There are so many misconceptions when it comes to eloping. It’s selfish, it’s the easy way out for people who don’t want to spend money, it’s last minute, etc. The last thing I want is for a couple who WANTS to elope, to ultimately say no because they feel guilty, or in the wrong. Let’s get right into it.
How do people really feel about eloping?
So how DO people really feel about eloping? Ultimately, who the f*ck cares. The real question is how do YOU feel about eloping? Strip away all the opinions, all the stereotypes, and all the little voices in your head. In your heart of hearts, how do YOU feel about eloping?
When it comes down to it, the day you get married is all about you and your partner – no one else. It’s about the two of you committing yourselves to each other, and you should 100% do it in the way that YOU want.
What is the definition of eloping?
If you google the word “elope” on google, this is the gold it gives you:
elope (verb): run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent
This is a wild definition and it blows my mind. Maybe it’s just the times we live in, but wow, this word has taken on a whole new meaning. The definition from google infuses a sort of shame into the act of eloping, and that is FAR from the elopements of today’s day and age.
The old school definition one of the misconceptions of eloping itself. Eloping (to us and our couples) is a very INTENTIONAL and PURPOSEFUL choice to get married in a way that feels RIGHT to the couple. It is not something they do out of shame or laziness. They purposely choose a different route because they want their values to align with the day they get married. They often don’t like being the center of attention, or maybe they want a more personal and intimate experience. Sometimes planning a huge party for hundreds of people sounds overwhelming (and emotionally draining), or maybe they don’t understand the point of following a tradition that doesn’t serve them. Maybe they couldn’t imagine saying their vows anywhere else but out in the mountains, because that’s where they feel most at home. People who elope place more value on a personal experience over following tradition.
Is it selfish to elope?
This is one of the misconceptions of eloping that truly pisses me off, to put it bluntly. NO ONE has the right to tell you that the way you want to get married is wrong or selfish. There is NOTHING selfish about eloping – at all. The day you get married is naturally centered around the love you have with your partner. Everything should be 100% centered around acknowledging, celebrating, and soaking in all of that love. Anything that feels like it’s distracting you from that, shouldn’t be a part of your day.
Sometimes pressure or disappointment from family or friends can make the idea of eloping feel a bit daunting. There are still amazing ways to include your friends and family in your elopement, while still having the day be just the two of you. It’s just so important to remember that this is YOUR day. Do what feels 100% right for you, and know that the people who truly care about you will ultimately end up supporting you on your day.
Misconceptions of Eloping With Family
Another one of the misconceptions of eloping is that you can’t include anyone else in your elopement. There are SO many ways to include your family in your elopement. You can involve them as much or as little as you want. Here are a few different ways you can include your immediate family in your elopement:
Include Your Family in the Planning Process
Just because your eloping doesn’t mean there is zero planning involved. Take your mom and best friends along with you to do things like picking out your dress, your shoes, and just keeping them in the loop about the new plans you make! Show them google images of the area you’ll be getting married in…let them feel the excitement with you!
Get a Garmin Inreach
Garmin, and other tracking devices, will automatically send location pins to people you decide to share your location with. I always thought it would be so awesome to carry a location device with you, and have your location automatically updated to your family. Let them virtually follow along with you on your hike. If you have your exact ceremony spot picked out beforehand, share the coordinates of where you’ll be saying your vows with the people you love ahead of time, and they’ll be able to know the moment you’re saying your vows. This is a sure way to let them still shed their tears of joy on your elopement day.
Have Your Immediate Family Write Letters
Ask your parents, friends, etc. to write letters to you. Read them the day of your elopement. This is such an awesome way to feel close to them, even though you might be miles and miles away from them. This is a way for you to keep the tradition of having your parents share a few words on the day of your wedding, and will make them still feel special and wanted on your day.
Include Your Family in Your Elopement Ceremony
Another great way to include your immediate family in your elopement is to have them attend your ceremony. Keep in mind that you will need to have your ceremony at a location that is accessible to all of your family members. Sometimes the best ceremony spots are a little bit of a hike, and you’ll need to make sure your family is comfortable with the hike! However, you should ABSOLUTELY NOT give up on the epic ceremony spot of your dreams to accommodate everyone else. Consider having a “pre-ceremony” at a more accessible location, like a super cute AirBnb, and then saving your final vows for that epic location you’ve always dreamed of, just the two of you. Junebug weddings put out an awesome resource of Airbnbs to host your elopement – check it out here!
By having a ceremony earlier in the day, you’ll be able to go off and venture just the two of you later in the evening as well. This way you get the best of both worlds – time with your family, and time for just the two of you.
Have a Post-Elopement Celebration
Whether you keep this celebration the day of your elopement, or down the road, it’s another great way to include your family in your elopement. I love when couples spend the day together, say their vows at sunset, and then return to an Airbnb for a family cooked dinner where all their bestest friends and family are waiting for them.
Alternatively, you could throw a larger reception when you return home from your elopement. This is a great way to include more friends and family in the celebration. Plus, you get to have two parties – who doesn’t want to celebrate twice.
Hire an Adventure Elopement Photographer
This is a no brainer. Hire a photographer you connect with. Hire someone who will be able to seamlessly and beautifully capture your day. Share the photographs with your family. Their reaction when they see the photographs of your reactions throughout the day will be priceless.
If you’re currently looking for an adventure elopement photographer, Dan and I would love to start a conversation with you! We’re all about turning those exciting dreams into something REAL and TANGIBLE for people. You can contact us here.
Book a Multi-Day Package
This adds another bullet point to the misconceptions of eloping. Elopements don’t have to be one day only. Have one day dedicated to completely the two of you. Go somewhere remote and say your vows, have a summit picnic (and maybe a beer or two) at sunset, soak the whole day in with just the two of you. Camp out under the stars. Use this day to adventure together and create priceless memories.
On the next day, do all the family things. Have a dinner together, let your parents give a few speeches, play some music and dance the night away around a bonfire. The options are limitless.
We LOVE capturing multi-day elopements. They’re perfect for backpacking out to locations that might be a bit farther than others. Take a look at our multi-day packages here.
Elopement Wedding Dresses
Another one of the misconceptions of eloping has to do with dresses. I have a few thoughts on this, and they all boil down to this. You can wear whatever you want. The whole vibe of the day is already anti-tradition. Wear a jumpsuit. Wear a black wedding dress. Don’t dress up at all. Wear the big poofy princess dress.
There are certain things to consider when buying your outfit for your elopement, such as weather conditions, packability, etc. However, we can make anything work (and look amazing!)
Hair and Make-Up
Just because you’re going out hiking for your elopement, doesn’t mean you can’t still have hair and make-up done. There are AWESOME hair and make-up artists who will actually meet us on the trailhead. Don’t worry about the wind messing up your hair on the way up, it all just adds to the story of your perfect day. You can always pack a few things for a touch up as well!
Is It Cheaper to Elope?
Another one of the misconceptions of eloping is cost. Eloping can certainly be cheaper than a traditional wedding. On the other hand, a traditional wedding can also be cheaper than an elopement.
Most of the couples we work with aren’t eloping to save money. They want to invest their money in a way that goes farther in creating an epic experience for them. By eloping, they have more money to travel, and splurge on adventures and details that actually mean something to them, and will give create memories to last a lifetime. Some people want centerpieces, and others want to get out and see the world with the person they love most.
Ultimately, you will be saving money on things like a venue, catering, bridal party gifts, a DJ, a wedding planner, etc. With all that money your saving, your able to turn elopement into an experience you’ll relive for the rest of your life through your photographs.
Elopements Are a Last Minute Decision
Though we do have some inquiries that come in a month or two before they day the couple plans to elope, the majority of our inquiries come in on average 8 months prior. This isn’t a last minute decision. Eloping is an intentional decision that people want to plan. Give yourself some time to get excited, to enjoy being engaged, and dreaming up and planning your perfect day.
We have written a few blogs on how to plan an elopement in different areas. If you want to elope in Wisconsin, check out our Guide to Eloping in Wisconsin here!
All in all, remember that this is your day. Don’t let outside pressure you out of celebrating your love in the way that makes sense to you. We’re here to be your biggest advocate in creating a day that reflects you and your partner to the core.