Let’s be real, a traditional wedding isn’t for everyone. There are a whole number of reasons why couples might choose to plan an elopement experience instead of planning a traditional wedding day. Today I wanted to talk a little about the top 3 reasons that many couples identify as the reason that THEY went the elopement route for their wedding day. Although the exact specifics to their reason will be unique for each couple, the foundational theme will almost always tie back to these 3 reasons.
A “Just Us” experience
The big wedding party, the hundreds of guests, the whole “show” of going through a large traditional wedding isn’t for everyone. If it’s not for you, you should know that you aren’t alone! It’s one of the most common reasons that couple’s list for not wanting to have a larger traditional wedding. Not everyone enjoys being the center of attention, and the idea of having so many eyes on you is overwhelming. How could you possibly have meaningful interactions with each of your guests? How could you possibly have an enjoyable experience WITH YOUR SPOUSE?!? Even if you invite just 50 guests, and want to spend 3 minutes with each of them on your wedding day, that is exactly two and a half hours of just interacting with your guests! No timeline in the history of weddings has that kind of time set aside for socializing.
You often hear from married couples how their wedding day was a blur, that they really don’t have many lasting memories of their day, and that it felt rushed and out of their control. Couples choosing to elope often decide that they want to plan a day that is 100% about them. It’s not about putting on a party for all of their friends and family to enjoy, or doing something only because you are expected to. For them, their wedding is about prioritizing themselves, their experience, and their love first!
That’s the beauty of an elopement, you can prioritize the things that matter to you, and ONLY those things. You can cut out all of the things that you don’t like or want about traditional wedding days, keep the things you do, and plan something incredible. Which brings me to the next reason – intentional and authentic experiences.
Intentional and Authentic Experiences
When you elope, you get to make the rules for your wedding day. You can strip away the expectations, and outside pressures often associated with a traditional wedding experience, and create the day around your priorities. You get to be yourselves, to live in the moments, to allow yourself to feel all of the emotions authentically and without hesitation, you get to experience the freedom to just be you!
So much of a traditional wedding day is about putting on a show. It’s about being the center of attention, and the host of a party that can sometimes be more about your guests than it is about the two of you! Your entire day is put on a schedule, that is dictated to you about where you need to be, when you need to be there, and for how long you can stay before the next thing on the list. Even the vendors that you hired to help you with your wedding day can become controlling and demanding as their desires and needs of you can become put in front of the desires that you both have.
Sure there will be a game plan and a timeline for every wedding day regardless of the type of experience that is decided on, but generally speaking the timelines for an elopement day are much more fluid and intended to serve as a guide and order of events than as a set schedule of time allotments.
Minimize Stress and Drama
It’s no secret that wedding planning is stressful, and more often than not that stress doesn’t just end with the planning. When you are dealing with what is very likely most expensive day a person will ever have, it creates a stress all of it’s own. Mix in some alcohol, some potential friendship or family drama, and it’s the perfect storm for a stress filled day!
There are many reasons why wedding days can be stressful, between choosing your wedding party, your best man/maid of honor, who to invite, who not to invite, potential drama between friends, potential drama between family members or divorced parents and it can end up being an explosive situation! I know I’ve seen plenty of weddings first hand that someone ended up having a little too much to drink at the reception and caused a scene. Sometimes it’s resolved peacefully, but sometimes it escalates into a nightmare scenario that can derail the entire day!
Nobody really plans or intends for these kinds of things to happen, but it’s definitely something that we have all heard or read the horror stories about. Obviously everyone’s situation is different, but one reason that many couples choose to elope is to avoid that potential all together. By keeping the guests list extremely intimate, couples regain that control of who participates in their celebration with them.
This isn’t all to say that a traditional wedding cannot be an amazing experience for some couples, it totally can be. But for some couples, the idea of a more intimate experience is more in line with their vision and values for their wedding day. If you’re hesitant about the potential drama and stress of a larger wedding, an elopement might be for you! Likewise, if you are less inclined to like being the center of attention and aren’t really into the idea of hosting a large party, something more intimate and intentional might be the answer you have been looking for =)