For every bride who dreams of having it all on her big day, there’s another who just wants something that’s less fuss, less drama and costs less money.
According to Refinery29, more and more people are choosing to elope – millennials in particular – and it’s no surprise.
With the option of saving more money and being able to rather fork out on having a lavish honeymoon instead of budgeting for things like wedding venues, catering, décor and vendor services, it’s easy to see why this would potentially be the better option in the long run.
But, it doesn’t come without its complications. So if you’re feeling a little undecided, here’s a handy guide to decide whether or not the pros of skipping the ‘white’ or traditional formalities outweigh the cons.
More money at your disposal obviously
I’m not just talking about the fact that you save on costs but more about the financial freedom to choose the kind of elopement you want without being tied to an all-inclusive package.
In fact, with some packages you’re often forced to use the services and list of vendors that go hand in hand with what’s on offer.
And though it may be better value for your money in the long run, some don’t provide you with the option to customise beyond the standard format that they work with.
Your honeymoon options are that much more flexible.
Your stress levels have just been reduced
Everyone talks about how wedding planning is one of the most exciting aspects of prepping for your big day. Yes this is true, but what’s also inarguable is the fact that it’s ridiculously time consuming and stressful.
You don’t have to visit numerous venues to choose where you’re going to get married and you definitely get to avoid the guest list drama that seems to be an inevitable narrative in almost every wedding story you’ve come across.
While you still will be making arrangements in terms of travelling (if you choose to elope and honeymoon at a destination venue) including what to pack and things to buy, the amount of work is not half as much as you’d need to do if you were planning for a big ceremony.
READ MORE: 4 things the mother of the bride should never do
You and your partner get to really focus on each other
Your big day is not just about you but it’s also about celebrating your nuptials with friends and family. That means having to mingle, dance, eat and play nicely for a better part of the day. By the time you leave, you’re happy, but undoubtedly tired. Eloping means that you can spend your wedding day the way you want to with the person you’re committing to.
There’s no pressure to socialise and you don’t have to manage other people’s expectations.
You can have a do-over
Of course, the beauty of elopement means that you can still always have a wedding at a later stage. A friend of mine actually recently eloped and says that they’re still planning to get married in a bigger event eventually:
“My husband and I always knew we were going to get married and we wanted (and are still planning to) celebrate it with a big bash one day. But circumstances didn't allow for a massive wedding and all the time and planning and effort and money that goes into that. So we decided to elope.
“Two weeks after making the decision we got married in a beautiful but very low key ceremony with only our direct family present. I wore a dress we had found the day before (the groom picked it out!) and we got little place holder rings to exchange during the legalities which was performed in front of our 14 guests.
Afterwards we had champagne and a picnic dinner where in lieu of a ceremony, every person present made a toast. It was unique and magical and romantic in every way and as the groom joked to me halfway through - couldn't have gone better if we had planned it!"
Not everyone will agree with the choice you’ve made – especially family.
The most unavoidable part of choosing to elope is that there will inevitably friends and family members who won’t support or understand your decision. What you need to do is decide when and how you’ll tell your family and whether or not you’ll compromise by having a small celebration after the fact.
Surprise eloping and telling people afterwards may seem super romantic but may difiicult if you know that some of your nearest and dearest are expecting something more traditional.
Whatever you do, make sure that people understand that getting married is your choice and how you choose to wed is not something that is up for debate.
No epic wedding photographs
You’ll miss out on the opportunity to get a professional photography set or videography of your big day.
Of course it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with whatever you have or hire a photographer of your own for your private ceremony but it’s not quite the same as being able to share an entire album of moments throughout your special day.
People assign less of a deal to your wedding
Many people assume that eloping is not as romantic as a full on wedding bash but what people need to understand is that the wedding isn’t the end result. Marriage and a lifetime commitment to your partner (and vice versa) is.
Weddings aren’t a role-playing and dress up game where people simply play their parts, so whether you’re all donned in white or riding off into the sunset in shorts and a bikini top, how you get married does not lessen the commitment you’re making and nor should you be made to feel like your version of getting married is lesser than someone else’s.
Have you eloped? Or are you planning to? Share your stories with us.
WATCH: A look at the growing elopement trend