What is an elopement and why should you do it?

February 14, 2021

Today's couples are waiting longer and longer to get married than previous generations. 91% of millennials planning a future wedding would consider eloping, and three out of five already married millennials would elope if it all happened again. Searches for elopement photography ideas on Pinterest increased 128 percent in 2019, and other related terms like "elopements at city halls" and "elopements in forests" also saw volume increases, says Wikipedia.

What exactly is an elopement? 

A synonym for elopement would be the word escape. Historically, elopements took place when a couple wanted to marry in secret because permission was not expected. As times change, so does the definition of elopement. The modern couple rarely needs permission, but the romantic idea of ​​running hand in hand to exchange secret vows is still appealing. 

The romantic idea of ​​running hand in hand to exchange secret vows is still appealing

These days, everyone has their own definition of what eloping actually is. Some see eloping as an intentionally small and intimate wedding that allows the focus to be on the bond between the couple. Eloping is an opportunity for two people to determine what is truly important to them in their future lives, rather than adhering to a tradition they may not identify with. While others see eloping as an escape that often includes close family and friends. In today's modern age, most professionals in the elopement industry view anything under 25 participants as an elopement.

No matter what your reason for choosing to elope, we bring you a few suggestions for a successful elopement.

Don't feel bad about the reasons

Weddings are an occasion where the family comes together. If the parents on either side of the family don't really agree, the couple may decide not to have a wedding at all and elope instead. Cultural differences can also play a role.

There can be a lot of guilt involved in running away, so it’s often easier said than done. Try not to feel bad about it. The most important thing is for the couple to follow their own desires and take the path that makes them happy.

Eloping completely takes away the pressure of planning the perfect wedding. A wedding can still be romantic, but inexpensive and less stressful. Saving money, avoiding hassle, keeping things intimate and personal or avoiding family drama are completely valid reasons to elope. You may value experiences more than things, so decide to invest in an epic and intimate experience during an inexpensive party.

Marriage license

Even couples who choose to elope need to make a few plans to ensure their ceremony is seamless and legal. Depending on the location, the couple should contact their local city hall to find out the requirements for a marriage license. 

Some places require an appointment, a waiting period and certain witnesses to perform a ceremony or issue a marriage license. The couple will also likely need their birth certificate and official identification. So if you're planning to get married at your destination, be sure to check the local laws before you leave.

Choose a destination

Unless it is a truly spontaneous decision, you should do some planning for your elopement. You need to pick the location. Be sure to take care of your travel arrangements early. We bring you 100 of the most breathtaking places to elope in Australia so you can match your inspiration with one of these amazing locations. Spotfood can help you find the perfect vendors for your elopement on your decided location, just sign up, set an event location and we'll connect you to vendors you need to have your perfect elopement.

Unless it is a truly spontaneous decision, you should do some planning for your elopement

Do this as far in advance as possible to save money and avoid stress. When thinking about elopement, you should choose a place that has meaning to both of you.

Consider a elopement package

Just like the Eloping.com.au says, elopement packages are a variety of elopement services or products all bundled together under the one package. That makes having an elopement a really easy and convenient process. Elopement packages normally include a celebrant, photographer and flowers. But any number of other services and products can be added to the package including a location, hair and makeup, music and a videographer.

An elopement package does all the hard work for you. You just need to show up and have a great time at your elopement. These packages are a great step-by-step guide to planning your small wedding at a specific venue you are interested in. 

And if you don't want to go with an elopement package, Spotfood also helps you find the best vendors at your elopement location. Spotfood works only with reliable vendors who have experience planning and documenting elopements in that area. 

Make it special

Even if you never dreamed of planning your wedding day as a kid, you don't want to look back on your decision with regret. If you make your elopement special to you as a couple, you won't have any feelings of elopement regret. You can find many elopement ceremony ideas on Pinterest and they all look wonderful.

Elopement weddings offer couples full command of their day. With less people in attendance, you don’t have to make concessions to please everyone. Attire can vary, ceremonies can be religious or secular, you can choose to have a reception or to skip it. They can be spur-of-the-moment or you can plan them out a year in advance. This day is about your commitment to each other, so, why not take the financial and social pressures off the table? That way you can focus on what’s most important - each other, says Simplyeloped.com.

Elopement weddings offer couples full command of their day

Give yourself permission to put your happiness first and start your marriage the way you want. In the end, your marriage is personal and the only people who have the right to be a part of it are you and your partner.

Throw a post-elopement party

If you are thinking about elopement, consider the risk factors to decide if elopement is a good decision. Elopement often refers to a marriage that is done suddenly and secretly. Because of the rushed and secretive nature of the situation, there are certainly some risks involved.

To avoid getting into awkward situations, have a party to announce your elopement with your closest friends and family and answer questions as they arise. It's a nice gesture to show your loved ones that a private elopement doesn't mean you want to shut them out. Tell them the story of your day. You might even have some elopement photos to show them. We wrote about how to pick the best photographer for your wedding day here to help you out.

Remember, just because they weren't there doesn't mean they don't want to see how everything went, and you definitely want to share one of the most important days of your life with your loved ones.