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Elopement vs Wedding || Should I Elope or Have a Wedding?

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

So you're engaged (congrats!! 🎉), and now you're wondering whether you should choose to elope or plan a more traditional wedding. Maybe you're completely new to the world of adventure elopements and feeling inspired by all the couples you've seen choosing a memorable experience for their wedding. Maybe you always thought you'd want a big, traditional wedding, but the planning is getting you down and you're starting to think, "Maybe we should just elope instead."

Eloping can be an incredible and special choice for many couples, but it also isn't right for everyone. I wrote this guide to help you understand the differences between eloping and having a traditional wedding and decide which path is right for you!

What does it mean to elope?

Elopements can be whatever you want them to be, but I define it as this:

An intentionally small wedding where you choose an experience that's meaningful to you and your partner & you focus only on the details, traditions, and activities that are most important to you. A day that's all about you.

Pros of Eloping

You aren't tied down to a venue, so you can have your wedding almost anywhere you'd like.

You can have a flexible timeline with multiple locations and activities that are special to you.

You can design your timeline around sunrises and sunsets, which means you could even start your wedding day at dawn and continue celebrating as late as you want! No worrying about when you'll have access to your venue or when they'll kick you out.

You can do whatever you want – maybe you'd like to get tattoos together as your "ceremony." Maybe you'd like to jump into an alpine lake in your wedding attire because that's what the two of you have done on every hike together. Whatever your traditions are, we can make them a part of your big day.

Less pressure, stress, and money spent!

You won't have to be in the spotlight all day in front of hundreds of people (if that's something you aren't comfortable with)

You have the freedom to prioritize experiences, intimacy, and love rather than focusing on all the fluff

Signs You Should Elope

You would rather spend quality time with your partner and focus on each other the entire day rather than mingling with guests.

You want a unique and memorable experience with activities and details that feel completely authentic to you and your partner.

The thought of planning a large wedding makes you feel stuck, unhappy, stressed out, or overwhelmed.

You can't see yourselves having a long or traditional ceremony. You want to do it your own way with the details and words that matter to you.

You hate the idea of saying vows to each other in front of hundreds of guests.

When you imagine your ideal wedding day, you only see your partner, yourself, and maybe a handful of close family and friends – The rest of the fluff doesn't really matter to you.

Pros of a Traditional Wedding

You can invite more guests to celebrate with you! (Even if you're planning on having a smaller, intimate wedding, I recommend booking a venue or reserving a ceremony/reception space if you're planning on having more than 20-30 guests at your wedding)

Most venues provide a day-of-coordinator along with other staff to handle the smaller details, help everyone stick to the timeline, and ensure the day goes smoothly.

You can include more decorations, florals, and details throughout every part of your day – neon signs, arches, hundreds of candles, and other elaborate installations are much easier to have at a venue. While you can always plan an AirBnB or VRBO elopement and include all those fun details, most trails and outdoor locations have restrictions on what decorations you can bring with you (if any).


This is a super personal decision that's completely up to you and your fiancé (I know, duh). Really take the time to discuss what kind of experience you'd like on your wedding day and what things are most important to you both. Most importantly, don't let anyone else's expectations influence your decision – this day is all about you both and your relationship, and it should be a reflection of all the things that mean the most to you!

Do you think an elopement is right for you?

Reach out to start planning your dream day! I'll help you with...

  • finding the perfect location

  • planning out all the fun and meaningful activities you want to incorporate

  • choosing other vendors

  • photographing all those special moments

  • and every other detail in between

I'll be here for you every step of the way :)

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