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SEPT 15, 2020



  • Angela Walsh

What to Do if You’re Asking, “Should We Elope?”

Updated: Feb 24

Whether it happened as soon as you got engaged or it happened as you were getting into wedding planning, if you’re here, there’s a good chance you’ve turned to your partner, eyes bleary from looking at color palette inspo and fingers aching from writing a guest list that seems to just keep getting longer, and asked, “should we elope?”

A lot of couples ask the question, but many of them don’t ever act on it, not realizing that they do have the option of saying no to all the expectations placed on them by the big wedding industry, ditching all the traditions that don’t suit them, and having a wedding day that they’ll actually enjoy. Here are some signs that you should elope instead, and what to do next!

Mandy and Ash, a wedding couple who decided to elope kissing on a sandbar in front of a river with a reflection on their elopement

What is an Elopement?

The first thing you’ll need to do is learn about what an elopement is - because to a lot of people, an elopement is a quick ceremony, a rushed event that’s all about tying the knot as quickly and cheaply as possible. While this may have been true before, the meaning of the word has evolved a lot over the past few years, and elopements are no longer something that couples do to avoid investing time and money into their wedding day.

Eloping is about being intentional with how your day goes, and with how you begin your marriage. A lot of couples plan their wedding around what’s expected of them, without stopping to think that maybe a ballroom, a 200 person guest list, a dance floor, just isn’t for them. When you elope, you get to decide what’s important - every elopement looks different, because every couple is different - and shouldn’t your wedding day reflect that? When you’re asking, “should we elope,” ask yourself - what do you really want out of your wedding day?

A elopement couple reading their vows in front of half dome at yosemite, these two asked themselves "should we elope" and did

Should We Elope? Signs and Reasons to Elope Instead

Is it a temporary moment of insanity or is eloping actually right for you? Here are five signs that the answer to the question, “should we elope,” is a big YES!

1. You Want to Get Married in Nature

One of my favorite things about elopements is that instead of getting married in a venue, you get to tie the knot outside, in a beautiful spot! For nature loving couples, where you get married can be really significant - whether it’s a long hike to somewhere you’ve never been, or it’s a beautiful overlook that you visit on date nights.

Choosing a backdrop for your elopement is one of the most exciting parts - so if the thought of starting your marriage in the mountains, or by the ocean, or in the desert, gives you those excited butterflies, that’s a great reason to elope!

2. You Want a Day That’s All About You

And when I say all about you, I don’t mean in the way that big weddings are all about you - people looking at you all day, people listening to you share your vows, people talking to you all night long….

With elopements, the day is truly all about you, because you get to decide what makes you happy, what’s important to you, who you want to be there, and what you want to do. You plan your elopement day around you and how you want to celebrate the beginning of your marriage, not around pleasing every guest and throwing a party for everyone else to enjoy. It’s all about you, without making you the center of everyone’s attention all day long!

3. You Want Your Day to Be Eco-Friendly

Weddings are a major source of pollution - from the huge carbon footprint, to the massive amount of items thrown away after a single use, they create a lot of waste! Elopements are a much more environmentally friendly way to get married, as there aren’t as many wedding decorations, meals, and party favors to worry about.

Elopements allow you to spend money on experiences rather than things - instead of buying centerpieces for 25 tables, you can invest in something like kayaking on your elopement day, so as an added bonus, elopements can save you money along with saving the environment!

4. You Want Privacy and Intimacy

Eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have any guests, but it does mean that you get to be more selective with who is around you on the most important day of your life. Some couples want it to be just them, while others choose to invite a few loved ones. Either way, eloping allows you to have some more privacy when you read your vows and as you celebrate, and creates a much more intimate, meaningful experience than a traditional wedding day.

5. You Want an Adventure

Your wedding day should be a reflection of your relationship up to this point, and it should be a symbol for how you want the rest of your lives together to be spent. Adventure doesn’t have to mean skydives every weekend or constant adrenaline rushes - it means trying new things together, doing old favorites together, and enjoying the rest of your lives, together.

Eloping can be a symbol of your relationship, your willingness to think outside the box, and so much more - and if you want your marriage to begin with an adventure, elope!

A elopement couple running in the snow in Mt. St. Helens in there wedding attire and asked themselves "Should we Elope?"

You’ve Decided to Elope - What’s Next?

So you’re sold - you want a day that’s meaningful, intentional, and totally you. You’ve answered “should we elope?” with a yes, and made the brave decision to ditch traditions that don’t suit you and let go of expectations that aren’t yours. But, what now?

Most couples don’t know what to do next, because they don’t know anyone who’s eloped! It can be difficult to know where to start, but don’t worry - as an elopement photographer, I’m here to help with all of that.

I’ll get to know you and provide a list of location recommendations, places to stay, things to do, and everything you’ll need to plan the elopement day of your dreams. On the actual day, I’ll be there with my camera, my videographer slash husband will be there with his, and we’ll be your adventure buddies and guides throughout the day. You don’t have to worry about a thing, so let’s put the stress of wedding planning behind you and get started!

Bride and groom hugging in front of a jeep with lights on and mountains in the background

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