How Much Does It Cost to Elope?
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Making the decision to elope versus having a traditional wedding takes a lot of thought. In fact, a lot of couples assume that eloping is as simple as going to the courthouse. While that may be true in some cases, more and more couples are now having elopements that much more closely resemble traditional weddings. With so many different ways to elope, we wanted to put together some keys to understanding the true cost of eloping!
Eloping vs. Traditional Weddings
On average, eloping costs much less than a traditional wedding. However, the things you choose to incorporate into your elopement have a cost. Let’s break them down to get a better understanding of what the bill might look like when you elope.
Rings + Apparel
Since the major component of a wedding ceremony is the exchanging of rings and vows, the rings can take up a large portion of the cost. Traditional rings made of precious metals and diamonds/gemstones can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If your elopement is going to be in a place where it’s likely you could damage or lose the rings (a canyon, cliff, beach or another outdoor area), consider getting a set of durable silicone rings. Our silicone rings come in many different widths, colors and patterns, all made to last throughout your marriage.
Additionally, wedding gowns and suits with their corresponding accessories (veil, shoes, ties, etc.) can rack up a hefty bill. Consider alternatives to traditional wedding gear for your elopement. A jumpsuit instead of a dress, khakis and a button-down instead of a suit and tie. If you’re rock climbing or doing some other activity for your elopement, consider whether you’re comfortable conducting your elopement in the gear you wear to get to your destination. This will help cut back on costs.
Overall, choosing alternatives to materials for rings and apparel will save you money that you can put towards other important things.
Wedding Party + Guest Size
Another large cost when it comes to weddings is the size of the guest list and the wedding party. The more invites you have to send, the larger the dollar signs get. Eloping is meant to be a quiet, intimate event to focus closely on the commitment between you and your spouse. Limiting the guest count to very close friends and family is a great way to decrease your costs. You don’t have to leave everyone out, either. Many couples now live-stream their ceremony on social media or have a group Zoom. This way, everyone can participate without breaking the bank.
Opting for a smaller wedding party will also help you cut costs. The more bridesmaids and groomsmen you have will lead to more gifts purchased for them and more expensive bachelorette/bachelor parties. Plus, if you’re having your wedding out of town, then you have to consider travel fees and hotel stays for your wedding party.
Overall, decreasing the number of people in your wedding party and guest list can save you $10,000 or more!
Many couples decide to elope because they want to get married somewhere other than their current location. When you have a traditional wedding, the cost to have a large event with more than 100 people in an area you’re not from can cost tens of thousands of dollars, both for you as the couple and your guests. From airfare to hotel stay to food or gas, the bill adds up quickly. Staying local can really help eliminate large costs, but if you want to travel, having an elopement can let you travel while keeping the expenses low!
Instead of having a true destination wedding – going somewhere far outside your current location – consider going somewhere within your region, such as the state north or south of you, or a nature location across the state. You will still have lodging, food and travel costs, but they won’t be nearly as high. Overall, traveling to host your elopement could cost you at least $1,500.
The vendors carry the bulk of the cost for most weddings. From venues to catering to florals to DJs, the list is long! Eloping allows you to pick and choose which vendors you want most and dramatically decrease the cost. Most couples who elope hire a photographer, an officiant and a baker for their elopement. Together, these vendors can cost at least $3,000. Your largest cost will be the photographer, since good photos cost money.
The most important thing about eloping is remembering that it’s still your day. You can still pick and choose what you and your fiancee wish to do. All weddings – elopements or traditional events – are about showing your commitment to each other and entering on a new journey together.