Eloping vs. Traditional Weddings: Which is Right for You?

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Breanna Warren

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January 5, 2023

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Couple eloping in the Adirondack mountains.
Eloping is a great way to spend time with your partner and have a curated experience

From the moment you have an engagement ring on your finger, it can feel like you are bombarded with opinions and suggestions about your wedding day. Suddenly you see bridal magazines wherever you go, your mom and well-meaning friends are throwing ideas at you, and the stresses of wedding planning seem to start creeping in. Wedding planning can be really overwhelming and trying to figure out the TYPE of wedding you want can be met with much resistance. We are at a time when elopements and micro-weddings are at an all-time high, and many couples are deciding against bigger more traditional weddings and opting for the more intimate experience. If you are trying to decide what type of wedding is right for you, then you are in the right place. Both options (traditional & eloping) have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, and ultimately the decision will come down to what feels right for you and your partner. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both eloping and traditional weddings, so you can make an informed decision about which route is best for you.

Eloping: Pros

  • Intimate and personalized: One of the biggest benefits of eloping is that it allows you to have a more intimate and personalized ceremony. You can choose a location that is meaningful to you and your partner, and you can focus on the things that matter most to you without feeling the pressure to conform to traditional wedding norms.
  • Cost-effective: Eloping can also be a more cost-effective option, as you won’t have to worry about paying for a venue, catering, and other expensive wedding costs. This can be especially appealing if you’re on a tight budget or if you’d rather spend your money on other things, like a honeymoon or a down payment on a house.
  • Stress-free: Planning a traditional wedding can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you’re trying to please everyone else. Eloping eliminates the need to worry about guest lists, seating charts, and other details, which can take a lot of the pressure off.
  • In-the-Moment: With traditional weddings, the day can feel like it is flying by and it can be hard to be present and in the moment. When you elope, your day is all about you and your partner- no one else. You can truly breathe and be present in each moment of the day.
  • Time Together: Eloping also provides the opportunity to curate a day spent with your partner. From the beginning of the day to the end, the whole experience is about optimizing your quality time together. Traditional weddings have a lot of moving parts. Oftentimes, you do not see your partner until the ceremony and then between photos, greeting guests, eating, dancing, you may not be spending as much quality time with your partner as you would like.

Eloping: Cons

  • Limited number of guests: One of the biggest drawbacks of eloping is that you’ll only be able to invite a limited number of people. If you have a large family or a lot of close friends, you may feel like you’re leaving people out.
  • Limited opportunities for celebration: Eloping can also mean missing out on the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. Traditional weddings provide a chance for everyone to come together and share in the joy of the occasion.

Couple kissing on dancefloor with loved ones around them
Traditional weddings can give you the ability to celebrate with all the people you love

Traditional Weddings: Pros

  • Opportunities for celebration: Traditional weddings provide the opportunity to celebrate with a large group of people, including friends, family, and loved ones. This can be especially meaningful if you have a large support system or if you want to celebrate with people who have played a significant role in your life.
  • Sense of tradition: For some couples, the idea of a traditional wedding is important because it allows them to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and participate in a long-standing tradition. If this is important to you and your partner, a traditional wedding may be the way to go.
  • More formal: Traditional weddings are generally more formal than elopements, which can be appealing for couples who want to have a more formal, elegant ceremony.

Traditional Weddings: Cons

  • Expensive: Traditional weddings can be expensive, especially if you’re trying to plan a large event. You’ll need to pay for a venue, catering, flowers, decorations, and more, which can add up quickly.
  • Stressful: Planning a traditional wedding can also be stressful, as you’ll need to consider the needs and preferences of your guests, as well as manage a large number of details.
  • Less personalized: With a traditional wedding, you may feel pressure to conform to certain expectations or traditions, which can make it harder to personalize the ceremony to your own preferences.

Ultimately, the decision between eloping and having a traditional wedding will come down to what feels right for you and your partner. Consider your budget, your personal preferences, and the importance of celebrating with friends and family when making your decision.

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