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What is an Elopement? Top 10 Myths about Eloping and Small Weddings

Should we Elope? Top 10 MYTHS about Eloping.

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A complete small wedding guide filled with reasons why you should choose to elope in 2020

Getting married is easily one of the biggest and most important events in any person’s life.
When a couple comes to that point in their relationship it can be unbelievably exciting! Two
people love one another so much that they want to promise the rest of their lives to each other.
The meaning behind such a commitment is monumental. Naturally, the conversation then turns
to what kind of wedding you should have. Because a wedding is how you celebrate the day you
make that commitment… right?
So the planning begins. Lots of planning. Sometimes even years of planning. But along with
years of planning come years of stress, and possibly arguments about all the different choices
to make, and that’s only the arguments with your family. Needless to say, the process can get intense. Should we have a big wedding? How many people should we invite? Where should we get married? How much will it cost to get married? What kind of cake should we have? What color sash should we put on the chairs? Should we get a caterer for the wedding? What kind of food? I know you don’t like shrimp but I do. Why do you want to invite your fifth cousin that you barely know? Your mom said we should
get married in a church, my mom said we should have unity candles. I don’t like either of those
ideas. My best friend Susie says it’s popular to have a groom’s cake. I really don’t want a long
ceremony. Maybe we shouldn’t have a wedding? Our dads both think we should elope, but
eloping is shameful… right? Is eloping shameful?

As time passes and life evolves, for me, one of the most exciting progressions from traditional
ideals to modern is that of the elopement. So let us talk about traditional ideals that have, at this
point in time, become myths about elopements and small weddings. The above photo was taken at a perfect small wedding on a lake at Three Falls Cove located in Texas

WTF is an elopement vs a wedding?

First, let us go over what an elopement is-

  • It’s simple. No Drama.
  • You get to make the decisions on how it goes
  • Have a guest list or don’t
  • No debt
  • Intimate
  • Focus on the person you are dedicating your life to
  • About you as a couple
  • No obligations to other people

It is the exact same thing as a small wedding

I have asked numerous amounts of people what they think what an elopement actually is vs the word “small wedding”. It was very interesting to hear their views-

In days past, eloping used to be done when the couple had something to hide, didn’t have their parent’s approval, wanted to spite their families, or didn’t have any family to speak of. Some elopements were spur-of-the-moment decisions that only included the couple and a Justice of the Peace at the local courthouse. Another misconception is that people who elope don’t have any money and need to get married cheaply.
While in some situations these things may be true, in our day and time, eloping has become an
an incredibly beautiful way to keep marriage between two people down-to-earth and insanely authentic.

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What Myths do Elopements carry?

  • It’s shameful
  • You have to have a lot of money to travel
  • You have to do it through a travel agent
  • You have to travel to really expensive resorts
  • It can only be you two
  • It’s a last-minute secret
  • You don’t have any money
  • You have to go to the courthouse for a JP
  • You can’t have a great celebration because it’s just a ceremony
  • That it’s expensive (whoooaaaaa, I’m about to blow your mind, It’s actually A LOT cheaper than a large wedding but you get to still have your favorite people there)

Now that we’ve gotten all the Negative Nancys out of the way, lets talk about what a modern
elopement really is and can be. Because of tradition and what is typically expected, as soon as
a couple gets engaged, there is a feeling of obligation to host a wedding where everyone is
invited. Because, of course, no one should get their feelings hurt. Dear padawans, come closer
and let me teach you the ways of the Elopement Force.  A modern elopement gives you as, a couple, freedom to make their day anything they want it to be. Eloping could be a small wedding in your hometown, at your favorite park, with only your favorite people, a quick ceremony and cake afterward. Because that is all you want. It could be a great adventure in a canyon or at the beach, backpacking in Switzerland, or being airlifted onto a glacier to say your vows (yes, that’s a real thing). The point, young ones, is that a modern-day elopement has no rules!

An Elopement is just a small intimate wedding that includes your favorite people on Earth.

So, when you hear “elope”, adjust your first thoughts from a shameful, secret, and cheap to
intentional, intimate, and meaningful. Imagine getting married to the person you love, exactly the
way you want, without the worry about hurt feelings or expectations. You’re in a gorgeous place with
nothing but devotion flowing between you and words from your heart being said aloud. It’s
empowering, right?

Less Stress

Elopements are for couples to bring their wedding day back to the true focus, which is them and their love for each other. The ones who deeply care about the experience in HOW they say their vows to each other. When you put aside what a traditional wedding looks like, it opens up a whole world of possibility and opportunity to make your day full of meaning and purpose. That’s really what any wedding is supposed to be about. Choosing to elope can take the pressure off of everyone, not just the lucky couple! Isn’t that a glorious idea that just makes you giddy? No stressed-out family members!

What happens when you aren’t subconsciously (or consciously) worrying about the production and performance of what other people expect at your wedding?
What you end up with is an experience completely focused on your commitment and adoration for each other.
There are so many good reasons to elope! Freedom, adventure, and intimacy are just a few.

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Let’s say you have a special date in mind. It’s the day you and your fiancé started dating
exclusively, so you want it to be the same day you become a married couple. You open up your
calendar and your date falls on a…Tuesday. Who has a wedding on a Tuesday? People would
think that is strange, right? How about you let go of what other people might think, and elope on
the day you want. This day holds meaning for you and that’s what you want your wedding to be
about: the meaning in your relationship. So, you invite your immediate family and closest friends
to your favorite spot in the mountains (or by the river, or in the country, or on your family’s ranch,
etc.) and have a s’mores bar set up after the ceremony right by the campfire.

Eloping can be anything you want it to be. There are no rules. It’s done for the authenticity of those who see the intimacy behind promising your life to your partner.

With elopement becoming the more popular and modern way to get married, there are
amazing businesses like Brit Nicole Photography that have experience documenting your
special day!

“But wait!” you say. “A photographer? Can I have my elopement done by a
professional photographer?” You bet your perfect wedding dress you can! And the photos of your
elopement could be even more amazing than you ever imagined. Not rushing around to cut the
cake, sit down for dinner, or make sure everyone in the wedding party is present, means you get
all of that time for breath-taking pictures of you and your love. PLUS! You don’t even have to hire an officiant. If you want your wedding to just be about you two, Brit Nicole is legally ordained and can sign off on your marriage license. If you want to have your dad marry you while your closest 30 friends and family watch, freaking do that!

Having an Elopement is a truly intimate experience

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You love your partner more than you ever thought it was possible to love a person. The day you get married will mark the day you promised to always love this person, no matter what may come. You don’t want memories of the caterer bringing the food late, the table cloths being the wrong color or drama
between the bridesmaids. You want to be able to remember this day as one full of devotion and
commitment. A day that you couldn’t stop smiling because your dream of pledging yourself to
this person was coming true. Your memories should be ones that bring sweet tears of joy to
your eyes. A day that makes you stare off into the distance as pure love bubbles in your chest.
A day that was so beautifully intimate and completely focused on the two of you, that when you
think about it, you fall in love with your spouse all over again. That is what memories of your
wedding should be. Whether you decide to get married with just the two of you or with thirty of
your closest family and friends, eloping has become the modern way to get married. It means
you’re taking control of exactly what you want your wedding day to be. The time has come to let
go of the myths and embrace a more authentic way to get married…a way that is full of meaning
and pure joy. When you have a large wedding you barely have time to eat and it’s rushed. You won’t be rushed and you get your own space.

Have a guest list, or have none at all!

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That’s the beauty! You can have your closest friends and family without worrying about that 5th cousin you’ve never met, or you can have just you two and your dogs! There is no right or wrong way, just only the way YOU want, and the most you feel comfortable! Just like Kimberlyn and Logans small wedding that you can see here in Big Bend National Park

Once you get down to the actual list that you make, I can just see you thinking “I literally don’t know this person and it wouldn’t’ make a difference to me if they came or not…” That’s when you know that you’re looking more for the authenticity of what it means to get married and who you have around you for support vs catering to the ladies from church who you don’t remember but your mom does.

Your Wedding Day gets to be about you two and no one else

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When you chose to have your small wedding or elopement, you literally get to chose how it goes down. You get to chose if you want to have a Barbados elopement off the cliff at sunrise and then play in the water afterward, or set yourself up some chairs under your favorite tree in a backyard while your daddy walks you down the aisle. You get to be yourselves without the added stress of keeping to a timeline or the pressure to add certain aspects that are not that important to you, such as buying an extra bouquet just to toss to someone you won’t ever talk to after your wedding day.

Click here to see our Barbados wedding!

Things to consider when thinking about an Elopement

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  • You still get to write your own vows if you want to and get married without an officiate. You don’t have to write vows at all and can have the officiant roll with it.
  • You can have any type of religious ceremony.
  • If the family can not be there, you can have an amazing coming home party after your epic honeymoon
  • If the family is there you can still have mom help with your dress and daddy walk you down the aisle
  • You and your friends can still have amazing dance parties. That can either be with a DJ, with campfires and dancing under the stars, or at home with a reception party after your honeymoon
  • Chose a photographer that knows the ins and outs of permits, how to get to accessible locations, how to get to your dream location safely, who to literally guide you through the whole process leaving it stress-free.

Where can you have a small wedding or Elope?

Literally, any freaking place on earth. You can jump on a plane and get married in Spain. You can get married at the top of your favorite mountain in Alaska. You can book your honeymoon in Barbados and decide you want to get married off the resort on a cliff at sunrise as the waves crash down below. You can get married on your favorite brick street in town while your daddy walks you down the aisle. You can book a cabin that sits on a cliff in your favorite national park. You can backpack through Switzerland or Iceland and get married with the most epic views. I know of amazing places in Colorado that you can either spend your day hiking to or literally park the car and walk to the most jaw-dropping scenery. There is not a place where you can’t go to make this dream come true. Like this couple pictured above, they had a freaking fire pit party at Wildcatter Ranch in East Texas

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When you chose to have a small wedding or Elope

You are choosing to put your marriage and intimate aspects as a priority vs dedicating more time to the flavor of the cake. You are making it simple and investing money into where it counts vs blowing money on party favors that people end up throwing away. You are choosing to make your day authentic to who you are and not making it about everyone else. Because at the end of the day, it’s your marriage that counts, not if someone hated their bridesmaids dress and caused drama from it. Pictured above is Rob + Megans elopement in Wasilla Alaska! 

Now that you have a better understanding of what it means to elope, we’ll see you at sunrise.
(wink, wink)

Here are some helpful guides if you are searching for places to Elope in Texas
Palo Duro Canyon Ultimate Elopement Guide
Big Bend National Park Ultimate Elopement Guide

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Grace – Dallas Senior in Palo Duro Canyon