Choosing an Elopement over a Traditional Wedding: My Elopement Breakdown


It’s almost preprogrammed into our brains at a young age what a wedding is supposed to look like. For me, the quintessential “traditional wedding” is the one in Father of the Bride. Except in this scenario, Steve Martin is me aghast at how much it costs just to rent tables and chairs (not to mention the ever-growing guest list your family members keep dipping their hands into). 

This post is for the couple who has a vision for something smaller or maybe you’ve begun planning your dream wedding, and it seems to be getting out of hand, and instead of being excited for your big day you’re wishing it was just over already. Take a moment to remember what this marriage means to you both. The truth is every marriage is unique and different. So why do we have one upstanding concept of what a wedding should be?


As a creative, I have been invited to shoot an elopement styled session in Boston, as well as plan my own destination elopement. This is a great option for the adventurous couple, for the couple with a small budget, or for the couple who prefers something a bit more intimate. In an article from Popsugar, they report that the average American couple spends $30,000 on their wedding. I don’t know about you, but that number seems overwhelming.

I’ve been where you are. My husband and I were feeling way too far in over our heads planning this big wedding we thought we wanted. I got a beautiful dress, we had picked a venue, caterers and a florist. Deposits had been made, and a date was set. Until I had enough… At this time my partner David had an opportunity to intern with the YMCA in Colorado for the summer. It was a difficult time to be separated and planning a wedding. I was open with him about my doubts about a big wedding from the start, and at this point, he could see the planning was wearing on me. Our wedding was set for November of 2017 at this point it was June 2017. One evening over a phone call we were discussing wedding plans, and he said “we can just cancel it all” for probably the 15th time, but this time I really heard it. Just like that, we decided the wedding was off.


Next came the idea that we could plan something more intimate and special for us. David suggested using one of the YMCA’s event spaces for a venue and flying out just a handful of our friends and family for an elopement. I immediately started planning for our new ceremony reaching out to local hotels and florists. We set our new date, August 5th, 2017 and invited our to closest family members, my husbands brother-in-law became ordained to officiate the wedding, and my amazing photographer who I booked for the first ceremony was willing to fly out to our new destination. Though not what we had originally planned, our wedding day was everything I could’ve dreamed of. The great thing about a destination elopement was that we were able to honeymoon and explore Colorado for the next few days as newlyweds.  


Reflecting on our wedding day, I wouldn’t change a thing. I felt no pressure to perform for others; it was just the people we loved most and us. For those of you considering an elopement, this is a breakdown of what we had started to plan for our wedding and what we ended up spending for our elopement.


Whether you’re thinking about doing a destination elopement or having a smaller wedding check out these links for inspiration! My absolute favorites are the glam Vegas elopement and the Joshua Tree bohemian desert wedding. Click through the images below.