Should you cancel your wedding and elope instead? It’s a question that more and more couples are facing nowadays, especially with everything going on in the world. I mean, a global pandemic can definitely put a damper on the whole wedding planning process. Traditional weddings aren’t always possible in the way they used to be. Venues have shut down or limited group sizes, couples don’t feel comfortable asking their friends and families to travel long distances for their wedding, and many couples are just questioning if the concept of a large wedding is something they really wanted in the first place.
Yup, that’s right. I too contemplated whether or not I should cancel my wedding and elope. Granted, this was a couple years, ago, but the reasons for my decision are, funny enough, the same reasons why I’m seeing so many couple choose to elope during these crazy times too. I spent almost a year planning my big, traditional wedding and was less than half a year away from walking down the aisle when my now husband and I said, screw it, let’s cancel our wedding and elope. And there’s not a single day I’ve regretted this decision. It was the best choice.
As someone who works in the elopement industry (yup, I loved eloping so much, I switched gears from photographing big weddings to only photographing elopements), I’ve gotten to watch firsthand as this space has shifted and welcomed in a whole new group of engaged couples — many of whom at first couldn’t have ever imagined eloping. And after talking to more of these couples than I can count, I’ve put together a list of questions you and your partner can ask yourselves when figuring out whether or not you should cancel your wedding and elope instead.
There’s one thing I want to make super clear here. If the idea of canceling your wedding and eloping doesn’t excite you, that’s okay. Just because other people have chosen to do it, doesn’t mean you have to. This list isn’t a whole bunch of COVID-related reasons to change your plans. It’s a resource to couples contemplating canceling their wedding and swapping it out for an elopement, no matter what’s going on in the world. I totally get that ditching the traditional wedding isn’t for everyone. Nor should it be. So if that’s you, that’s okay! Feel free to click away and do what feels right to you. No hard feelings.
Do you want to read your vows to a room full of people? Do you want 150 guests jamming it out on the dance floor or watching you go in for your first kiss? Do you want to spend your evening mingling with friends and family or would you rather have private time with your partner? If you prefer the intimacy of time spent alone with your partner, canceling your wedding to elope could be an awesome option.
Let’s not beat around the bush: weddings are expensive, especially compared to elopements. And if you love the idea of a big party, it can totally be worth it. But that’s a big “if”. There’s no point in investing in a day that doesn’t make you happy, when your wedding budget could go much farther with an elopement (even an elopement with all the bells and whistles).
I know for me personally, I didn’t like all of the fluff and nonsense that came with wedding planning (and I’m actually the planning type!). Planning our elopement, though? That was a blast. Because our elopement day was about the two of us and not a room full of guests, every planning decision was something we were hyped about. So if you’ve felt this sense of dread when it comes to wedding planning, canceling your wedding and eloping instead could be the right fit. And while there certainly is a planning process for elopements, it looks a lot different because the focus is on what types of adventures you and your partner want to incorporate into your day…not on what centerpieces are best or who should sit at the table with Uncle Joey.
It can be a scary thing to make the choice to cancel your wedding and elope instead. I know, because I’ve been there too. But if I’m being completely honest, I think you’ve made the coolest, most exciting wedding decision possible. You’ve chosen to define what a wedding day means to you; to forge your own path and do things your way.
So what’s next? Well, when it comes to elopement resources, I’ve got you. I’ve written plenty of articles to help get you started on your elopement journey, from my Ultimate Elopement Guide to unique and fun ideas you can incorporate into your elopement day.
And if you’re looking for someone to guide you through this process of canceling your wedding to elope instead, I’m your girl. I’m not just a photographer of elopements, but I also believe in being a resource for my couples as they plan their elopement days, and I’d love to be that for you too.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.
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