As someone who is both a wedding vendor and an engaged-to-be-married individual, I find myself in the specific position of seeing wedding planning from all angles. My most recent job, an elopement, got me thinking: why shouldn't I just elope this year? What's really keeping me from doing so? Then I shifted away from thinking of the why nots, and to the why's.
Being a wedding photographer, I regularly help couples plan out their big day. It's daily that I find myself answering questions, responding to emails, constant communication about weddings. But I haven’t planned anything concrete about my own. As mentioned before, my most recent gig was an elopement. And boy was it last minute. Almost no planning involved. The bride had selected three different dates, three different locations, all within three weeks before landing on a private residence on a Sunday afternoon. It was simple. It was beautiful. And it only involved what was really important to the couple. It was far less stressful. And that’s what I want. I want to only worry about and plan what is really important to me, and not worry about all of the other things that come with big weddings.
The thing about this recent elopement, was that it was almost entirely secret. This couple had been engaged for years and had decided to just go ahead and get married. Telling only a few key individuals beforehand, which made for a much easier process. Less opinions means less stress. No one was saying the lines of “Oh you have to do this, I can’t believe you’re not doing that, it’s about your guests”. No. It’s not about your guests. It’s about you and your partner. That’s something that has been lost with large weddings, the day is really just about you two. No one’s opinion really matters except for your’s and your partner’s.
This specific couple only did what they wanted for their big day, which means they only spent their money on what was really important to them. Their attire, an officiant, the rings, hair and makeup, and photography was all that they paid for. They didn’t hire a caterer, they didn’t go to a big venue, they didn’t have a cake to cut, they didn’t rent chair or table cloths or go to a florist, the list goes on and on. They did what they wanted, and they spent their money on only a few things.
Clearly the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than a disrupt in just about every industry, Jeff Bezos being the exception. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many brides contacted me last year to change their date from 2020 to 2021 or even 2022. This means that there are less vendors and venues available for both this year and next. The only planning for my own wedding that I did attempt to do was book a venue. But, you guessed it, no availability. This couple eloping was the perfect solution to avoiding this issue.
Lastly, the final reason to consider eloping this year: because you want to. Because you’re reading this article. Because you’re looking into it. Because eloping can mean getting married now, your way. The couple who I recently photographed do plan to have a large wedding in the future, but for now they just wanted to get married. So they did, and it was small and it was beautiful. If you’re still reading this then this must be something that you’re seriously considering, I know that I am. No matter what you decide, have your wedding the way that you want.