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Adventure Elopements: 11 Reasons Why They're Awesome

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If you’re looking for a unique and memorable way to tie the knot, consider having an adventure elopement with your nearest and dearest!

Adventure Elopements: 11 Reasons Why They’re Awesome
Meghann Laine Grah

If you’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning, it may seem as if there are only two options to get married – going to the courthouse or hosting a large wedding. However, eloping and creating your own kind of wedding day is beginning to catch on! There’s more reasons to opt for an elopement than simply saving money or being able to get married quickly. Nowadays, adventure elopements are more about creating an authentic experience with less stress and pressure than a traditional wedding. Read on for all the reasons why planning an adventure elopement is awesome!

Why you should consider an adventure elopement:

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

1. Your wedding day should be about you

Traditional weddings aren’t always tailored to the couple getting married. When planning a large wedding, you tend to keep in mind how to entertain 100+ guests, when to fit in family photos, or what could happen if you provide alcohol, among the many other details.

Adventure elopements are different. They take out the superficial fluff surrounding weddings and make it solely about your commitment to each other.

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

2. Elopements are intimate and meaningful

Rather than be overwhelmed with the number of guests you’re supposed to greet at a traditional wedding, eloping allows you to intentionally choose who you’ll be spending your day with and how much of it you’d like to share with your guests. No more meeting strangers on the day of your wedding!

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

3. Create a unique experience 

Maybe a large wedding and partying into the night isn’t your thing, but what about a first dance on a mountain top or with your toes in the sand? A hot air balloon grand exit? The only limit is your imagination, so do whatever makes you feel most alive and create an elopement experience that is authentic and uniquely yours. 

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

4. You value experiences over stuff

According to The Knot’s survey the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $38,931. That’s an astronomical amount to spend on monogrammed napkins, china plates, and floral arrangements. Elopements allow you to save money on the material things that don’t matter to you and splurge on what does. It’s all about priorities.

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

5. Less guest list drama

Narrowing down your guest list to fit within a venue’s capacity, or simply for your own sanity, is DIFFICULT. Trust me, I had to do this for my own wedding to meet my venue’s fire code requirements. It’s tough, and your parents will insist on inviting relatives you haven’t heard of and their old-time friends. Nix this dilemma entirely by only including immediate family or no one at all! 

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

6. Location, location, location!

With a limited guest list, you have the world to choose from as far as elopement locations go. Choose from your favorite national parks, the top of a local hike, or your dream vacation

Take advantage of your elopement’s flexibility and take portraits at sunrise or sunset to create the most beautiful photos during golden hour. You’ll receive jaw-dropping, gorgeous shots and create beautiful memories. 

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

7. Less stress and planning

Let’s face it, no one wants to spend their free time planning a $30,000 event. If you loved doing that, you’d have gone into event planning already. A smaller event means less to coordinate, less stress time tracking down vendors, and less that could go wrong.

There also won’t be anyone expecting you to wow them with the most up-to-date wedding trends, dessert tables, or the city’s biggest party DJ. You do you. No pressure to cater to the expectations of others.

Meghan Laine Grah | Elopement photographer

8. Create memories 

You’ll hear it from family, friends, and vendors alike – your wedding day will fly by and you’ll have a hard time remembering what happened. It’s true, but eloping allows you time to get ready slowly, enjoy a walk to your ceremony location, and gives you more intentional time with those you love most. No rushing involved.

Meghan Laine Grah

9. No stage fright

Eloping means you don’t have to share one of the most intimate moments of your life with a crowd of a hundred onlookers. You’ll both be able to cry freely, show emotions, and there won’t be any freezing up while you walk down the aisle because EVERYONE is staring at you. 

Adventure Elopements : Meghan Laine Grah

10. No need to wait

If you’d rather not wait another single moment to get married, beautiful elopements can be planned much faster than a large wedding. Ideally, give yourself a month to get details squared away, or six to 18 months to plan in a more relaxed manner. 

Adventure Elopements : Meghan Laine Grah

11. Start life together with an adventure   

There is no better way to start life together than with an epic adventure! Your wedding day should be something to look back upon and remember with awe, inspiration, and gratitude. 

So what do you think of adventure elopements?

So, if you’re feeling convinced that an epic elopement in nature is for you, we spoke with the CEO of Simply Eloped, Janessa White. Janessa has helped countless couples plan adventure elopements and has some tips for you.

Many brides wear expensive wedding dresses with their hiking boots, which is a great look. Just be sure to be consider the impact that the elements will have on your dress.

Some brides put on their dresses, get ready, and then hike out to their ceremony spot. While others, pack their dresses, hike out, and then get ready right before the ceremony. If you take the latter approach, consider bringing a pop up tent. That way, you can get ready in more privacy than hiding behind a tree.

Definitely bring ample water and snacks. The last thing you want is to get overly thirsty or have your blood sugar drop during your ceremony.

Lastly, be mindful of seasonality. If your elopement is too early in the spring or late in the fall, especially in a mountainous place like Colorado or Yosemite, you might deal with issues of mud or even show. Either way, we recommend just embracing the weather and be prepared with an umbrella and backpack coverings. As a matter of fact, some of our most stunning ceremonies have happened in rain or snow storms. Both of which make for some incredible and memorable photos.

Janessa White, CEO, Simply Eloped

Would you consider running away somewhere fabulous to say “I do?”

Meghann Laine Grah

Meghann is an adventure wedding and elopement photographer residing in Tacoma, Washington. With nearly a decade of professional photography experience, her customers say she has mastered the art of making them laugh and feel comfortable while being photographed. When she is not photographing amazing people, you can catch her wandering the Pacific Northwest’s hiking trails, summiting mountains, and traveling abroad.