Reasons Why You Should Elope in 2023

WHY DO MOST COUPLES CHOOSE TO ELOPE?

I learned that eloping was a thing when my wife approached me with the idea. We were in the midst of planning our wedding, and from venue shopping to guest lists (and I won’t even bring up the headache of seating charts), it was hectic, overwhelming, and not fun! We quickly realized that a big, elaborate wedding wasn’t for us.

The idea of us being the center of attention made her want to vomit, so she had the idea of going off and doing our own thing instead. She said, “I see castles, greenery, cliffs, and the ocean for our big day.” We wanted a wedding day that was an experience that we would remember forever - and so we looked for the coolest castles in Ireland, flew across the ocean to tie the knot, and eloped on an incredible cliff, just the two of us.

Eloping was life-changing for us, and I want the same for you! Still not sold on jumping ship on your big wedding day? I'm sharing my personal views on eloping and I've gathered feedback from past couples as to why they chose to elope.

Here are the top reasons why you should elope instead! 


A couple sharing their vows overlooking the red mountains in Colorado.

• ELOPEMENTS ARE LESS STRESSFUL

Do you know what was driving me up the wall? Trying to figure out who the heck to invite and what our families were going to think of our plans. Planning a traditional wedding involves a lot of people—and unfortunately, unsolicited opinions as well. It can easily become overwhelming and stressful! And who wants that on the biggest day of their lives? Eloping eliminates that stress and allows you to start your life with an epic adventure because you deserve that!

If planning, coordinating, and balancing a wedding sounds like a nightmare, then consider planning this your elopement around what makes you truly happy — hiking, nature, sweet mountain air, and sharing an epic day with the person you love.

"We had originally started planning a more traditional wedding, and quickly realized how much time, money, and stress was involved. Once we came across eloping we knew immediately it was the right fit for us. Eloping allowed us to make our day completely about us, not about other people’s expectations - and looking back we cannot imagine not eloping"

Helen & Mike

The groom grabbing his wifes booty on their elopement in Colorado.

• ELOPEMENTS ARE UNIQUE AND PERSONAL

Eloping is easier than a traditional wedding in a lot of ways—one of which is simply because you have zero limitations! Think about it: the venue, the location, the vows, even what you wear. Each elopement is completely customized to what you want. Eloping is great for couples that value experience over a big wedding, or would rather put their money toward something that is more important.

Most couples that choose to elope crave a day that reflects their relationship. They’re rad couples that value a true experience they can remember forever. They know these memories don’t come from the things they had on their wedding day but from the experience of being together, focusing on each other in a way that represents their love.

In the end, there are no rules for eloping or wedding days. The most important thing you can do is honor who you are as a couple. 

A small, private beach in Oregon? You can choose it for your elopement! The top of a Colorado mountain? I’m stoked to help you plan it! The options are endless, and it starts with choosing the best place to elope!

You also can tie your elopement into your honeymoon and make one big trip out of it. My wife and I eloped in Ireland and then spent two weeks traveling around Italy. It’s a way to kick-start your travels together and the options are unlimited!

"We love telling everyone our elopement story. It is an epic story that people love to hear and we love telling. It's a million times better than having everyone we invited to a traditional wedding talking about how dry the chicken was or that the DJ didn't play any good songs. Instead we have this ridiculous adventure story that makes us sound cool lol and that people enjoy hearing."

Rachel & Steve

A couple sharing a laugh during their first dance on their wedding in Colorado.

• ELOPEMENTS ARE LESS EXPENSIVE

Let’s face it. Weddings are expensive! According to Nerd Wallet, the average price of a wedding is $33, 931. According to The Knot, receptions can eat up 48–50 percent of your budget! No matter your reasons to elope, you’re still going to be saving money by cutting out expenses that don’t really add anything to your experience. 

You get to decide what’s important to you, and how you want to prioritize the money you spend! Eloping gives you the freedom to cut down on unnecessary party favors and refocus your time and energy on YOU!

If you are trying to find reasons to elope, the budget of a traditional wedding might help push you in the eloping direction!


A couple embracing for a hug and kiss at sunset in Glacier National Park.

• ELOPEMENTS ARE INTIMATE AND MEANINGFUL

No matter how in the moment you plan to be at your traditional wedding, it’s nearly impossible to focus only on each other. You’ll be tied up with the timelines, the to-do lists, the guests, and the event. A big wedding is a production, and it’s difficult to make space for each other when there are so many others demanding your attention.

Eloping is private, intimate, and unforgettable. Imagine exchanging vows with a mountain at your back. Make a soft forest path your aisle. Sharing your first kiss in a field of wildflowers in Colorado. It’s all possible when you elope! You can have a true adventure, and have plenty of time to be present and enjoy the day with your partner.

"I’ve been to too many weddings where the bride and groom looked more overwhelmed than thrilled on their wedding day. In my family, there’s a tendency to compare how expensive or well put on one cousin’s wedding was than others. None of that mattered to us. We wanted the day for ourselves, first and foremost. Eloping accomplished this. We will always have the memory to hold onto uninterrupted by anyone else’s expectations - eloping surpassed our dreams for the perfect day."

Jo & Ryan

A couple standing on a rock overlooking Taft Point for their wedding photos.

• ELOPEMENTS AVOID ALL THE WEDDING DAY DRAMA

Look, we’ve all got relatives who are difficult. Uncle Eddie, anyone? Or maybe your family stresses you out, or they’re putting demands on you to get married the way they want, not you. But it doesn’t even have to be an opinionated or difficult family. Perhaps you have a giant family, or too many friends to count. If the thought of planning a wedding to accommodate an enormous guest list makes you queasy, that’s a great reason to elope!

You can play by your rules, and that means you can even include a few close friends and family members. In the end, all couples are different, and you deserve a wedding that is authentic and reflects who you are. Maybe that means no one but you and your partner. Maybe that means a small group of beloved family and friends. But whatever it is, eloping gives you permission to create the day you want!

"Our story is nothing you’d find written in a fairytale, or seen on a romcom. It’s more like a little SHAMELESS mixed with the L Word and Spiderman kind of vibes. The last thing we wanted is anything other than our vows to be talked about. We wanted an elopement experience that was unique to us. Something we hadn’t seen, we would enjoy, and could stretch out into a hippie road trip." 

Brittany & Ralphie

Bride and groom sharing a hug overlooking the ocean in Big Sur.

• YOU CAN EXPLORE A NEW PLACE WHEN YOU ELOPE

If you’re thinking about eloping, you’re most likely considering eloping to a spot more exciting than your local country club. What do you love to do together? Where do you want to kick off married life? Combine everything with your elopement to turn your wedding into an extended honeymoon! Instead of a traditional venue, you can tie the knot amongst jaw-dropping landscapes 

I would say 95% of the couples I work with travel for their elopement. Because why not? Eloping in a new destination gives you a chance to explore somewhere exciting for your wedding day. Not only do you get to explore a new area but you can wine and dine at new spots and find some incredible lodging that is unique.

"Eloping in a destination was a big reason why we chose to elope. We had never been to California! We are from a poo town and nothing is pretty so we wanted to elope somewhere completely different than we've ever seen. Eloping gave us a reason to travel but also allowed us something new to explore."

Cassidy & Caden

Bride and groom looking at Half Dome under the stars for their elopement in Yosemite.

• WEDDING PLANNING IS STRESSFUL

Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, and the anxiety of the process can negatively impact the relationships you love and cherish. All of the planning and coordinating with friends and family turns you into a wedding manager instead of a couple who’s celebrating the beginning of the rest of their lives together. It can suck all the fun out of being engaged, and turn your wedding into a task to complete instead of a celebration. 

Elopements definitely require some planning, but instead of struggling with a seating chart, you get to sift through epic locations, plan amazing adventures, and make sure your day is entirely about you!

You don’t have to plan an elaborate day incorporating every opinion from family and friends. Instead, your elopement focuses your time on the things you love: finding an epic place to elope, writing heartfelt vows, or planning fun things to do on your elopement trip.

Your wedding doesn’t have to be about everyone else and their expectations. I’m giving you permission to reject what you don’t like and focus on what’s important when it comes to your wedding day by eloping instead! This should be an epic adventure! So make it one. Trust me, eloping can become an experience you’ll never forget.

"While we could’ve had a smaller wedding at home in Chicago, we didn’t want to be stressed by how to get our family and friends to a wedding. We tossed around the idea of eloping somewhere beautiful, so we went for it! Looking back, we wouldn’t have it any other way--eloping was intimate, stress free, romantic, and extremely fun. Not only do we have stunning photos, but we have a place that is very special to us that we look forward to visiting in the future!"

Stephanie & Jordan

A couple sharing a first kiss at sunrise in Colorado.

• THE PHOTOS FROM YOUR ELOPEMENT WILL BE EPIC!

One of the biggest reasons my wife and I chose to elope was because we knew we’d get epic photos in Ireland. We made it a priority to find a photographer who could not only take our pictures but also capture this amazing elopement experience and every moment, big and small.

Now when we look back on our photos, we can relive all those special, intimate moments as if we were back near that castle.

Elopement photos are meant to capture your love in a way that is true to you. These photos are candid moments - a hard copy of your memories. And they’re something more and more couples are valuing. Pinterest recently reported a 128 percent increase in searches for elopement photography ideas!

"We originally started thinking of reasons to elope and one thing we really wanted was amazing photos. Once we found you, we knew eloping was the right move for us, because your work is breathtaking! We wanted to be the bride and groom eloping in the middle of an epic landscape, so beautifully framed by you. Eloping truly feels like a dream. Thank you for everything!"

Lindsay & Jake

Bride and groom sharing a hug and laugh at an alpine lake in Colorado.

• ELOPEMENTS ARE MORE ECO FRIENDLY

According to Wikipedia, the average wedding has 150+ guests and produces between 400 and 600 pounds of trash. Yes, you read that right. This includes trash bags, food, napkins, plates, and hundreds of dollars worth of flowers. Those lavish weddings you see in magazines don’t show the aftermath: weddings are wasteful and bad for the environment.

But, they don’t have to be if you choose to elope! Just cutting down your guest list and eloping instead already saves a ton of waste (no single-use decorations, no catering for 200), and as a photographer who helps couples elope in nature, I’m passionate about reducing the impact on the environment as much as possible.


A couple drinking champagne out of horns on top of a jeep during their elopement in Colorado.

• ELOPING ALLOWS YOU TO GET MARRIED OUTDOORS

If you’re an outdoorsy couple, a stuffy ballroom might not be your thing! If mountains, wildflower meadows, waterfalls, and epic landscapes reflect your relationship better than any wedding venue, that’s one of the best reasons to elope. 

Tying the knot outdoors is also much less expensive, and can allow you to spend that money on adventures and experiences instead!

There’s also quite a logjam with wedding venues right now due to Covid, and many of them aren’t available anytime soon - so if you don’t want to wait, consider eloping instead.


A couple hugging at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park on their elopement morning.

• YOU CAN'T FIND A WEDDING VENUE

Let's be honest, not only are wedding venues expensive but they're extremely backed up because of Covid. There is a serious logjam right now with venues and some might not have availability for 2 years down the road! If you don't want to wait that long for your dream wedding venue, then it might be a good idea to elope instead! This will not only save you money on the venue but you can still get married in your preferred period!


A couple sharing an intimate moment near a waterfall on their elopement day.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DECIDE IF YOU SHOULD ELOPE

If you’re on the fence, these are the questions that couples often have about eloping! These might help you decide if you should elope.

• IS ELOPING SELFISH?

You very well might offend some people by choosing to elope, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is your happiness. I’m a huge advocate and supporter of the couples that elope with me because I eloped myself! I know how much pressure you might feel, so it’s important to set appropriate boundaries with others when eloping. On the flip side, you might experience a ton of love and support by choosing to elope, which would be a welcome surprise!

• DO WE HAVE TO ELOPE ALONE?

No way! Elopements have come a long way since the Elvis in Vegas days. You can really craft and customize your elopement to match you. Having family at your elopement is completely acceptable and welcomed!

Read more on how to include your family in your elopement!

I also offer elopement packages that include guests!

• CAN WE STILL ELOPE WITH TRADITIONAL ELEMENTS?

Just because you’re choosing to elope, doesn’t mean you have to skip out on traditional wedding traditions. A lot of couples will still purchase dresses, share the first look, and write their own vows so that the elopement feels special. Feel free to incorporate as many traditional elements as you’d like into your elopement! The best thing about elopements is that they’re so customizable - there are absolutely no rules.

• DO COUPLES REGRET ELOPING?

I have helped over 200 couples elope and I have never heard one regret it. I eloped myself and it was the best decision of my life! But, I do know a handful of couples who had traditional weddings and regretted that, wishing they had eloped instead. At the end of the day, the only person who knows if eloping is right for them is YOU!

IS ELOPING CONSIDERED MARRIAGE?

Absolutely! Just because you eloped, doesn't mean it's not officially a marriage. You still do all of the legal aspects when you elope that it is a legally binding marriage.

• CAN YOU SECRETLY ELOPE?

That's completely up to each couple! You definitely might rub some family members wrong if you wait to tell them after your elopement, but that's a risk each couple will look at differently. Check out this blog for tips on how to tell your family that you are eloping!


A couple sharing a kiss in the wildflowers of Colorado on their wedding day.

DID THESE REASONS TO ELOPE CONVINCE YOU TO ELOPE?

My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help you elope! I’m a free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.

I know firsthand what an important and personal decision it is to elope—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish.

My passion has led me here, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.

When I’m not photographing couples, I love to go exploring with my wife and our corgi. Our dream is to own an Airstream and take Vows and Peaks on the road!

Still, looking for reasons to elope? Reach out so we can get started and we can chat more!

Colorado Elopement Photographer

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by vowsandpeaks