Should You Elope or Have a Big Wedding?

Elopement Tips & Advice,
4 min read Feb 4, 2021

Do you find you asking yourself “Should I elope or have a large wedding?”. It’s a question with a lot of weight behind it: it’s your big day, after all! We understand what a large decision it is and it’s not one that should be made without discussing with your partner and a lot of contemplation. When deliberating to have an elopement wedding, a large wedding or both, use this guide to walk you through whether or not eloping is right for you.


Should I Elope Quiz

When talking with your partner, here are five great questions to ask each other to kick off the conversation:

“How many people do I absolutely have to have at my wedding?”

We define an elopement ceremony as 20 guests or less. If each of you absolutely have to have 50 of your closest friends and family at your wedding then that makes a 100-person wedding which is relatively large and definitely not an elopement wedding!

“What is our budget for eloping vs a large wedding?”

While there are many services that offer loans for weddings, we’re huge advocates of staying within your means. You may have some savings or a little help from mom and dad, which is great! We recommend budgeting around $150-$200 per person for a large ceremony and that can add up fast! Be sure you have a conversation about budget and what is realistic when kicking off your wedding planning. To note, our average package at Simply Eloped is $1,000 or less. That’s a big difference between the national average cost of a wedding in the US ($34,000).

“If we don’t have a large wedding, what are other ways we can use the money we would’ve otherwise spent on a large ceremony?”

If you’re passionate about buying a house together, traveling or kicking off your marriage with an epic honeymoon trip, you may realize that your financial priorities are not geared towards having a large ceremony that costs 20k-40k. When talking with your partner, it’s always a good practice to imagine other ways you can use those funds.

“What fears do I have about getting married?”

We love this question. When planning your wedding, you may realize that you have anxiety about sharing such a big moment with a large crowd. Or it may come to the forefront that the pressure and anxiety of planning a big event is just not something you have the time and energy for. Whatever it may be, it’s a really healthy thing to discuss with your honey prior to making any decisions as it may lead you down one avenue or another.

“When I envision my wedding in my head, what do I see?”

This is such a great practice to do in tandem with your partner. When you close your eyes and envision your ceremony do you see a church? Mountain-top? Do you envision a destination wedding on the sands of Mexico? Whatever it may be, that vision can serve as inspiration to other key decisions.

Karen Norian Photography

“Should we elope?”

Once you’ve answered the above questions with your partner, you’re one step closer to determining whether or not you should elope! Here are concrete signs you’re destined to have an elopement wedding:

  • You intend to invite 0-20 guests
  • You prefer to hold your ceremony in a small venue or outdoors
  • Your budget is $3,000 or less
  • The idea of streaming your ceremony to your friends and family makes you excited, not disappointed
  • You’re able to take off 4-7 days from your work to travel to a destination or get things prepared in your home town for your ceremony
  • You feel ready to take off on planning in the next year or so

We say “I do” to Eloping: First Steps For Planning Your Elopement Ceremony

Once you’ve decided your guest count, budget and vision then you’re ready to kick off on planning! The next decision will be around destination. The beautiful thing about eloping is that it can happen anywhere. So whether you’re trekking into remote wilderness with your officiant and photographer for an intimate ceremony surrounded by wildlife or you’re doing a sunrise ceremony on the beaches of Hawaii, we highly recommend locking in your destination prior to any other details. Once you choose your destination all other things will fall into place: your venue, team, date and timing.

If you’re interested in eloping but your honey isn’t so sure we highly recommend watching our video on how to navigate this big decision as a couple.

Lastly, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not eloping is right for you, we highly recommend watching our video below on the top five types of people who should NOT elope!


Elopement Tips & Advice
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.