6 Reasons to Elope in 2021 (and 1 Reason Not To)

Friday, October 30th, 2020



Eloping is no longer surrounded by the stigma of family hate and quiet shotgun weddings. Eloping has become an incredible way for a couple to craft an intimate day that’s centered around their love, their life together, and doing all the things they love the most. Modern elopements don’t always carry the secret that past elopements have either – now many couples are choosing to plan out their elopement, and make it publicly known.

Here’s 6 reasons to elope, and 1 reason it might not be for you:

1. An experience just for the two of you.

Sometimes an eloping couple will invite a small number of family and friends, but oftentimes elopements are just the couple too. This becomes an experience that’s built on the concept of your celebration being about the two of you solely, without outside influence. You can do what brings you joy, spend the time where you’d like, without the pressure of a cocktail hour or dinner start time.

2. The stress of a wedding sounds overwhelming

Now despite how great weddings are, you can’t lie and say you haven’t stressed about your 250 person guest list (because your mom would kill you if you didn’t invite every. single. extended. family. member.) Suddenly you’re terrified of your $20 per plate catering bill, and your daily wedding planning de-stressing bath has not been enough to rid yourself of the nightmares. Forego the long-winded invites, and heck even the long-winded wedding party, and run away together. You can still have a small amount of people come with, and it’ll be far more intimate and meaningful.

3. You’ll actually see each other on your “wedding” day

Despite the popularity of the first look, many couples are still going to forego this extra event and save that special glance for the aisle – but for ceremonies that start at 4pm, you only actually have a few hours to see your favorite human ever. If you choose to elope, you can spend literally the whole day together. Spend the whole day hiking, traveling, picking the most amazing natural location to say your vows and then take have a picnic or explore your favorite museum and be together for as long as you like. You’ll have way more images of the two of you together, being yourselves, than you may alternatively have with a larger wedding.

Couple eloping on Madeline Island, WI

4. You can go literally anywhere

Get married in front of your old apartment, where you met. Elope on your favorite cliff at the local state (or national) park. Hit the front steps of your favorite library, your favorite table at the coffeeshop down the street, that best squishy chair in the lobby of your building. You’re not longer bogged down by accommodating a certain number of guests – you can do whatever the heck you want, wherever the heck you’ll fit.

5. You don’t like being the center of attention

If nothing sounds worse than having 200 people watch you stumble your way through a first dance, eloping might be for you. Weddings are inherently about the family and the couple involved, but how intimidating they are is often overlooked until you’re in the spotlight.

If you’re a quieter couple and you like the simplicity of your love together, eloping might be a more comfortable environment for you.

6. You’re environmentally conscious, and can’t throw an eco-friendly party

While some vendors are incredible with their options for sustainability (like renting tableware instead of disposables) some vendors don’t offer options for these. If you’re looking to have an environmentally conscious marriage but keep running into dead ends on how to do so, eloping may be a better fit.

The average wedding can produce anywhere from 400-600 pounds of trash – and if you’re an outdoor loving couple that might not align with your values. Eloping is often much more sustainable, especially when working with a photographer or planner that adheres to leave-no-trace principles in the outdoors.

When not to elope: when it doesn’t align with your values

Eloping has become a huge trend in the wedding industry, from adventure elopements to COVID mini-monies. If you can’t imagine your wedding without all of your family and friends, don’t let the trends of the wedding industry encourage you to do anything otherwise.

Have you done a value analysis? I have a free workbook that helps you to narrow down what you value most about your wedding and how to choose vendors that will align with your values. If you find yourself struggling to determine what matters most, maybe eloping is for you!

Did you elope? Are you currently planning to elope? Share your experiences and questions below!


Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN. 

I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.

This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.


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