January 4, 2020
As an Australian Elopement Photographer, I often get asked about the reasons to elope.
I see the same thing happen time and time again when it comes to wedding planning – couples are excited to plan their perfect wedding day, but soon become stressed, overwhelmed and unexcited, and that’s when they start looking at the benefits of eloping.
It always gets my heart beating when I hear about how a couple envisions their day, and that’s why I wanted to look at why people elope.
I either hear “I can’t wait for it to be over” or “I can’t wait for it to begin”.
Which couple will you be? If you’re trying to please others, manage your family’s expectations, follow traditions you don’t feel connected to, or design your day based on what is expected, you might find yourself falling into the “I wish it was over” camp. Unfortunately, many of these couples end up with a wedding that looks completely different to what they would really love to do.
Not surprisingly, it’s the couples who have planned their elopement exactly as they want, made it really personal and stuck to their dreams about a truly intimate wedding who can’t wait for their wedding day.
I’ve talked about what it means to elope before, but now I wanted to look at the top reasons to elope, to help you decide if elopement is the right choice for you and your partner.
Getting hitched marks the start of a new chapter in your life – why not start it off with an incredible adventure?
When you elope, you create a truly memorable experience. Your elopement can reflect your personality and the things you love as a couple, whether that’s snowshoeing in Northern Sweden, riding a camel across a desert in Dubai, or taking a helicopter ride to the top of one of New Zealand’s snow-capped mountains. The sky is the limit when you choose to elope.
When you think back to your wedding day, your memories will be much more magical than if you’d spent a few hours in a boring wedding venue with hundreds of people you barely get the chance to speak to.
If you elope, it’s just you and your partner exploring the wilds of the planet together, getting married on your own terms.
I’ve found that couples who love the idea of eloping value the experiences of life over the needless collection of objects.
For many couples, the idea of investing in travel and experiences is much more appealing than paying for chair covers and hiring napkins. They will typically prefer to invest in a memorable trip across Europe than in a wedding venue for a single night.
This is because experiences help a couple grow together. Creating a shared experience filled with adventure and love can strengthen a couple’s bond.
Long after your wedding day, the huge amount of waste often produced at a wedding will be forgotten and on the rubbish tip. However, the memories you’ve made together will always be with you, especially when captured with elopement photography.
When it comes to eloping, you’re investing in an adventure and creating an authentic experience without shelling out for tonnes of disposable items.
Traditional weddings can be incredibly expensive, with the average wedding in Australia costing $65,482AUD.
To put that in perspective, you could book an incredible elopement trip to New Zealand for just $13,360, including:
For a fraction of the cost of one wedding night, you can get a whole week exploring New Zealand, with your dream elopement designed by your elopement photographer.
Regardless of where you want to go, eloping can be a much cheaper option. Here’s another example: travelling from Melbourne to get married in the beautiful Blue Mountains for $10,600, including:
Compare this to the high cost of the average wedding day, and you’ve got yourself an elopement that is a lot cheaper and more memorable, plus a whole holiday on top of your special day.
Planning an elopement can be a lot simpler than planning a traditional wedding.
In fact, it can be as simple as deciding on a place you’d like to go and letting your elopement photographer do all the heaving lifting.
Some couples I work with will have a good idea of where they want to go, but no idea what they’d like to do in that country. Other couples have no specific ideas other than that they really want to elope.
The process of designing your dream elopement comes from answering a few simple questions so that I can uncover exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe you love the sound of doing something in the snow, or perhaps you want to go with the flow and be taken on a new adventure. I’ll come up with a few options for you to consider, and you can choose the experience you most love the sound of.
Wait, did I just say that your wedding can be a ‘choose your own adventure’? Hell yes, it can!
So when it comes to your elopement, all you need to think about where you’d love to go, and the rest is taken care of. This means you get more time to enjoy the experience, and less time worrying about finding a caterer to suit 200 guests and their different dietary requirements.
Your wedding should be all about you and your partner, but unfortunately it doesn’t always end up that way. If you hate being the centre of attention, it can be daunting to walk down the aisle in front of a crowd and have your guests listen to your personal vows.
Elopements are ideal for couples who don’t like the spotlight and instead prefer a more intimate and private ceremony.
When I photograph intimate elopements, I often see how couples feel more comfortable to express themselves without a crowd of onlookers.
Elopements give you the power to design every element of your day, the way you want it.
This means that if want to get up at 6am to watch the sunrise in the Pyrenees, have a delicious French breakfast at the local patisserie followed by an afternoon of caving, and then a wedding ceremony at sunset as you watch the skies saturate with gorgeous red tones – you can absolutely do this.
No need to worry about if mum and dad can make the climb, you don’t have to accommodate your friends with kids, and there’s no guilt for the fact that your family can’t afford to fly from Australia to France.
All you have to focus on are the things you and your partner want to do.
After your elopement you’ll be presented with a collection of incredible photos to show off the adventure you had. Sharing these images with your friends and family will let them enjoy the magic of your commitment, without them having to be there.
Elopements are designed so that you and your partner have an incredible time, without any family dramas. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is if you’ve got a tissue for the tears of joy you’ll cry during the ceremony.
I’m sure you’ve either experienced or heard horror stories about wedding day fights, dramas or complaining as the bride and groom try to enjoy their special day. That’s not what a wedding celebration should be about.
Your elopement experience will just be the two of you. Exploring the wilderness and having a total blast as you make your commitment.
If you’re worried about telling your family you want to elope, it’s best to be firm and communicate that the decision is about a personal journey for yourselves. I’ve written a post with some tips on how to tell your family you want to elope here.
Eloping lets you start your married life with an incredible experience. Instead of waking up to the chore of having to clean your venue or pack up decorations, you’ll have the rest of your elopement trip stretching out before you, filled with adventure or relaxation – whatever you choose.
You get to start celebrating your marriage straight away, just the two of you.
An elopement is the perfect way to celebrate you, your partner, and the things you love to do. You get the chance to do something that represents who you both are – whether that’s mountain climbing, exploring in the snow, appreciating the wildness of nature, or feeling the adrenaline with a helicopter flight.
Whatever you choose will be a thrill for both of you, rather than one partner feeling dragged along by the other. Studies have shown that couples who spend money in the same ways and enjoy the same activities will have a happier relationship, so if you both love adventure then the benefits of eloping will start your married life on a high.
One of the most exciting parts of eloping is the chance it gives your photographer to capture incredible photos.
Forget lining up for a clichéd, styled wedding photo – how you look at each other when one of you cracks a joke or you experience an adventure together is like nothing on this planet, and that’s the kind of photo you deserve.
Amazing personal photography will capture these memorable moments and that spark of bottled lightning between you and your partner.
The images I take during elopements show the couples’ special connection. Think about the chances of you both being on this planet at the same time, in the same location. That intense passion and love you feel for one another, no matter how quiet and reserved it can be, deserves to be celebrated.
A photograph is as individual as you are and the images from your incredible adventure will be with you for a lifetime. They’ll capture the story of your special day, and the emotions wrapped up within that adventure.
I’ll provide you with a gorgeous online gallery to share with friends and family across the world, so no one will feel like they missed out.
Having incredible elopement photography means that you’ll be able to relive your experience over and over again, long after the dust has settled.