What is Eloping?
What is Eloping, these days, we often use the term “elopement” to refer to any wedding that is done in a hurry, or that is conducted in private. The word elopement has become a common colloquialism in our day to day language but the meaning has changed very little from the traditional definition of eloping. Eloping comes from the word ‘elope’, meaning to flee or to run away, and has been described as a marriage done suddenly or in a secretive manner. As the term elopement becomes more popular, so does the act itself. Today, eloping has become trendy and in many cases a practical and cost effective decision for many couples. Eloping today is running away from potential family feuds or disapproval, and the costs and pressures associated with a traditional big wedding ceremony that most brides have envisioned since they were little girls. Whatever the reason couples have for wanting to elope, one thing is certain – it’s one of the easiest paths from Engaged to Just Married!
Elopement isn’t what you’d call a traditional marriage because a lot of the rituals, costs, and practices of a standard wedding are eliminated. You may not get to invite a lot of people, or have an elaborate expensive reception but with today’s wide range of basic to all-inclusive Wedding Elopement Packages couples can choose the officiant, rituals, vows, locations, flowers, music, photos, guest-family and friends, receptions, honeymoon suite or vacation rental and have as much “wedding” as their budget allows. Plus there is still the mystique, spontaneity, romance and excitement about eloping to marry the one you love without all of the elaborate planning and expense!
What Is Eloping Today?
We talk about eloping a lot and because it is something we are dealing with on a day to day basis, we can often forget that not everyone is completely sure about what eloping is. That is why we wanted to take a few minutes to answer the question: What Is Eloping?
Let’s start by taking a look at the official definition of the term ‘elope’. According to the Oxford Dictionaries (US English) elope is a verb which means ‘to run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent’. When you read our post on the history of elopement you will notice that this fits with the common definition of eloping that most people know about – which is to say it is the one that fits in with the idea of young people running off to marry someone that their family does not approve of!
However, when today when talking about eloping, it means much more than that! For discussion purposes, an elopement today is simply a small intimate wedding. This could be a called a destination wedding, a tiny wedding, a private wedding, casual wedding, non-traditional wedding or it could just be called a “wedding” in your own home town. Your elopement may consist only of you and your partner in front of your officiant and witnesses if required, but it could also include a small group of family, close friends or up to 30 guests! Similarly, your elopement ceremony can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish held at an indoor or outdoor venue.
If we had to sum up an elopement in one sentence then it would be this – An elopement is a wedding that has been scaled way back from what one normally thinks of as a ‘traditional’ wedding with less cost, stress and planning required.
So if you are more interested in getting married then you are in having a “wedding” or if you do not want to participate in the extravagance and pageantry that is associated with a wedding then you are most likely looking for some sort of elopement! You may not necessarily want to marry in secret and the chances are fair that your parents actually really like your intended. A modern elopement simply means that you are not looking for a big traditional wedding.
What does eloping mean to you?
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What is Eloping Frequently Asked Questions
Our Eloping Frequently Asked Questions show that planning an elopement takes a lot less planning than a traditional wedding, but there is still some preparation work involved. It is really all about choosing WHERE and WHEN you will elope. We have provided a basic guide which will help you to plan your elopement on our HOW page!
Can I elope with my partner anywhere at any time?
Essentially, it is possible to elope almost anywhere at any time. However, you do need to make sure that elopements are legal in your chosen destination. It should be fine within the USA and most of Europe, but it’s wise to confirm the local marriage laws. There are some situations where additional considerations need to be made, for example, when eloping on a Cruise. It is also important to do some research into the required waiting times for marriage licenses. Not every location allows same day marriages. When browsing our where to elope pages you will find a brief overview of the legal requirements, but these are subject to change so please confirm this information for yourself before booking.
What documentation do I need when eloping?
The only documentation required for an elopement is the paperwork necessary to obtain the marriage license. This may vary depending on location, but usually includes a suitable form of identification (drivers license or passport), proof of age and proof of divorce or a former spouse’s death for those who are remarrying.
How long does it take to plan an elopement?
By their very nature, elopements are quicker and easier to plan than a traditional wedding ceremony. A big wedding can take between 6 months and several years to plan! It does really depend on where you elope to. Some locations allow same day license applications, so you could potentially just turn up and tie the knot. However, other locations do require prior booking and have marriage license waiting times. On average, you may wish to leave around 3 months to get everything arranged although many venues will handle all of the planning – all you need to do is book an elopement package and turn up on the day!
How much does eloping cost?
The cost of an elopement varies depending on where you elope to and what you include in the ceremony. It is possible to elope in Las Vegas for under $100 if you are happy with the cheapest possible option which includes the marriage license and a basic ceremony. However, if you want something a little more upscale, then you can expect to pay $500 for a basic package with a few inclusions to $2,500 for an all-inclusive package with several inclusions. Considering the fact that the most basic traditional wedding comes in at around $10,000 and averages approximately $25,000, then eloping is certainly a far more cost effective option.
Is eloping less formal than a traditional wedding?
Again, this is down to personal preference. An elopement can be as formal or as casual as you wish. The beauty of elopement is that you have the freedom to do what you choose.
Does an elopement ceremony have a religious element?
Whether or not your elopement has a religious element depends entirely on your own personal preference. You can hire an officiant of any denomination to perform your ceremony.
Should you elope?
There are many reasons WHY couples choose to elope ranging from the money saving element to being able to avoid being the center of attention. The reasons for eloping are very personal to each couple. Please take our FREE Should You Elope Assessment and receive a Free PDF copy of our eBook “How to Save 90% on Your Wedding and Still Have a Honeymoon“.
Do I need to tell people I am eloping?
There are those who feel like if they tell everyone their plans, then they are not truly eloping. However, others feel like running off to tie the knot is going to upset their families. It is a good idea to explain to people in advance that you will be eloping, you do not need to tell them exactly when and where. It is inevitable that someone will be hurt, but at the end of the day this is your wedding and they will come to terms with your choice eventually.
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