It’s 2019 and the definition of the word “elopement” has changed.
Personally, I define intimate weddings and elopements (especially the more adventurous ones like I do) as more or less the same thing.
I polled a large number of anonymous people are here’s what they had to say.
When asked what words they associate with an elopement, the overwhelming majority used words like:
I asked them to describe an elopement in one sentence. Here are some of the responses. Keep in mind, these are legitimately copy and pasted – no altering has been done (except maybe to add some punctuation).
An elopement is…
A romantic day with no stress meant to be about just the two of you.
An intimate, love filled moment between two people in a place that is spectacular to them.
An intimate joining of 2 people.
An experience developed for the couple which provides them the opportunity to love and show their love for one another in an environment without financial or familial opinions.
The coming together of two people without any pressure.
One of many acceptable and meaningful ways to get married!
A no fuss, adventurous and romantic way to marry your soul mate without the outside judgment of your wedding.
A no pressure and intimate celebration of commitment.
An adventure where I am the center of attention without being the center of attention.
An intimate marriage without the hoopla and focused on the couple, sans the expectations of others.
An engaged couple going to a destination to get married by themselves.
Did you also know that over 90% of people responded that they WOULD NOT negatively judge a person who decided to elope or have a more intimate wedding?
Meanwhile, there are still a few people who believe an elopement is something it absolutely IS NOT.
WHAT AN ELOPEMENT ISN’T
– A Mistake
– A cheap excuse for a wedding (in fact, you can easily invest the same amount of money and have an even BETTER time than a traditional wedding with the same cost).
– It also doesn’t have to be secretive if you don’t want it to be.
THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT or INTIMATE WEDDING AND A TRADITIONAL WEDDING
LOCATION, NUMBER OF GUESTS
Locations and number of guests typically go hand in hand. Because you have less guests, you’re able to hold your ceremony in a number of wild and amazing places. More conventional weddings happen at a venue where there is space for a reception, dancing, and plated dinners. With an intimate wedding or an elopement, you can still invite a small group of people, but instead of spending the money on a reception location, you can spend it taking your small group out to dinner, or hosting a fun activity (I’ve seen these activities range from whale watching to a helicopter ride to an escape room).
EXAMPLES OF ELOPEMENTS AND/OR INTIMATE WEDDINGS:
- Two people planning a year and a half in advance, but not telling anyone they’ll be getting married until afterward.
- A couple bringing 2 witnesses with them to a place like Kauai, and getting married with everyone’s blessing back home.
- A couple inviting 15 people to the Oregon Coast or Glacier National Park, to go on a hike to a scenic spot to say their “I Do”s with a fun dinner planned afterward.
Overall, if you’re inviting less than 30ish people, and throwing some big traditional aspects out the window, like a DJ or typical venue, then I’d say you’re having an intimate wedding or elopement.
An intimate wedding or elopement has changed over the past decades and that really, you can make your day whatever you want it to be.