Justice
Beginner February 2022

Elopement or wedding?

Justice, on July 22, 2021 at 12:36 PM Posted in Planning 0 14
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Hi everyone! My fiancé and I got engaged this January and we’re planning on having a wedding here in Arizona February of 2023. We are having a long engagement because wedding venues and weddings in general are extremely expensive for 2 college students, so it’s going to take us a while to save for a 17k wedding not including the honeymoon. Over the last couple of days I have been thinking about getting eloped in Washington state around the trees and mountains (I want all of the twilight vibes), which I believe would be a lot cheaper than to have a full on wedding and we would be able to get married sooner than a year and a half but if we decide to do that I am scared I will regret not having all of our 100 guests there. For those who got eloped instead of having a wedding did you regret it?? I love people and I love the idea of having everyone around me while I get married but do I really want that for 17k? Or do I want to go up to my favorite state and have a small elopement with my parents, his parents and a few friends?


Thank you🤍

14 Comments

Latest activity by Heather, on August 2, 2021 at 5:14 PM
  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
    • Flag
    I had the same thought, My fiancé and I wanted to elope with just our best man and maid of honor present and then have a reception in his sisters back yard later. Then we thought about it and decided it was too much of a hassle, I only wanted to do it one day and that’s it, and we didn’t want to get guilt tripped from family about them not being able to be there.
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  • Justice
    Beginner February 2022
    Justice ·
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    So you guys decided to just do the wedding as planned? I honestly don’t know if my friends and family will be that sad, and also I feel like for the wedding ceremony I’m paying all of this money for them and not for myself, you know? I’m in a pickle 🤦🏽‍♀️
    • Reply
  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
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    I understand, yes we are doing the whole wedding. We got engaged in 2019 and our wedding isn’t until October of 2022 so plenty of time to pay for things without feeling overwhelmed. My fiancé’s family wants us to have been married like 3 years ago but my fiancé is in school to be a physicians assistant so we wanted to wait until after he was finished. At the end of the day it’s what you and your fiancé want! I think it might be helpful to list the pros and cons of each
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  • Justice
    Beginner February 2022
    Justice ·
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    I will definitely do that!! Thank you so much for your help!
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  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    I had a tiny ceremony due to covid and loved it. It’s definitely a personal decision. I’d also make sure that your dream wedding for 100 people budget of $17k is even realistic. Things add up to a lot very quickly. You may discover it’s even higher than that. Good luck what you decide.
    • Reply
  • Alexis
    Expert June 2021
    Alexis ·
    • Flag

    Hey, we're from AZ too! I wanted to elope so badly, but my husband wanted his family there. We ended up having more of a micro-wedding with just immediate family and closest friends. We had a turn out of 26 people, including the two of us, and it was great! I still wished we would've just eloped, though, but that's for a few other complicated reasons.

    We were originally going to have a full-on traditional wedding with all the bells & whistles, but it was going to run us about $16k for 70 guests, and while we had planned on getting married in December 2021 (engaged in July 2018), it was an overwhelming task to figure out how we were planning on forking up that much money & also manage the stress of planning it all, even that far out, so we scrapped that idea and tried to weigh the pros and cons of eloping vs doing a smaller, more relaxed wedding. We ended up spending about 4k total to do a micro-wedding & even moved the date up, so that was a plus in terms of cost for sure, but I still have my personal feelings about wanting an elopement over what we ended up going with. Although I certainly don't regret not having a big wedding like we originally planned.

    At the end of the day, it's up to you and your fiance! People have their own personal preferences, and I'm sure whatever you decide will be the best choice for you! After all, it's more about the marriage and your lives together.

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  • W
    Super September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    I'd also make sure than 17k for 100 guests is realistic. It seems like a very small budget for such a guest count.


    I'd think of who you absolutely want present and consider a microwedding
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  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    I can only express my experience. I can't guarantee that it will be helpful, but here you are:

    We got married in what is now called a "micro-wedding" - a headcount of 25 with us and our bridal party included. I had considered eloping.

    While I don't regret our wedding, it was beautiful, I do sometimes wish we had gone ahead and eloped. Our guests all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and that's great - but I can't really say I did. I didn't have a bad time, I just also can't say I had a good time. I'm just kind of neutral about it. I also sometimes think about how romantic it would have been to share that moment privately with just us (such as in an elopement).

    But something I can also say as "pro-wedding": my parents were our marriage license witnesses. My dad died last year, and this year when I needed our marriage certificate for my driver's license, I pulled it out and saw his signature on there and cried (bittersweet tears.) I'd forgotten entirely that he had signed it, and suddenly there was something very special and sentimental about it. I wouldn't have had that if we'd skipped off to elope like I had considered. (Of course, some elopements include witnesses, so this could be moot, but the elopement I'd considered was literally "just the two of us.")

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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    I agree about making sure your current budget is on target. (Daughter married in So Cal in January 2019 and their 100 guest wedding cost about $32,000 -- not including honeymoon, rings, etc. It was EXACTLY what daughter and SIL wanted; it was very nice, but not over the top, and that's what it cost.) I'd encourage you and your fiance to talk about what really matters to the two of you, and then try to find the best balance of your wants with your realistic budget. Good luck to you!

    • Reply
  • Kim
    Dedicated April 2021
    Kim ·
    • Flag
    I would recommend microwedding,
    This way you can still have a wedding and it not be so expensive. With that being said 100
    Guests will probably cost more than your budget. My husband and I had 60 guests and our totalWedding cost for everything was $16k and our wedding was considered micro wedding since it was within 75 guests count. Don’t worry too much about pleasing everyone because which WON’T. Also, try to cut down your list. Only invite people who truly deserve to be there. Happy planning!
    • Reply
  • Day
    Expert July 2021
    Day ·
    • Flag
    We eloped in Oregon just last week, and it was the best thing ever. We were planning for a traditional wedding but COVID quickly changed that to a small wedding and then to an elopement. The photos and videos were so romantic since it was just us… we were able to run on our own schedule, listen to our own music, eat and drink whenever, and just be us with our dog on the beach. I wouldn’t change a thing! It was like a super elaborate date… We got all the vendors we really wanted and spent ~$5K on everything (except the honeymoon).


    We are planning for a vow renewal in the future so we can include family. That should be more low key but we’ll probably have to spend close to $10K.
    • Reply
  • Janessa
    Dedicated November 2022
    Janessa ·
    • Flag
    I am totally in the same boat as you ! Feeling stuck between having a traditional wedding and will I miss it or regret it , or just eloping or doing just a ceremony to keep stress level low, not having to worry about pleasing everyone and not to mention paying a crap load for everything . I’m already looking at a small guest count 50 or less and still considering which one to do . I would like to keep budget under $10,000 but am wondering if it’ll be worth it for one day
    • Reply
  • Ellen
    Devoted October 2021
    Ellen ·
    • Flag
    I totally get what you are saying about the expense. I eloped with my first marriage. I do have regrets as my family were not there. We did go out for dinner afterwards with them though. My grandma told me not to and in my own circumstance yeah, I regret it. However, a lot of people do elope and have a get together with everyone later! Maybe you could do a scaled down version with closest friends and family? It would be way cheaper and you would have a wedding. Just a thought.
    • Reply
  • Heather
    Rockstar November 2021
    Heather ·
    • Flag

    It's totally up to you! When you elope it's usually just the two of you or at least a few (maybe like your parents or even the best man and maid of honor to witness). You can consider a microwedding which consists a total of 50 people. You can look in your area to see what elopement or microwedding vendors are available. They would usually have packages that you can choose from with them on how you want your ceremony to go. The ones in Vegas charge between $2,000-$6,000 (again depending on the packages and any add ons). Their packages include a minister/officiant, mini reception with champagne and cake, flowers, decor, location and permit fee, photography, videography, etc. So, I highly recommend looking into that!

    When my FH and I started talking about wedding planning I did not know that certain things started to add up FAST. Let alone how much they even cost in the first place. For example, I did not know that wedding photographers charge like $1,800 and up. We went from keeping it at 10k, but when we started planning it was at 18k. So, we opted into a microwedding. It's not that we could not afford to go over our budget, but we wanted to spend more on remodeling our house and for our honeymoon.

    So, do your research. Write what you do and don't want. Discuss with your FH. My biggest financial suggestion is to NOT go into debt.

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