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  • Zachary Sawyer

What is an Elopement?

Updated: Feb 9

Elopements aren't "runaway, secret weddings" anymore. The definition is changing and more couples are getting eloped every year. Let's jump into the modern definition of "Elopement", and find out why they're becoming such a popular way to get married!



WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT?


Everyone has their own definition of Elopement. It's a bit overwhelming, but they're all right because there are no rules for what your elopement (or even your wedding) has to look like. After reading my definition, ask yourself: "what does an elopement mean to me?"


MY DEFINITION


An Elopement is an intimate event, primarily focused on the desires and connection of the couple getting married. It is about doing things that you both enjoy; to celebrate your connection and bring you back to the reasons you fell in love with each other.



YOUR ELOPEMENT SHOULDN'T BE...

  1. Stressful - Elopements should not be a rush to get a bunch of wedding things done. You make the plans, make it as casual as you want!

  2. For Other People - Yes, some people may be upset that you chose to elope privately. There are ways to compromise, but at the end of the day, it's about you. It's the one day you actually get to have it all about yourselves!

  3. An Act - If you're like me, big crowds make you feel like you should act one way or another. Shrink your elopement party to a group size you're comfortable with, one you can be truly open with, even if it's just your spouse.

  4. A Way to Save Money - Though it can be less expensive, it's not necessarily about that. Elopements are a way to better spend your money on something you'll actually enjoy.

  5. Boring - This is a chance to be creative, make this the best day(s) of your lives! Remember, this is a day that will be remembered as your Anniversary for the rest of your lives.

That's my definition of Elopement, I know, it's short. But that's really because of how open ended elopements are. There's so much possibility here! An elopement could be camping in the desert and exchanging rings under the stars, or saying your vows atop a 14'000ft mountain at sunrise, or scuba diving the morning after it all! Get creative, look for inspiration (it's everywhere, just think of what you two enjoy), and most importantly, dream big.


If you're still having trouble imagining what you're elopement would look like, check out my Elopement Ideas blog posts. It's where I come up with some timelines and inspiration for couples looking to elope.


 

Some Common Misconceptions About Elopements


YOU CAN STILL DO "TRADITIONAL" THINGS!


This one is important, elopements can be very similar to traditional weddings, just without as many people and as much stress.


You can still do things like First Look, Gift Exchange, Read Vows, First Kiss, First Dance, Parent Dances, Photo Sessions, Guarder Removal, you name it! Choose all, some, or none of these; that's the freedom of Eloping!


ELOPEMENTS DON'T HAVE TO BE 2 PEOPLE


Elopements aren't necessarily small. If you're someone that doesn't mind a crowd, you can bring along your parents, close family, and best friends. Even if that's like 20 to 30 people, it's still an elopement if the focus is on you.


(Please note: Larger elopement parties are very impractical to bring out into natural vistas. Groups like that can create problems with following Leave No Trace principals, and even significantly affect the experience of everyone else enjoying the land we're on)


If you have a crazy large group of people that you don't want to leave out, may I suggest hosting a reception after your elopement. This is a great way to include everyone in the celebration after you two have had your alone time. Plus, if you decide to hire a videographer, they'll be able to see how your elopement went without crowding the trails or taking up your attention.


 

CONCLUSION


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?


Okay, now that you know a bit more about what elopements are, it's time to think about what an elopement means to you. You've come here for a reason, maybe a traditional wedding doesn't feel like you, follow that feeling. Now is the time to honestly ask yourself: "How do I want to remember my wedding day?".


If you're still unsure about elopements, or want to see some example timelines, visit the related articles below. As always, you can reach out to me with any questions. Just visit my Contact Page and send an email!



Happy Eloping,

Zach




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