Now more than ever it seems like the wedding industry is at odds with itself. We’re seeing a rise in the number of couples who are choosing to forgo tradition to run off to the mountains and get married without anyone but their photographer and officiant as witnesses. On the other end, we’re also seeing large weddings, planned out to the tiniest detail, gracing the pages of wedding blogs across the country. Two completely opposing ways to plan your special day, yet couples are left without much direction in figuring out which type of wedding is best for them. And nobody is out there truly explaining to couples all the reasons to elope, and why elopements might just be the hidden gem of the wedding industry.
Wedding tradition tells us that there are certain rules we must follow when planning, from the type of cake you’re expected have to the bouquet toss. And for the longest time, most couples didn’t think they had much of a choice other than following these traditions. But elopements and intimate weddings are finally being recognized as an incredible option and not just a quick, spur-of-the-moment trip to Vegas. And it’s one of the reasons couples are choosing to elope versus having a traditional wedding.
So without further ado, read on below for our top 5 reasons to elope. We’re breaking down why an elopement or intimate wedding might be the perfect fit for you and your partner. If you find yourself agreeing with most of the points below, chances are an elopement could be perfect for you.
Yup, you heard that right. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard people say that their wedding went by in such a blur because of all of the madness going on. And it’s one of the top reasons to elope, according to our couples. From visiting every table at dinner to say hi to all of your guests to making the rounds during cocktail hour, the time flies by faster than you might imagine. And by the time the night is over, you’ve realized you’ve spent only a fraction of the night having quality time with your partner.
And this is one of the huge reasons why elopements are so beautiful. With such a small guest list (or no guest list at all!) you have time to really immerse yourself in the moment and take in the sights and experiences of your elopement day. Your day can look however you want it to. You have control over the timeline and everything that you do on your elopement day, which is not always a luxury you get when you have a traditional wedding.
Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of extroverts who love to elope, but for the introverted couples an elopement is something extra special. When you elope, you get to be super selective about your guest list. You can choose to have nobody present, or a few family members or friends.
Elopements allow for private moments without the pressure of an audience, and you can speak from the heart knowing that your second cousin Jimmy isn’t hearing every word of love you share. This is one of the favorite reasons to elope for couples who tend to be more private or introverted (and it’s actually the #1 reason we personally chose an elopement over a traditional wedding for ourselves).
Some couples dream of planning a massive gathering. They are giddy at the idea of coordinating which types of blooms go best with the tablescapes they had in mind, and they jump at the chance to write up a seating chart. But if that’s not your style, there’s no shame in that. It wasn’t ours either. For us personally, extensive wedding planning wasn’t really something that spoke to us, and frankly we knew in our heart of hearts that it wasn’t genuine to who we were either.
So if you want your only worry to be picking out the perfect dress, locating the right spot to tie the knot, and adventuring on your wedding day, elopements might just be your thing. Sure, you could hire a wedding planner. But at the end of the day you have to ask yourself if all of the decorative details of the wedding are truly important to you or not. If they are, a larger traditional wedding may be more your style (and there’s absolutely no shame in that either!). But if they are not, this might just be one of the most compelling reasons to elope.
Let’s face it. Weddings can get pricey. But at the same time, this also isn’t the kind of moment you want to cheap out on. Of course you want to have the best for your wedding. But the key to successfully doing this is looking into what your priorities are. We personally have what we call the “Wedding 3.” What’s the Wedding 3, you ask?
When we meet with our couples, we always tell them to pick the top 3 things they value the most in the wedding planning process, and that’s where they should really be investing their money. For our wedding, for example, our priorities were the wedding photography, the dress, and a drop-dead gorgeous location. Immediately we knew things like a multi-course meal, a DJ, and a cocktail hour weren’t important to us. Ultimately we wanted to have an epic, well-documented ceremony that we’d never forget, and we’ve accomplished that by really investing our money into high quality vendors who can deliver on what we value.
All the other details? We didn’t care for them, which is why we eloped. We knew we only wanted to invest in the parts of the day that mattered to us, and a traditional wedding couldn’t deliver that. If we went the traditional route, we knew we’d be spending tens of thousands of dollars on things we didn’t care for. Not a good use of our budget at all. Instead, we splurged on the few things we knew we’d love and cherish. We went all out, and still would up spending a fraction on our elopement than some of our friends spent on their traditional weddings.
This is by far one of the most fun reasons to elope. Want to elope in the middle of the mountains? Have dreams about adventuring through the high deserts of Utah as your gorgeous wedding dress trails behind you in the red dirt? If you ask us, this is what wedding dreams are made of. That’s the thing about elopements: you can make these epic locations your wedding venue without going through the hassle that a larger wedding party would have to experience. If you’re the adventurous type or love the idea of saying your vows in some of nature’s most incredible wonders, eloping is probably for you.
No worries, boo. We’ve got plenty of resources to help guide you. When it comes to elopements, we love guiding couples through the process. Want to read all about how elopements have changed these days? Read our modern-day definition of elopements. Interested in knowing all the steps to plan your elopement. We’ve written a comprehensive elopement guide. Want to get your hands on more elopement resources? Check out our blog. We’ve covered basically every elopement topic under the sun. No matter which reasons to elope resonated with you, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you decide to elope or not, there’s one thing to always remember. This day is a celebration of your love, and ultimately it should be a representation of who you both are as a couple. Other people will always voice their opinion on what they think your wedding should look like (we received plenty of unsolicited advice about ours before officially deciding to plan an elopement instead), but that doesn’t make their opinion correct. Your elopement can look however you want to. And whatever reason you choose to elope, just remember, your reason is amazing. This is your day.
P.S. As Colorado elopement and adventure wedding photographers, we pride ourselves on not just documenting your elopement or small mountain wedding, but helping you plan out all the little details as well — like helping you figure out the perfect time of year for your mountain elopement. We’ve been in your shoes with our own elopement, and that’s why we’re in this industry in the first place. We want to help.
Sure, we pride ourselves in taking killer photos of killer people in killer places, but we’re firm believers that your adventure wedding photographer should be so much more than that. They should be a resource and guide to you during the whole adventure elopement planning process. So if that sounds like your vibe, we’d love to chat with you about your dream adventure elopement.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
The Colorado Rockies are our home. We know these mountains like the back of our hand, and we love helping our couples plan their Colorado adventure elopements. Our land is your land, peeps. so let’s get you mountain married!
We specialize in photographing small adventure weddings in the great outdoors. We believe small weddings empower couples to be themselves on their wedding day, which is what makes us so honored to be a part of them. There’s nothing better.
We like to say we’re adventurers first, photographers second. Which frankly, is what we think makes us good at what we do. We live and breathe the outdoors lifestyle, and we make sure our adventure wedding photos show off your adventurous side too.
Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.
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Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Wedding, Your Way