I love elopements! They are so joyous and completely centred around the most important people – the bride and groom. I love that they are so individual and because they are so small both in terms of numbers attending and content, as a celebrant I can really use my creativity to make the ceremony as memorable as possible. The couple too can have free rein over what they want to say to each other. There are just the two of you, speaking from the heart, each to the other.
So, what is an elopement?
The word “elopement” is somewhat old-fashioned. Historically, a couple eloped and married in secret because their marriage was not approved of by their family. Nowadays, the meaning of the term “elopement” has changed and no longer refers to couples running away from disapproving family to tie the knot. Today it is more about small, intimate ceremonies with only the bride and groom, the celebrant and photographer and maybe a small select bridal party.
The decision to elope
Choosing an elopement wedding is a difficult decision to make. Couples worry about offending and upsetting their family and friends. But more and more of today’s couples are moving away from the traditional ideas of what a wedding should be. They want to be able to choose where, how and when they have their wedding. They want a wedding which suits their style, a wedding that reflects their personalities and a wedding that is more about themselves than it is about pleasing everyone else.
Why choose to elope?
With the cost and extravagance of weddings rising year on year and the pressure from social media to have the “perfect” wedding, it comes as no surprise that the number of couples considering an elopement as an alternative wedding is on the increase.
An elopement is much less expensive. The cost is greatly reduced when there are only the two of you to cater for rather than a room full of guests.
Also, all those guest list dilemmas are eradicated, as the wedding party is just the bride and groom, your celebrant and your photographer. The structure of modern families has changed over the years and has become more complex in a lot of cases, so family politics may be a factor in a couple deciding that a large, elaborate wedding is not for them. The number of second and subsequent marriages has been steadily rising and a smaller, more intimate wedding may be a preferred choice this time around, particularly if either or both had an elaborate “do” the first time. An elopement wedding may just be a matter of preference for a private, more intimate ceremony for purely romantic reasons. You may just want to simply make your vows to each other without any fuss, but with all the romance.
Your wedding, your way
The growing trend for more intimate, bespoke ceremonies has also seen the increase in popularity of elopements. Having the freedom to choose the perfect location for their elopement is also a bonus for couples. The venue can be in a favourite beauty spot, beside a river or lake, in a beautiful woodland amongst the bluebells or in their own garden or they can elope to a beach in some far-off place where they can honeymoon afterwards. After taking care of the legalities at the local register office, the rest of the celebrations are up to you. By eloping, you can be sure that every part of your wedding is just for you. The difference between an elopement wedding and a “traditional” wedding is the focus is on the celebration of the marriage rather than the hosting of a wedding. That said, some couples choose to open their celebration and include a very small party of their family and friends, so they feel they are sharing their love with the people closest to them. By choosing to elope, you can have a wedding that is personal and deeply romantic. No stressing of the small things, just an incredible joyous occasion. However you choose to elope you will have the most amazing day and together with your celebrant you can create the most magical memorable day of your dreams. If you are planning to get married, eloping is one of the most beautifully romantic and intensely personal ways to do it and it is also great fun!