so, what is an elopement?

So, what is an elopement? What Does it mean to elope? The definition of “elope” has changed entirely (for the better!). Google and Oxford have a similar definition: “run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent”. Although that sounds like fun, elopements now carry an entirely different purpose.

eloping in the 21st century

Sure, you can elope in secret if you want to, but that’s not the whole reason for eloping anymore! Now, eloping is a day full of intentional choices and emotions where the focus is solely on you as a couple. Your loved ones can know you’re eloping, and they can even come with! Eloping is a chance to shed the stress, worry, and perfomace of a big traditional wedding day and keep the focus right where it should be; with the two of you.

Merriam-Webster is even changing their official defintion of elopement to “a small destination wedding”. Check out all they have to say about the shifting meaning here. In that article they talk about the origin of eloping being “to flee”. I think that still rings true– but instead of fleeing to do something frowned upon, we are fleeing from the production and expectation of a wedding day. To that I say, “run Forrest run!”

What is an elopement? Beach elopement

Eloping: A day full of intentional choices that are made with the purpose of bringing you together, celebrating your love, and having fun. Creating a safe space that is free from expectation where the day is truly about you and the way that you love each other.

Elopements are intentional. What does that mean? That means you put thought into what is introduced into and included in your day. If you love rock climbing, then you go rock climbing on your elopement. If you love sunrises, then your ceremony happens at sunrise. It is about being thoughtful about what is welcome in your space and how it will make you feel on your day. It means that your focus won’t be pulled from each other because you are worried about your aunt fighting with your cousin at table 3. You don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable in what you are wearing because it might offend your grandma, or feeling guilted into inviting guests that you don’t even really know. Eloping means it’s your day and you do it how you want with absolutely zero guilt.

elopements are fun

One of the greatest parts of elopements is how fun they are! There is no right or wrong with what you do on your day. If you want a hot air balloon ride, if you want to paint a picture, if you want to snuggle up by a bonfire– it’s all fair game! The day is all about fun, intentional choices that are made with the purpose of bringing you together and celebrating your love.

elopements are safe

This is my favorite aspect of elopements. When you profess your love to another person and say your vows, you are baring your entire soul to them. You are accepting that person for everything they are and trusting them with everything you are. You are choosing them. THAT IS HUGE!! It’s a big deal, and sometimes you can be pulled from that moment if you are worried about everyone that is watching and listening. Elopements are a safe space to let your love run wild. There is no shame or guilt in eloping. You are making a choice to put your love and marriage experience as the very first priority. There is no shame in that.

elopements are sustainable

Eloping is a great way to stay green when you get married. Weddings in the US produce 80,000,000+ lbs of plastic waste annually. Did your jaw just drop? Mine too. When you elope, you are saying “no” to heaps of single use items like disposable dinnerwear, menus, invitations, and decorations. There are also less guests traveling which means a lower carbon footprint overall.

One of the best parts of eloping is intentionally choosing your vendors. You can be mindful about including vendors that are sustainable and care about their environmental impact. We have a whole list of these vendors that we love included in our client guide!

are there rules?

Only a few! When you elope with us, we expect our couples to be stewards of the environment. That means we will help you follow Leave No Trace, and give you opportunities to make environmentally friendly choices. We can’t let our couples break the law (sorry), and we still have to follow the local regulations of wherever you are eloping. Apart from that, the sky is the limit! You can bring family or leave them at home. As far as activities, you can do WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT! Kayaking? Sure! Hiking? You bet! Picnic by the lake? Sounds like a blast!

Your elopement can last multiple days if you want it to, or it can last for a few hours. You can plan it last minute, but it’s not uncommon for our couples to plan around 9-12 months in advance. There are no rules for budgets, and only a handful of regulations for locations. Although it’s possible, elopements are not necessarily a way to save money. Instead, they are a way to intentionally spend your money to curate a day that really feels like you. You don’t have to worry about making anyone else happy, and you can focus more on making memories that are authentically you. In our opinion, that’s money well spent. 

so, what is an elopement again?

Eloping is whatever the heck you want to make it! It is a way to build a day that screams “this is us and this is how we love each other!” It is intentionality. Elopements are thoughtfully created and executed. When you elope with us, we will help you create an epic day that rings true to you and your love story.

let’s hang out

We would love to go on an adventure with you! Michael and I are a traveling adventure elopement photo, video, + planning team. We chase loving souls and deep emotion, and we go wherever the wind takes us. Check out our blogs below for recent work, or reach out to plan your epic day. We can’t wait to get you in front of our lens!

Home » Blog » Elopements Aren’t What They Used To Be

Colorado, Destination Elopements, Destination Weddings, Elopement Planning, Elopements, Hiking, Mountain, Rocky Mountain




Elopements Aren’t What They Used To Be

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

designed + created by Kailyn Haynes summit + co.       |       ©2023
coloRado   |   uTah   |   aLasKa   |   oRegon   |   wAsHinGton   |   pNw   |   Arizona   |   wyoMinG   |   MontAna   |   caLiforNia   |   North cAroliNa

read the journal

Back to the top       |       980.819.0499



photographer education

what it means to "elope"

planning an elopement

elopement locations

elopement activities

we are stewards of the outdoors called to respect the environment around us

love is love, and
everyone is welcome
at our campfire

adventure is for everyone regardless of developmental, physical, or intellectual ability.