Top 7 Elopement Myths: Busted | WA Elopement Photographer

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Today, we’re busting the top 7 elopement myths out there. 

And there are several. (What is an elopement, though? Read all about them here!)

Given that elopements aren’t super common–yet–it’s only to be expected that there are all kinds of myths about them floating around. But some of these myths can be pretty hurtful, and all of them are just…wrong

 

Elopement Myth 1: Elopements are shameful

Of all the elopement myths, this one seems to be the most common.

First of all, I have a family friend who got married in a Vegas chapel, and it was not the image in your brain right now.

But your mind went there, didn’t it? That’s the old narrative: a couple runs off to some sleazy place so they can get married in secret to hide their shame. 

Folks, take a look at what year it is. We’ve moved on from that. More and more couples are getting married exactly the way they want to, and just because that doesn’t look like a big traditional wedding doesn’t mean it’s shameful. 

It’s a choice about how they want to spend their wedding day. Elopements are grander declarations of love, I think: there’s something very powerful about finding somewhere remote and beautiful and just letting yourself…be. “Here we are, in this incredible, awe-inspiring place, together, and we’re getting married.” 

Elopements aren’t shameful, they’re brave.

 

Elopement myth 2: Elopements are last-minute

This one has a grain of truth, but only if you make that decision. Plenty of my couples book me six, nine, even twelve months out! Elopements still require some planning to pull off, but it’s a different kind of planning that what you usually see with traditional weddings. (And to be fair, this is one of the elopement myths perpetuated by photographers!)

Instead of looking for a venue, I spend upwards of 30 hours scouring various resources to find the perfect spots for a ceremony or portraits. Instead of finding a caterer for 250 people, a couple can pack a picnic or hire a private chef. Reception hall? Nope, how about a helicopter instead? 

All that beind said, though, if you do want to get married in a short time frame, it’s way easier to do with an elopement. One of my couples booked me just one month before their wedding. No problem. My partner and I planned our elopement in five. 

Bottom line: plenty of thought and intention go into planning an elopement, but if you want to shorten the timeline, we can make it happen.

 

Elopement Myth 3: Elopements are lonely

There’s this notion floating around out there that if you get married by yourself, or with a small group, it’s going to be a lonely experience. Or that you’re lonely people with no friends. 

Neither of those assumptions are true.

Since when is spending the day with your partner doing something you both love…lonely?! 

I often find that the people who believe this myth are extremely extroverted and have the most fun when surrounded by hundreds of people. Which is fine! Know yourself. But allow other people to be who they are too. 

The thought of announcing wedding vows in front of three hundred people makes me want to shrivel up and possibly fall over. But saying private vows before a ceremony of 15 people, followed by time alone with my new husband to just…be together? Nothing lonely about it.

 

Elopement Myth 4: Elopements are selfish

Unfortunately, you may hear this one a few times. It’s one another of the very prevalent elopement myths.

Weddings have traditionally been about the guests, right? Throw a big party, make sure the guests are entertained and having a good time. Nothing wrong with that! However, it does lead to the pervasive notion that anyone who doesn’t do that is being selfish. 

The people in your life just want you to be happy, they love you, why wouldn’t you want them there to celebrate with you??

Here’s the thing though: it’s not about them.

Couples aren’t eloping because they hate you or deliberately want to exclude you. They’re eloping because their main focus is their relationship and their marriage. They want the freedom to be exactly who they are, without anyone else’s expectations or opinions. 

You aren’t obligated to invite anyone.

If someone in your life thinks that’s selfish, they are welcome to that opinion. I’d argue that it was more selfish to try and make your wedding day all about them…

 

Elopement Myth 5: Elopements are cheap

Here’s another one with a wee grain of truth, if you so choose. (I have a very fun blog post coming up on this topic; can’t wait to share it.)

According to Business Insider, the average wedding cost in the United States in 2017 was $33,391. And that’s just the average

Elopements generally cost less than traditional weddings, but again, you have freedom of choice, and that’s the difference: you can spend just as much on your elopement if you want to, but you’re more likely to be intentional about the spending. 

Money is not the main reason that couples elope. It’s sort of like…a happy bonus. Plenty of couples are still willing to invest in their elopement day in order to have a truly memorable experience that means something to them

 

Elopement Myth 6: Elopements are rushed

Entirely possible. But in general? No. At least not with me…

I fully believe that, just because you’re eloping, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a wedding day. A whole day. This isn’t some errand you run at the courthouse and then pick up groceries on the way home. This is your wedding day!

And I want you to experience all of it. I never stack my couples’ timelines so full that they’re running around trying to cram it all in. Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think? Whatever your ideal day looks like, that’s what we’re going to do. None of this “quick get married now say cheese ok bye nice to meet you” nonsense. 

Take your time waking up, getting ready, sharing a first look (if that’s something that you’re into), saying your vows, getting married, and soaking it all in. You’re going to remember this day for the rest of your lives–I’ll be there to make sure of it–and we aren’t going to rush a single minute.

 

Elopement Myth 7: Elopements aren’t “real” weddings (Almost didn’t include this one because it makes me angry.)

Hold please. 

I need to sit down. 

And make myself another cup of tea. 

Because I just spilled mine everywhere in indignation

I can’t even be bothered writing out a long response to this one, honestly. I’m in a private group of people who attended a badass business workshop, and the topic of negative/toxic behaviour came up. Ever heard the saying “hurt people hurt people”? Some people tend to project their negative feelings or beliefs onto others. And we heard the best response to it. It’s not negative, it’s not mean, it’s not engaging. 

If anyone ever has the absolute nerve to tell you that your wedding doesn’t “count,” or isn’t a “real” wedding, here’s what you say: “Thank you, that’s enough.”

That’s all. 

You don’t need to explain yourself to anybody. Just know that your wedding 100% counts, it is 100% real, and I will 100% back you up on your decisions. 

 

…I really do need to calm down and make some more tea. Hopefully reading up on these elopement myths and their wrongness has helped you in some way! Whether you want to explain things to a family member, solidify your thoughts, or just…feel a little justified. I got you.

 

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