Since the traditional wedding industry was shut down in 2020, more and more couples are opting to get married privately, with a small number of witnesses, or even by themselves.
Although elopements were often looked down upon as a cowardly or even disgusting way for people to tie the knot, modern society views them differently. (Interested in debunking ten common misconceptions regarding hasty nuptials? Read This!) Modern-day couples who feel that a large traditional wedding isn’t “them” may choose to elope as a more intimate and meaningful alternative to legal marriage.
What, then, are elopements?
When you elope, it’s just the two of you celebrating your wedding day. We often tell engaged couples that their wedding day should be all about them, but when you invite a large number of people and have to worry about whether or not Aunt Margaret can eat anything on the caterer’s menu, the attention naturally turns away from them and onto the event itself.
By eloping, you can have the entire day to yourselves, from the moment you wake up until the time you go to sleep. You may spend the day whatever the two of you choose (perhaps taking a helicopter to the top of a mountain or hiking to a waterfall?) and just spend quality time together.
All of these factors combine to make elopements significant: they are private, meaningful, and deeply individual. Because there are less moving elements, they are considerably less stressful than a traditional wedding day, allowing you to devote more energy to bonding with one another and sharing in the joy of the day rather than the burden of planning it.
Conventional weddings are more like a performance or an event than a personal celebration. Several married friends have also confided in me that they frequently feel like they’re putting on a “show” for their friends and family. However, elopements are centered on the experience you have and put that ahead of everything else. They inspire you to question your limitations and think about how YOU want to spend your day. To what end are you looking? Also, can you hear, see, taste, or feel anything? With an elopement, you may create a one-of-a-kind wedding experience from start to finish.
In this example, I’ll use details from my own life to illustrate…
Getting married in secret was something about which I understood very little before to my own wedding. In all likelihood, I knew little to nothing about them. After becoming engaged, my husband and I knew we had to get married right away for various reasons, and the only way to do so was to go to a courthouse and sign some documents. Our 8 a.m. hearing at the Beverly Hills courthouse necessitated an early start to the day. The ceremony itself only took around 10 minutes, after which we all headed to a neighboring hotel for lunch. We spent the remainder of the day visiting with our closest relatives who had traveled to be with us and then treated them to a romantic dinner in the city. No, it wasn’t as enjoyable and carefree as exchanging vows at a gorgeous overlook, but it was also no more stressful. I had no idea that getting married in a courthouse could be construed as an elopement, or that we had so many other choices for our wedding that day.
For the next eight months, I stressed over every detail of a destination wedding in Singapore (my home country), which is what I had always imagined having done to me. However, it quickly became clear that the focus of our wedding was on our families and not on me. (Or, if I’m being totally forthright, my family.) I had been trying to organize something that was causing me more anxiety than excitement. The stress of planning every last detail of our wedding, down to the color of our tablecloths, the reporting times for all our vendors, the making sure everyone involved (i.e. vendors and family and wedding party) knew where to go and when, and the accounting for all the “props” like the welcome sign I never got to see again, was wearing me down. My anxiety level skyrocketed in the final week before the wedding. I couldn’t sleep for worry that I’d forgotten to accomplish something important. I misplaced the wedding’s original purpose in the thick of all the preparations. Our minute-by-minute schedule made us feel like we were in a military operation. My now-husband was not a fan of being subjected to such discomfort, but he played his part on the team admirably nonetheless.
Everything went off without a hitch on the big day, and I owe that to all the hard work put in by our wedding professionals, friends, and family. But I can’t deny that on our wedding day I felt more like I was putting on a show and preparing an event for 200 guests than I was connecting and being with my husband. The two minutes we spent together behind closed doors before making our entrance to the reception were the only moments of privacy we were afforded.
I felt the complete opposite way about both of those things thereafter. There is no doubt in my mind what I would have done differently had I known then what I know now about elopements.
I want to be clear that I’m not trying to imply that conventional weddings are bad. It’s true that some people are more attached to the idea of a traditional wedding than an intimate elopement. Don’t let my bad luck discourage you from getting one if this describes you. Visit Miami elopement photographer
Find out what would truly bring joy to you and your relationship. When it comes to social gatherings, do you prefer small groups or large gatherings where everyone knows your name? What makes you happy is a personal question, and there is no right or wrong response. If you find that elopements are something you’d like to participate in more, I hope this sheds some light on what they are and how they might be beneficial.
Not sure? Don’t be shy about asking! Because everyone deserves a special day they will remember forever, I’d love to talk with you and figure out what will work best for you.