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  • Writer's pictureb Wed Charleston

Is an Elopement or Intimate Ceremony Right for You?

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Forget the myth - not everyone dreams of a big wedding. For some, the idea of walking down a long aisle with hundreds of eyes on them causes their hearts to race...and not in the good way! For others, it is finances that rule out a giant shindig or the desire to put their money towards a house or dream honeymoon. Perhaps it is a splintered family or the thought of excluding anyone that causes them to reconsider a traditional wedding.

Regardless of the reason, more and more people are embracing intimate weddings and elopements. From adventurous ceremonies - saying “I Do” after hiking to a mountain peak - to romantic memories - sharing your first wedded kiss with your toes deep in the sand - there are so many exciting options to consider. But the first choice you have to make is whether an Elopement is right for you.

Some people live with the Fear Of Missing Out (there’s even a cute acronym for it). So it is important to ask yourself if going the less traditional route would leave you with any regrets. If the first image that comes to your mind when you envision your wedding day is a first dance with everyone you’ve known since kindergarten gathered around you or having a large audience laugh as you smoosh cake onto your new bride or groom’s face, then maybe an Elopement is not right for you. And that’s okay! But if your first vision is of the two of you running into the surf after you’ve said “I Do” or standing alone with your true love under a canopy of trees before heading off on a month-long honeymoon with the money you saved, then its sounds like an elopement may be the perfect fit for you.

African American bride looks up at her groom; they hold a sign saying "We Eloped"

The first thing you need to know about Eloping is that your grandma's definition of the word has gone out the window. It is no longer a hush-hush ceremony between reckless teenagers. Rather it is the wedding experience coming full circle. In recent years (let's call it the era of Pinterest) weddings have become larger and larger while focusing on smaller and smaller details. The amount of stress and money required for these weddings has grown right along with the number of pins on your board. It is only logical that the trend would eventually circle back to where it began...with couples choosing to strip their Big Day back to the basics.

If you like the idea of refocusing your wedding to be more about you and less about centerpieces and seating charts, but you also want to include your closest friends and family, a Micro Wedding could be the answer. This option spans the gap between a large to-do and a private elopement. Invite up to 20 guests and have an intimate ceremony that gives you all the romance and flexibility you could want and much less of the stress and cost that goes into larger weddings.

I’ve worked with countless couples and am yet to find any that feel they missed out by skipping the Big Fat Wedding, but it is a personal choice that should be thoroughly discussed. Whichever decision you make, I will shamelessly plug that the best investment you can make is a Wedding Planner. Working with someone that knows the area and is familiar with the local vendors is a priceless investment. The most important part of your wedding - regardless of size - is that you are able to be present and enjoy the celebration.


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