If you know me (or read my website), you will know how passionate I am about elopements and the reasons behind having one! But I asked the wonderful David Conaty to put into words his top 5 reasons to elope and I agree with every. single. one! Take it away David...
Are you thinking of eloping? Perhaps you’re not sure if an elopement is right for you. That’s ok! I’ve written this blog post just for you.
As an elopement photographer (and someone who’s currently planning their own elopement), I’ve spoken to so many couples about why they chose to elope. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 main reasons.
Elopements are epic celebrations of love and, although I don’t want to mention the ‘C’ word, they’re a hot topic too! However, elopements aren’t for everyone. It’s okay to want a ‘traditional’ wedding, but it’s also okay not to.
1. An intimate and authentic experience
Elopements, above all else, are focussed on you and your partner - that’s it. Thinking about why you should elope allows you to forgo the expectations of a traditional wedding day, the pressure (and often anxiety), and have an experience which is true to you and your values in every way.
Couples who elope generally can’t see themselves having a ‘traditional’ wedding and may feel uncomfortable trying to fit themselves into a traditional mould. However, eloping grants you the creative freedom and will to decide how you want to commit yourselves to one another in a way that makes sense for you.
Authenticity is another huge driver for couples wanting to have an elopement. Can you see yourself spending hours deciding on which table-top design to have when you’re not really that into having one in the first place? Why not think about allocating your precious time to planning for the things which really have meaning to you? You could plan an epic hike, crack open a bottle of champagne at the top of a mountain, take in the stunning views without any time-constraints, and cosy up by the fire at night.
Whatever it is you decide to do, choose something that’s authentically you.
2. Less stressful
Let’s get straight to the point - there’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding, right? It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed and like you don’t know where to start. Some things you’re likely thinking are:
Who should I invite to the ceremony? Who should sit where to avoid any dramas? Do I buy my bridesmaids gifts? If so, what do I buy? How many courses do we have? How much is it per person?!? How much alcohol do we buy? Do we allow people to include a plus 1? Which date do we choose so that everyone can come? Why is there so much to think about?
The list goes on…
Now for some, thinking about why you should elope is exciting and they can’t wait to get started! However, I’ve also spoken to couples who’ve planned their wedding for over a year and still feel like they rushed to get things ready for the day.
Your wedding day is the day you set the course for your married life together and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it.
Planning an elopement can take a while if you’re hoping to take a big trip and combine your elopement with a honeymoon. However, they require significantly less time to plan and, what’s more, you’ll be spending your time researching the things which truly matter to you.
3. You want an adventure and to explore somewhere new
Traditionally, the meaning of an elopement referred to a couple who ran away in secret and got married in the spur of the moment, without telling family or friends. Of course, people still do this, but nowadays elopements can be a much more considered affair.
One of the huge attractions of an elopement is the thrill of adventure and the desire to explore. They really speak to people who value experiences over material items and have a streak of wanderlust within them.
I want to elope where should I go? I hear you ask! Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit but never thought of getting married there? Perhaps you’d love to have an elopement in Scotland and drive the North Coast 500 (Scotland’s Route 66) and marry at the top of a munro? Or maybe you want something far less active and you’d love to just spend the day on a beach, listening to the waves lap against the shore.
You can elope in places near you or abroad.
The beauty of an elopement is that it can be as adventurous or as laid-back as you’d like. The one rule is that there really aren’t any rules! In fact, you don’t even need to give up the traditional parts of a wedding day. You can still be dressed to the nines in your white wedding gown and tux, whilst having your first dance and eating your wedding cake - you just get to make that happen anywhere you’d like. You can even have a small number of guests, so only those closest to you can be witness to your marriage.
4. You don’t want to be the centre of attention
Are you worried about having everyone’s eyes on you, being obligated to speak to each guest, or feeling the pressure to stand up in front of everyone and deliver a speech? I feel your pain.
A lot of couples say social anxiety and the pressure to ‘perform’ made them decide to elope. Eloping means you don’t need to have everyones eyes on you, meaning you’re free to be yourself; everyone has an image in their mind of how they see themselves and for some, that doesn’t include having a traditional wedding day. And that’s OK.
Do you see yourself as someone who’d prefer to have a cosy candlelit meal for two rather than hosting a big family meal? Or perhaps you’d prefer to relax and read a book with the record player on rather than have a first dance in front of 80+ people? If parts of a traditional wedding day fill you with dread, then eloping might be the best way for you to marry.
Eloping also means you can write your vows knowing only a select few people will hear them; you can be heartfelt, honest, and vulnerable. There isn’t any need to feel embarrassed or fearful of pouring your heart out in front of a large audience.
You won’t be judged. You’ll just be you.
5. You’ll have amazing elopement photography!
Traditional wedding days can be epic celebrations of love amongst friends and family. However, this also means that there’s so much to photograph! By the time the couples portraits come around, you’ll likely be out with the photographer for 30 minutes in the grounds of your venue and may feel like you need to hurry yourself back to the party to greet guests.
Couples who elope want something different. What they want, above all else, is photographs which showcase their relationship in a way which is deep and meaningful. What better way to get to the heart of you as a couple than by being unconstrained by time and by just focussing on your story? An elopement means a very small wedding team who give their entire time to just the two of you.
You’ll have a set of images which not only beautifully showcase you as a couple, but which get at the raw emotion you feel for one another. They’ll be images which you look back on and long to be catapulted back to the day itself.
If you're reading this nodding your head and think eloping is right for you, get in touch! I'd love to hear more about your vision and dreams for your day and help make it happen.
Suppliers to credit for these wonderful images!
Model Couple: @thescotts_modelcouple
Design and Styling: @wearegloam