As an elopement photographer I have a lot of interesting conversations with folks about what exactly an elopement is and WHY someone would decide to do it. I get it. The definition of elopement has evolved over the years – and a whole lot of people have yet to catch up! With that in mind, let’s talk about the top five elopement myths!
1. Couples Elope to Save Money
While saving money is definitely a benefit of eloping, it is a myth that saving money is one of the top reasons to elope. More often than not the reasons I hear from my couples about why they chose to elope has less to do with how they want to spend their money and more to do with how they spend their time. It’s more about being able to plan a day truly lets them focus on THEM and less about being able to save some cash (although saving cash is often a nice little side benefit!). I often tell people that for the same price as a medium to large wedding in which you have to skimp on pretty much everything you can have a luxury elopement in which you skimp on nothing (which doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend a lot of money to elope either – the beauty is that it’s totally up to you!
2. Elopements are Short and Not Special
When I first started photographing a lot of elopements most people had this idea that their elopement was really just them saying their vows, maybe taking a few photos, and then going on their merry way. Today’s elopements (at least not for the couples I work with!) are not like that at all. People are often really surprised when I tell them I spend an average of 8-10 hours with my couples on their elopement day and that we treat it as every bit of a big deal as a wedding – it’s just a wedding with no guests!
3. Eloping Always Causes Drama with Families
Ok, obviously I don’t know your family or how they’ll react to you eloping but I can tell you that for the vast majority of my couples their parents are supportive of their elopement (or come around to it after they’ve had some time to ponder it). As a parent myself I hope that when the day comes for my son to get married (he’s only 8 – we have a while!) I’ll get to be there but more than getting to be there I want him to feel empowered to do what his right for HIM and his future spouse. And I’ve found that most of my couples’ families feel similarly. And with the costs associated with a big wedding, I’m hearing from more and more couples whose parents actually encouraged them to elope!
4. Elopements are Spur of the Moment
One of the biggest elopement myths is that elopements are always spur of the moment. Eloping used to mean running off in the middle of the night on just a few hours notice to get married by Elvis in Vegas but those days are long gone. Modern elopements are typically planned well in advance. My couples typically book me 2-12 months out from their elopement and we spend the next few months crafting their perfect day!
5. Eloping is Selfish
This one is going to be a bit controversial because I’m going to say that … maybe it is … and maybe that’s ok. Honestly, if there was ever a time to put YOUR needs first, isn’t it the day when you commit your life to someone? Isn’t it maybe MORE selfish for people to assume that they have a right to be there and that you should plan your day around their wishes? While I never ever advocate for hurting anyone else’s feelings, I also think that sometimes it’s ok to be a little bit selfish. And I suspect (as I said above!) that eventually the folks who don’t get it will come around.
Hopefully this helped clear up some of the misconceptions about eloping and the people who do it!