11 Reasons to Elope

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But What Is Elope & Elopement?

Well, elopement is one of the few great wedding "trends" in the last few years. One of the few things that have restored our faith in the wedding industry.
Jokes aside, what is actually an elopement? 
According to Cambridge Dictionary, elopement means "to leave home secretly in order to get married without the permission of your parents."

Okay, as beautiful as wedding vows and love, this can be unsettling - we have to admit that it sounds much worse than it actually is if old school people don't know what does elopement really means nowadays lol. We did a further research and the word elope from 1338 until 1800 was even defined as the act of a wife leaving her husband to run off with her lover.
Wait what? Oh boy why did we do this to us? Now we can't un-know this fact.

Anyways back to the main topic, elopement in the modern day simply means getting married without any guest (just the couple themselves) or with just a very limited amount of guests. How many is defined "limited"? It is up for people to debate and interpret on but for us personally, elopement is when you have less than 10 guests, and intimate wedding is when having under 50 guests.

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So Why Elope?

1. Saving your time and sanity from Wedding Planning

For most of the couples, it's their first time getting married. And one can underrate the work they have to put in the wedding planning process, especially when it comes to: first, big wedding and second, destination wedding. And no one knows better than wedding photographers, videographers or wedding planners since we have helped hundreds of couples to make their dream coming true for as long as we can remember.

Trust us. No matter how small and simple you think you want your wedding to be, it will consume a huge part of your life for a while. You have to get super organised to come up with a solid plan, do your research, keep track of vendors (and communication with them!), receipts, deposits paid and ideas... Checklists, due dates, so on and on million things that need to be done... When not done right or without any external help from wedding planners, the wedding planning can take a toll on your private life, mentally health and relationship. If just thinking about this makes you anxious already, why not just elope and free you from emotional distress?

2. For many people a traditional wedding is not a good fit

And by not a good fit, we mean mentally/personality. There are so many reasons that traditional wedding is not for everyone. Including us. We have a small baby girl and we'll probably elope somewhere in the wilderness when she's a bit bigger so she can enjoy our day too! 

For example, a couple is introverted or shy (like us!) and doesn't fancy the idea of being in the spotlights? We just need beautiful, intimate memories of us without any extra. Or for some, traditional wedding is just too conventional and formal.

Or a couple is leading a zero/low waste lifestyle and want to reduce their carbon footprint whenever it's possible. The Green Bride Guide states that the average wedding produces around 180kg of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year in the US, that is about 400 millions kg of trash and as many emissions as approximately 4 people would produce in a year, in just one single day.
So on and on. People are living differently and that's what makes life interesting - just do things that make you happy.

3. Financial

Wedding is no doubt a costly matter. With the economy going down and a wrong perspective being sold through media and marketing it’s breaking many people's heart, and their bank balance not having a wedding of their dreams.

Here is what weddings around the world average:
UAE $185,000 / Australia $67,032 / UK $35,005 
Kenya $34,854 / US $33,391 / Canada  $23,568 / Greece $19,337

Most of the elopements cost only a fraction of that. Ten years ago many many couples were turning to parents to help funding their weddings. Now millennials and Generation Z are really empowered to do what they want to do and how they want it to truly reflect of who they are. Creating an unique vision of the wedding and not just after shallow, superficial values. And elopement is just one of many ways to do it. And bingo, as a nice bonus: they can use these money left to invest in whatever is their priorities. A once-in-a-life-time trip around the world for example. A house. Starting new businesses. Following your dream. What we meant by getting eloped due to financial matter is not that couples who opt to elope instead of traditional wedding will choose everything for cheap. They just have different priority.

We have shot weddings where the photography budget is not even 1% of the total budget and intimate elopements that photography cost over half of the couple's budget. It all boils down to priority and for our couples, it happens to be photography/videography, the only thing that will last forever and help them to relive the day endless times. 

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4. You can get married NOW

Couples with strong financial background can pull off a complex destination wedding within a few weeks with the help of a high end wedding planner but for others, wedding planning is long process, both in terms of planting ideas, logistics execution and money saving. But elopement is different. Anyone can elope anywhere next week.
We helped one couple of ours to plan a complex adventurous, multi day elopement in Kenya only in three weeks. T-H-R-E-E weeks. Well we must say, that's the perk of having an elopement instead of traditional wedding.

Newsflash: Never take time for granted. Life can change so much in the blink of an eye.
Sometimes life is too short to procrastinate or waiting one or two year to get marry. Sometimes it's simply fucking awesome to decide getting married on a whim, three weeks from now, with your most beloved one, in front of a hell of a backdrop.

5. The Location

For people who love traveling, outdoor activities & seeking adventure in the wilderness, the whole world is one big playground for us and we're small children. But even for city people, spending more time with nature once in a while is certainly good for the mental and physical health too. When you plan a traditional wedding, there is certain qualifications and requirements that a wedding venue has to meet. But for elopement? You can get married anywhere! South America, Far East Asia, Europe or even Antarctica! Only the sky is the limit. Actually the sky is not the limit if you can afford a round trip to Earth's outer atmosphere lol

6. Avoid complicated family matters

Each family is different, each of us has a very unique family composition and circumstance and sometimes and what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. Disapproving parents, heated relationship between families, internal dramas, unsolicited advices... Or even conflicts that arise during the wedding process occur between family and It can get dirty real fast. Arguments revealed during the wedding process can trigger resentments or conflicts that have been snowballing for years.

7. For a more personal, intimate once-in-life-time experience

"We just wanted it to be about us," said many brides to us. "At big traditional weddings, I noticed the bride and groom are spending most of the time entertaining the guests or making sure everything goes accordingly and don't have much time or energy left to spend with each other."

Coming from Vietnam where a big traditional weddings usually have 200-300 guests or more (1000 guests wedding is not uncommon - crazy we know!), we can totally relate to this. It's exhausting and tired that during the wedding day many brides just can't wait for it to be over. Then why should we do it in the first place?

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8. Freedom to plan and do your wedding how you want it

And we mean it. Your dress, your vow, the location, your timeline... Think about it.

Couples who elope don't have to deal with a seating plan, feuding relatives, an uncle who can't eat what's on the menu, or aunties who hates the centerpieces. No more family interfering. It's absurd that many people think wedding is about them - for us personally, a wedding is first and foremost about the couple.

We read an article recently about Priyanka Chopra on The Ellen DeGeneres Show talking about her and Nick Jonas’ wedding. According to People, Chopra half joking and half serious told DeGeneres, “My mother was so upset with me the whole time. She was like, ‘I need to have another wedding for the other 150,000 people that I know! How can I not invite my jeweler? How can I not invite my hairdresser?’ So it was a whole conversation.”

Maybe if you don't want to hurt your family's feeling, there are some compromises can be made, for instance eloping and have a small reception party after that.

9. Know what, you can include family at your elopement

Yup, you can see an elopement in Naxos (a stunning Greek island) we shot in 2018. Including the bride and groom there were in total 10 adults and 3 kids: just their parents and siblings (and the sibling's kids). It was just amazing and intimate, and bride and groom have so much quality time to spend with the immediate families, not worrying about anything. Remember, it doesn't have to be just two of you. You can totally have your family, or your kid, or your dog, or your best friends... at your elopement. Sure it will be more work than having an elopement without guest but if they're the people you truly want to share this beautiful affair with, it's worth the effort.

10. Channeling your limitless creativity

Elopements are the best because they allow you to express who you are as a couple, getting married in incredible locations, exploring together, it's just beautiful and intimate affair between two people deeply in love. 

We shot mostly (destination) elopements and personally, we're big fans of full day/multi day elopement due to the nature of how we work - refer to spend as much time as possible with you to connect and build up an ultimate trust, in order to be able to capture your incredible journey and not just a few pretty pictures here and there. Elopement is not a destination, it's a journey. It's not just about the ceremony, it's a full journey you set together, from getting ready, first look, ceremony, exploring the region together, doing activities that you love. So here, there is no vision that's crazy enough. Let's your creativity run wild! You can do a safari elopement in Kenya, desert elopement in Sahara, road trip elopement in South of France, hike a snow capped mountain in the Dolomites or a crazy elopement like this elopement in Central Vietnam. The possibilities are endless! See some rad ideas for your elopement for yourself!

11. Because you want it that way. Isn’t it enough?

Actually it's just because we want this blog post to have more than 10 reasons.
Okay maybe just kidding.
But It's true!

We know that planning an elopement (especially in other countries) can be confused at first that's why we're here to help. If you want to get eloped or have any question, don't hesitate to shoot us an email at info@tunguyenwedding.com or using the form below. See ya!

Looking for an adventure elopement photographer and videographer? Let's chat!

© Tu Nguyen Wedding Photography in Greece, Italy, Spain, France & Germany // +49 159 0148 0782  // info@tunguyenwedding.com

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