couples who eloped agreed it was because they wanted an intentional and authentic experience that was just for them. The beauty of elopements means it strips the expectations, pressure, and anxieties of a traditional wedding, and instead creates a place where you can be your true authentic self with one another. You can choose to celebrate in a unique way that represents you without limitations.

You can allow the outer world to melt away, and just be present with one another in exchanging vows and starting your lives together. That’s the best part!

Sign #5.

Normal Wedding Traditions & Timelines don’t fit you

Traditional wedding timelines typically are rushed and structured without flexibility, leaving little time for the two of you to interact. It’s part of why so many people say it flys by in a blur. And often involve wedding traditions that may be uncomfortable or painful for you. Planning a timeline with so many revolving wheels and traditions you may not want can be super stressful. If you want a stress free, flexible timeline and ample time with your partner sharing an experience, then you should elope.

Maybe you also both enjoy unique or different activities and want to incorporate them into your day. Cooking together, paddleboarding, playing music around a campfire, riding bikes along the beach, brunch with friends, etc are just a few activities we’ve seen on elopement days! Traditional weddings typically just don’t allow room or time for these activities, and are limited to the typical ceremony, photos, dinner, dancing model that’s been set into place. Elopements break out of these constraints, and allow you to rearrange and include things you do want into your day!

This is where you can almost get option paralysis from all the different activities and things you could do to create a unique experience, so I’ll ask a few questions to get you guys thinking about what your day would like like!

What does a typical day off look like for you and your significant other?

What are your favorite activities to do together?

What places / things to do are on your bucket lists?

What are your shared interests? How could you incorporate these into your elopement day? It’s super helpful to write these questions down and answer them together, to start to get an idea of what your day could look like if you eloped!

Sunset Sedona Elopement - blue hour headlamp photos

Sign #6.

Less Family Drama

Family is complicated, ya’ll. One of the biggest regrets we’ve heard from traditional wedding couples is that they had so much stress from family drama, they didn’t relax or enjoy the day. And let’s be honest, not all of us have a close relationship with family.

More so than not actually a lot of people have strained relationships, which can bring a lot of painful baggage and tension. And dealing with family drama at the same time as beginning a new, exciting chapter of life with your partner is not a good blend. Eloping means skipping out on the drama and pain that would come with a traditional wedding, and even prevents further rifts in relationships.

Some people don’t have supportive family, and this can be downright harmful to mental health. You should never experience shame, judgement, or fear on your wedding day! You deserve a safe space of peace, where you can be fully known, loved, and accepted. On your wedding day you should be able to be 100% you! Sadly we live in a world where there are painful and negative feelings that are associated with family. And so much of traditional weddings are tied with traditions that include family that may not comfortable or right for you. Don’t put yourself through the pain and stress of family drama, it’s never worth pleasing family expectations at your own cost. You deserve so, so much more than that!

Eloping allows you to have a day that is entirely focused on YOU, and celebrates your love. Your wedding day is the start of your marriage, and I’d argue should be the one day you get to do whatever you want and have it be about you! It’s okay if you have tough relationships with family, and you’re not alone. Remember that family is more than blood. You get to choose who is in your tight knit circle in life, and you ultimately get to choose who is involved in your day and just how much. The beauty in eloping means you are the priority, and you get to choose your own path.

Even if you do have a close knit relationship with your family, it’s okay to choose to elope just for YOU! Ultimately make the choice to celebrate yourselves and choose what feels right for you!

Sign #7.

You value experience and memories over things

Traditional weddings can be EXPENSIVE. The average American wedding in 2019 cost a whopping $28,000. And the biggest cost of that is typically the venue to accommodate many guests.

If you had $28,000 to put towards your wedding, would you rather spend it on an event focused on guests, or an epic vacation for the two of you? And what would that vacation look like? What would you do together? Eloping means you can save money or put money towards an elevated experience. This could look like hiring a private chef for dinner, taking a boat tour, trying fine wines, or checking something off your bucket list together that you’ve always wanted to try.

Eloping cuts out the fluffy b.s. traditional wedding costs, so instead of paying $50 per guest for catering, you can elope instead and put your money towards an intentional and meaningful experience that is unique and unforgettable! Eloping can also help you save money for future events like a down-payment on a house, (or more travel!)

The prettiest elopement with lanterns under the stars

Want to elope? What’s next?

Hopefully this blog gave you clarity on if you should elope and what that could look like! The beauty of elopements is that you can incorporate as much or as little traditions, and make it as “you” as you want. So if traditional weddings give you more stomach slugs than butterflies, eloping is the right choice for you!

You might be thinking a million thoughts right now, and I totally understand! It’s can feel a bit overwhelming at first. Where do you begin? How does one even plan an elopement? No need to feel anxious, this is where I come in!

I’m Corinne, an adventurous elopement and intimate wedding photographer, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way, so you have a clear vision and path towards making your elopement a reality!

This is your first step to an amazing and unique experience. Fill out my contact form by clicking the button below and we’ll jump on a free elopement consult call together to brainstorm and bring your elopement to life!

Hey! I'm Corinne, an adventure elopement + intimate wedding photographer based in Indiana, but documenting love stories across the U.S. I believe in documenting the start of your marriage in an honest and emotional way that reflects your legacy. So that you can look back on photos fifty years from now with the same emotions of the moment flooding back. Let's take the road less traveled by together and craft your dream wedding day!

When I'm not documenting sweet couples, I spend my days with my sweet husband, Jake, two kitty babies and a crazy dog in our hometown of Fort Wayne. I'm obsessed with hiking and finding new trails, Game of Thrones, and creating art.


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