Eloping vs Wedding // Thompson-Agnew

October 15, 2021

Trying to decide between eloping vs wedding? Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

Elopements and weddings tend to vary drastically in terms of the settings. An elopement is a small, intimate, and meaningful setting to exchange vows. Typically, it includes only the bride and groom, but some couples may choose to include a few more people in this special moment. The focus tends to be solely on the couple.

Most of us are familiar with the traditional wedding – typically, large settings with lots of friends and family involved in the exchange of vows and the reception thereafter. Contrary to elopements, the focuses of weddings include: a plan for the entire day of the event, entertaining guests, and a large gathering at the reception.

eloping vs wedding couple in an open field at winter

Whatever you choose, the day is about you and how you want to celebrate your big day. I’m excited to share these beautiful photos of the Thompson-Agnew Winter elopement to share the vision and beauty.

Your wedding day can be anything and everything you want it to be – whether that means an elopement or the big, traditional wedding. As you consider what type of ceremony you want, there are some things you won’t want to skip. Like hiring a professional elopement photographer to capture your exciting day!

couple eloping vs wedding in an open space during winter

The Photos – Eloping vs Wedding

The great thing about an elopement is that you can choose to have your ceremony wherever your heart desires! (Same for your photos.) And you can get pretty creative with them, no matter where the ceremony is held.

You’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of the space around you. The anticipation is with marrying your person, rather than celebrating with everyone else that attends.

Quite possibly the most special part of eloping – your vows and the start of your life with your spouse is an intimate moment for the two of you. An elopement can be held in your backyard, the courthouse, in another state, or even at the top of a hill (like this Gibraltar Rock session here for inspo.)

What defines an elopement?

Typically, for an elopement there’s no large pre-planning before the ceremony, no reception to decorate, and no food. It’s simply a moment between you and your soon-to-be spouse. Sometimes, an elopement is even kept a secret between the couple so that it truly is a stress-free, intimate, and extra special moment for the couple. It gives you the freedom to have who you want there and get married the way YOU desire.

Most often, when eloping, the guest list includes the couple, the photographer, the officiant, and the witnesses – that’s it. However, some choose to invite a select amount of people, close friends and family, to share this moment with.

In addition, many people choose an elopement to stay true to who they authentically are on this big stepping stone in their lives. it allows them the opportunity to soak in this time with just their partner.

The biggest difference between a traditional wedding and an elopement is the planning and the people. Think about it – when planning a traditional, large wedding it’s all about the venue, entertainment, decorations, guest list, food, and dancing. Some people feel this takes away from the authenticity of celebrating you and your person. And it’s enough to feel like an elopement is just right for you!

The Stress Difference – Eloping vs Wedding

When asked why couples chose quietly eloping vs wedding in a large setting, most mention their lower stress level. Traditionally, weddings create a significant amount of stress when the planning begins and truly, until the big day arrives. The timeline is filled with booking different vendors, choosing the wedding venue, creating the guest list, sending the invites out and receiving them back – the stress can build quickly. Before your day even arrives.

Before I begin explaining elopements, I want to preface by saying that not all are stress-free. There’s still planning to be done, finding attire, and booking your photographer and officiant. All weddings, whether eloping or a wedding, include planning on the couple’s part.

For starters, if you choose to elope, you’re not coordinating a big party with hundreds of people. This also means you won’t be putting together accommodations, a list of events for the day, wedding favors, and transportation. A wedding is a TON of work – if it becomes stressful, it can take away the excitement when you’re constantly planning something and ensuring your guests are satisfied.

Eloping is solely focused on you as the couple. The authenticity, the intent, and the meaningfulness to fully take in the moment wholly. Your wedding day, whatever you choose and however that means to you, should be focused on you as the couple.

Elopement Photography Packages

Are you searching for an elopement photographer that will travel with you? Let’s do this! It will be a day you’ll never forget! Reach out to me and we can chat on how to make all of your dreams come true!

– Alicia

More Photos from the Thompson-Agnew Elopement



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