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Every bride wants a carefree wedding day. Getting there is a different story. You might start planning your ceremony and feel stress building with each decision. Elopement is an alternative option that may be right for you. So what does elope mean? Read on to discover the definition of eloping and what it could mean for your wedding.
What is the Traditional Elope Definition?
Eloping has a bad reputation with traditional crowds. The dictionary defines eloping as running away to get married secretly, sometimes without parental consent. It may also mean running away from your current spouse with your secret lover, but that definition isn’t part of the mainstream usage.
Many cultures expected people to ask for their partner’s parents’ permission to propose in the past. Getting married without that permission would have been extremely rude. Some people still subscribe to this lifestyle, but eloping has become much more popular in recent years.
How Do Brides Elope Today?
Modern elopements have much more flexible definitions. They don’t always happen against any parents’ wills and sometimes aren’t even a surprise. A couple might use the term to escape the rigidity of traditional ceremonies. Sometimes brides don’t find any venues they like or don’t care for a big white ball gown.
Eloping is also preferable for brides on a budget. It’s much more casual, so you only have to pay for the few ceremonial parts you want. Instead of stressing about napkins and tea lights, you can focus on what makes weddings memorable to you.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Eloping?
Any wedding style has pros and cons that every bride should seriously consider. Check out a few of these factors to see if eloping is more your style.
Pro: Less Wedding Planning Stress
Even if you host your wedding at home, there are still so many responsibilities to shoulder. You’ll have to figure out how much your guests will eat during your reception, what music will please everyone and which bakery can make a fantastic cake. Every time you make a decision, there are two more to solve.
Eloping takes all of those decisions away. Keep things simple by having a drive-thru ceremony or asking a friend to become an officiant. Say your vows at your favorite restaurant or even over a video call so everything’s quick and easy.
Con: You May Have New Worries
Skipping a big ceremony can be a huge relief, but it can also introduce new sources of anxiety. You might worry that you’ll regret not doing something more traditional later on or passing on a wedding photographer when you wish you had more photos.
You could also accidentally not schedule enough time to prep your skin and hair for your wedding look. Moving the date up gives you less time to think things through, which could make you more nervous than any previous wedding planning stress.
Pro: You Can Go Straight to Your Honeymoon
Traveling the world together is always exciting. It’s even better when you’ve just become newlyweds. Eloping cuts to the chase so you can go exploring with your spouse and direct all your finances towards that big trip.
The average couple spends up to $4,466 on their honeymoon, but it depends on your plans. If you don’t need to save for an expensive wedding, you can always go somewhere more luxurious and splurge on resorts or excursions.
Con: Loved Ones May Feel Left Out
Eloping sometimes only involves a couple and their preferred witness, which makes loved ones feel left out. Your grandparents may have always looked forward to seeing you walk down the aisle. Maybe friends wanted to be there to celebrate with you.
The good news is that it’s easy to create a guest list for any elopement. Invite a handful of loved ones to attend the ceremony and you can still make your wedding as laid-back as you want.
Pro: It’s Better for the Environment
Some wedding trends create waste and hurt the environment, which might make eloping align more with your sustainable lifestyle. You won’t need single-use plastics and an overabundance of food for a big guest list when your reception is a simple meal at home with family.
Con: You Won’t Get Wedding Gifts
It’s fun to open housewarming wedding gifts after your ceremony. Without a guest list, you might not have anything waiting for you at home like a new blender or set of sheets. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to move in with your partner after your ceremony and would appreciate gifts that make your space immediately homier.
Pro: You Could Save Tons of Money
Eloping could mean getting married by a friend in your backyard or hosting a small ceremony in your hometown. The smaller ceremony will save a significant amount of money compared to venues, caterers and vendors that typically cost brides tens of thousands of dollars.
Con: You’ll Handle More by Yourself
Brides typically don’t hire a wedding planner to handle their elopement because it’s a quick deal. Although that saves you time and money, you’ll also have to coordinate everything yourself. It might still be too much to handle if you’re always busy or need an extra hand making your wedding happen.
What Does Elope Mean? Make It Your Own
What does it mean to elope? The best part about eloping is that you can make it mean whatever you want. Go super small with your ceremony or make it an intimate day with your closest loved ones. You’ll figure out the best plan for your wedding once you embrace the freedom that comes with breaking marital traditions.
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