What Is Eloping? | A Popular Question for 2022

What is eloping and why is it becoming a popular way to get married?

The other day I was chatting with someone who wasn’t in the wedding industry and we started talking about elopements. I was super surprised to learn that this person still believed that eloping had to be “unplanned and quick” and it involved two people running away until I remembered that his view was pretty much the technical definition of elopeing lol. I mean, I understood where he was coming from because I grew up thinking very similar things. But today, as someone who has photographed 40+ Colorado elopements, I know that “skipping all of the extra stuff” is usually what happens, not because couples don’t care, but because couples choose a day full of intention. & NO! Elopements don’t have to just include the couple. If you want to elope, but can’t imagine a day without your favorite humans, you can absolutely craft a day that includes them!

This blog post is long overdue. I’m going to dive into something that is being asked more and more these days: “What is eloping?”

Rocky Mountain national park elopement on trail ridge road photo taken by Mikayla Renee photo

Elopement: a small, intimate wedding with few or no guests. 

Having an elopement is a very easy way to take control of your day. Planning a wedding can quickly become something much different than you were hoping it to be. Maybe you find being the center of attention mortifying, maybe you’ve been married before and want to do something differently, maybe tradition just isn’t your thing. By choosing to elope, you are opening up so many opportunities to have the day of your dreams! 

Top 2 Reasons Couples Tell Me That They Want To Elope

Weddings Are Expensive

Earlier this year, The Knot conducted a survey and determined that the national average for the cost of a wedding is $33,900. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, and many other couples, that is a TON of money. Enough money for a new car, for a downpayment on a home, to pay off student loans, etc. Couples come to realize that they don’t want to be left in debt long after their wedding day.

Wedding costs can add up quickly with a large guest list because you’re often paying per plate and venues have minimums. That payment to rent the space and feed everyone doesn’t include invites, wedding attire, hotel blocks, your honeymoon, etc.

Pro Tip: Depending on the size of your guest list, there are beautiful places in Colorado that you can rent for a couple of hours for the ceremony. Then you could rent out a restaurant or an event-friendly AirBnb for the party! 

Planning A Wedding Felt Like A Huge Production

While wedding planning, couples often feel their priorities shifting away from what really matters and like they aren’t honoring what they truly want. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I have couples inquire and tell me that they started planning their wedding (paid non-refundable retainers on vendors, booked a venue, sent out invites, etc) only to realize that they didn’t actually want one. They just thought they had to have a wedding because it was what people were supposed to do.

Overall, more and more couples are choosing to elope so they can create a day that reflects them and their love without draining their savings. Honestly, whatever reason that you have for choosing to elope is perfect and doesn’t need any explanation. YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY, BABY!

colorado elopement photographer Mikayla Renee photo took this photo of couple eloping at high alpine lake in colorado


Lastly, because I think that this is important, this is not me telling you that you should elope. I am a firm believer that everyone should have the wedding day of their dreams–one with absolutely no regrets. If you want 100 of your favorite humans to witness and celebrate you, PLEASE INVITE THEM! The only right way to get married is to make sure your day looks like everything you want it to look like, never forget that.

I hope that helped give you some answers when asking yourself “What is eloping?”! If you have any more questions, reach out so we can get to planning your dream Colorado elopement!