Why elope (instead of having a big traditional wedding)

Why elope (instead of having a big traditional wedding)
March 24, 2018 Laila Raza
Australian elopement by Elopement Collective

Image by Morgan Roberts Photography 

As a jewellery designer who creates engagement rings for rule breakers and story makers, I come across a LOT of amazing, untraditional people. They do things a little differently, they forge their own paths in life and they don’t blindly follow the status quo.

There’s one thing that many of them have in common.

Most of them don’t want a big wedding (if they even want a wedding at all).

They don’t like the limelight. They don’t like the cost, stress and often wastefulness that can come with a big wedding. They say, “We want to celebrate our partnership our way”.

So they elope.

They craft their own story by going somewhere beautiful. Somewhere meaningful. Just a celebrant, and the two of them.

The definition of "elope"

Image by Elopement Collective 

Maybe you’re thinking of eloping. Maybe you’ve never wanted a conventional wedding and have been searching for an alternative that feels truly like you. Well, this might help!

I chat to Britt Snow from the Elopement Collective, a squad of Australian wedding industry leaders that create epic elopements across Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Europe and the United States. They are led by husband and wife team, Britt and Josh, who are super passionate about celebrating marriage in a personal and authentic way.

Britt and Josh from Elopement Collective

Josh and Britt from the Elopement Collective (image by Luke and Mallory Photography)

We ask Britt: Is eloping something that's becoming more and more common?

Yes! Every year since we started in 2014, the number of couples eloping with us has literally doubled. More people every year are recognising that you don’t need to have a wedding if you don’t want to, and an elopement – either by yourself or with direct family – is an awesome way to marry. We are marrying, currently, 186 couples in 2018.

A couple eloping

Image by Lauren Campbell Photographer 

How is an elopement different from a traditional wedding?

A wedding is a public event that is inclusive of, and primarily for, all of your favourite friends and family. But an elopement isn’t. An elopement is a very focused and intimate event where the needs and wants of everyone else are ignored. We create a really personal and meaningful moment for just the two of you.

Elopement organised by Elopement Collective

Image by Morgan Roberts Photographer 

How do I know if an elopement is for me?

If the idea of having a party for everyone is your idea of getting married then you’ll want a wedding. But if you’d rather exchange vows with the bare minimum number of witnesses, then consider eloping!

The couples we tend to work with are the best kind of people! When the world zigs, they zag. They believe that the moment when you marry is yours and yours only.

A Melbourne elopement

Image by Luke and Mallory Photography 

What do I tell my friends and family?

We recommend that if people aren’t inviting their friends and family, that they don’t tell them until after the fact. No one wants to be told about the party that they aren’t invited to!

Sometimes, the overbearing families are the reason that the couple elope. At the end of the day, they are two consenting adults who are choosing to enter into marriage their own way with their own customs & traditions. Some couples choose to elope with their immediate family there, and some want the day to be just about them, free from all drama. There’s nothing more romantic and sweet than that.

Same sex couple elopement

Image by IZO Photography 

What are your top 5 tips for couples thinking about eloping?

  1. You have full permission to marry however you want. This is your marriage, not ours, or Pinterest’s, or Instagram’s, or your parents’. It’s yours, so start it in a way that matters to you.
  2. The moment where you marry is a landmark moment where you are proudly and loudly saying “THIS IS US!” and you should be proud of whatever that event looks like, whether it’s eloping or otherwise.
  3. An elopement doesn’t have to be overseas or far away. If it’s local, aim for a spot you might want to visit again for a picnic, or a walk, and if it’s a destination, imagine taking the family there in 10 years.
  4. As for the location, sunlight and emotion trump any view or background. Elope close to sunset (or sunrise!) and don’t put more focus on the logistics than on the marriage. No need for furniture or styling. Let the focus be on you both and the location is the picture frame to the day.
  5. Regardless of any laws, it’s your vows that make your marriage, so invest some time into writing vows that would be useless to anyone else because they’re so personal, and they’ll fill your partner with joy and glee!
An untraditional wedding

Image by Heart and Color

Where can I find out more about eloping?

If an elopement sounds like something you’d like to do, check out the Elopement Collective. Britt and Josh are there to answer all your questions about celebrating your wedding your way. And if nothing else, head over to Instagram to gush over their stunning photos and beautiful wedding moments!

Elopements and weddings in Australia

Image by Heart and Color

So, I’d love to know…

Would you elope?

Have you eloped?

What niggling questions about eloping can we help answer for you?

Leave a comment below! We’d love to hear your story.

Tattooed couple eloping

Image by Heart and Color

Comments (2)

  1. Jaakko 1 year ago

    This is a great post and I love how the intimacy and experience are mentioned!

    • Fairina Cheng 1 year ago

      It’s so important! Who else should the wedding be tailored for, if not the couple celebrating. I checked out your site too and your elopement photography is beautiful!

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