Here’s Why Elopements Aren’t Just A COVID-19 Trend

If you’ve gotten engaged recently or are planning to get married in 2021, there’s a good chance the idea of eloping has probably crossed your mind. With so many restrictions on event and gathering sizes these days, along with the likelihood that not every single friend or family member will be able to attend your wedding, planning a big, traditional wedding has somehow become even more difficult and complicated than it already was to begin with.

Hey, I get it. The wedding industry kind of feels like it’s been flipped upside-down, with so many couples trying to navigate an entirely new playing field while planning their big day. It’s downright scary and confusing. And with that confusion, many couples have wondered whether eloping could be the solution.

But what in the world does an elopement even look like? And are elopements just a trend we’re seeing because of the pandemic, or are they going to stick around?

For starters, your elopement could include just you and your partner. Or it could include a small group of family and friends, too. Seems doable with the current state of the world, right? It’s a way for you and your partner to still get married in 2021 without having to worry about all the stress of dealing with a seemingly insurmountable list of rules and regulations.

While the recent pandemic has certainly resulted in a surge of couples opting to elope, what if I told you that elopements weren’t just a COVID-19 trend? What if everything going on in the world has simply helped couples find a type of wedding that makes sense to them? Perhaps the type of wedding they wanted all along, but didn’t realize they wanted?

I’ve come to realize over the past several months that this has been true for so many engaged couples. As someone who works in the wedding industry, I’ve literally seen this “aha moment” for couples firsthand. Myself and so many other wedding vendors have seen the story in our inboxes more times than we can count. It goes a little something like this:

“We were planning our big, traditional wedding when COVID hit. All of a sudden, we had to completely switch gears, and have decided to elope. But you know what? This is actually what we wanted to do from the beginning, but felt too scared to make the jump.”

So, with that said, let’s dive into why exactly elopements aren’t a COVID trend, and why so many couples are saying that this is the type of wedding they wanted in the first place.

1. Elopements Allow Couples to Make Their Wedding Day About Them And Not Everyone Else

It’s no secret that a massive chunk of a couple’s wedding budget will go towards the guest experience. From catering costs to favors to hiring a DJ to keep everyone grooving on the dance floor, the cost per guest can really add up, and it can easily take up the majority of a wedding couple’s budget.

Not to mention, if you’ve been wedding planning, you’ve probably noticed how many people will chime in with opinions about your wedding day and the way you should be doing things. It’s easy to get wrapped up in traditions that might not mean anything to you just because someone close to you has implied that you should be participating in them.

Let’s be honest, it can be tough to deal with all the pressure that comes with having a wedding that makes everyone else happy. In that process, it’s easy to forget that this day should make you and your partner happy, too.

Elopements directly address this pressure by putting the power back in your hands. Your elopement day becomes about you, not the guest experience. Because of the scale of an elopement, you get to focus on what elements of your wedding day matter most to you, and you can forget the rest.

2. Elopements Provide Couples With Privacy During Emotional Moments

If there’s one thing I hear from almost every couple I’ve talked to, it’s this: the idea of reading their vows in front of a room full of people is scary. Here’s the thing: not everyone is extroverted and loves to be in a room of 150+ guests while disclosing their feelings for another person. While there are certainly people who love that (and that’s amazing, too!), it isn’t for everyone. Nor should it be.

Pouring your heart out during your wedding vows is a very intimate and personal experience, and many couples don’t want to do that with other people around. Elopements allow couples to make the vow reading process a private moment between the two of them, which for many couples is hands-down one of the most refreshing parts of the elopement process.

3. Elopements Help Couples Budget With Intention

I likely don’t have to tell you that weddings are expensive. Between catered meals, an open bar, intricate florals and table decor, wedding attire, entertainment, and the works, you quickly realize how easy it is for couples to go over budget on their wedding day. Small weddings and elopements can help with that.

Specifically, you get to be intentional about your wedding budget. You can splurge on what matters most to you and forget the rest, simply because there are less moving parts with elopements. There are so many wedding vendors that aren’t typically a part of the elopement day, and the fact that you won’t have as many guests is the biggest cost-saving factor.

With the savings that you keep by not buying all the things for your wedding, you can still leave room in your elopement budget to book that epic honeymoon or any other aspect of the day you perhaps wanted or needed to spend a little more on. And guess what? There’s likely going to be a large chunk leftover to go toward that home down-payment or whatever else you and your partner are saving up for.

A Little Advice From Someone Who Also Eloped

I’ve been going on about elopements and why they’re not just a COVID trend for a good minute now, but I also wanted to take a moment and share that I know firsthand what you’re going through. I, too, eloped. In fact, for all the reasons listed above. While I didn’t get married during COVID times, every single one of these points resonated with me as well.

I knew that a big wedding didn’t feel like me and that an elopement might just be the perfect answer. With as much negativity this pandemic and the past year has brought our way as a world, it has also created something meaningful too: the chance and permission for so many couples to finally have the tiny, intimate wedding they wanted all along.

I’ve personally chosen to look at the current state of things from a more positive perspective. One where couples finally feel empowered to have their wedding their way. So, if that’s you, just know that the choice to elope is a beautiful one, whatever your reasons. This is not a fleeting trend. It’s an incredible, empowering, and beautiful way to get married. 2021 might just be your permission to finally go for it.

About the author
Sheena is a Colorado-based adventure elopement expert and photographer Follow Sheena on Instagram or read more articles from Sheena on Thought Catalog.

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