Sunset wedding, North Carolina. The couple share their personal wedding vows in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as the sun sets below the horizon.

WILL I REGRET ELOPING? 5 TIPS TO AVOID ELOPEMENT REGRET

BY ‘THE OUTLOVERS’, YOUR ELOPEMENT AND SMALL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

1 March 2021

Worried you might regret eloping? We share our best advice to ensure you have the elopement of your wildest dreams and NEVER regret it.

Elopement style weddings are on the rise as more and more couples are recognizing that a big, traditional wedding is not the right choice for them and are opting instead for a more low-key, intentional celebration.

However, many couples can feel torn and nervous as they debate their options, as they can’t avoid that little niggling question at the back of their mind:

“Will I regret eloping?”

Or, “Will I regret not having a big wedding?”

We understand it’s a tough road to navigate so here are our top five DOs and DON’Ts to ensure you can enjoy the elopement of your dreams and forever look back on it as the BEST decision of your life

Enjoying a first dance at their sunrise wedding, Austin lifts his bride up and spins her as she gently holds his face and looks into his eyes. The sun is just rising and turns the whole scene golden.

YOUR ELOPEMENT TEAM

Photography, planning assistance, ceremony officiation.

Hey! We’re Chad and Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’. 

We’re an adventurous Colorado and Utah elopement photography team, adventuring with couples across the US and worldwide.

We create epic elopement experiences for adventure-seeking couples who find their deepest connection in the great outdoors. 


Will I regret eloping?
TIP 1: DON’T treat your elopement as ‘lesser’ than any other wedding

DO recognize that this is your WEDDING DAY and it is just as worthy of celebration as a bigger event.

A modern-day elopement is not a ‘naughty secret’: it is a conscious choice to opt out of societal expectations and celebrate your commitment in a way that feels authentic to you.

We hate the expression ‘let’s JUST elope’. Because there is no ‘just’ about it.

An elopement should be given all the time, love and attention as a traditional wedding.

Create a day that is out of the ordinary, fun and memorable for you and your partner. 

There are endless ways to elope – get lost in the heart of nature, explore a foreign land or enjoy a relaxed day sharing your favorite activities – but whatever you decide to do on the day you commit your lives to each other, make sure it gets you EXCITED!

And don’t be afraid to treat yourselves. 

OF COURSE you can still wear a beautiful dress (or other awesome attire!), carry gorgeous flowers and indulge in delicious food if you want to! 

You could even go all out and enjoy a luxury helicopter ride to your ceremony location or have a private chef prepare a feast upon your return. 

If you’d rather keep it casual and relaxed that’s ok, too: cozy up in your cute Airbnb with take-away and a bottle of champagne and reflect on the incredible commitment you have just made.

This couple opted for pizza and beers on a cliffside with epic views and we LOVE that!

Elopements are all about CHOICE: celebrate in whatever way feels right for YOU…

But DO celebrate.

Treating your day as ‘lesser’ than a traditional wedding is a sure fire way to regret eloping.

North Cascades, Washington elopement. The couple cuddle together sitting on a wooden bench overlooking lush forest and misty mountains. They're a striking, alternative couple: he is in a brown suit and metallic bow tie, she has a crystal crown and jewelled headpiece.

Will I regret eloping?
TIP 2: DON’T forget to continue the celebrations back home!

DO organize a little something for your loved ones who want to mark this occasion with you.

It’s up to you whether you tell people before or after you elope but, at some point, we do think it’s a great idea to organize a get-together so everyone can share their love for you and join in on the excitement.

This could be a casual dinner party, a night at your favorite restaurant or a full-blown wedding reception.

A celebratory event will help family and friends who were sad to miss out on your wedding ceremony to still feel involved in your wedding and it will also allow you and your partner to ‘feel the love’.

Couples who elope and then return home, immediately to just ‘go back to normal’ can sometimes feel like they have missed out on a little something special. Which inevitably leads to a degree of elopement regret.

Why miss out? You CAN have your cake and eat it too!

Sunrise wedding. At their Colorado elopement, the couple sit by an alpine lake and enjoy the sunrise which is casting a golden glow over the mountains.

Will I regret eloping?
TIP3: DON’T elope on a whim!

DO put careful thought and consideration into your choice to elope and how you would like to go about it.

This is the day you say to each other ‘This is forever’. 

That’s a BIG DEAL! We don’t think any such promises should be made without careful consideration. 

If you jump into things too quickly you may end up with an OK elopement rather than a DREAM elopement: such an easy elopement regret to avoid.

You need to consider – in detail – what kind of a day will suit the two of you as a couple. Take time to envision and then create a whole experience that you will be able to reflect on happily for the rest of your lives.

Spend some real time together – with a glass of wine or whatever your favorite beverage might be – and do your research: pinpoint what you want and don’t want from your elopement.

It’s not as simple as ‘Do I want to marry this person?’ (we’re hoping that’s the easy part!). It’s also questions like ‘HOW do I want to marry this person?’ and ‘WHERE do I want to marry this person?’.

It might be that you would like an intimate ceremony with your absolute nearest and dearest (Yes, your loved ones CAN absolutely be involved in your elopement). Perhaps on a beach or a cliffside overlooking the ocean, perhaps somewhere that has special meaning in your relationship. 

Or maybe a very private affair is more your vibe. Just the two of you jetting off somewhere new and exciting, sharing an adventure to start this new stage of life.

You’ll be amazed by the amazing experiences you could be a part of!

By resisting eloping on a whim you’re more likely to avoid regret and to design an elopement experience that really screams YOU.

Adventure elopement, Moab. A couple with backpacks on cuddle up, with towering red rocks behind them. The bride has a bouquet in her backpack.

Will I regret eloping?
TIP 4: DON’T compare your elopement experience to what other couples choose to do for their wedding day

DO remember why YOU chose to elope.

Once you have made your decision to elope don’t second guess yourself. 

There is no point wasting time and energy pondering the ‘what ifs’. As in all areas of life, the grass is always greener and obsessing over what others are doing is inevitably going to lead to elopement regret..

It’s so easy to go to a friend’s wedding in the lead up to your own and start comparing: to look at all their fancy flowers and décor, to see all their guests milling around drinks in hand, and to start wondering if you’re missing out by eloping. And then those sneaky ‘Will I regret eloping’ thoughts start sneaking back in.

Comparison is the thief of joy: don’t rob yourself of your own happiness.

Have stern words with yourself instead and bring yourself back to reality. 

What is right for someone else is not necessarily right for you. Remind yourself of all the stresses you DIDN’T want from your big day: the financial burden, the potential drama, the rushed pace.

Remind yourself of the deep-seated reasons why you DID choose to elope: the intimacy, the peace, the adventure, the FUN!

(It’s also helpful to remind yourself of the sad reality that many couples opting for big weddings actually end up regretting THEIR choice and wishing they had eloped instead!)

North Cascades, Washington, mountain elopement. The couple walks hand in hand towards the camera, with an enormous snowy peak rising behind them.

Will I regret eloping?
TIP 5: DON’T elope just to save money

DO ask yourself what you and your partner value spending your money on.

Yes, elopements are typically considerably less expensive than traditional weddings. The average US wedding now costs upwards of thirty grand!

However, the cost factor should not be your main reason for choosing to elope.

If, in your heart of hearts, you dream of a bigger, more traditional wedding and are settling for an elopement as second best because it seems like the cheaper option right now, then DON’T. 

That’s a one-way road to elopement regret!

If you feel like you might regret not having a big wedding, find a way to make it happen. 

It might mean waiting a bit longer than you hoped, it might mean finding smart ways to minimize the costs, it might mean working extra shifts to pull in the cash… But at the end of the day, you’ll have the wedding you imagine for yourself.

However, if you prioritize experiences and the creation of lifelong memories over ‘stuff and fluff’ and you crave simplicity and authenticity then an elopement is probably the right choice for you.

Elopements are not necessarily cheap: many couples invest a good amount of money into a full experience that they will remember forever. That might include plane tickets, a quality planner and photographer, exciting activities, good food etc.

But they don’t regret a dollar of it!

You might enjoy reading: How Much Does It Cost To Elope?

Will I Regret Eloping?

We know it can be a confusing process, figuring out what kind of wedding is right for you and your partner. We hope this has helped clarify your thoughts! 

We believe whole-heartedly in elopements being a perfect choice for so many couples but we don’t want ANYONE to regret that choice. Ever.

If you decide to elope it is so important that you truly believe it is the right option for you and your partner.

It is not something you decide to do on a whim or as a second-best option. For sure that will read to elopement regret.

Eloping should be a choice that you feel excited and confident about.

Do some serious research and planning, play around with all the possibilities until something sticks….

And then turn your elopement into one heck of a celebration!

We would love to create an epic elopement experience for you! We provide planning assistance, photography and officiation for adventure-seeking couples across the US and worldwide. Get in touch to start brainstorming with us!

Chad & Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’

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8 Comments

  1. Absolutely love this guide! Omg! So good! 🙌 Such great information! Beautiful photos also! Love it! This is such an exciting celebration in one’s life and being wholehearted in your decision is so important! ❤️

  2. Sitting here saying “amen!” to each of these points!! I especially love #3 and #4. What a great post! Eloping is the best!

  3. I love all the points you made! What a great blog post addressing hard issues surrounding elopements!

  4. Elopements definitely command the same amount of attention as a bigger wedding day. Thanks a bunch for shedding light on this!

  5. Such a supportive article for eloping! Love this, it’s definitely giving me a boost to consider our dream elopement. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is great! I love that you included to not elope on a whim. I think an elopement definitely deserves planning to make it more special!

  7. I love all these tips and wholeheartedly agree. I think 2020 is really helping couples to see what’s truly important and elopements and intimate weddings are definitely one of them.

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