At Young Hip & Married, we officiate weddings of all sizes. From intimate elopements with just the couple (and two witnesses!) to huge ceremonies with hundreds of guests, we want to marry couples in the place that feels right for them. Not sure what kind of wedding you want? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of eloping.

First things first, what is an elopement? 

Before we dive into the pros and cons of eloping, let’s first answer: What is an elopement? An elopement is an intimate ceremony with just the couple and a few guests, if they choose to invite guests. It’s usually 5-10 minutes in length and more casual than a traditional wedding ceremony.

While elopements have been around for a long time, they made a big comeback during the pandemic when small weddings were the only option. And even with most pandemic restrictions eased, many couples are still considering elopements for their wedding day.

Check out our post all about elopements to learn more about the history of eloping, the difference between elopements and weddings, and how to tell your family you want to elope!

If eloping is an option you’re considering, read on for some of the best and worst parts of elopements:

pros and cons of eloping, young hip and married elopement
by John Bello Photography

What are the pros and cons of eloping? 

Elopements aren’t for everyone. But if you are considering an elopement and wondering if it’s right for you, reading through the below pros and cons should help you make your decision. You may find that some of these pros and cons of eloping really resonate with you and make it more clear whether an elopement fits what you’re looking for.

Pros of eloping

Pro: Eloping saves you money!

One of the best parts of eloping is the amount of money you save. For an elopement, all you really need is a wedding officiant and a marriage licence. Of course, some couples do choose to spend money on other elements, like wedding photography, outfits and decor. But you could elope on a budget!

Even if you do spend some money on your elopement, it will almost always be cheaper than a full-size wedding where you have many more expenses. And for couples who want to prioritize spending on other areas of their lives, this makes elopements very attractive.

Pro: You don’t have to spend as much time or energy planning an elopement

Since an elopement is a simple ceremony where you will “gather and wed” there isn’t as much to plan or organize. You don’t have to think about chair rentals, ceremony music, a wedding party, catering, etc. For couples who’d rather put their time and energy elsewhere, an elopement is a great option.

While some couples plan their elopement months or years in advance, we’ve married some eloping couples with just a day or two’s notice! Since all you need is an officiant and licence, it’s easy to plan a last minute elopement on a short timeline.

forest elopement with young hip and married
by Erica Miller Photography

Pro: Eloping lets you have an intimate moment for just you two

The best part about an elopement in our opinion is that it’s an intimate moment for just the two of you – and maybe a few guests. There’s something so special about being with your person in a beautiful place and committing yourself to them, without hundreds of people watching or any distractions. Because an elopement is purely about your ceremony, you don’t get lost in any of the other wedding details.

And while an elopement does put the focus on you two, you can still share the moment with a few loved ones. Young Hip & Married’s elopement packages allow for up to 20 guests.

Pro: Elopements are generally shorter, more casual ceremonies

For couples looking for a short and simple moment to exchange vows and get married, an elopement offers just that. You don’t have to stand through 20+ minutes of readings, songs and a wedding officiant speech. An elopement ceremony takes just 5-10 minutes and can still be personalized by writing your own vows.

Eloping couples can also keep things casual if they want. While you can elope dressed to the nines, we’ve also officiated elopements for couples in jeans, onesies and Halloween costumes!

young hip and married elopement, pros and cons of eloping
by John Bello Photography

Cons of eloping 

Con: Elopements have a limited guest list

Historically, elopement ceremonies only included the couple and the person marrying them. These days, some eloping couples choose to invite a few loved ones to witness and share in their ceremony. With Young Hip & Married, you can invite up to 20 guests to your elopement.

But for some couples, even 20 guests won’t cut it. If you’ve always dreamt of sharing your wedding ceremony with all of your friends and family, an elopement might not be for you.

Con: You miss out on some traditional wedding elements with an elopement

Elopements take a “gather and wed” approach – you gather with your guests and your officiant marries you. This might look like walking into a park together and having your guests stand in a circle around you for the 5-10 minute elopement ceremony.

Because of this, elopements usually do not have many of the traditional wedding ceremony elements you might be used to. For example, there’s usually not an aisle walk, ceremony musicians or a wedding party. There typically won’t be readings, songs or other unity ceremonies either.

stanley park rose garden elopement with young hip and married
by Amber Leigh Photography

Con: Eloping may cause some friction with your loved ones 

Because eloping is a non-traditional way to get married, not everyone is going to be happy with your decision. While we believe you can still share your elopement with your loved ones and that there is a good way to tell your family you want to elope, it can still be tough news to deliver.

For a family that has always envisioned a big wedding for you, they may not understand why you’re choosing to elope. Or if everyone else in your friend group has had a big wedding, it may feel odd to plan a small elopement.

Con: Elopements don’t usually include a reception or party

Generally, an elopement only refers to the ceremony portion of your wedding. Because many couples choose to elope in order to save money, skip the hassle of planning a big wedding, and keep their celebration small, most don’t host a reception.

However, if you want to elope but still have a big party after your elopement, who says you can’t? We love the idea of having an intimate moment for just you two where you can exchange vows and then celebrating with all of your friends and family afterwards!

young hip and married vancouver beach elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

Now that you know the pros and cons of eloping, where do you stand? Is an elopement for you? 

Whether you’re planning an elopement or a big wedding, we’d love to get you married. Meet our team of wedding officiants, check out our ceremony packages and book today!