Since 2020, elopements have become popular among couples who are looking for an intimate and unique wedding experience. Destination elopements have become even more of an exciting opportunity for a special wedding day for many couples, too. As a destination elopement wedding photographer who loves capturing one-of-a-kind wedding days, I’m sharing my top 5 reasons to elope in 2023. If you’re not sure the traditional wedding planning route is right for you, come take a look at why an elopement might be just what you need to plan!
Elopements are more affordable.
Weddings are expensive. This is a commonly known fact. In fact, recent numbers show that weddings can cost over $30K – and most of that budget goes to your reception. Elopements are a more affordable option, even if you do travel internationally. Additionally, when you elope, you can focus your budget on what you really want for your wedding day, like traveling abroad, a unique destination or venue, and even the rest of the trip itself. Elopements are truly a budget-friendly option!
Elopements are unique.
While all wedding days are special and unique, elopements off couples a chance to do something extra special. If you’re into hiking, you can tie the knot at the top of the Grand Canyon. Maybe you love Italy – so hosting your ceremony in a hundred year old villa seems more like you! Or maybe you’re an ocean-loving couple and want to say your vows on the white beaches of the Caribbean as the sun goes down. Elopements naturally lend themselves to very unique experiences – so if you want your day to feel special to you, consider eloping in some place that’s meaningful to you.
Elopements are more intimate.
By nature, elopements are super intimate. They’re often just the couple and witnesses, or the couple and their immediate families. This is especially true of destination elopements. If the idea of a 200+ wedding day does not appeal to you, consider an intimate elopement in someplace you’ve always dreamed of traveling. Whether you bring your closest family along or go solo, an elopement allows you to focus on what really matters: you and your partner.
Elopements are less stressful.
Along with being expensive, weddings and wedding planning are known to be full of stress! From all of the decisions to the family dynamics at play, there’s a lot going on at any given moment for a couple who’s planning a wedding. Avoid the drama and plan a small elopement that focuses on what you really want and need. Additionally, elopements often involve way fewer vendors than a traditional wedding day. Fewer people to contact, schedule, and coordinate with also means less stress for the (almost) newlyweds!
Elopements often take you somewhere new.
Many couples are planning destination elopements abroad – in places like Italy and France (two super romantic countries, by the way!). Part of the fun of an elopement is that you can plan a whole trip around whatever destination you choose to get married in. This is a great time to create some truly special memories with your new spouse (and whoever traveled with you!). You should also consider an extra portrait session in whatever location you travel to! What a fun memory to have forever.
How to Plan Your Destination Elopement in 2023
Now that you’re convinced it’s time to plan an elopement in 2023, how do you actually go about it all? Planning an elopement is much easier than planning a full wedding day.
The first thing to do is to pick where you want to elope. Decide if that location will be domestic here in the US or an international trip abroad. Some of my favorite places for elopements are in the heart of Italy and in Paris. Both cities are so romantic and full of old-world charm! After you know where you want to travel to get married, hire a wedding planner who specializes in destination elopements or works in the country you’re planning your celebration in. About this time, you should also decide who is going to be invited – family, friends, or no one at all.
After those big decisions are made, it’s time to hire your elopement wedding photographer! As you’re looking for a destination elopement photographer, look closely at their portfolio. Do they travel? What kind of images do they create in those special locations? Be sure to ask about packages, travel, and lodging for them so you can include that information in your budget!
If you’re planning to elope in 2023, let’s talk! I absolutely love intimate elopements as a wedding photographer. They’re so special and such a great insight into my couples and their love story. I love watching them be free and so excited on their wedding day – and they’re always such beautiful days!