Getting engaged is exciting, and now that you’ve said “yes,” the journey through your prenuptials can begin. One of the most important things you’ll have to do is decide whether to elope or throw a wedding. Both options have different pros and cons, and knowing them helps you decide which best suits your preferences. Keep reading this post to learn more about the six main differences between eloping vs. weddings.
Weddings Are on a Tighter Schedule
When you have a wedding, you need to establish a schedule based on the day you’ll say “I do.” This means:
- Finding a venue
- Sending out invitations
- Buying décor
- Planning a menu
- Buying a dress
And these are just some of the things you’ll have to do since planning a wedding requires a lot of involvement. However, you can elope in a few hours depending on how much planning you want to do and whether you want guests present. So eloping has more room for flexibility.
Eloping Is Cheaper
Since weddings are major events that require a venue, caterers, entertainment, and more, you’ll need to save more money. But how much does eloping cost? Typically, it costs between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on the location, attire, and other key details. It’s easier to choose a destination to tie the knot and keep on budget when you elope; sometimes, this could be the determining factor in scoring your dream location.
Weddings Have More Guests
While weddings are more expensive, one prime reason is that they allow more guests to share in your moment. If you have a big inner circle or come from a large family, eloping may not be an option. Go through your guest list and decide how many people you truly need by your side. If the list goes beyond 20 people, a wedding—big or small—would be best.
You Can Elope Nearly Anywhere
Technically, you can elope or have a wedding anywhere, but realistically, this isn’t always possible. First, you’re more limited on a maximum number of people per venue when you have a wedding. Additionally, if you have a destination wedding, some guests may not have the money to make it. Eloping, on the other hand, only requires the couple, an officiant, and one or two witnesses.
Weddings Have More Traditions
Are you a traditional person? While you’re never required to incorporate traditions—garter toss, wearing a veil, giving the bride away, etc.—you’re not required to do any of these. However, weddings do follow more of a formula:
- Everyone gets ready
- There’s a ceremony
- Photographers take photos
- The reception takes place
Often, these events have specific traditions that take place within them, such as toasts at the reception. When you elope, you don’t have to follow any of this.
Eloping Is Less Stressful
Typically, eloping doesn’t come with much stress because you don’t have to plan a big party. So if you don’t love crowds and don’t want that party, this is a major perk. When you have a traditional wedding, you typically invite close friends and relatives; sometimes, you may invite family you don’t necessarily need out of obligation.
Of course, to some people, a bit of pre-wedding stress is worth it because it’s the party of a lifetime. You don’t have many opportunities to throw a bash like this and be the center of attention.
Which Option Is Best?
Noting the six main differences between eloping and weddings can help you decide which is perfect for you since it depends on personal values. For example, some of us have large families and inner circles, which means a longer guest list; you may also want to make tying the knot a memorable bash. On the other hand, some couples don’t emphasize tradition and would prefer their dream venue. Think about what’s most important to you and your partner so that you two make the best decision.
You could do both if you can’t decide which to do or you and your partner have different opinions. Elope privately or in the presence of immediate family members, then go on your romantic honeymoon. Later, the two of you can hold a reception with all your friends and family. This allows you to keep the ceremony intimate so that you can crank up the party atmosphere later that day or on another date, depending on your preferences.