Elopement vs Wedding - Which To Choose?

When you're newly engaged there's a lot of decisions to make in order to plan your wedding day. Before you dive into your wedding planning, it's wise to make the decision on whether you're going to commit to a traditional wedding ceremony or, opt for an adventurous elopement.

Answering this question: elopement or wedding? Will determine everything for your special day.

For some couples, this is an easy question to answer whilst for others, it can be a hard choice to make. Eloping vs wedding, it can leave many couples stuck in the middle.

In this blog, our goal is to make your life easier. We unpack the pros and cons to hosting a traditional wedding as well as the perks and downfalls to elopement.

elopement wedding at Perth registry

What is an elopement?

Elopements are when the couple decides to sneak off, not telling close friends and family, to get married! This is often a preference for couples who aren't fond of the traditional big day weddings and instead, prefer their marriage to be done in private.

Couples elope often because it's less stress, less planning, want to have more money for the honeymoon and/or enjoy the intimacy of it being just you and your other half.

Plus, it's always a fun surprise flashing those marriage rings to your friends and family to announce that you've already married!

wedding at Yanchep cave in Perth

Eloping vs wedding

Less planning = less hassle

First off, one of the biggest perks to elopements is the fact that there's less planning compared with a big wedding.

To plan and execute a traditional wedding, it involves a great deal of wedding planning. It's said that the average Australian wedding will take a whole year or more to plan. This is a large amount of time that not everyone wants to sacrifice... not even for a wedding!

For many couples, it's not so much about the big traditional wedding day but more-so, about the marriage license and taking the relationship to the next step. If this sounds like you, then eloping could be exactly what you're looking for.

bride and groom posing for wedding photographer in Perth

More planning = more excitement?

However, wedding planning can be a thrilling and romantic experience too. For many brides and grooms, the thought of planning a traditional wedding with all of the bells and whistles evokes excitement and joy. We do love a wedding ourselves.

If you and your partner feel as though you sit somewhere in-between then perhaps a more intimate wedding might be more your style.

Traditional weddings can be too much planning for some couples. Consider planning a small wedding with an intimate ceremony and with fewer people involved. A small wedding is a great option for those who don't want to commit to a more traditional wedding yet, aren't eager for an elopement ceremony either.

For wedding planning, if you're after your big dream wedding yet, don't want to commit the time - hire a wedding planner! The planner can help you with your list of guests, the wedding ceremony, wedding reception and even your vows!

grooms drinking beer before wedding in Perth

The price of a wedding

To be frank, weddings are expensive. Regardless of how you decide to get married, with the wedding ceremony and reception - there's a lot of money to pay.

Even if you've never been involved in wedding planning before, you've surely heard stories about the price tag weddings spend.

It's said that the average Australian wedding spends around $36,000 on their wedding day. This might sound like an exaggeration but as soon as you begin calculating the average wedding costs, it quickly makes sense.

The venue of the ceremony, then the venue of the reception, you have the catering, cake, drinks, wedding dress, suit, flowers, hair, makeup and let's not forget the photographer (arguably the most important part... wink wink)! There's many wedding traditions that are wonderful yet, also pricey.

photo of jewellery at Perth wedding

Elopement savings

Elopement on the other hand, can be a great way to save.

If you're tight on cash eloping save money. There's no need to book out a big venue for the ceremony as there will be no guests and there is no need to spend money on catering or supply drinks. However, we do recommend booking in a photographer because no matter if you choose elopement or a wedding day - you'll want to capture the marriage.

Another idea that breaks away from traditional weddings, is spending that average $36,000 on an exciting destination elopement! Save the money from a wedding and instead spend it on a dream elopement hosted in a country you've always wanted to visit. A holiday for a wedding... we could get around that!

For some, the big wedding day has been a dream since they were little. For other Australian couples, they would rather throw the wedding planner out the window and elope to Bali.

bride and groom holding hands at wedding ceremony in Perth

Less drama

As much as the wedding day is exciting, it can also stressful.

As the Huffington Post revealed, even just mentally the concept of the ceremony can send stress through the bride and/or groom. From the ceremony, the wedding traditions, the seating charts, the reception and the guests, there's lots to consider for a traditional wedding.

For those married couples who have experienced the planning process before, you'll understand what we mean. The drama of trying to stick to the guest count for the guest list whilst trying to please all family members and friends can explain why people elope.

With fewer guests and fewer responsibilities, elopement ceremonies can be a huge relief. Imagine not having to worry about how many guests on the guest list, who's sitting next to who at lunch and avoiding all the family drama a wedding can stir. Those who simply eloped avoid all the family drama.

For many engaged couples, the dream wedding is having no wedding!

champagne pop at wedding in Perth

But... what about Mum and Dad?

Elopement does come with some consequences.

Friends and family, as much as they can drive you crazy, they are also important aspects of your life. Friends and family want to see this intimate and romantic moment of your life. Eloping often means to celebrate your wedding without guests therefor, leaving people out.

If eloping means you might upset Mum and Dad, that could be enough to rethink your elopement day.

bride and groom hugging at wedding in Perth

Are weddings more exciting?

When it comes to what's more exciting - eloping vs wedding - this is very unique for each couple.

It's best to have a chat with your partner and see how they imagine their perfect day. If you're unsure, brainstorm a few ideas and see which ones you draw a liking to. Perhaps your ears perk up at the suggestion of destination weddings, or maybe a cheeky elopement is more your style or, maybe you're after a combination of an elopement day followed by a big party with friends and family.

It's essential that your wedding day makes you feel excited and not feel stressed. Of course, all weddings involve some degree of nerves. But ultimately, this is your special day - you should celebrate how you want!

photo of bride and bridemaids in Yanchep

Choosing: eloping vs wedding

Now that you've read through the pros and cons to eloping vs wedding - it's time to decide!

Reminder: take your time

It's important to remember that there's no rush for planning. If you're still unsure how you want to get married simply start planning the ceremony, take it slow and keep communication constant in your relationship with how you're feeling.

Non traditional weddings

Most weddings these days don't subscribe to the expectations of traditional weddings. Instead, planning ceremonies and weddings to suit the unique interests of the couple takes precedence. Non traditional weddings allow for greater flexibility and creating, convincing many to craft weddings in new and interesting ways.

To elope or not to elope...

When answering the big question - elopement vs wedding - consider the many options on how to spend your wedding day. Big and lavish, intimate and small, eloping, adventure elopements or even straight to the honeymoon... the options are endless!

Your wedding day is all about celebrating you and your partner. Make sure the way you get married is how you want to... and not how your family wants!

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