Wedding vs. Elopement: The Pros and Cons of Both

So you've found your soulmate and are ready to tie the knot. Congrats! But now comes the million-dollar question: do you go all out with a traditional wedding extravaganza or keep things low-key and elope? Both options have their pros and cons, and the decision isn't always an easy one. On the one hand, a big wedding allows you to celebrate your love with all your closest family and friends. But it also means months of stressful planning and a hefty price tag. Eloping, on the other hand, is a breeze to organize and easier on the wallet. But you'll miss out on those special moments with your entire crew. No matter which route you choose, the most important thing is that you and your partner are on the same page. So, let's dive into the great wedding vs. elopement debate!

What is an Elopement?

Elopements have come a long way from the old-fashioned idea of running off to get hitched in secret. These days, an elopement can be anything but that. More and more couples are embracing the elopement as an opportunity to ditch the traditional wedding chaos and do things their own way. We're talking epic adventures to stunning destinations, just you, your love, and maybe a few close friends and family. From hiking up a mountain at sunrise for vow exchanges to renting out a charming Airbnb and tying the knot in the backyard - modern elopements are all about creating an intimate, meaningful experience that reflects who the two of you are. No rules, no family drama, and no FOMO from missing out on a big, overpriced party. If that doesn't sound like the raddest way to get married, I don't know what does!

Traditional Wedding Pros and Cons

Let's start with the obvious pros of going the traditional wedding route. You get to go all out celebrating your love with every cousin, coworker, and rando from your parents' book club in attendance. If carrying on long-held cultural or religious traditions is important to you and your family, a classic wedding ceremony checks that box. When you choose a traditional big wedding, you get the whole experience from start to finish. It includes an elaborate ceremony followed by a large, festive reception.

But let's be real, all that comes with a hefty price tag. We're talking serious cash for the venue, catering, attire, and all the bells and whistles. Not to mention, you'll be a wedding planning machine for months (unless you hire a planner, which equals more money). You'll often be wrangling vendors, making tough decisions, and navigating everyone's conflicting opinions and demands.

So, while traditional weddings provide that special experience, be prepared for the significant financial investment and the potential stress that may come with all the planning and coordination involved. No judgment either way - I want you to know what you're getting into! For more wedding vibes, check out this Olowalu Plantation House wedding and my favorite Maui wedding venues.

Pros and Cons of Eloping

If avoiding debt and stress is more your vibe, eloping could be the way to go. We're talking about an affordable, no-fuss way to get hitched without all the excessive planning. You and your partner can have a romantic, intimate experience on your terms. Want to say your vows on a remote beach at sunset or get married by a waterfall in the forest? With an elopement, that vision can become a reality without 200 guests and their opinions getting in the way.

Of course, the trade-off is you'll miss out on having your entire group of loved ones. As chill as YOU might be about eloping, be prepared for some potential family and friend drama over not getting included. And years down the road, you may feel a bit of sadness over not having a large photo album and video footage galore to relive those moments.

But if going minimal and keeping the focus solely on your union is the vibe you're chasing, an elopement could be the perfect way to enter married life. If you're interested in eloping in Hawaii, I happen to offer full-service elopement packages that you can find more details on here. Do you want more elopement vibes? Come see this dreamy Maui waterfall elopement at Haiku.

Wedding vs. Elopement: What's Your Vibe?

At the end of the day, whether you go big or tiny comes down to your priorities as a couple. Your budget situation will play a huge role - if you're ballin' on a budget, an elopement is way more feasible than dropping serious cash on a massive celebration. You'll also want to dial in on your guest list. Do you want to be surrounded by guests? Or does the idea of just your closest circle there feel more your speed?

Don't underestimate the impact of your personality types, too. If you're a total introvert who hates being the center of attention, a low-key elopement might be more your jam. But if you're a full-blown extrovert who lives for the spotlight, that big wedding may hit the spot. Family dynamics are another thing - if you have chill, supportive family members, a smaller elopement could work. But if your parents are traditional and opinionated, you'll likely experience some pushback. The right vibe is different for every couple! Do some soul-searching to figure out what resonates most with you both.

Wedding vs. Elopement | Hawaii Wedding and Elopement Photographer

There's no "right" way to do this marriage thing - it's all about what feels right for you and your partner. Have some real, honest convos to get on the same page about your priorities, vision, and non-negotiables for your big day. And don't let outside pressures from parents, friends, or social norms sway you. If a big traditional wedding speaks to your soul, go for it! But if an intimate elopement is more your vibe, don't let anyone make you feel bad about that.

You could even meet in the middle with a tiny ceremony with your closest inner circle, followed by a bigger reception later. There are no rules! The most important thing is tuning out the noise when choosing a wedding vs. elopement and doing what will make for an authentic, memorable experience celebrating your love story. Whether that means going all out or keeping things low-key is 100% up to you. Weddings and elopements both have their pros and cons. But as long as you're marrying your favorite person in the world, that's really all that matters. If you're considering having me join you as your sidekick for your wedding or elopement, I'm all in! Just swing by my contact form to start our chat!

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