California and Colorado Elopements

Elope (ĕ lōp’) – to run off in secret with a lover to be married.

Elopement wedding ceremonies have come a long way since the days of old. The old fashioned elopement conjures up images of ladders propped against windows, the waking up of the justice of the peace at midnight to perform a ceremony while his sleepy wife (complete with hair curlers and bathrobe) serves as witness, and parents furious that their children have snuck off to be married in secret.

Today’s elopements have virtually nothing in common with this scenario. In fact, only a few couples that we’ve married have eloped “in secret.” Most have told their family and friends of their decision–some even bring them along with them!

People who elope generally aspire to values of simplicity, living debt free and/or they want the focus of their “big day” to be on their vows of love and commitment as opposed to “the party.” Although, many eloping couples do opt for a party later on. It’s all good!

So…Who Elopes?
Here’s our take on the types of people we see eloping:

  • Non Drama Queen Couples who don’t want all the drama, planning or expense of planning a large wedding.
  • Simplicity-lovers/Minimalists who want the ease of a quick ceremony at the Courthouse, without the courthouse environment.
  • Nature-lovers for whom the idea of an intimate ceremony on a mountaintop or with their feet in the sand on a stretch of beach makes their stomach do the happy dance.
  • Incurable Romantics who don’t want to share their sweetie with others on such a special day; they feel their vows of love and commitment are a deeply personal matter. and prefer to have it be just the two of them–maybe with a party later…or not
  • Couples who prefer not to be the center of attention for such an emotional moment.
  • Frugalistas who want to save their money for another purpose and feel that going into debt for a large wedding isn’t worth it.
  • Those who have been planning a big wedding and are ready to throw in the towel because of excessive stress and family pressure. It’s never too late to change your mind and elope.
  • Military Personnel or anyone else who decides they want to get married quickly because of pending changes to their life situation.
  • Creative Types who wouldn’t even dream of a cookie-cutter, run of the mill wedding day. They prefer to follow their hearts, not the crowd.
  • People for whom this is not their first marriage. They’ve been there/done that when it comes to the big hoop de do wedding. All they want to focus on this time around is each other.
  • Couples with children (his, hers or theirs) who want to have their small family–and no one else–present as they pledge their lives to one another.
  • People for whom this is not their first marriage. They’ve been there/done that when it comes to the big hoop de do wedding. All they want to focus on this time around is each other.

Need More Reasons to Elope?

If you’re reading this, it just might be because you are considering the idea of eloping and need just the smallest nudge to do it. Perhaps you are in the midst of planning the big event and finding it is spiraling out of control (who knew there were so many details?).

The Covid-19 pandemic has persuaded many couples to go small for their wedding. Large indoor gatherings have become a health hazard and a concern for many. Believe it or not, Covid has provided some couples with the excuse to elope or have a micro-wedding. So many couples have confessed, “We always wanted to go small for our wedding, but we knew it would upset our families. The pandemic allowed us to do what we wanted in the first place and have a more intimate, outdoor event.”

Maybe the wedding planning is so all-consuming that you are finding it next to impossible to spend quality time with your sweetie. Maybe you find yourselves squabbling over the petty details. Or find yourself planning the wedding of your mother’s dreams, but not your own. Perhaps expenses are mushrooming and you have this nagging feeling that the money could be put to better use than a one day extravaganza.

Or maybe the planning process hasn’t even started yet, but you know in your heart of hearts that a big wedding is not who you are. You want your commitment to one another to be simple and pure and just between you–not having 150 pairs of eyes boring into you as you commit yourself for life.

But you know that your family and friends will be upset if you chose to elope.It takes courage to inform them that you will be marrying in a way that is opposed to their pre-conceived notion of what your ceremony should be.

Well, being married also takes courage, so you might as well practice while you can. I’ve yet to hear anyone say they regretted eloping, but I have heard many couples bemoaning all the fuss and expense that went into their large wedding celebration.

Here are ten more reasons that will help convince you if you’re teetering on the edge of the elopement decision.

  • The average cost of a “regular” wedding in this country is over $30,000. And that doesn’t count the honeymoon. The ballpark cost of an elopement (including a hotel for a few days, the marriage license, bouquet/boutonniere, professional photography the officiant’s fee, an intimate wedding dinner, a cake for two, a bottle of bubbly and your wedding attire) will be somewhere in the area of $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the details. Honeymoon included!
  • Eloping is about three things: Intimacy, Intimacy, Intimacy! If you really want it to be “all about you” then there is no better way to attain this than by eloping. It’s going to be much easier to emotionally connect with your partner while saying your vows by a mountain stream than by worrying about flubbing your lines before your boss and your parent’s best friends.
  • Aside from the (possible) initial shock, the stress on your familial relations will be considerably less with an elopement. We’ve seen perfectly sane and loving families feud like the Hatfields and the McCoys over wedding details.
  • Your planning time for an elopement can be minimal to non-existent compared to the traditional nine to eighteen months it takes to plan a traditional wedding. Just think, you could be married and on your honeymoon by this time next month!
  • Eloping avoids the religion issue. Escape pressure to be married in the church. Eliminate the “I’m one religion, he’s another” dilemma.
  • Eloping also avoids the “whom to invite” predicament. You won’t have to deal with the worry of offending distant relatives (who after all, invited you to your cousin Lucy’s wedding last year!) or have the unpleasant duty of telling your college roommate that she can’t bring a date.
  • You’ll have total control over how many people get tipsy at your reception!
  • If you’re looking to avoid stress on your wedding day, an elopement is undoubtedly the only way to go. Let the pounding of your heart as you walk to your groom be from love, not anxiety!
  • You won’t have to tie bows on 250 ceremony programs!
  • You’re virtually guaranteed a celebration that you will remember with a smile for the rest of your life.

Convinced that Eloping is Right for You?

(it’s okay if you’re not–we’ll be here when and if you decide.)

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