Why Do Couples Choose To Elope?

A quick disclaimer about elopements before I explain the top 10 reasons to elope. Elopements are not in anyway less than having a wedding, and vise versa. Both ways to celebrate your love are genuine, authentic, and intentional. They offer a different wedding experience and that’s ok if you choose one over the other.

After photographing unique weddings and elopements since I first started photography in 2020 I have seen a very similar pattern on why couples are choosing to elope instead of having a wedding.

If you are thinking about planning an elopement, maybe overwhelmed with the idea of wedding planning, or just want a unique wedding experience – here are some reasons why an elopement may be a better option for you.

Reason to Elope #1 – You Want a “Just Us” Wedding Experience

One of the main reasons to elope couples tell me during our initial phone call is they want a wedding surrounded with nature and to do what they want. They aren’t a fan of the big celebration / reception party. Or they prefer sharing the moment with their partner and maybe some close friends and family around.

Eloping is perfect option for couples who don’t enjoy the big crowd type or traditional wedding experiences. An elopement is the day you commit your love to each other for the rest of your life however you want. Learn more about my definition of eloping and why elopements are important to Escape and Adventure in a separate blog post.

“We don’t want to worry about anyone but us. It’s our wedding day, no one else’s”
– Katie & Victor.

Reason to Elope #2 – Weddings Cost Way Too Much Money

When you’re planning a wedding, everything adds up fast.

According to The Knot the average cost of a traditional wedding is up to $34,000. Eloping, you’re going to save money by cutting out the unneeded expenses that don’t add to your experience (table decorations, DJ, 50+ people catering, etc).

Choosing to elope you get to decide what’s important to you and what you want to spend your money on. Prefer to spend money on experiences like flying in a helicopter over an iceberg in Alaska? Or watch the sunset in a hot air balloon? The choice is yours!

You have nature as your venue and you get to choose where you can say I do. You don’t need fancy decorations or music playing as you exchange vows (unless you want to, then I am all for it!).

Here’s a link to our elopement pricing calculator.

Reason to Elope #3 – Planning a Wedding Is Stressful

When you first get engaged and the thought of planning a wedding sounds fun at first. You fill up your Pinterest boards with so many ideas and can’t wait to see your vision become a reality.

Then your big day gets closer and you start to realize:

  • Who do I invite?
  • How do I tell this person they are not invited?
  • Where do I even begin?
  • Why does this cost so much?
  • What party favors do I need to buy? Do I even need party favors?

The thoughts are never ending leading up to your wedding day. Then the night before your wedding comes and you forgot to write your vows and you end up getting less sleep than you’d like.

Your wedding experience does not deserve to be full of stress and overwhelming feelings.

You deserve to experience a less stressful free wedding day. Eloping may involve some planning but that’s why you hire an elopement photographer who also does the planning for you! All you need is to pick out your attire, maybe some flowers, and anything else you’d want to experience like getting your hair and makeup professionally done. And that’s it!

How do you avoid all the stress and planning for your elopement? Here’s a few tips.

Reason to Elope #4 – You Want to Avoid the Partying and Drama

Any time family or friends come together it is common there may be a bit of history left unsolved and it so happens to be brought up during your wedding day. Maybe not that? Maybe you just don’t want a bunch of your family members with you to celebrate your special day.

If you don’t want anyone (or someone specific) at your wedding day and they may have a problem with it, that’s on them. There’s nothing wrong with you wanting to not invite a specific guest to avoid drama.

I don’t mean to be harsh but it’s the truth and a concern I see all the time!


If someone is upset they aren’t invited to your wedding then that’s on them for getting upset. They should be happy you’re marrying your best friend. Don’t let their negative thoughts ruin your happiness.

If you’re planning a wedding to accommodate an enormous guest list and make everyone happy, that is a good reason why an elopement is better for you. You should celebrate your love the way you want. The way that makes your heart happy.

If inviting a few friends and family is what you still desire and you want to elope then go for it! It’s your wedding day and your happiness is so important.

Reason to Elope #5 – You Want a More Eco-Friendly Wedding Day

Not only does planning a wedding cost a lot of money, it produces a ton of waste. Your wedding day often requires a lot of single use items like flowers, party favors, food that won’t get eaten, and so much more.

When you choose to elope you don’t have to worry about party favors or flower decorations. You have the beautiful world we live in as your wedding venue (one of my favorite reasons to elope).

If you follow the Leave No Trace philosophy (LNT) you know that you will create a better eco footprint by not disturbing the beautiful planet with extra waste or footing during your wedding day.

So grab your favorite outfit (or your dream wedding attire), a bouquet of flowers if you want, and your marriage license, and hike to your favorite spot in nature. Because that’s all you really need for your wedding day!

Reason to Elope #6 – Getting Married Outdoors Means We Get to Adventure

Like I mentioned above, having the beautiful world we live in as your wedding venue is one of my favorites reasons to elope. Another one of my favorite reasons to elope is you get to adventure!

You don’t have a strict timeline to follow. You don’t need to be ready at a specific time for cocktail hour before your grand entrance. You get to choose where you want to go, what you want to do, and how long you want to adventure during your elopement.

The thing about adventuring is it isn’t having to go do extreme activities you see on tv with the warning “do not attempt at home” like skydiving, bungee jumping, or scuba diving. Adventure is exploring some place new as extreme or unpretentious as you desire.

If you are an adrenaline junkie and crave that extra boost of endorphins, then why not plan a white water rafting excursion or paragliding adventure during your wedding day?!

No matter what you wedding day looks like, simple and sweet or epic multi mile hiking extravaganza, both are amazing and you get to choose how you can spend your day!

Reason to Elope #7 – Eloping Is Easier Than Having a Wedding

Planning a wedding takes more time to figure out than just eloping. Eloping can literally be as easy as grabbing your marriage license, going to a beautiful spot in nature, celebrate your marriage with an elopement activity, and that’s it!

You don’t have a strict timeline to follow. You don’t need to be ready at a specific time for cocktail hour before your grand entrance. You get to choose where you want to go, what you want to do, and how long you want to adventure during your elopement.

As your photographer and elopement planner you can sit back and enjoy planning the little things, like finding the best wedding attire, while I spend endless hours searching for the perfect ceremony location in nature and planning your timeline to create your best day ever.

See examples on elopement vs wedding differences here.

Reason to Elope #8 – You Want to Spend Money on Experiences Over Decorations

When planning a traditional wedding, you tour a super simple venue that fits all your guests in one space. The venue space usually includes tables, chairs, tableware, and that’s about it. The flowers, cute fairy lights, party favors, or custom placement settings you will have to purchase separately from the venue rental fee.

For some couples, that is not their ideal way to spend their wedding budget on things that don’t celebrate their love the way they want. Instead, it is one of their big reasons to elope.

You save more money choosing to elope than having a wedding because you don’t have to worry about putting a deposit down for renting a venue on your wedding day or buying centerpieces to make the tables look more presentable. Which means you’ll have more money to spend on celebrating your love the way you want!

Now just because couples say they would rather spend their budget on eloping than a wedding, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want to spend money on decorations and the little things. It just means they prefer to spend their budget differently.

Instead of spending $10k for renting a venue and $5k for flowers, you could go on your dream vacation AND get married AND spend your honeymoon at that spot!

If you enjoy experiences over stuff, you’ll enjoy eloping a lot more than a wedding! Here’s a blog post for what to do if you’re thinking about eloping instead of having a wedding.

Reason to Elope #9 – Reading Vows to Each Other in Private at a Beautiful and Meaningful Location

Out of many reasons to elope, this is a very important one.

Reading your vows to the love of your life is such a personal and intimate moment together. Sometimes sharing your heart with each other in front of others can feel embarrassing and maybe want you to hold back on sharing how you really feel.

Eloping gives you the opportunity to have an intimate and authentic wedding experience. You can choose to either invite your closest friends and family members or have a “just us” wedding experience without being the center of attention or judgement.

You get to be exactly who you are with just your best friend and nature by your side.

Reason to Elope #10 – You Want Amazing & Unique Photos to Show Off

One of the biggest reasons to elope is exactly about what the title says. YOU WANT AMAZING AND UNIQUE PHOTOS.

Yes you can get awesome photos at your wedding venue but it’s not everyday you see someone’s wedding photos at a national park or out of the country in front of beautiful scenery you don’t get to experience everyday.

When you look back on your photos you can relive all those special moments and emotions for the rest of your life.

Your photos are meant to capture your love in a way that is truly you!

If you’re looking for a more romantic and meaningful wedding experience, eloping is for you.

Hey, I’m Kelcee!

I would love to be your ADVENTURE elopement photographer

I’ve been capturing elopements since 2021, and it’s my passion to help adventurous couples like you create the perfect wedding day.

Your elopement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you deserve the support to make it uniquely yours. Together, we’ll create quality memories that beautifully tell your love story, lasting a lifetime.