What Does To Elope Mean?
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
ELOPEMENT DEFINITION AND WHY DO PEOPLE ELOPE?
As time passes, the world and everything in it changes. The people, technology, trends, customs, and even words. And speaking of changing words, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says elopement?
A getaway? A couple running away from their parents to get married in secrecy? Or a couple who wants to devote their special day to themselves only?
Whatever you thought of, you were right! Elopement has changed its meaning over the years, and today, although still somewhat misjudged, it means an intimate marriage ceremony where either the couple is alone, or they invite several of their closest friends or family.
The Two Types
As mentioned before, elopement means having a wedding that is intimate where only the couple and one witness is present (usually the photographer), and they tell their family and friends after the “I dos” have taken place. This can be a spur-of-the-moment Vegas type of elopement, or it can be planned ahead where the couple chooses a scenic place to exchange vows and create their memorable moments.
Anything from a golden coastline to a mountain area can be a suitable place for the couple to enjoy intimacy while making their marriage a whole.
Another way to elope is to choose the same intimate, scenic place, but this time invite a handful of guests, usually your closest friends and family to attend and make your marriage official.
Find out more about How to elope with family and friends
Both ways of elopement can be planned ahead or done spontaneously, depending on the location and people invited to attend.
Why do People Elope?
Imagine standing barefoot on the sand while the setting sun is filling the sky with orange-golden hues behind you on the horizon. You and your loved one reading each other the vows in complete intimacy with no one else around. What could be more romantic than that?
Or tying the knot of marriage in an intimate ceremony with just several of your loved ones watching. Sharing the love amongst your closest ones—Isn’t that what all those meaningful moments are all about?
To elope your way to a marriage means to organize a small, meaningful ceremonial experience that is full of authenticity and represents what you are—a ceremony that is focused solely on the two of you and nothing else.
When people elope, they don’t focus on what they are doing or wearing or who else is there. Elopements are all about the couple. All about their commitment to their partner. The gaze into their eyes while the love of their life is reading vows without the pressure or embarrassment of who is listening.
You can say or do anything you’ve always wanted to do without the fear of judgment because that day, nothing else matters but you and your partner. It’s a day focused on the two of you and nothing else.
People also decide to elope because the idea of organizing a big wedding is either too expensive or too time-consuming for them. Statistics show that for an average wedding day, couples plan up to a year ahead and pay $45000 or more, which is an amount that can be spent on traveling, buying a home, or your children’s education down the line. By eloping, they get to save a lot of time and money and invest it elsewhere more beneficial.
Simply said, if you are looking for an exceptional experience, celebrated by a handful of people witnessing the love you and your partner share without the unnecessary burden of planning and overspending, then elopement is the best choice for you.
With that said, if you are thinking of eloping, here are some details to help you make the whole experience complete.
The Details of Eloping
The Ceremony and Reception
If you plan on skipping the large, traditional wedding ceremony and you decide to elope, it doesn’t mean that you cannot have a celebration or reception to mark that particular day. For instance, you can still plan the exchanging of the rings and vows and choose an attire that will signify the special day.
Non-formal invitations to the guests you decided on inviting, music, flowers, photography, and maybe some food or drinks should all be part of the plans you make for the ceremony.
You can even elope to a destination like the Bahamas or the Alps or some magnificent temple in the depths of Asia and then have a small reception with your closest ones at home to simply celebrate your union. Or you can make your marriage official in a courthouse first, and then exchange the vows in front of your closest ones in a small ceremony somewhere.
Making it official
Eloping seems fun, but that does not mean you can skip some of the essential steps in making your marriage legal. Depending on where you live, you will most likely be required to make an appointment in your local city hall for a marriage license. You will need a witness for the ceremony to get a marriage certificate, and you will need to have your birth certificates and official identifications with you to be eligible to marry.
This is why many couples decide on having this part done first before eloping to their favorite destination either solo or with their closest ones.
Elopement Photography Services
Whether a large wedding or a small elopement ceremony, a photography service should be present in both. Weddings happen once and should be captured in the form of loving photographs to cherish for a lifetime. This is why many couples that go with eloping have their photographer to serve as the witness and capture them while exchanging vows and rings and tying the knot.
All in all, an elopement is a personal decision that you and your partner should make. Everyone has their own reasons for eloping, and no one should let other people put pressure on their choice.
After all, the most important part is that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate a marriage. Instead, it should be an enjoyable moment where you put all your worries and anxiety aside, and you vow your love and life to your partner, however, and wherever you choose.