- Elopements are on the rise in the US, as more and more people are opting out of the traditional wedding.
- Janessa White of Simply Eloped tells INSIDER that is for good reason.
- Elopements are significantly cheaper and allow people to focus on their honeymoon.
- Also, these ceremonies are more intimate and personal than the traditional 300-person wedding.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Years ago, eloping meant running down to City Hall or taking a booze-fuelled trip to Las Vegas. But, today, many are having intimate, personal, and stylish elopements all over the country. In fact, elopement ceremonies are on the rise, especially among millennials.
Janessa White is one of the people at the forefront of this movement with her company Simply Eloped, which plans and books elopement ceremonies at the fraction of the price of a typical wedding.
INSIDER spoke with White to learn why many are choosing a simple elopement ceremony over the grandeur of a traditional wedding.
1. Eloping will save you a lot of money and help you stay on track with your finances.
The average wedding in the US costs around $US36,000, according to White. After paying the caterers, the flower vendor, the entertainment, and the venue, weddings can be a massive financial undertaking.
“I met a gal who spent $US85,000 on her wedding and she’s still paying that off,” White said. “That’s a regret for her.”
On the other hand, elopements are typically significantly cheaper than the average wedding. While the price often varies, White’s company is able to offer entire ceremonies for only $US350. The most expensive package they offer is $US2,800.
2. More savings on the wedding means more money for the honeymoon.
Typically, couples pair their elaborate wedding with an extensive honeymoon. Instead of it being one expense, it’s double the expense, White said.
But, when it comes to eloping, many are prioritising honeymoons over the ceremony itself, according to White. She said many couples are combining their elopements and honeymoons into one destination, making it easier and significantly cheaper.
3. At an employment ceremony, you are able to avoid family drama.
Weddings are typically family affairs. It’s common for couples to invite extended family members and people they haven’t seen in years.
“Weddings are traditionally about the family,” White said. “It’s about allowing other people to come and celebrate your union as opposed to doing what you actually want.”
White has noticed that some people don’t actually want extended families to come together just for a wedding, especially when families ties are tense during the rest of the year.
“People are rejecting the notion of doing what their families expect of them,” White said. “Instead they are doing what they want when it comes to marriage.”
4. Without the extended family, elopement becomes an intimate, private experience just for the couple.
Without the family drama and hordes of people, couples are able to focus on the ceremony itself. With fewer people, the couple is able to have more meaningful and private vows.
For some, this private moment is so important that White has seen people elope first and then have a big wedding ceremony later just so they can experience that intimacy without the big audience.
5. When planning an elopement, there is less stress surrounding the big day overall.
“It’s unrealistic for a person who has never planned a large event to suddenly learn all those skills for one day,” White said. “It’s extremely stressful. You’re managing your flower vendor, your cake, your photographer, your hair and makeup artist.”
She also mentions that managing guests on the actual wedding day is another task that can be very time consuming and stressful. In all, planning a wedding can feel like a full-time job on top of your day job.
Eloping eliminates guests and vendors to make the big day run much smoother and stress-free.
6. Elopements can be a lot more personal and unique than the average wedding.
White says, typically, when you book a wedding venue, you’re bound to that venue’s rules and traditions. White describes these weddings as “cookie cutter.” But, when you elope, you can practically do it anywhere and you can be more creative. Simply Eloped, for example, holds a number of ceremonies in National Parks around the country.
“You can choose a location that’s really important to you,” White said. “We had this one girl, we married her on a trail in Colorado where she dumped her father’s ashes because that’s where they went hiking a lot. The great thing about elopement is that we can do it at a very significant place that has a meaning to your life.”
7. The freedom of elopements also allows you to more easily combine traditions.
If you’re marrying someone with a different religious background, it may be difficult to combine families and wedding traditions, White says. But in an elopement ceremony, couples are able to get creative and combine their traditions in a unique way.
8. With an elopement, there’s less competition and less of a need to one-up your friends’ weddings.
For some, weddings are all about showing off, White said. Many couples even compete with friends and family members to try and have the better wedding. That can cause a lot of stress and can even ruin the day if it doesn’t go as planned.
For those who don’t feel pressure to compete, an elopement could be perfect.
9. The best part of an elopement: Expectations are low.
“When you’re spending $US36,000 and inviting 300 people, your expectations are going to be pretty high for how this night goes,” White said. “If it doesn’t go that way, you’re going to be pretty bummed because you spent two years of your life and a lot of your money on this ceremony.
When there are lower expectations, there is more room for surprise. Sometimes it’s impossible to meet expectations or have reality match your fantasy, so when you’re not expecting much, the reality will oftentimes turn out much better.
“We’ve seen mountain goats and elks show up at ceremonies or even a double rainbow,” White said. “[These] things that you didn’t plan on … Those types of things just make it so much more magical, and holding it inside a building with 300 people doesn’t allow for that surprise.”
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