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Beginner February 2022

Elopement or wedding??

Justice, on July 22, 2021 at 12:37 PM Posted in Arizona Planning 0 2
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🤍


Latest activity by Kari, on July 26, 2021 at 7:48 PM
  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie ·
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    Hi Justice! It's definitely a personal decision for the two of you! I had a big wedding, but I've seen some really incredible elopements and intimate ceremonies in the last year!! 😍

    Here are some discussions you should check out where other couples having been weighing the elopement decision:

    Has anyone eloped and regretted it?

    Anyone else feel like they want to elope?

    Are y’all still having traditional weddings during the pandemic?

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    This is a decision for more than just you to make. How does your fiance feel about eloping?

    We considered doing a destination elopement followed by a party to celebrate with our loved ones, but the cost of finding a venue and feeding all of our guests for a party wouldn't have been any less expensive than just actually having a wedding. So we planned a small wedding (60-80 guests) and invited our closest friends and loved ones, which was then derailed by Covid. We ended up legally marrying in a super small ceremony (just us, our parents, and a few close friends) on our original wedding date at our wedding venue, and then had a small wedding celebration there a year later with just 47 guests, the majority of whom lived locally.

    I think you need to ask yourself what is MOST important to you about your wedding day and what will make it feel complete. I imagined eloping in a beautiful wild setting with my husband, taking glorious pictures, and having the moment be all about us. I also imagined having a more "traditional" wedding and celebrating with all of my friends, having them all come together from different parts of my life and being in one place at one time, dancing and having a big party. Neither happened.

    Your wedding day will go fast. I'm convinced the more people that are involved, the more impersonal it will feel in a way. There is no way to spend quality time with 100 guests in just a few hours. If sharing your event with those you love is important, having a more intimate event can be a way to have them feel a part of it more. However, weddings are an economy of scale type of thing, and certain things - your dress, your photographer, officiant, HMUA, etc - are going to cost similarly whether 10 people are at your event or 100. You might still find a destination elopement with 10 of your nearest and dearest still costs $10k once you consider flights, accommodations, the photographer of your dreams, special permits, etc.

    I don't think either version of your wedding is wrong, it is just about choosing what is most important to you. $17k is a lot of money, especially when you are younger and don't have established careers yet. However, one of the advantages of being younger is you also have plenty of time - you don't need to rush to get married or start a family. I think a 2+ year engagement makes a lot of sense for college students!

    I probably would not rush into marriage, and not make being able to get married sooner a priority reason to elope. I would discuss with your fiance and see how they feel about eloping in general, Washington state, etc. Just because its a beautiful vision in your head doesn't mean its right for the two of you as a couple.

    Good luck!

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