What do you think when you hear the word elopement? Does a “shotgun drive thru Las Vegas wedding” come to the forefront of your mind? There’s definitely a stigma around the word elopement and what it means in a traditional sense. In the past few years the wedding industry has been rocked by the radical popularity of elopements. Elopements are attractive because they are low maintenance and the call of a laid back adventure can outweigh the planning and stress. Your wedding day should be about what you want. If that’s a drive thru service in Las Vegas? So be it. If it’s on top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. So be it. Wear a white dress, don’t wear a white dress. Do the first, don’t do the first look. Do flowers or don’t do flowers. Just remember that the day is yours. If you’re second guessing your current wedding plans or have been considering what would be the perfect wedding elopement, then this post is for you.

It’s a chance to do something epic and spontaneous
When is the last time you’ve done something crazy with the love of your life? There’s a quote that says “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” There’s a lot of truth to that! What if you stopped planning your wedding and started planning for the rest of your life? What’s a more epic way to profess your love than on a whim? Even if you’re a type A planner, you can still make it happen with an elopement. Instead of planning for catering and flowers, you can plan a hike to the top of a mountain or a casual barbecue on a Hawaiian beach. The greatest adventure will be marriage; you might as well start it that way. It’s a metaphor for what’s to come!

It’s less stressful
The pressure for weddings can leave some people frustrated and unsatisfied. Which is such a shame because your wedding day is supposed to be the greatest day of your life! I was recently talking with my mom about her wedding and one thing she always mentions is how stressed out she was from the expectations that various family members had. By the end she had little choice over her first dance choice, the venue, and the bridesmaid’s dresses. Trying to keep up with the latest trends can cause burn out. I’ve seen dozens of pins on Pinterest sharing advice about taking to go plates for your wedding cake (just in case you forget to eat it because you’re so busy). SAY WHAT. Why do they have to be such a blur? Why is it that wedding days aren’t seen as relaxing? Some people thrive off of chaos, while others would rather be in quiet stillness with the love of their life. There’s room for both types of people, but if you like the latter, eloping might be for you.

It’s better for the environment
I’m going to get up on my soap box here for a minute, but something needs to be said. The planet is suffering and we are at fault for it. We’ve abused it and thrown things away carelessly without much thought of where it might go. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors as much as me, it’s painful seeing a piece of trash tarnishing the views of a National Park, or anywhere in the outdoors for that matter. Want to know a huge contributor of waste every year? The wedding industry. The average wedding proceeds 400-600 pounds of waste. Consider how much energy and production goes into decorations that get thrown out, balloons, left over food, utensils, invites and save the dates, gift wrapping, air travel, and the list goes on. Eloping cuts down the environmental toll that we put on the earth.

You can do whatever you want
You have freedom with anything you want when it comes to an elopement. You can elope anywhere. You don’t have to answer to anyone except you and your partner. You have the choice to invite the people that matter to you the most. If you’re nervous about sharing vows in front of 100 people, you can trade that in for sharing with just one person. You can create your own traditions. Wear a red dress. Put wildflowers in your hair. Go barefoot. Go to In-And-Out for dinner. Eat donuts. Wear a Hawaiian shirt. Dance to Irish folk music. Run into the ocean. Get ready together. Go horseback riding. Go skinny dipping. Snowboarding, drive off road, or skydive. The opportunities are endless, and they’re all up to you!

You can save money and spend it on better things
The wedding industry is insane. The average wedding is around $30,000. Most venues will cost you around $10,000-15,000. The numbers start to add up quickly. Take the money that you would spend on a large wedding and elope somewhere EPIC. Somewhere that’s on your bucket list. Take that money and fly your loved ones out with you. Put it as a down payment on your dream home. Book a helicopter ride. Fly to the other side of the world. Spend more of that money on an extended honeymoon. Get a killer rock to put on your finger. Brainstorm what you would do like the section above, the opportunities are endless. The key is to spend money on things that will last longer than the day itself. Photos will last forever and so will your memories. Not flowers, cake, or the DJ. You might as well make it count!

Whatever your flavor is when it comes to love, think “couple first.” At the end of the day, it’s about you two and the beginning of a lifelong commitment. If you could elope in the world, where would it be?