Five Reasons to Elope

5 reasons to elope: Cliffside elopement with just this couple for an intimate way to start their life together. More and more couples are choosing to elope so the day is truly about their shared connection and what they want their day to be like.

Elope. Kind of a strange word, huh?. For me it used to conjure images of black and white films, a girl holding a suitcase with a scarf covering her head, running into the night to meet a boy holding open the taxi door. As with everything else about language, things evolve and meanings change. Eloping isn’t the clandestine affair it used to be. More and more couples are choosing to elope and for a variety of reasons. Here are the five I hear the most:

Reason to elope #1 – Couples want a “just us” experience on their wedding day.

More couples are opting to design a wedding experience that is all their own. Maybe they love to adventure but hiking with a traditional group of 200 wedding guests would be impossible. Some of them feel that their wedding day is all about their connection and so they choose to elope so that they can visit locations and plan activities that will celebrate and deepen their connection as a couple. As an elopement photographer, I have stood on the cliffside in Malibu as a couple read their vows to each other and been in awe of their self-awareness and bravery. In a world that is often about the status quo, these couples are doing what they want to do. It’s their day and choosing to elope gives them the chance to make it so.

Wedding vows on the beach by the Santa Monica pier. This elopement would not have happened with 200 guests in tow. Visiting a place that has special meaning to them made this couples day just what they were looking for.

#2 – Couples want to skip the drama.

Let’s face it, no family is perfect but there are more and more couples who are saying no to the big, traditional wedding to spare themselves the drama. Of course, some families can keep it together for such a special occasion but often, it’s not even about the day. It’s the what if’s and the stress and anxiety of wondering if someone, anyone will ruin their big day by causing a scene. Yes, it’s unfortunate (trust me…been there, done that) and so many couples are choosing to ditch the stress and anticipation and elope. This allows them to either spend the day just the two of them or invite select friends and family to join them on their wedding day.

#3 – Couples don’t want to be the center of attention at a huge gathering

For years and years, it was just expected that couples would have a big wedding and suffer through being in the spotlight, whether they wanted to or not. More and more, they are choosing to go a different way. Elopements and intimate weddings have gained so much popularity over the last 5-7 years, with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic increasing that number even more. Pandemic aside, these ‘alternative’ weddings are here to stay, as more people looking to tie the knot opt for a ‘just us’ or smaller wedding party experience. Whether that ends up being a full-on elopement far away from home, a few chosen guests in tow, or an intimate backyard wedding, the options are expanding and I am delighted. These types of specialized, intimate affairs are what make my heart so happy as an elopement photographer. The joy I feel seeing my clients get the day that they want (and deserve!) will never cease to inspire awe. I mean, family and societal pressure for that big, traditional wedding can feel overwhelming and I’m here to encourage and support anyone who chooses a more intimate wedding experience!

If a peaceful wedding day is what you crave, elopement just might be the way to go. Check out these 5 reasons couples elope.

#4 – Authenticity

Authenticity is something that often takes us years to implement into our lives. So many people do what’s popular or what their friends are doing, not because they want to but because they are just trying to fit in. I hope that eventually, each one of us will be able to live a life that is authentic and not worry about what others think.  

No two elopements are exactly alike and there is so much more flexibility in a wedding experience like these that the options are endless. Most importantly, at love + travel, I strive to really get to know my couples so that I can tell their story in a way that is authentic to them. I want to capture all of the moments of your day, from reading your vows to “that look” your partner gives you that sends chills down your spine. For me, telling your story through photographs is the highest honor.

#5 – Couples want to make their wedding an experience they can enjoy

Don’t get me wrong, big wedding can be a lot of fun but between worrying about the menu, if you’ll give out favors, if everyone will enjoy the DJ (band, string quartet.)…you see where I’m going with this. Instead of worrying about all the stuff, eloping couples want to focus on the experience. Sometimes this means taking the day for themselves and sometimes it means being honest about who they really want to share the day with. Either way, choosing how and where they will say their vows becomes the focus of the day. Of course, lots of couples choose to keep lots of tradition in their elopement by still having a first look, exchanging gifts, having a first dance, but when the only people you have to worry about is YOU, things become much clearer.

Well, there are the top five reasons I hear from couples. The bottom line is that every person should get the day that they have been dreaming of, whether that is a huge wedding and reception, a just us elopement or a small intimate wedding. And here’s the thing, you should have the wedding experience that feels right for you as a couple. So if no one in your life has said that to you, I’m saying it now! 

It has been a huge honor to help couples get the day that they deserve. I may be an elopement photographer, a job I love with all my heart, but I am just as much a guide and cheerleader for my couples….and I would never want it any other way. The beauty of working closely with a couple to get to know what makes them who they are and then helping to craft a wedding experience that suits them perfectly will never be lost on me.

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