The Definition of Elopement
Elopements have evolved quite a bit in the last few years. Most people think of an elopement as a small wedding, with only close family and friends in an awesome location. However, the original meaning and view of an elopement weren’t so positive. Back in the day and elopement was a couple running away together to get married without the consent or knowledge of their parents. This usually happened because the parents did not approve of the union. Therefore, the true elopement would be a couple getting married in secret, without anyone knowing about it. Not quite the same as it’s thought about these days is it?
What does it mean to elope today?
These days when people talk about eloping they usually mean going to an awesome foreign destination and exchanging vows. This usually includes just the couple but sometimes parents are welcomed and they definitely know it’s happening. It’s just that the couple has decided for whichever reason that they want something extremely intimate, romantic and private. A life changing moment shared between just the two of them.
Confusing Intimate Weddings or Destination Weddings with Elopements
I feel like a lot of the time couples use the word elopement to describe what is really a destination wedding or intimate wedding so I’ve put together what an intimate and destination wedding is.
An intimate wedding is a wedding with less than 75 guests. Its focus is on having the people who mean the most to you only present. This is the counter to the massive cultural weddings that are held in banquet halls where even your parent’s neighbors are invited. Those weddings are held to show off the wealth of the parents, and to celebrate the good pairing. The intimate wedding only wants to quietly celebrate love without the showmanship or traditions.
Destination weddings most commonly occur in the Caribbean and are generally similar in size to an intimate wedding. However, they obviously don’t happen close to home. A destination wedding is for the couple who are adventurous and want it to be one big party with great friends and family. Destination weddings can also occur in non-traditional locations like Bali, Iceland or Morrocco. The couple that hosts a destination wedding wants to create a great holiday and adventure for everyone involved. This can also allow the couple to have their wedding during a time when they couldn’t back home. For example, very few people get married in the dead of Canadian winter but take a short flight south and you can get married any time of year. Destination weddings can be great for the couple who wants to combine their wedding and honeymoon.
So which one is right for you?
I think what it comes down to when your deciding on a destination wedding, intimate wedding or elopement really comes down to how many people you want to be there and where it happens.
Elopement: 0-15 Guests
Intimate Wedding: <75
Elopement: Anywhere in the world. Can be very remote
Intimate Wedding: Usually held locally at a small location that is used for reception and ceremony
Destination Wedding: Usually held in the Caribbean or at beach locations. Can be held at intimate wedding locations in any foreign country.
Here are some things you should think about when trying to figure out if you want to elope, have a destination or intimate wedding.
Do you want to make it a multi-day event or just one day?
What’s your budget?
How much photography coverage?
What time of year?
How much do you want your guests to have to spend?
What are the marriage requirements?