Why Do People Elope? 12 Common Reasons Explained

To elope means to get married in secret. However, its connotation and nuance gradually changed through time. Nowadays, elopement pertains to a couple deciding to celebrate their marriage without being constrained by tradition.

So, why do people elope? Couples decide to elope because it’s more personal and intimate than a traditional wedding ceremony. Many consider eloping because it’s hassle-free, stress-free, and more budget-friendly.

Moreover, eloping allows you to spend more on yourself and your fiancé and gives you more freedom to plan.

Eloping has become more popular nowadays because many couples think of it as a great alternative. Below are in-depth explanations of the 12 reasons couples elope instead of having a traditional wedding.  

Why Do People Elope?

1. It’s Hassle-Free and Stress-Free

wedding list

Couples, wedding planners, and the whole wedding community know that planning for a traditional wedding ceremony requires twice (if not thrice) the amount of time, effort, and resources compared to eloping. Traditional wedding planning entails making an elaborate guest list. A typical wedding ceremony has an average of 150 invitees.

You also need to book a venue, make a menu for the reception, think of the sitting arrangement, take care of the guests’ transportation arrangement, and more.

Aside from the exceptional cuisine, another factor that needs utmost attention is the wedding decorations. The decorations make up most of the wedding theme, which plays a significant role in setting the mood.

Another inevitable source of stress (and drama) when planning a traditional wedding is family politics. If you find it hard to compromise and please both sides of the family, elopement is the ideal alternative.

Overall, the planning and organization of a traditional wedding ceremony can take approximately 12 to 18 months. Meanwhile, elopement only requires around three months. Many can even argue that planning for elopement is one of the most exciting parts of the process.

2. It’s More Budget-Friendly

illustration elopement wedding

As mentioned above, the things you need to take into account when planning a traditional wedding are almost endless. In 2019, weddings in the United States cost $33,900 on average. There are still the honeymoon expenses, housing, and savings for your future children to bear in mind.

If you choose to elope, you can save a lot of money. Your expenses will mostly be from the cost of traveling and the wedding photographer. Some places offer elopement packages, which can significantly cut the overall cost.

3. It’s More Intimate and More Romantic

bride groom intimate

Big and traditional weddings can be overwhelming for some people. Couples choose to elope because celebrating with more than a hundred people can make you lose your attention to what matters most: focusing on the two of you and celebrating your love.

Eloping allows you to cherish every single moment with the love of your life without any distractions. You get to disconnect from the real world and enter a bubble with just the two of you. Every kiss and every hug becomes more meaningful.

The people who will celebrate with you are the people closest to your heart, the people you love and treasure the most. Therefore, it’s much more intimate and more romantic than celebrating with a big crowd.

 4. You Can Travel and Go on an Adventure

seaside couple

Traveling and going on an adventure means exploring new places and experiencing things for the first time. Most couples who elope choose to surround themselves with nature’s beauty, which adds magic to the moment.

When planning to elope, the destination is the primary concern. Many couples choose a location with beautiful panoramic views, like beaches and mountains. Mother nature becomes your wedding decorations, and most people think that there’s nothing more special than that.

Some believe that the harder it’s to get to the location, the more valuable and memorable the adventure becomes. Hence, elopement destinations that require hiking are popular.

Elopement is also the best alternative for those who prefer to celebrate in a less fancy but more meaningful location. You don’t need to go to a mountain or a beach. Even a grass field, ruins, or an abandoned dirt road can make the perfect spot for your wedding.

Traveling and going to new places also allows you to experience other cultures. Your novel experiences will make your wedding unique, fun, and unforgettable.

5. You Have More Freedom to Do What You Want

sneakers bride groom

Some aspects of traditional weddings aren’t every couple’s cup of tea. For example, the bride might wish not to wear a white dress, or the couple might want a non-traditional wedding processional order. Hence, they decide to elope because they have more freedom throughout the whole planning process.

6. You Can Go Straight to Your Honeymoon  

Some couples opt to elope at a destination they’ve always dreamed of visiting, allowing them to combine their wedding ceremony and honeymoon into one memorable journey. 

This combination leads to a unique and memorable experience for couples. Moreover, this approach streamlines the wedding and honeymoon planning, reducing the mental and financial burden on couples. However, it still allows for an intimate and personalized celebration. 

7. There Are Legal Obstacles in the Way  

gay couple holding hands

Sometimes, couples might encounter legal difficulties in marrying in their native country, such as laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. So far, only more than 30 countries recognize and perform same-sex marriages.  

Lengthy bureaucratic processes and requirements might also deter couples from having a wedding in their locale.  

Elopement can help them overcome these stumbling blocks, allowing them to immediately cement their commitment to each other. 

8. You’re Over the (Family) Drama  

The stress of planning a wedding – mental, physical, and financial – can unfortunately challenge the dynamics and bonds within a family. Conflicts and arguments can even lead to tension.  

Avoiding these issues is a popular reason why couples elope. An elopement will guarantee them that their wedding day is devoid of controversy and criticism. 

9. You Don’t Have a Lot of Time  

soldier and his girlfriend

Sometimes, even if you want a grand and elaborate wedding, you and your partner simply do not have the time to plan one. You might have demanding work, your school responsibilities are piling up, or you have other pressing obligations.  

In the same vein, you or your partner might be anticipating a major change in your life soon, such as military or work deployment. In this scenario, a proxy wedding might not be an option because only a few states recognize it. 

Elopement is a fantastic option in this scenario — you do not have to devote months to planning everything. Once everything eases up in the future, you can start thinking about your dream wedding.  

10. You Have Environmental Concerns  

When asking, “Why do people elope?” people tend to overlook the environmental impacts of a traditional wedding. Traditional weddings might leave a lot of waste, whereas elopements are generally more eco-friendly because of their simplicity and smaller scale. 

11. This Is Not Your First Marriage

portrait of couple holding hands

Couples who have previously been married or have children from past relationships might appreciate the intimacy of an elopement. This lets them concentrate on forming their new family and starting a new life without the added stress of a larger occasion. 

12. You Are Not Comfortable With the Attention  

A large wedding can be an intimidating event for introverts and shy people. Some people simply do not enjoy being the center of attention. Eloping is a more low-key option for couples who want to celebrate their love without facing a huge crowd. 

Final Thoughts

So, why do people elope? Elopement is the best alternative for couples who want a little bit more freedom on their special day. Moreover, planning a traditional wedding can seriously exhaust you (and your wallet).

It’s significant to note that although eloping can save you more time, money, and energy, you still need to plan carefully. After all, planning to elope is the same as planning the greatest adventure of your life.

Regardless of its popularity in the wedding community, there are many factors to consider before choosing to elope. It’s best to go through each of the pros and the cons so you can make a decision you’ll never regret.