Just the Two of Us – The Myths about Elopements

Elopement [ih-lohp-muh nt] noun
According to the dictionary: an act or instance of running off secretly, as to be married.

That may have been true in the old days, but it sure no longer is! Nowadays an elopement is more like a stress-free, scaled-down boutique wedding that completely focuses on you – the couple – rather than on your guests!

So, while I know that elopements are truly romantic and special, there are still persistent elopement myths that really confuse couples or, which is even worse, scare them off from eloping entirely.

So today, let me explain and disarm some of the most persistent myths about elopements.

Myth 1: Elopements are not as special as “real” weddings

That’s simply not true. Just because you don’t have dozens of people looking at you walking down the aisle, reciting your vows and exchanging that first magical kiss, doesn’t make it any less special!! If anything, it feels even more special because the whole day is just about the two of you and not about anyone else!

Myth 2: Elopements are unromantic and take place in a courthouse

Well, an elopement can indeed take place in a courthouse BUT because you are only 2 or a handful of people, you are much more flexible when choosing your wedding venue. The possibilities are sheer endless! Think middle of a forest, a national park, a secluded beach, amidst breathtaking desert dunes, on a boat shipping down the romantic Amsterdam canals…

Myth 3: Eloping is selfish

Of all the myths about elopements, this is probably the one that keeps most couples from doing it! And this is also the one that bothers me the most. So, just to be absolutely clear: eloping is NOT selfish!

Here is the reason why this myth about elopements is far fetched: a wedding should be all about you and not about making other people happy! You are getting married to the love of your life. It is your big day! It’s not your aunt Mary’s big day neither your cousin’s second wife’s! It’s your day and you deserve to spend it however you like. If you want to have a big wedding, that’s great, but if you want to have an intimate one instead, go for it!! Just make sure YOU want it! And believe me, your dearest friends and family will understand and support you! Yes, they might be disappointed at first, but they love you and care about you!

If you are worried to hurt someone’s feelings, here are a few tips:

  • Before announcing your elopement through social media, talk to your parents first and explain why you want to elope!
  • Have a wedding website- I know that’s sound crazy for elopements but bear with me on that! Having a wedding website allows you to keep your friends and family involved in your elopement. Put up all the information like where will you elope to, why do you elope and include some cute facts about you: what do you mean to each other, how did you meet? After your wedding day upload photos (or the link to your online gallery), your vows or maybe even a film if you hired a videographer. This way all your loved ones at home don’t feel excluded from one of the most important and romantic days in your life.
  • Send out marriage announcements. I would do that even if I had a website because that’s a personal touch and shows people that you do care about them. A personal thought goes a long way.
  • And the last tip, have a celebration, a nice informal gathering after your elopement with the most important people in your life!

Myth 4: Elopements are cheap

Well, this is one of the myths about elopements that is actually true. Or at least, it can be true depending entirely on what you want. If you want to save money, with an elopement you definitely can! The big difference, between an elopement and a wedding is however that you can spend your money on what is most important to YOU! Have you been dreaming of this gorgeous A-line, ballroom wedding dress? This drop-dead beautiful tablescape you saw on Pinterest? That elaborate floral arch decoration? Not a problem if you don’t have to cater for 90 people!! Having an elopement will save you a fortune on things like food, drinks, stationery, wedding favors… and it is up to you if you want to save that money or spend in on something else like your wedding dress, decoration, a destination elopement or your honeymoon!

Myth 5: Elopements are strictly for 2 people

Well, strictly speaking yes that’s true. But by now you should have realized that I am a big believer that a wedding is all about YOU and the things YOU like! So, if you feel like inviting your closest friends and family- go for it! Strictly speaking yes, it is not an elopement any more but rather an intimate wedding aka micro wedding aka tiny wedding.

Myth 6: Planning an elopement is super easy, and a planner would be a waste of money

That’s one of the myths about elopements that I hear a lot of times! But let me tell you, intimate doesn’t equal easy at all. An elopement is a wedding after all! You still have to take care of the paperwork and hiring an officiant. You might also want to have a small wedding cake, a photographer (and yes, I do encourage you to hire one!!), a wedding bouquet or a particular color scheme. And if you are planning to elope to another country, it gets even more complicated!!

A wedding planner will make sure that the stress-free, super relaxing, and easy-going elopement you are dreaming of, really is just that!

Myth 7: Elopements are not legally binding

That really depends! If you are eloping in your home country, an elopement is just as legally binding as a normal wedding. However, if you want to get married in a foreign country you must inform yourself well in advance!! You need to be aware that it’s most likely not easy to get legally married in a foreign country. In some countries it is not possible at all, unless you are a resident there. But no worries! A symbolic ceremony or blessing is just as romantic and soul unifying than a legal marriage- which you, by the way, can do before or after your elopement!

If you are thinking of a destination wedding, check out this blog:  How to plan a destination wedding with ease.

So, to sum up

Most of the myths about elopements are no longer true! In fact, elopements are truly beautiful, intimate, romantic weddings that focus entirely on you!! If you and your significant other want to spend your day just by yourself, go for it!! Don’t let others dictate what is or what isn’t a “real” wedding, after all, it is your big day!!

Ever thought about eloping? Do you have any tips or questions?? I’d love to hear from you!!

PS. The beautiful picture was taken by Madame Poppy during the Portfolio Bootcamp Workshop in Rijsbergen, Netherlands . If you want to see more gorgeous pictures from this shoot, check out this blog post: A Fall Inspired Wedding Styling Workshop!

PPS. Are you thinking about a destination elopement? Here you will find some tips: How to Plan a Destination Wedding with Ease.

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