There are so many reasons that eloping is a good idea! I’m obviously hopeless biased (and could probably talk about it for hours) but seriously, eloping is the best. Whether you’re 100% certain eloping is for you, or it’s just an inkling, I wanted to talk about the top reasons to elope.
Have you ever wondered or thought about how much waste weddings produce? I’ve been to countless weddings over the years and the trash at the end of the night is *bananas.*
The average wedding with 100-130 guests produces 400-600 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. Together, American weddings are equivalent to 8.3 million cars driving on the road for a year. Ack. That is soooo much waste. My fellow zero-wasters, recyclers, tree huggers, eloping is FOR SURE the more earth friendly option. By miles.
From a logistical and practical standpoint, this is huge. Holy Toledo weddings are expensive. Average cost of a wedding is somewhere in the ballpark of $30,000. That’s… a lot of money. That’s, like, house money. Or vacation of your dreams money. Though a common myth about elopements is that they are all “cheap”, they *are* a cheaper option to traditional weddings. Let’s compare, shall we?
Here are the 5 most expensive elements of your typical traditional wedding:
Totals: Traditional= $32,054 vs Elopement= $2,590-13,440
Not to sound like an infomercial person but that’s the potential for over $29,000 in savings. Imagine the adventurous honeymoon you could take with that money. Or the house you could buy. Or the van you could build out. I think emotions and feelings matter more than money but also life is a thing and money is real and can be a huge deciding factor for some couples.
Introverts, unite! For some, traditional weddings can feel like one long 8 hour performance where you and your new spouse are the center of attention. One hundred people looking at you at once. For some, that’s enough to make you want to hide in a bathroom. On your *wedding day*. That is such a huge bummer to me and I’m here to tell you that if you *hate* being the center of attention you DO NOT have to endure that 8 hour long sufferfest. You are 100% permitted to design a wedding day that doesn’t make your palms sweat for all the wrong reasons.
Butterflies and nerves are super normal on your wedding day but I’ve seen couples literally just want to hide from their own wedding because it made them so anxious and uncomfortable. Do not do this! It’s your wedding day and you are allowed (nay— encouraged!… at least by me) to do what you want to do. Don’t just grit your teeth and bear it through the first day of your lives together.
Instead have a day where you can breathe and be yourself without worrying about hundreds of eyeballs being directed at you. You can focus on what the day’s really all about (I’m about to get mushy here)— the start of your lives together!
Maybe a traditional wedding sounds like a total drag. Maybe your absolute favorite times and memories are from when you were outdoors, on adventures, hiking, camping, climbing, rafting, exploring, getting your boots dirty and your face sunburned. You feel the happiest, most at peace, and most firmly yourself when you’re out in the wilderness. Maybe you long for a good view. Maybe you are just a big of fan of Type B fun as you are Type A fun. Does this sound like you? If you chase adventure in your life, why not chase it on your wedding day?
Imagine your dream best day ever. Like, your ULTIMATE. What does it look like and what are you doing? Hiking in The Cascades and camping under the stars? Road tripping through New Zealand and bungee jumping in Queenstown? Taking a helicopter ride to a glacier? Hiking to Taft point in Yosemite and watching the sun set? They say your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life, so if the happiest days of your life so far have looked like an adventure, why not make that your actual wedding day?
Look, we all have different stories and different backgrounds. Weddings have this whole mess of expectations attached to them our families and relationships with family members don’t always meet those expectations. For some, the idea of having your whole family trapped in a room together for 6 hours sounds like lighting a bomb and hoping it doesn’t go off. Maybe you genuinely don’t feel safe with some of (or all) your family members.
The idea folks endure a full day—on their wedding day!— of feeling unsafe just for the sake of maintaining the status quo breaks my heart. I want to be super clear here: you do not have to put yourself through this. You are 100% allowed to make a choice that feels truest to you and also feels the safest.
You don’t owe anyone anything, except you owe it to yourself to honor your history and experience. I want you to create a day that allows you to be present and joyful instead of trying to sidestep emotional landmines or ignore painful memories. You don’t need to ask permission from anyone to do this, but just in case you feel you do, here you go: Permission granted.
There isn’t any particular reason, you just feel in your bones that a big wedding just isn’t a fit for you. You’re all about creating a day that’s a mirror for you and your relationship and after sniffing around the internet you come across the idea of eloping and you think, “oh, there you are.” Maybe it’s your Jiminey Cricket. Maybe it’s your gut. Whatever it is, listen to it. Pursue that nameless thing that pulls at you to follow your dreams. You only get to do this once; may as well make it kickass.
Ahh my fellow rebels. You look at the weddings “everyone else has” and you’re like, “Cool. Now I’m gonna do the exact opposite.” You don’t know why (and really it doesn’t matter why) but you just love going against the grain. Taking the road less traveled. Making a statement. You shed expectations the way people shed winter coats in spring.
Maybe you see the wedding industry as a consumerist machine and that grosses you out and you want to get back to the root of all weddings; two people committing their lives to each other. Maybe you want to make waves. Maybe you just don’t feel comfortable doing what everyone else does. Feeling derivative feels like a cage and you want to feel free. And there’s nothing more freeing than eloping.
Here’s the truth of the matter: when you elope you get to focus on what’s really, truly important; the fact you are picking your person for forever and always. You are making the biggest, bravest, coolest decision of your life and that is, without a doubt, something to be celebrated. But that focus can get pretty diluted in big weddings.
There’s so much *noise* at big weddings; who is sitting where, do you want a receiving line or do you want to visit each guest table at the reception, Aunt Kathy wants to bring her dog but the venue doesn’t permit pets, your second cousin once removed on your mother’s side is offended she didn’t get a plus one, do you want your cocktail napkins to be cream colored or oyster, etc etc etc. It’s a lot. The whole damn point of the wedding can get pretty lost in all that decision making and detail planning.
With eloping, you get to leave all that noise behind and focus on the good stuff. The real stuff. The stuff that will last way beyond those cocktail napkins and reception favors. No distractions. No fluff. Just the two of you and your story.
That’s the last reason. Elope cause you want to. You don’t need any more reason than that.
A final thought. These are all amazing reasons to elope. I want to empower you to make decisions about your wedding day that mirrors you as a couple. I care very little about what you *should* do or are *supposed* to do. If you want a big wedding, *do that*. Really, I had a small, but still technically traditional wedding, so I am not bashing or hating on big weddings. I’m not telling the world everyone needs to elope, I’m just telling the folks that want to elope to friggin go for it. Go after that Peak Existence Wedding Day! I am not here to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do, other than to say this:
Follow your heart.
For more Elopement Planning resources, check out The Best Places to Elope in Utah and Epic Places to Elope in Arizona!
Or, if you want some elopement inspiration, check out this full day Zion Elopement, this colorful Moab elopement, or this off-roading Sedona adventure.
— Ryan + Styhiln
These are some awesome tips and inspiration for couples to elope! Focusing on you and not having everyone staring at you is my favorite one. Beautiful photos too!
Aimée! This is a perfect post. I am obsessing over your images and your words too!! <3
Yes to every single one of these reasons!!
These information are just so valuable for any couple who’s looking to elope. Love your work friend
Your tips and info are so valuable for couples looking to plan their elopement. You give the perfect reasons to elope, And judging from your pictures you know the perfect shooting spots for an elopement in Arizona
I agree that these are amazing reasons to elope! So often I see private and introverted couples so uncomfortable because of the big crowds at their weddings. Eloping is such a great option for them!
[…] Not sold on the idea yet? Or maybe you’re curious about some reasons to elope? Check out this post on My Top Nine Reasons to Elope. […]
THIS IS THE BEST! I can feel you passion for inspiring couples to do their wedding day in a way that genuinely aligns with them! I love all of this amazing advice! You da best!
Yes Yes Yes! These are all awesome reasons to elope! Especially from an environmentally-friendly standpoint! It’s crazy how much waste is generated from a large wedding!
these are all amazing reasons to choose to elope! amazing collection of info!
Aimee this is such a helpful article for couples thinking about eloping! I love tip #2 as this is something most don’t even think about. You go girl!
This is such a good list for any couple who is on the fence about having a large traditional wedding and may be thinking of eloping. There are a ton of reasons that couples maybe haven’t even considered!! #7 is my favorite because I hate all the attention LOL yay introverts.
[…] Have more questions on elopements? Check out my post on What Does it Mean to Elope, Anyway and How to Know if Eloping is Right for You. […]
That second photo is fire! Also I LOVE this post so informative for any engaged couple!