The past couple years, especially as we've dealt with COVID, have seen this really cool shift in wedding trends from traditional weddings towards elopements and intimate weddings. For many years, weddings have become these huge extravagant parties that have begun to completely take away from the whole point of the day!
And I’m guessing that if you’ve landed on this page that you’re probably starting to see just how much weddings have changed. As soon as you get engaged, you’re just slammed with so many decisions to make and the stress of wedding planning becomes really overwhelming really quick. My fiance and I are right there with you. There’s literally a show on Netflix called “Marriage or Mortgage” where couples are forced to make the decision between having a wedding or putting a down payment on a home. That’s INSANE! (I definitely binged it though, don't judge).
With all that being said, so many people are choosing to elope or have smaller intimate weddings. Both of which have changed drastically, and I think will become the norm over the next couple years. No longer does elope mean having a secret wedding! People are eloping not for the purpose of running away, but because the stress of wedding planning is overwhelming and the idea of spending their wedding focusing on throwing a party does not sound like a blast to them.
It’s a tough decision and there really should be an elope or wedding quiz. Wait… what if we went ahead and took care of that for you? Alright alright alright, without further ado, here’s a quiz to help you answer the big question “should I elope”! If you answer yes to some or all of these questions, an elopement just might be right for you!
1. Are you so overwhelmed with wedding planning that you “just want to get it over with”?
From picking out colors all the way to picking out who can come to the wedding and who can’t come, there’s TONS of decisions to be made for a wedding! What color is the groom wearing because if he’s wearing this color then my bridesmaids can’t wear this color. Or if we’re inviting this person then we have to invite that person because if only one of them is there then the other is going to be mad. Isn’t it crazy how stressful we’ve made wedding planning. If wedding planning has stressed you to the point of just wanting it to be over with, then an elopement or intimate wedding is probably for you. You should be excited about your wedding, not counting down the days because you can't take the stress anymore!
2. Do you want to be able to focus on the love of your life on the day that you get married?
As a wedding photographer and someone that has spent a lot of time with couples at their wedding, I genuinely don’t think that couples realize just how much of their day they spend focusing on things that aren’t their brand new spouse. And it’s obviously not on purpose, but when you have 150 guests coming to a party that you’re throwing, you’ve got SO many other things running through your head during the day. You’re thinking about making sure everything is ready for the ceremony, you’re thinking about making sure that everybody sits in the right place and doesn’t come inside too early, you’re wondering where the bartender is because he was supposed to be here an hour ago. At the end of the day, you’re wondering where the whole day even went! I’ve literally had a couple tell me that the only thing they had to eat on their wedding day was a piece of watermelon because they were running around all day! When you choose to elope or choose to be incredibly stringent with your guest list, you're telling everyone that the most important part of your wedding is marrying the love of your life. And when you do that, you get to focus on each other!
3. Is your relationship with your fiancé different than everyone else? Is it unique?
I think most people would say yes to this one, but this is one of my favorite reasons to rethink weddings as a whole. This is the backbone of Backpacks and Bow Ties. We believe that every couple is so unique and has so much individuality! Each person's personality and quirks is why we love what we do, and we love getting to capture each couple as themselves. At Backpacks and Bow Ties, our mission is capturing each person's God-given individuality. It’s so weird to me that so many unique, individual couples have the exact same wedding as everyone else in a given year. Now I’m not saying that’s a rule and that every wedding is the exact same. There are certainly many ways to make a traditional wedding unique. But the overwhelming majority of weddings are pretty much the exact same as their friend’s that they went to last month. This isn’t your friend’s wedding! You guys are special, do something different! Elope! There are no rules for how you want to get married!
4. Is the cost of a big wedding kinda making you cringe?
There is no hiding how expensive weddings can get. The average wedding cost in the U.S is generally somewhere around $30,000 (2019), and has been going down the past couple years (due largely to COVID and the overall trend towards elopements). Start inviting a hundred people or more and the costs immediately start to skyrocket! You’d be surprised how hard it is to keep your wedding under budget when you start factoring catering for everyone, rentals, venue, DJ, and everything else you may want. The reality is that when you have an elopement or an intimate wedding with very few people, you can save a lot of money. Now that’s not saying that you can’t make your elopement or intimate wedding luxury and spend just as much but on fewer people and really make it incredible. But it does mean that if money is a stressor for you, there’s definitely a lot of ways to save money by tossing out the big traditional wedding!
5. Do you care more about the experience of your day than all of the “things”?
Let me explain. When wedding planning for a big wedding, you inevitably get caught up thinking about all of the different “things” going into the day. You’re caught up with catering, florals, lighting, music, etc. None of which are bad things but a lot of couples are starting to realize they care a lot more about how they spend the day with their significant other than they do about the small details. If you elope or have an intimate wedding, you can create an incredible experience for you two and those that’ll be with you! You can make it incredibly personal. If hiking is something meaningful to you two, go on a hike and have your ceremony at the top of the mountain. If family is super important to you two, rent an Airbnb in the woods for everyone, have the ceremony outside, and spend the weekend celebrating together! The possibilities are literally endless, but the point is you don’t have to get caught up with “things” but you can focus on the experience together! Check out this blog for How To Elope in the Great Smoky Mountains!
If you’re like me and answered yes to a lot (or all!) of these questions, the big traditional wedding probably isn’t for you! You and your fiancé may enjoy your wedding so much more if you elope together or have an intimate wedding. That doesn’t mean it has to be a secret or a surprise, or even that no one else can come! Invite whoever you want! It just means that you’re not going to let the focus of the day be on a big party instead of on you two. It may even mean that you should just think about your wedding differently! The guest count isn’t important, you two are.
Are you convinced that eloping is for you? Don't know where to start? Contact us and we'll start planning with you!