what is eloping

What is Eloping?

For some, planning the perfect wedding started when they were youngsters. From a grand ceremony to big invitation lists, wedding planning can be a huge endeavor. But what if you and your significant other don’t want a huge ceremony? What if each other’s company is all you need or want? From civil ceremonies to elopement, you’ve got options when it comes to tying the knot. So what is eloping? And how do you go about saying “I do” without involving a big guest list? We’ve got the details on steps you’ll need to take to elope.

What is Eloping?

The definition of eloping is to “run away secretly, in order to get married, especially without parental consent”. The general idea is to run away with your significant other to get married without telling friends or family. But it doesn’t have to actually mean running off to some remote location. A civil union at the courthouse counts, too! Basically, eloping implies making the decision, regardless of what others think, to finally join in legal marriage. 

So what are some reasons a couple may choose to elope, versus a more traditional ceremony and reception? Planning a wedding can be expensive, and if there are social pressures from family and loved ones, it can make the decision even more difficult. Below are some reasons couples may choose to elope over getting married the traditional route.

  • Social pressures – While marriage is (or should be) up to the individuals getting married, oftentimes the pressure from family and friends can be overwhelming. In many cases, eloping means the couple can do what they feel is best without the scrutiny or negative comments from their loved ones.
  • Times are different during a pandemic – If you had your wedding planned for the summer of fall of 2020, there’s a good chance you’ve had to at least do some restructuring and reorganizing in order to celebrate your big day. If your plans change unexpectedly, eloping might be a great solution if you  want to avoid postponing the event and making plans for a later date. 
  • Mental health – Planning a wedding can be tough! From the minor details to the big ones, there’s a lot of planning that goes into most weddings, no matter how big or small. If your wedding planning seems to be taking a toll on your mental health, it might be best to throw in the towel and run away for a romantic, intimate getaway. Eloping can be done close to home, or you can head to a romantic destination. Just make sure you know what marriage license requirements and certificate laws are at your intended destination. 
  • Money – No doubt, big weddings can cost a hefty sum. Even smaller weddings with less guests can set couples back several thousand dollars. If the price tag of a traditional wedding has you hesitating, perhaps eloping is your best bet!
  • Pregnancy – With or without religious influences, sometimes couples would prefer to have their child after they’re married. If this is important, an elopement may be the perfect solution. 
what do you need to elope
So what do you need to elope? To start, your guest list can be as big or as small as you want. Official copies of vital records are a good start, as well as proper ID. If you’re looking for a destination union, make sure you’ve researched your elopement location to ensure you’ve followed the proper marriage license and certificate laws.

What are other differences between eloping and traditional marriage?

While eloping typically means a small, if not non-existent guest list, there are a few other big differences between this route and traditional weddings. For example, couples who elope should probably forgo registering for wedding gifts. Keeping your wedding small and intimate is totally great, but if you aren’t going to invite people to your wedding, it may be seen as uncouth to ask for gifts. 

You can still plan a honeymoon, and if you’re planning to run off to a secret destination to tie the knot, you may want to consider travel packages that include amenities to make your time more special. At the end of the day, it’s your big event after all. Just make sure you have all the appropriate vital records, like certified copies of your  birth certificates, any divorce records you may need, and proper identification for your big day. No matter what you decide, we hope your special day is filled with love and laughter, and you’re ready to spend the rest of your life together with your loved one!

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