Elopements have been increasing in popularity across the world over the last couple of years. The events of 2020 have meant that more couples are considering ditching the big traditional wedding, for a more intimate personal wedding experience. It may not be for everyone but the modern couple has options having the big church wedding is one option, but eloping on a beach in Hawaii, a mountain top in Scotland, or on a volcano in Iceland are all viable options too.
Eloping is a personal decision and couples do it for many reasons. We’ve listed our top ten reasons to elope in 2021.
1. The freedom to be unapologetically you.
To be free to express your love in a non-conforming way is liberating. As soon as you banish the belief that your wedding has to include x, y and z, you open up all the possibilities in the world to celebrate how you want to.
You want your day to be an authentic representation of you, your values as a couple and fundamentally reflect who you are. For many people, a large conventional wedding just doesn’t do this.
Elopements help to transfer the focus from a public performance in front of everybody you know to a day completely about you and your commitment to each other and what you want your day to be.
You don’t want religious vows? You can’t relate to some of the patriarchal wedding traditions? Then skip them. Eloping means you can make everything unique to you, from what you say, what you do on the day, to where you say ‘I do’.
Eloping removes the need to worry about offending people if they are not on the guest list because you are the only ones on the guest list! Then share incredible imagery with them afterwards to include them.
An elopement is a celebration of the intimacy between the two of you. We feel that you should be able to look back at your wedding day as one of the most enjoyable and favourite days of your life, rather than one of the most stressful and potentially anxiety-inducing.
2. To avoid icky family politics
Getting all your family and friends into one space doesn’t fill every couple with a sense of excitement, for many it can fill them with dread. The fact is some families don’t get on, and all of them have their issues.
Imagine being able to create a safe intimate environment, free from awkward family dynamics and expectations? That’s what eloping is. Not feeling accepted by your family should not be something you are dealing with on your wedding day, so elope just the two of you, or with a handful of your closest people and your wedding will just be about the two of you and your love.
3. To itch that travel bug after lockdown 2020!
We all work way too much these days, and for the last year, none of us has been able to travel and explore this epic planet we live on.
Eloping gives you the opportunity to be very intentional in choosing where the most special of places in the world is that you will say ‘we do’. It can be somewhere that you’ve always dreamed of travelling to, or it could be somewhere that’s already in your hearts. Wedding rules vary around the world but travelling further could mean more scope for getting married in the wild… or on the beach… or even while scuba diving on a coral reef. You can’t do those in England!
Combining your wedding and honeymoon makes an expensive honeymoon destination more affordable, especially when you see the cost-saving from not feeding 100 people.
4. You value experiences over things
When you look back on your wedding day in ten years… even thirty years time, what will be the memories that you cherish? Will it be the wedding favours? The table decorations? The three-course meal you bought for 100 people? No. We can’t say for sure, but we’d bet good money that the memories that come flooding back are that first joyful kiss with your spouse, how you felt amazing in your dress or suit, and linking fingers watching the sunset after hiking to the top of a mountain. The feelings and the experience of your wedding day are what counts.
Eloping gives you the opportunity to strip your wedding back to what really matters to you. Spend your money travelling somewhere epic, buy that outfit that will make you feel like a queen, hire the photographer that will take photos that you’ll look at every year for the rest of your lives. Spend the money on you and not on pleasing other people.
5. To have an intimate experience with no pressure to perform
If you don’t like being the centre of attention, giving a speech and doing the first dance in front of a room of people can feel stressful and worrying.
Eloping takes that huge pressure off your shoulders and allows you to focus on having an intimate experience where you can truly be yourselves. Rather than feeling nervous and anxious on your wedding day, wanting to get parts of it over before you can relax, an elopement day is all excitement and no stress.
Yep we know you are sick of hearing about Covid-19 but it makes our top 10 list of why to elope in 2021. You want to get married now, or maybe you wanted to get married last year, but planning a big wedding feels risky. Elope now, enjoy the intimacy of an elopement somewhere sacred to you, and then throw a party later. Believe us being married is awesome and it’s all about the two of you and your love for each other.
7. To avoid a ‘groundhog day’ wedding
We’ve all been to a lot of weddings. When you look back on them do they all begin to merge into one? Making small talk with people you don’t know for hours over dinner. Hearing the best man’s cringe-worthy jokes. Waiting for the never-ending drinks reception to be over so you can get some food. These things probably sound pretty familiar and the question is – Do you want your wedding to follow the same typical formula?
We’re passionate about saying no to groundhog wedding days. They are fine for some people but you deserve a unique, and epic wedding. Maybe you’ve always wanted to do a parachute jump, or sail the Med on a yacht, or to explore an epic landscape completely different from home. Eloping means you can do any of these things. Whether you have guests or not, no one will ever confuse your wedding with another, and you’ll have memories of your day that are totally different from anyone else in the world.
8. To do away with outdated traditions
Weddings are typically full of tradition, some of which you may like and some not so much. In a typical wedding many of these traditions are commonplace and even expected, but you might have a problem with being ‘given away’ from one man to another, feel that tossing a bouquet does not empower your female friends, or maybe white just isn’t your colour.
We’re going to just say this once- It’s your day so;
You don’t have to wear makeup
You don’t have to wear a typical wedding dress
You don’t have to say religious wedding vows
You don’t have to do the first dance
You don’t have to sleep in separate places the night before the wedding.
You can do these things if you want to, but eloping allows you to pick and choose the traditions that feel right to you, and you could make some new ones up.
9. To save thousands of pounds
Google has various figures for the average cost of a wedding in the UK, but the figure is somewhere between £17,000 and £31,000. That is a tonne of money whichever end of the spectrum your wedding totals. Elopements while still, a serious investment are generally less than a traditional wedding, as they strip back all the extras so you can save thousands that you can spend on your honeymoon, or your house deposit, or keep as savings for a rainy day.
10 To help the planet
The two of you eloping will have far less impact on the planet than a big wedding which will inevitably create waste- leftover food, plastic packaging, decorations. Plus all the carbon emissions of all your guests travelling across the world to be with you.
The carbon footprint of an elopement is far lower which many 2021 couples want as the green credentials of their wedding become more important to them. Eloping also gives you the chance to embrace the natural world, go somewhere quiet and meaningful to you. We can help you have a ‘leave no trace’ elopement so that you can feel great that you’ve minimised your impact on the environment.
We’re Oli and Steph Prince, Scotland based elopement and intimate wedding photographers. Working in the wild, Iceland, Faroes, Greece. Wherever you want to go.