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Are elopements a trend?

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Eloping is the chance to have the adventure of your life! Whatever kind of wedding trends come next, nothing could be as exciting and versatile as eloping.

Meghann Laine Grah

In normal, pre-pandemic times, eloping has often been considered counterculture. It’s commonly misconstrued to mean that a couple is shamefully running away together and getting married in secret. None of that is true anymore — you can still surprise everyone and get married in secret if you’d like — but in general that thinking is very outdated. Even more so now, because in the past year, eloping has become the norm as couples have chosen to celebrate their love and get married in the midst of the pandemic

Is the elopement trend here to stay? Absolutely! 

The benefits of eloping

First of all, there are so many upsides to eloping. Let’s explore some of them below:

A more affordable wedding

One major bonus to eloping is the cost. Now, just like how weddings can vary in budget, so can elopements. However, with the cost of weddings averaging $34,000, many couples are opting to spend their money, energy and time planning elsewhere (source). They say money talks, and right now, it’s saying couples are valuing creating authentic and memorable experiences over more staged and antiquated traditions.

No-stressing over guest lists

Elopements allow you to skip the guest list drama too. Your wedding day does not have to be a family reunion unless that’s what you’d like. If you choose to invite guests, invite only those that make you feel safe, supported, and loved. Guests you choose to involve should add joy to your day, not stress! 

The best of both worlds

You also don’t have to choose between having the intimate elopement of your dreams and the best party of your life. Consider hosting a reception or casual party with loved ones once restrictions have lessened. Everyone will love supporting you and hearing about your elopement day. Plus, this is a great excuse to wear your wedding attire again!

Don’t delay starting your lives together

Perhaps the biggest perk of eloping in recent times is not having to wait to start married life with your partner instead of delaying your plans (again!?). If you’re concerned about the time it would take to organize an elopement, don’t be. I’ve photographed a domestic destination elopement that was planned in just 16 days! I also know many couples who have planned theirs in less than a week. Whether you want to get married now or take your time planning, you can have an amazing wedding day during the pandemic.

Decorations not needed

Couples are realizing they can use nature as their venue. No more searching for their dream venue with a gorgeous backdrop. It’s totally possible to get permits for a ceremony at city, state, and national parks. Imagine getting married with infamous views of Mount Rainier or in a cozy forest or with the sound of a river as your backdrop. Romantic much!? 

Couples are loving the simplicity

We now have many couples who have planned both weddings and elopements. Can you guess what they’ve been saying? That planning an elopement is so much easier and less stressful! 

Of course, it is! Managing fewer vendors and up to 25 guests is much less complicated than managing hundreds! Eloping gives you the freedom to focus on the true reason you’re celebrating, you’ll get to take in the day at your own pace, say your vows when the time feels right, and spend intentional time with every guest.

The intimate nature creates special meaning

This past year, I’ve photographed couples that have chosen to elope because of regulations set in place from the pandemic, and those who had planned a wedding and changed plans. What have they all agreed on? That their elopement day was amazing! None of them have regretted eloping and some even mentioned that if they hadn’t felt pressured to have a wedding in the first place, they’d have preferred to elope anyway. 

Unique elopement ideas:

You can affordably personalize your elopement in ways you never could with a full-blown wedding. Check out these unique elopement ideas below.

Adventure elopements 

Into rock climbing? Include a climb in your elopement plans like these two did! Avid hiker? Hike to your favorite view for your ceremony. Road trip, climb a mountain, kayak with bioluminescence, roast smores on a beach, or picnic at sunset. The only limit here is your imagination. 

Try something new

When you’re doing something for the first time, time actually appears to move slower than usual because your brain isn’t sure what to expect (source). Once you’ve done a task, you need less and less attention to complete it. Therefore, trying a new activity on your elopement day will not only feel as if you have more time in the day but you’ll actually pay closer attention to the details as well. Opt to include an activity that is new to you, such as a hot air balloon ride, skydive after saying “I do”, explore a new city, or simply try new cuisines together. 

Elope somewhere familiar

Even with the science behind trying out a new activity, there’s something comforting about places you’re you know and love. Opt for this option if your ideal wedding day includes cozy vibes and sentimental details. Plus, if you stay close to home you’ll be able to visit the spot where you were married over and over. 


Combining your elopement and honeymoon is another great option. You can get married somewhere incredibly beautiful, and spend the remainder of your time relaxing and enjoying the start of your life together! Visiting Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, or your favorite national park are great places to consider in current times. 

In closing

Eloping is the chance to have the adventure of your life. Whatever kind of wedding trends come next, nothing could be as exciting and versatile as eloping. Are you considering an elopement? Check out this handy infographic with more details to help you decide if you should elope!

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.