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.

IS ELOPING SELFISH? (SPOILER ALERT: IT’S NOT!)

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

1-MARCH-2021

“Is eloping selfish?”

If you and your partner are considering jacking in the big, traditional wedding and embarking on an exciting elopement adventure together instead, there is every chance you have already asked yourselves this difficult question.

You might even be wondering, “Is it wrong to elope? Am I bad to want to elope?”.

Maybe somebody has subtly – or not so subtly – tried to guilt trip you, telling you you’re selfish and suggesting it’s unfair to exclude your loved ones from your big day? And now you’re doubting your own choices?

Well, we’re here to tell you to stop worrying and stay strong!

The decision to elope is NOT a selfish one and we’ll explain why. We’ll also look at strategies to help you handle those that think it is.

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. 

It is NOT selfish to elope and here’s why!

Little Caveat Before We Start: ALL weddings ARE selfish to a degree and THAT’S OK

It’s important to realise one thing: weddings, by their very nature, are rather self-centered events. It’s a day entirely dedicated to two people. 

And that’s beautiful!

This is your one chance to have the wedding experience that you and your partner envision. 

But, just as traditional couples aren’t labeled ‘selfish’ for wanting the day of THEIR dreams, we don’t think eloping couples should be either! 

Forest wedding in Tennessee. The couple dance under a tree on a dramatic grey cliff.

Is Eloping Selfish? ‘Selfishness’ vs. ‘Self-care’

When you are choosing to elope, you are not, in fact, being SELFISH. You are practicing SELF-CARE. 

You are choosing to honor your own needs and feelings. 

You are making decisions that are right for YOU. This is a very healthy relationship to have with yourself and we absolutely encourage it when choosing how to get married.

You and your partner want to be able to reflect on your wedding day for the rest of your lives and feel happy that you were true to yourselves.

It saddens us how many couples look back on their wedding day with regret as they were forced into something that was inauthentic to them.

You might also enjoy: How To Elope And Never Regret It

Is Eloping Selfish? ‘Selfishness’ vs. ‘Self-Awareness’

Different couples have different needs.

If you are considering an elopement, you very likely have different wants and needs to the ‘average’ couple and that’s 100% ok. 

Well done to you for recognizing that fact.

You likely don’t want all the ‘show’ that goes hand-in-hand with a traditional wedding.

Perhaps the idea of standing up in front of hundreds of people is terrifying to you.

You most likely feel that sharing your wedding vows is an intensely intimate and private thing. 

This is the moment you and your partner commit to each other for the rest of your lives: it is super-important that you respect your own feelings and do what feels right for the both of you.

So if a traditional wedding just doesn’t make sense to you and you want to design something way more ‘you’, that ain’t selfishness. It’s SELF-AWARENESS!

Desert elopement. A couple run hand in hand down a sand dune, laughing and kicking up sand.

People will ALWAYS have opinions!

Even with ‘normal’ weddings everyone has something to say about your choices: the flowers, the food, your dress, even something as simple as the date.

Elopements are still a little unusual and you will find that people may have some very strong – if entirely uninformed – opinions about them.

Aaaaaaaaand they’re probably going to state them – loudly – whether you’ve asked for their opinions or not.

So, brace yourself, stand tall and state your case.

Is Eloping Selfish: Our Advice For Handling Those Who Tell You It IS

Determine whose opinions actually matter to you if you’re being told eloping is selfish.

If your great aunt who you haven’t seen for ten years is telling your mother that it’s wrong of you to be ‘so selfish’ you might just want to block that sh*t out.

However, if those really close to you are expressing genuine, heartfelt concerns then you probably want to face those head on: these people DO matter to you, after all.

It’s better to talk about loved ones’ feelings rather than let them simmer.

Communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE when people suggest eloping is selfish!

It is impossible for everyone to agree on everything all the time. That’s just life.

Eloping is still a pretty ‘out there’ idea and, as we know, human nature is to be distrustful of ‘different’.

If you take the time to really try and explain WHY you are choosing to elope, WHAT matters to you most on your wedding day and HOW you envision your day playing out, hopefully those who care about you can understand your decision a little better.

As the sun sets on their Moab elopement, this couple sit together on the rocks and share a pizza and beer for their wedding celebrations. There are towering red rock ‘hoodoos’ in the distance and a dark, dramatic sky above.

Perhaps hop online with your loved ones and show them what kind of things you’re thinking about for your elopement day? Show them images of epic elopement adventures. When they see how joyful and excited it makes you just talking about it, hopefully they will begin to warm to the idea.

Just opening their eyes to how beautiful an elopement can be may well help dispel their negative feelings towards it. 

If loved ones suggest eloping is selfish, try to empathize and understand their point of view

Usually, family and friends who are against you eloping are not coming at it from a place of genuine anger or real judgement.

When you get down to the bare bones, it’s more often a sense of disappointment.

People suggesting that it is selfish to elope, even that it is wrong to elope, are ultimately saying:

“Ahhhh, damn, I love you and I really wanted to witness you marry the love of your life.”

They are sad that they are ‘missing out’ on this milestone moment of your relationship. Your loved ones want to be involved. We get that and it’s actually a really beautiful thing.

Simply acknowledging their legitimate feelings can go a really long way.

At this Washington elopement in the North Cascades, the couple pop champagne to celebrate, with dramatic snow-capped mountains rising in the background.

Find ways to involve your family and friends if they suggest you’re being selfish

Modern day elopements are not secret, clandestine affairs: you can absolutely get your loved ones involved IF you want to.

Whether you’d like to have your nearest and dearest with you on the day to witness your vows, or whether you’d simply like them to feel more involved in the planning process, we’ve got several ideas on how to involve your loved ones in your entire elopement experience.  

Our final piece of advice….

Stay strong!

The reality is, if you decide to go ahead and elope you will likely receive some push-back from others.

This can be difficult if you’re a natural ‘people-pleaser’.

The best thing you can do as a couple is to stay strong in your decision, explaining it to those you care about as clearly as you can. Then do what you are willing to, to involve those who love you and legitimately feel saddened that they are ‘missing out’.

Beach elopement. At this wedding with their dog, the bride and groom take some time to relax with a picnic. She is playing guitar and singing.

So, is eloping selfish?

No, no and NO! Eloping is not selfish, it is not wrong and it is not bad.

Rest assured, you are NOT selfish for wanting to elope: you are simply self-aware and practicing really healthy self-care. 

Ultimately, at the end of the day, this marriage is going to be about the two of you, for the rest of your lives: so, start it in a way that feels right for YOU!

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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