To some, choosing between having a wedding or eloping can be a tough choice. Many couples dream of a wedding day filled with hundreds of loved ones at a big hall or banquet, but for others, that might not feel authentic to who they are. But it’s not just the guest count that may be the deciding factor: there are a handful of variables that go into each option — which are both valid — that can ultimately sway couples towards or away from having what’s thought of as a more “traditional” wedding. And for those of you wondering just how different a larger, more traditional wedding is compared to an intimate wedding, microwedding, or elopement, we have an answer for you: very different!
For starters, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 in the United States was an estimated $34,000 — ouch. But just how much more affordable is it to elope? Based on our couples married in January 2019, the average cost of a Simply Eloped wedding was only $1,211 — meaning you can use that extra $33,000 towards your future: a downpayment on a house, a new car, or maybe a trip of a lifetime.
Perhaps you’re more interested in eloping to help save the planet: according to the Green Bride Guide, an average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage, which means that in one year alone, billions of pounds of trash accumulate, all for one single special day in a person’s life. In 2019 alone, Simply Eloped has saved the planet 821,200 pounds of waste, simply by created a more scaled-back way to celebrate your marriage.
Needless to say, whatever has caused couples to consider eloping, we’re pretty darn happy about it. But while there are plenty of helpful sites and statistics that walk you through the ins and outs of wedding planning, there are very few resources for those who choose to go a different route by eloping. Rather than sit and wonder, we decided to do something about it.
We surveyed our couples who had an intimate wedding or eloped using our services in 2019 to see what common trends might pop up — and you might be surprised to learn about some we’ve uncovered.
The number one reason couples eloped was because they simply didn’t want a large wedding.
Based on our survey, 39.6% of couples agree that the reason they chose to elope was because they wanted to forego a larger and more traditional wedding. Coming in close second? Money, honey. A whopping 23.5% felt that the financial strain of a wedding made them want to get hitched in a non-traditional way.
More couples choose to elope out-of-state than at home.
We love a good adventure, and apparently, so do our couples. Based on our survey, 81.5% chose to adventure somewhere exciting for their elopement versus staying at home to tie the knot.
Brides are ditching the white wedding dress for their elopement.
According to our survey, we found that 14.5% of our brides opted not to wear a white wedding dress and instead choose colorful dresses, black dresses, and pantsuits in lieu of a traditional white gown. Yas, queens!
More couples revealed their elopement plans to their family, rather than keeping it a secret.
Adios to the long-thought tradition that eloping meant running away and getting married without filling in their family: 84.2% of our couples we surveyed told their loved ones that they were eloping before getting hitched!
In lieu of a reception, couples who eloped treated themselves to a fancy dinner.
See ya later, wedding banquets that charge and arm and a leg for plated meals: 34.2% of our couples chose to go out to a nice dinner after their wedding ceremony, taking the lead over celebrating with family and friends by just 1%. Go on and treat yourself, lovebirds!
More fun stats and data to come!