Not everyone wants a traditional wedding, and that’s okay! There are a million reasons why couples choose to elope rather than plan an elaborate wedding day. Elopement tends to cost substantially less than your average wedding.
You don’t have as many mouths to feed, don’t have to fill up a venue, and have the option of buying less formal apparel. That’s why many couples favor the idea of eloping and having a celebration later.
But how much does elopement cost, and how do you budget for one? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we will share how planning an elopement on a budget works and how you can save even more money.
What’s the Average Cost of Eloping?
Getting married is not cheap. However, eloping couples have more control over their budgets. The average cost of elopement is $5,000 to $15,000. In comparison, a traditional wedding costs around $34,000.
When you elope, you can curate a budget that works with your and your partner’s priorities. You can eliminate any traditional element of the wedding, and you can splurge on other things like shopping trips, excursions, and other honeymoon festivities.
If you want to elope on the cheapest route, you can get married at your local city hall and pay a license fee of around $50 to $200, depending on your location.
What You Should Include in Your Budget
What should you include in an elopement budget? The best thing about eloping is that it’s entirely up to what’s in your budget. However, when planning, it’s always great to look at all the possible things you need to prepare for when eloping.
Whether you want to elope with a couple of friends and family as witnesses or wish to have a solo ceremony, below are a few things to consider when planning an elopement on a budget.
- Ceremony and Reception
- Apparel and Accessories
- Hair and Makeup
- Florals and Decor
- Food and Cake
- Videographer and Photographer
- Accommodations and Transportation
Ways You Can Save Money
Consider Your Location
Can you imagine getting married on the beach or at a national park? Would getting married in a public space make you feel awkward, or would you want a more private ceremony? When considering an elopement, these are the questions you should ask yourself to help you determine where you want to get married.
Depending on where you get married, you can save a large portion of your budget by marrying at certain locations. For example, you may save more money getting married at a state park than at a privately owned park.
Factor in Your Lodging Costs
Where will you stay if you and your partner travel to elope? An Airbnb, a hotel, VRBO, or with a friend? When planning your elopement, factor in your lodging costs and see what element of your day you can downsize budget-wise. If you’re not too big on pictures, skip the photographer and splurge on a more luxurious stay.
On the other hand, if you’re big on having a picturesque elopement with extravagant florals but don’t mind a cozy stay, consider finding a smaller Airbnb or rental space.
Get Married on a Weekday
Whether you decide to elope or have a traditional wedding, getting married on a weekday is one of the best ways to save money. If you choose to get married in a popular tourist area, marrying on a weekday also means fewer crowds and more time to explore. Many vendors offer discounts on weekdays, so don’t forget to ask around!
At the end of the day, getting married is a shared moment between two people who love each other. Whether you profess your love in front of 60 guests or just the officiant, the love is all the same. We hope our budgeting plan helps you and your partner finalize any budgeting strategies and begin a successful elopement plan!