Modern Elope Definition – Before vs. Now

7 min read Jan 3, 2022

The modern elope definition still appears vague to those stuck in the old ways. Just the word itself can cause their heads to shake, to the point where some consider it taboo. For them, eloping can be due to an existing feud between the couple’s families, unexpected pregnancy, or poverty. That may have been the case during the old times. Maybe way back in the 1950s? – not anymore.

Through time, the elope meaning grew far more than from just being a secret rendezvous where the couple had no choice but to opt for an elopement because of their circumstances. Like there is no way anyone would deliberately decide to have one and skip the traditional wedding. This outdated way of thinking has changed in the modern age. A time wherein the current generation believes that to elope holds a deeper meaning for couples. For them, love is a choice, and anyone should have options to celebrate it in a way they want to.

Changes in Elopement – Before vs. Now

Over time, eloping has shifted from running away to simply choosing to get married in one of the couple’s travel destinations or their preferred location. Here’s is how the definition has evolved through the years:

The Outdated Elope Definition

Before the new generation redefined it, elopement was considered a secret way for couples to get married without the consent of their families and friends. It is frowned upon since the reason behind the secrecy could probably be because the couple’s parents disapprove of their relationship. Such a situation could either be because of an unexpected pregnancy, or another person involved shouldn’t know about them getting married.

The Modern Elope Definition

The elope meaning now reflects getting married without following all the traditions that weddings entail. It focuses more on what the couple wants and desires to do on their special day. No practices to follow unless they decide to. They can get married anywhere possible and have little to no guests at all.

Is it the same with a micro wedding?

Although they are really similar to each other, the difference is the guest count. For an elopement, you can have as many as ten guests, while for a micro wedding, it’s a bit larger- typically up to 50 guests. Nonetheless, both are equally intimate, with a micro wedding being like a traditional wedding, only on a smaller scale.

The Myths of Eloping

So let’s start bursting one by one some of the most common misconceptions surrounding elopements.

Myth # 1: No one should know that you’ll have an elopement

All this secrecy behind elopements must have come from all the drama associated with it during the old times. But this kind of marriage is no longer about two people running away to get hitched behind the back of their families and everybody else. Although it can be the case for some, most elopements don’t happen to couples that have families against it. In fact, some even have their parents at the ceremony as their witnesses.

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Myth # 2: Guests are not allowed on your special day

People often picture couples marrying this way with just an officiant and a photographer with them. Again, this may apply to some, but that is not the case for everyone. The modern elope definition means that you are allowed to have guests with you – the ones that you really choose to be there.

Myth # 3: Eloping will just take a few hours

You don’t need to have a short and rushed ceremony. For some, this may sound ideal, but if you choose to make it longer, you are free to do so. The beauty of marrying this way is that you have more freedom on how you decide to do it. Some even last for an entire day or even more! Unknown to most, you can schedule different activities for each day to commemorate your union. It’s entirely up to you! Just make sure that you plan a stress-free timeline because the couple’s comfort is the priority when eloping.

Myth # 4: You don’t have to plan

Want to have a spontaneous elopement ceremony in one of your travels? Yes, you can do that! We even have an elopement package that you can choose from. Nonetheless, you still have to plan for it somehow. The preparation can depend on your preferred location, how you choose to do your ceremony, and what activities you decide to do after.

Myth # 5: It can only happen on a weekday

Elopement on the weekend? That seems impossible! Maybe for those marrying at the courthouse, but that’s not the only option one has when eloping. Modern elopements offer a wide variety of ways to marry wherever and whenever you want to legally.

Myth # 6: You’re selfish for eloping

You have probably heard that a lot of couples stress out over their guest lists. This is a common problem when it comes to traditional weddings. Somehow, you’re suddenly obliged to invite everyone remotely connected with you – from your relatives you barely talked to or a family friend that you only see during the holidays. This is why there’s a negative connotation when you say you prefer to elope instead. Some families will go to the extent of saying that you are selfish for doing so and that you are making it all just about you. Guess what? It is all about you. It’s about you as a couple. And if it’s not comfortable for you to have a traditional wedding, then you don’t have to.

Myth # 7: You will save a lot of money

Well, it depends. Not all elopements are budget-friendly. Some tend to be luxurious, most especially if it’s done in an expensive travel destination. Despite that, it is still something most couples choose to do since they prefer to spend their money for them in a way they want to. Nonetheless, there is still a greater chance of saving on your wedding budget when opting to elope than the traditional way because of the limited guest count.

Myth # 8: It’s not as special as the traditional wedding

To elope has a meaning that is so special behind it. It is to celebrate your love with someone even without the presence of anybody, which makes it nothing less than a traditional wedding. Also, it’s really not the wedding that creates an extraordinary union of two people; it’s the commitment and love that they have for each other no matter what.

The Reality of the Elope Meaning

With all the myths out of the way, let’s now talk about the reality of eloping in this modern age.

It is a great way to celebrate the TWO of you

Celebrations can be done with the most special people in your life, or it can be just the two of you. No matter how you want to do it, it is a celebration! It’s not every day you get to be united with your partner, after all!

You can be intentional with how you want it to be

You can be intentional on whatever, however, and wherever you want to say your “I DOs,” since there are no restrictions on how you want your special day to be.

Create an intimate experience for the both of you

Make your ceremony more meaningful by having the people you really want to be there, or limit it to just the both of you to create a more intimate experience. At the end of the day, the elope definition is all about choosing what you find most comfortable.

Be as personal as possible

Unleash your creativity by making everything as personal as possible. Not only will you make it more significant for the both of you, you’ll surely have fun customizing everything.

Prepare a memorable experience

Are you an adventurous couple? Or do you both prefer to chill at the beach? Eloping is an opportunity to create a memorable experience for both of you. You can choose the location of your ceremony based on what you both like.

To fully focus on the both of you as a couple

Free yourself from the pressure of having everything perfect for your guests and focus more on who should have the most fun on their special day – you as a couple! Remember that this union is a celebration of your love for each other. So, it is just right that you care most about how you’ll feel on that day compared to anyone else.

The Reason Why You Should Consider Eloping

It’s not that we are saying that elopement is better than traditional weddings. We support any form of celebrating love, as long as it is what the couple genuinely like, what they are most comfortable with, and what they envision their dream union to be like. For us, the modern elope definition of freedom sounds more attractive when deciding on what you want for your special day without the need to follow a traditional format. If you feel that this is for you, then eloping might just be the right fit for your story!

Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart,, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.