Evergreen Era Film + Photo
You’re probably asking yourself “why elope“?
Maybe you’re engaged and realized you’re not loving the planning that comes along with a big wedding. Maybe you’ve discovered elopements but aren’t really sure why someone would chose that instead? I’m here to help!
Elopements are gaining popularity, and for good reason; this year Pinterest reported a 128% increase in searches for elopement photography ideas as more and more couples consider small-scale, personal weddings.
If you’re not sure what an elopement is, check out this blog post to get a better idea first!
It’s easy to see why elopements are becoming an option for more couples: they are usually less expensive and easier to plan than traditional weddings. But, budget and efficiency aren’t the only reasons couples are ditching formal ceremonies in favor of these smaller celebrations.
Read on for five answers to the question, “why elope”. Maybe you’ll learn some that you might not have thought of! But in general, I hope they help you confirm eloping might be the perfect wedding experience for you:
Elopements are the Eco-Friendly Wedding.
It’s Hard on the environment
The wedding industry is hard on the environment—like, really hard. The average wedding produces over 400 pounds of trash and 63 tons of CO2. Dozens or even hundreds of guests make the trip from all over the country, producing harmful emissions. Big venues require tons of electricity to run lights, AC, and heat (double that if the ceremony and reception take place at separate venues); dinners inevitably result in pounds and pounds of food waste; and single-use decor and favors end up in the landfill.
Avoid the waste
With elopements, you can almost totally avoid all that waste. The waste that elopements do produce is minimal, as venues, decor, and food are used on a much smaller scale. Lots of couples who choose to elope also choose to hold their celebration outdoors, where there’s no electricity or decor needs. There’s nothing better than just the natural world surrounding you in all it’s goodness. And, with fewer guests, the carbon footprint of travel is insignificant compared to those big weddings!
An eco-conscious photographer
As part of my own dedication to reducing my impact on the environment, my packages include tools and tips to help make my couples’ elopements be even kinder to the planet. I offer an eco-friendly planning guide, personal guidance that reduces your impact. I even offset the carbon footprint of travel associated with your wedding through Conservation International for both myself and you two.
Your dollars make a difference, even on your wedding day. When eloping, you’re making the responsible and respectful choice for the environment and standing by your values.
Elopements Offer More Intimacy
Perfect for introverts
For people who typically don’t like to be in the spotlight & believe personal moments should be personal, a traditional wedding might seem like your worst nightmare. Even extroverts might be uncomfortable with traditional weddings, which can feel more like a performance than an authentic expression of their love. On a stage in front of a crowd of people, many of whom don’t know your relationship well, might not feel like a natural way to wed.
I’m a big ole’ introvert myself, so I’ve had all these same thoughts when it comes to my own wedding one day. I love people (I’m not a wedding videographer and photographer for nothing!), but I enjoy them most in small group settings. This is where we get to relax and connect authentically. The thought of bringing all my friends and family from various social circles and places together is a little terrifying, and it might be for you, too. So, I’m here to tell you that’s okay, and bravely choosing to elope might be the best choice for you.
A simpler alternative
Elopements are the simpler alternative to the hype of traditional weddings. For introverts, all the socializing of weddings might feel like a big responsibility and just plain exhausting. Instead of big crowds and small talk, couples get to engage genuinely with the people they care about the most (or just each other!). Instead of a busy wedding day full of tasks and overwhelming timelines, the simplicity of elopements is often far more enjoyable. Not to mention, your wedding is one of the most important opportunities of your life for you to be vulnerable, open, and honest. It’s worth making sure you’re creating a space that supports that experience fully. I’ve seen first hand how elopements can make even the most quiet couple comfortable with sharing their feelings.
Elopements are More Spacious.
With an elopement you can plan your day to do whatever you want—there are no rules! But it’s also spacious, allowing you to take extra time to soak up every precious moment whenever you please. Maybe you want to extend your morning coffee. Maybe you want to watch the sunrise longer or decide you’d like to hike another mile—your elopement timeline, or lack thereof, offers you the space to do so.
But it’s not only spacious in the timeframe! The emotional range you are able to embrace to experience your day fully is special. Old school weddings are full of distractions and responsibilities. Things that pull the couple away from the experience are constant. With elopements, there’s none of that hectic hustle, so you can actually experience your wedding day. If you invite friends and/or family, you will also have the space to be truly present with them and genuinely engage them in the experience.
Without timelines or expectations or distractions, you will actually have the SPACE to have the day that feels deeply natural to you and your partner.
Elopements Are Pure Freedom.
Do what makes you happy
One of the biggest answers to “why elope“?
There’s no expectation to perform the traditions of a “normal” wedding such as:
- First Dance
- Cake Cutting
- Bouquet Throwing
- Garter Toss
- Public Vows
- Ceremonial Traditions
- First Look
The Choice is yours
If there are elements of traditional weddings you don’t identify with, don’t include them. You’re free to choose whatever location you want, regardless of capacity, accessibility, or design. You’re freed from the obligations of catering to other people’s needs. trying to make their experiences perfect. You could even combine your wedding with your honeymoon. This means you can celebrate your relationship in a beautiful place you love (and likely save money, too).
I’m all about giving my couples options and helping them celebrate their love in a way that feels like their love, and elopements do that! With a small-scale, intimate wedding, you’re free to be the couple you are, no questions asked.
Elopements Inspire Others!
Break the mold
I’ve heard firsthand from couples who decided to forge their own path that they have inspired other people to do the same. When people witness others living their truth and expressing themselves vulnerably, it pushes them to be honest and vulnerable, too. What’s even better is that being honest and vulnerable makes us happier! It’s science, people! (https://www.heysigmund.com/vulnerability-the-key-to-close-relationships/)
The genuine nature of elopements can even inspire people far outside of their wedding days. Witnessing your authenticity with your partner might inspire other couples to be more honest in their relationship, to skip traditions and choose experiences they connect with, or to try new things together. Your elopement might even positively impact the way guests interact in all of their relationships.
Row of Dominos
One elopement leads to another, leads to another, and another. Attending or even hearing about elopements has inspired thousands of couples to create a wedding day of their own, too.
The way you live & the choices you make are powerful
Elopements are such a special way to celebrate your love. They are incredibly authentic and help you interact with your partner, friends and family, and even the earth. But, being able to be yourself is the most important reason of all, don’t you think?