Wedding Planning and Logistics
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

The Pros and Cons of Elopement

'Eloping' is a phrase that is tinged with romantic rebellion. And there are situations where it's called for geniuine consideration- perhaps you're uncomfortable being in the limelight, someone doesn't approve of your union, you don't have the money for a luxuriant wedding, and the list goes on. But no matter what you circumstances, elopment should be scrutinised with the utmost seriousness. After all, it is simply a wedding- and includes all the religious and legal stipulations that accompany it- minus the fanfare. We've drawn up a list of pros and cons to help you make a decision you'll look back on with pride, not embarrassed regret. 



  • You'll save money. And considerable amounts: today, the average amount of money being spent on Australian weddings is $36, 200, as reported by ABC News Australia. You'll be able to devote that money to whatever your heart desires, rather than having to write it off due to what some see as an antiquated tradition. Tickets to the Carribean, anyone?  
  • You get to save enormous slabs of time and energy. Planning a wedding is no simple task- it can take up to two years to prepare. Those snatches of free time that would otherwise be spent organising and agonising over every little detail of the wedding needn't ever take place! Additionally, planning a wedding tends to test the couple and their families, and can end in arguments and resentment over issues that simply aren't worth the energy. Eloping would allow you to spare you and your families the stress.  
  • You get to skip the inevitable drama. Whether this be between families members who don't get along, or issues between your families of tradition, culture, or religion, weddings are notorious for bringing any bubbling problems to the surface. Eloping is a perfect way of circumventing these substantial problems and their inescapable effects. 
  • You get to be more flexible with your wedding style. If a fancy dress and tux isn't really your thing, but you're can't quite bring yourself to get married in anything significantly more casual, eloping is an excellent alternative. Get married in jeans and a t-shirt, or in a bikini on the beach. Or if your spirit animal is actually Beyonce, but your budget closer to Kesha's holding a significantly smaller wedding will allow you to splurge on this one special day. Essentially, what this means is that you get to indulge your wedding- related fantasies more closely and ffreely than you'd be able to with a big, traditional wedding.
  • It's oh- so romantic. Eloping means that your wedding day is just about you and your partner. All of the distracting rush and noise that accompany a traditional wedding simply isn't there, allowing you to pace one of the most important days of your life exactly as you like, and allows you to drink in the event and it's meaning more completely. 
  • You still get to party later. An increasing trend for couples who've eloped is to still throw a bitchin' party later. The only difference is that the part is more completely on your terms- you don't have to bend to the traditions inherent in the wedding reception either. Not interested in a first dance, a formal cake cutting ceremony or wedding speeches? Don't have them. Or do, and go all out! Your celebration can take exactly the form you choose. 


  • Regret. Maybe you won't feel it as soon as you've exchanged vows, but you might feel it in years to come, when you're unable to undo the emotional damage you're liable to cause. Also, and more simply, you may regret not having your family and friends with you to witness this momentous occassion.
  • You'll hurt the feelings of many. As mentioned above, you're almost certainly to do some serious, irreparable emotional damage to your loved ones by depriving them the opportunity to celebrate and share in the moment with you. This can often cause bigger, longer- lasting bouts of drama that you're probably intent on avoiding.  
  • You may not be accepted. This applies to you both as individuals, and as a couple. Your family may not accept your new husband/ wife, or even blame them for influencing you, and vice- versa. Additionally, they may not take your union as a couple seriously. 
  • Your families will miss out on a huge and crucial chance to bond. The process of organising a wedding, along with the wedding iself, poses a great opportunity for your families to come together, introduce their differing traditions and backgrounds, and learn to love each other in the same way you have your fiance. Celebration can bring people together like very little else can, and expropriating your families of that can inspire the adverse amount of upset and resentment. 
  • You'll miss out on once-in-a-lifetime milestone memories. Being the 'hen' on your hen's night is a special and unforgettable moment, as is getting ready with your mother,  having your father walk you down the aisle and dancing with with your most loved. Sure, having a traditional marriage can seem like a busy, impersonal and unindividual party, but there are plenty of moments that are undeniably personal, significant, and incredibly memorable. There's no way you can anticipate what these moments will be and when they'll stike unless the people you love are with you to help you create them. It's almost a certainty that you'll forego substantially more than you bargain for. 
  • You won't get any wedding gifts. As superficial as this sounds, it is a major element to consider. Many receive thousands of dollars worth of gifts. And these gifts won't be quite as useless as many movies make them out to be. Today, you can create a registry or a less formal wish- list of just about anything you can conceive of: items for your new home, personal items, charity donations, or even a 'wishing well', where your guests simply donate money. You can actually recoupe much of your expenditure by outlining a strategically- thought- out wish list.
  • You won't have a wedding album to show off. Not just to your friends and family, but your potential future children and all subseqent generations. There's something very grounding about having a picture of the ceremony or simply a snap of you and your new husband or wife on your wedding day.

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