Why elopement weddings are rising in popularity

December 7, 2021

I’m sure you have heard of the phrase eloping, commonly defined as running away secretly with the intention of getting married. Previously, it was treated as a stigma because to elope meant that your marriage wasn’t supported by your family or friends. It was considered a whim and many other misconceptions surrounded it. But, now it is being seen as for what it really is: a choice to focus the wedding entirely on you and your significant other.

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Elopements and weddings have the same result, committing your life to your partner. However, the journey, experience, and adventure that makeup elopements and weddings are wildly different. With that being said, why elope?

A true reflection of who you are as a couple

The journey every couple takes throughout their relationship is different. Their first kiss, first adventure, first date, each cherished moment is unique. So, if you want to climb the hike that you first took together to say your vows on a mountain, go for it! If you want to fly to Paris for the day and get married in the city that you dreamt of, without the hassle of a destination wedding, hop on the next flight! The choice is all yours. 

“By eloping, it just brings everything back to the core purpose of why they are getting married in the first place which is their love for each other. It’s as simple as that,” says Calgary photographer Nadine McKenney

Photo: Nadine McKenney Photography
Photo: Ooh Ooh Darling Photography

Elopements are less expensive

A traditional wedding is a massive project that involves finding a wedding venue and spending a large sum of money on booking vendors: decorator, baker, and entertainment to name a few. Now this may seem like a long list and compared to an elopement it may be, you’re still going to need to spend on your dress (or whatever you choose to wear), an officiant, hair & make-up, photographer (of course!) and a few other things but it won’t cost anywhere near the amount that a large wedding would. In comparison to planning a wedding, organizing an elopement takes less time and effort. It’s totally reasonable to be able to elope within a few months.  

 Photo: DG Ports Photography

“A ton of my wedding couples were forced to cut guest lists {due to COVID-19 and the restrictions} and decided to elope instead,” says McKenney. “All of them said they enjoyed their elopement so much and were happy that they switched. By cutting the guest list, they were able to splurge more on other aspects of their wedding and choose more unique locations for photos because their day was now flexible.”

Not a fan of the big wedding traditions

Not every couple sees a traditional wedding with all its added customs in their future and that's okay! If you don’t want to have hour-long ceremonies with a room full of people you may not recall, while they listen to a speech you rehearsed, and ladies gather to see who can catch the bouquet, you don’t have to. When you elope you can cut out all these wedding traditions or keep some like the first dance, first look, but at the end of the day when you elope, you make the rules!

McKenney believes that some “couples choose to elope because they don’t want the pressures of planning a full wedding. Whether it is accommodating their family, or sticking to a budget; it can be really stressful!”

 Photo: Taylor Oseen Photography

Chance to do whatever you want

Eloping can make you feel like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. It gives you the chance to do anything you want, so forgo the stereotypical view that deciding to elope means running to a courthouse or a 24-hour chapel in Vegas, you can get as creative as you want! Imagine getting married to the love of your life in a hot air balloon, under a gleaming sunset on top of a mountain, or surrounded by canyon walls. Whatever you decide to do, it will always remain as one of the most special and memorable moments of your life.

“I think eloping signifies a special bond between the couple. Eloping can make it feel more intimate and relaxed for the couple,” says McKenney. 

 Photo: Tasha Knight Photography & Design

In the end, the day you and your partner decide to tie the knot and commit to one another for a lifetime full of love and joy, it is entirely about you. Whether you have an elopement or a traditional wedding, the momentous occasions should be a genuine reflection of who you are as a couple, what you both want, and it should celebrate the love you share. 

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