ELOPEMENT vs WEDDING – 3 Reasons Why Elopements Are A Rad Alternative To Traditional Weddings

January 18, 2022

3 Reasons Why Elopements Are A Rad Alternative To Traditional Weddings

Elopement vs Wedding!? Congratulations, if you’re reading this, it’s likely you just got engaged! Or helping someone plan their rad day!

That’s totally awesome! Now it’s full-steam-ahead into wedding planning, right?

Well, not quite. We’re gonna stop you right there. Did you know that planning a traditional wedding isn’t your only option?

Ever heard of an “elopement?” If you have, you’re probably picturing a rebellious couple sneaking off to Vegas to tie the knot before an Elvis impersonator.

And sure, that’s one way to do it. 

There are endless ways to elope. Unlike a traditional wedding where every mother, aunt, and grandma has their say, an elopement is anything you want it to be.

Emphasis on YOU. 

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What is an Elopement?

An elopement is when you and your partner choose yourselves over everything else. Traditionally, elopements are similar to micro weddings with either just the couple or a handful of your closest friends and family. For vendors, elopements keep it simple and usually consist of an officiant and an elopement wedding photographer (we can do both). 

Typically, smaller is better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something special. It’s not as much about size as it is about toning down the pomp and circumstance of a traditional wedding.

Whether you dream about an intimate ceremony in the local forest clearing or saying your vows atop a glacier or mountain in Iceland, an elopement gives you absolute freedom. Enjoy your wedding day as you and your partner see fit. 

To some, this sounds ridiculous. To some, bucking tradition sounds amazing! For those of you landing somewhere in the middle, here are three reasons why you should consider elopement over a traditional wedding. 

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Now Three Reasons they are a Rad Alternative to a Traditional Wedding (if that’s not for you!)

1. You’ll save a ton of money. 

If you haven’t already experienced the sticker shock of wedding planning, you’re in for a not-so-sweet treat. 

Did you know that the average American spends roughly $30K+ on their wedding? Opt for an elopement and that number could drop drastically (like, have your dream wedding under $15K drastic).

With the world as your venue, you can cut out unnecessary vendors like venue rentals, caterers, and entertainment, you can lower the cost and still have an experience that means just as much (if not more) than a traditional wedding. 

And just so you know, that drop in cost does not mean a drop in value. You’re getting quality time with your partner and an epic story to tell. The money you’ll save is just the cherry on top of amazing memory. 

2. You’ll have more time for YOU.

Whether you’ve attended some yourself or you’ve seen them in the movies, we’re all familiar with weddings.

The couple usually spends the evening running around giving hugs to friends, family, and distant relatives, barely stopping to eat, let alone spend time together.

With an elopement, you’re essentially having a smaller, more intimate wedding. You can spend your day with your chosen company, free of distractions. You can be present with your partner. Take the full day to breathe in the experience. Make your first day of marriage authentic to your relationship and all the more memorable. 

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3. You’ll stress less. 

Weddings have a ton of moving parts like managing locations, vendors, guests, and multiple timelines. There’s so much going on that unless you’re willing to shell out even more for a coordinator, the day can become a nightmare instead of the daydream you imagined.

We won’t sugarcoat it, weddings come with a certain level of stress no matter what. But that stress is much more manageable when you take the time to identify what you really want out of your day. An epic elopement can minimize family pressures, difficult wedding party decisions, and additional commitments. You’ll have the freedom and flexibility to plan a day you can comfortably manage AND enjoy.

Imagine it. Just you and your partner, a few of your favorite people, an officiant, and a photographer, experiencing whatever epic adventure you picked out. A day free of stress and ripe for memories.

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Now for some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

When it comes to weddings, we don’t believe in playing by the rules. You don’t need to have a traditional wedding with 200 guests and a band (unless you want to). You also don’t need to run away from your family to say your vows in secret (unless you want to).

An elopement gives you room to play between traditional and nontraditional so you get the best of both worlds. And remember, the world is your venue.

Here are a few creative ideas to consider for your elopement:

  • Take a weekend couple’s camping trip and hike to a scenic lookout for your ceremony.
  • Rent an Airbnb with your closest friends and family. You’ll wake up to breakfast, hot coffee, and no rush.
  • Follow an outdoor ceremony with a romantic picnic for two. 
  • Enjoy an intimate dinner with family surrounded by candles, mountains, and stars.
  • Fly across the world to a country you’ve always wanted to visit. You can go right from your ceremony to your honeymoon. 
  • Book a river cruise and get married by the ship’s captain (Jim and Pam style).
  • Swing by the courthouse and meet your friends and family for a nice lunch reservation.

All this elopement talk is getting us fired up about helping you plan your day. As elopement photographers, we at Natural Intuition Photography are experts in epic adventures. We’re primed and ready with the best tips, tricks, and gear to capture the coolest destination elopement you can dream up.

We’ll travel anywhere for your elopement wedding and we mean anywhere (yes, even other countries). We’ll ensure you have plenty of rad photos to document the first of your many epic adventures together, but we want to leave you with this reminder…

You can have the wedding YOU want.

These are just a few reasons why an elopement might be more your style. We could list benefits for either approach all day, but the point we want to stress is this: You and your partner should do what feels right for you. This is a day to celebrate your relationship, to commit yourselves to one another, to usher in a new chapter of your life alongside your person. It’s “your day” for a reason, and that’s to enjoy it exactly how you’d like. 

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No matter what you choose on your wedding day, remember:

If it doesn’t feel like you, don’t do it!

And we at Natural Intutioin Photography are here to help you build a day that feels like you! A day that turns into a weekend, that turns into a rad honeymoon!

We are Justin and Christine, and we like photographing weddings, traveling anywhere, and pizza. And sometimes at weddings, we dance.

Together we’ve been photographing weddings for nearly a decade, and we specialize in making rad photos. We use a super-secret combination of humor, harnessing amazing light and two people in love. All you have to do is provide the people!

The clients that hire us want photographers who want natural, journalistic-style photos of their wedding day so that when they look at their photos years later, they can hear the laughter. If we seem like the kind of people you’d like to have a beer with, chances are we would be a good fit for you. We’ll even show you our killer dance moves.

Don’t let the world, the wedding industry, or your family tell you what you should do. Do you & enjoy every minute of it!


This is a great deep dive into the conversation around elopements vs weddings. You explained everything simply and gave great points for any couple on the fence.

This is so inspirstional! I love elopements

I like the quote, “If it doesn’t feel like you, dont do it.” Having a huge wedding with everyone staring at me would NOT feel right, so I like this list.