What is Eloping? 5 Facts And Myths About What It Means To Elope

General, Elopement Tips & Advice,
3 min read Oct 25, 2019

Eloping can be a vague concept of running to a courthouse or marrying in secret to some newly-engaged couples. But recently, elopements have come to envelop so much more. So, what is eloping? Does it carry the same notion as it did years ago? We’re doing some myth-busting around what it means to elope and how to elope — and some of the facts may surprise you.

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What is eloping?

Eloping is choosing to marry your partner without having a traditional wedding, and is typically done without informing friends or family. Today, the definition has changed slightly, as more and more couples are choosing to tell their loved ones that they are eloping, or will ask them to join in on the celebration.

What Eloping Isn’t:

Elopements have to be last minute. 

Simply not true! Planning ahead can actually be an important part of eloping. Marriage licenses, witnesses and venue permits all need tending to, depending on where you want to get married. And if you’re considering a destination wedding, then planning an elopement is a wonderful option. Because you’re saving money on the ceremony itself, you can dream bigger about the destination. Whether you’re hopping on a flight to Hawaii, or hiking in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, your ceremony can be planned as far in advance as you’d like it to be. Just be sure to have all of your legally required documents before you hit the airport.

Elopements have to be a secret.

Another myth! We have a whole list of ways to announce to the world that you’ve eloped. Your marriage is worth celebrating with the people that matter to you, no matter how it happens. When it comes to our elopement packages, you can have up to 20 guests (or more) at your actual ceremony. If eloping is important to you and your partner, then it is likely important to your friends and family, too. Eloping never means that you have to exclude the people you love.

Elopements have to be minimal and cheap. 

While budget-friendliness is a big draw to elopement ceremonies, money isn’t everything. You can still wear your dream designer dress to your elopement, or have your reception at a five-star restaurant. You can have a stunning floral arch at your ceremony, and send out custom calligraphy invitations. Eloping simply means that you can choose how simple or grand you want to go- it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your champagne taste! And if you are on a budget, there are all kinds of things you can do to give your ceremony sparkle, that won’t break the bank. 

What eloping is:

Eloping is special.

Being time or budget-conscious does not mean you have to settle when it comes to your elopement. Your partner, your family, and even your elopement company or officiant that’s marrying you are all resources that want to help you achieve your dream day. At the end of it all, every wedding is a celebration of new beginnings and true love – and that includes elopements. You can put as much care and personal touches on your smaller ceremony as you would a traditional bigger wedding. 

Eloping is your choice.

Your wedding is about you and your partner, but sometimes, that fact can get lost in the shuffle to please family or personal circumstances. But it is never too late to redraw your boundaries, and re-prioritize what’s truly important to you. Your wedding should be on your terms, and you get to decide what that means. If you’re worried about family or friends’ reactions, or if you’re simply not sure where to start planning, you do not have to feel like your only option is the courthouse. Lean on your support system, and don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up! 

Giving yourself permission to do what you and your partner want to do is a big step in the wedding planning process. And debunking some of these elopement myths can take you a step in that direction. 

General Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Tori Ward

Victoria Ward is a writer at Simply Eloped as well as a Keats Marginalia scholar and Storyfort finalist for her fiction and creative nonfiction. When she is not writing about elopements, she writes grants for her research and non-profit work.