August 16 2020 – Mike Yarbrough
If you got engaged in 2019 with plans to marry in 2020, you probably had to make some serious adjustments to your plans. COVID-19 has changed the way we look at a lot of things, and it's certainly changed the way we plan our weddings.
With all the venue closings and restrictions on large gatherings, traditional weddings are now giving way to planned elopements. Pandemic aside, this was already becoming a popular trend for prospective brides and grooms all across the country. While it has its pros and cons, there are plenty of reasons why you might choose to elope, including the fact that it can make your wedding day even more memorable.
Do Whatever You Want!
When planning a wedding, just about every couple finds themselves fretting about their guests. Will everyone have fun? Will there be enough food? Will they have transportation? Where will they stay? These and countless other considerations, quite frankly, can be quite stressful. What matters the most is your experience. Eloping allows you to not only make getting married the sole focus of your big day (imagine that!) but also allows you to craft the experience entirely around what you want.
Avoid Family Drama
Will you need to make adjustments to your seating arrangements because the two sides of the family can't seem to get along? Do you have an uncle who you just know will shoot his mouth off and ruin everything? There's a simple solution! Don't invite any of them! One of the best parts of eloping is that you can cut out the drama and focus only on what really matters—getting married.
Make Planning Easier
Countless couples have come within an inch of breaking up during the wedding planning process. Some actually have. Planning a big wedding is stressful, and one of the key benefits of eloping is that the planning process is vastly more simple. Whether you run off to the county courthouse to tie the knot, or plan a wedding mini-vacation at your favorite getaway spot, you'll get to skip all the most challenging and stressful parts of planning your wedding.
Value Experiences Over Objects
Another problem with traditional weddings is that you can get caught up in all the little details that don't really matter as much as the marriage itself. Chances are, no one will remember the color of the place settings, the font on the stationery, or every song the DJ played -- you may not either. What you will remember though is the look in each other's eyes as you said your vows and exchanged your rings. That is what getting married is about, and eloping offers an amazing opportunity to let everything else go, and simply focus on each other.
The average cost of a wedding in 2020 was around $19,000. That's down from $28,000 in 2019 (thanks COVID!) and the projections for 2021 figure to be similar. You can plan a spectacular elopement for just a few hundred dollars. That leaves you a lot of extra moolah to plan a honeymoon, put a down-payment on a house, or start saving for some future college funds. Doesn't everyone like saving thousands of dollars?
Are There Downsides to Eloping?
Sure, there are some potential drawbacks to eloping. Some people might look down their noses at the idea, and you'll probably have some relatives who are salty about not getting invited. Again, it's important to remember that your special day isn't about them. It's about the two of you.
What's more challenging is that you will have to exclude some of your closest friends and family members who you really would like to have at your wedding. One way of getting around this problem is having a reception after you get back from eloping, at which time you can give everyone a chance to share in your happiness.
Eloping During COVID
One benefit of eloping during the pandemic has been avoiding some of the challenges COVID-19 has created. Keep in mind, however, you'll still have to deal with the basics of getting a marriage license, hiring an officiant, finding a witness, buying wedding bands, etc. In some parts of the country, these things can be challenging but not impossible.
There's also travel to consider. While eloping in a far-flung destination sounds amazing, it's hard to say what will happen with travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. There's nothing wrong with eloping in the good ol' US of A, and even staying in your home state if possible. Think of a place that's special to both of you and not too far from home.
If you're still undecided between eloping and having a traditional wedding, take our wedding style quiz to get a little clarity! And whether or not you do decide to elope, don't forget the wedding rings! Our team of ring artisans is dedicated to helping you create the perfect, one-of-a-kind wedding ring that you'll treasure for a lifetime. Message our live chat team to get started designing yours!