Top 6 Elopement Myths That Need To Be Debunked Today

Today I’m here to tell you that elopements are for the brave. They’re for the adventurous souls who care so deeply for the person they love, they’re willing to choose something different, meaningful, and wholly intentional experience, just for them two.

And I’m here to tell you that it’s finally time we call bullsh*t on all the myths surrounding elopements.
And let you experience your fairytale freely & fully, the way you’ll always want to remember it.

When you think of the word “elopement”

…what do you see?

Do you see a couple hopping a plane to Vegas to get hitched in a gaudy & glittery chapel?

Maybe a duo running off to get married in total secrecy because their family doesn’t approve?

Or is it two people entering a courthouse to quickly sign a piece of paper?

Well then, I promise you’re not alone.

Decades – heck, even centuries – of social stigma against elopements and romantic freedom have given elopements a bad reputation. And caused many people to associate elopements with last-minute, no-frill secret operations – clouded in shame, judgment, and embarrassment.

And it’s time to change all that…

So today I’m here to tell you that elopements are for the brave. They’re for the adventurous souls who care so deeply for the person they love, they’re willing to choose something different, meaningful, and wholly intentional.

I’m here to tell you that it’s your love story we’re talking about, and you get to do whatever the heck you want. Without feeling shame, judgment, or embarrassment.

And I’m here to tell you that it’s finally time we call bullsh*t on all the myths surrounding elopements.

And let you experience your fairytale freely & fully, the way you’ll always want to remember it.

So forget that I’m a wedding photographer for a moment – you don’t have to listen to me.

For now, just listen to your heart.

And with that in mind, let’s debunk the top 6 elopement myths together.

Myth 1: Elopements are for lonely couples, without real friends or families

There’s an age-old assumption that if you don’t want to throw an enormous party with hundreds of friends, family members, and acquaintances…

…then it must mean that you don’t have anyone to invite to your wedding at all.

But guess what?

In reality, you can have the best friends and the most loving family in the world

– and you can still choose to elope with your soulmate.

Making that decision doesn’t mean you’re not close enough with your friends & families.

It just means that you value intimacy & connecting with your special person as you tie the bond above anything else.

In fact, many of my eloping couples actually have incredibly strong life-long friendships and solid relationships with their families. They had their entire social circles backing them 100%.

But they still chose to take a different route with the most beautiful day of their lives – their wedding day.


Because they made the conscious decision that – even though they have lots of beautiful & loving people around them – the moment they’re committing their lives to each other matters more than anything else.

They chose to elope because they wanted to remember their wedding day as a special day that was only about them. Their love, their happiness, and their eternal bond – without stress, regret, or compromise.

Now, don’t get me wrong here: you can totally choose to have an elopement and invite your closest circles of friends & fam too!

Which brings us to our next myth…

Myth 2: Elopements are top-secret operations involving only the two of you

But wait…

…wouldn’t doing it any other way – and allowing anyone else to attend your elopement – break rule #1 of elopements?

I’m here to tell you there is no “rule #1 of elopements”.

In fact, there are no rules to an elopement.

Sure, having an elopement might have meant having a top-secret, clandestine affair somewhere in ancient history.

But that’s definitely not the case today.

So feel free to invite your friends, families, and other loved ones to your elopement – if you want to.

And while you’re at it, have a chat about including your fur babies too!

I mean, seriously: bring your mom. Bring your officiant. Bring your kids. Bring your best friend.

And bring your dog too (please… PLEASE bring your dog!).

This is your special day, and so every little detail is entirely up to you.

Whether the most beautiful day of your lives will technically be defined as a wedding or an elopement is not about the number of guests you choose to include. It’s about your intentions and your wishes – and how your guests respect that.

I’ve photographed so many beautiful elopements that included the couple’s closest family and friends. I’ve photographed couples who chose to only have their parents or their siblings or their best friends present. But I’ve also photographed elopements where the couple chose to invite a small group of up to 15-20 people.

And how you end up doing it will be entirely up to you. If you don’t want to leave your loved ones out of this special experience, but you also don’t want to sacrifice that intimate, one-on-one alone time with your soulmate, you can even split your day in two, have two separate ceremonies, or just make your elopement two days!

So follow your hearts and create an experience that fits your wants and your personality as a couple.

Just don’t forget to be crystal clear to your guests about your intentions

Myth 3: If you elope, you’re cheaping out

Elopements used to be thought of as cheaper, quicker, rushed alternatives to weddings for couples who just want to get it over with.

And sure, the fact that elopements in general cost significantly less than traditional weddings are definitely one of their many benefits.

But they’re not the core driving force behind most couples’ decisions to elope.

I mean, you’ll probably will end up saving a bit of money, even if you go all-out on your elopement. But then again, it’s also possible to have an enormous wedding with hundreds of people on a relatively low-budget too.

The reality is, eloping instead of having a wedding day isn’t purely about saving money or not investing in your beautiful day. It’s just about choosing to invest in your day in a different way.

Many couples decide to elope because they want a day that’s entirely focused on them and what they want to do — for a lot of people, that might not mean hosting a big party. For some people, a day that brings them total joy might mean they’re surrounded by nature, doing something they love (like an epic hike or going stand up paddle boarding) with the person they love.

Elopements boil down a wedding to its bones to bring it back to what really matters — you and your partner. The budget has nothing to do with that.

Myth 4: Elopements are for shameful or unapproved marriages

Some people still believe in the myth that elopements are secret ceremonies that couples choose because they’re either ashamed & embarrassed of the person they love. Or they just think their loved ones won’t approve of their decisions.

In the past (think Romeo & Juliet times) this might have been true.

But today, the number of people who still believe this bullsh – khm, myth – is lower than ever.

Sure, I’ve had couples who chose to do surprise elopements. But even then, the essence of their surprise was in how they chose to get married — not that they chose to get married at all.

So having an elopement does not mean that you’re doomed to deal with disapproval or shame. But it does mean that you’re choosing to let go of the pressure, anxiety, and expectations that are sometimes associated with the traditional wedding route.

When you choose to elope, you’re choosing not to compromise.

Instead, you’re choosing meaningful moments packed with intention.

Pure moments of love, joy, and excitement.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Myth 5: If you elope, you’re basically settling for less

In the past (again, we’re talking ancient history here), elopements were thought of as a “less-than” version of weddings.

You know, an hour or two of snapping a few portraits, signing a license, and maybe saying a few words.

But in my experience, elopements today are vast, meaningful experiences that are packed with hundreds and hundreds of the purest intentional, love-filled moments. There’s just no way you can fit all those emotions into an hour or two. And you shouldn’t have to: your wedding day deserves a lot more than that.

Most of my elopement couples chose elopement experiences that lasted anywhere from 10-12 hours. But I’ve actually had the chance to document quite a few multiple-day elopement experiences too!

So instead of thinking that an elopement is a rushed experience off a conveyor belt…

…imagine a two-day road-trip through Scotland exploring places you’ve always wanted to go.

…imagine backpacking or driving through wind and rain, so you can say your vows on the top of a mountain.

…imagine waking up at the crack of dawn, walking down a sandy beach, diving into an alpine lake, or helicoptering over a glacier.

An elopement is whatever the heck you want it to be, for however long you want it to be – it’s everything a wedding day should be!

Does that sound like “settling” to you?

Myth 6: Elopements are last-minute, zero-effort alternatives to “normal” weddings

Some people assume that elopements are always last-minute, badly planned alternatives to “normal” weddings

But that couldn’t be further from the truth…

In fact, most of the couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with have planned their elopements as far in advance as others would plan their weddings. I mean, we’re talking at least 9-months to a year-and-a-half out.

Of course, you can actually choose to save yourself the stress of planning every second of your great romantic adventure. And opt for a more spontaneous experience full of candid moments & unanticipated surprises instead.

But even then, it’s your conscious choice. It’s your intentional decision.

Again – and I cannot emphasize this enough – it’s your big day, you do You.

The important thing here is to have a pure, intentional moment that focuses on your love, your happiness, and your commitment – and anything and everything that means to You.

Whether that means a planned out romantic getaway with a beautiful ceremony…

…or a laid back & spontaneous adventure at a gorgeous location, saying whatever’s on your hearts.

Just focus on what makes you and your partner the happiest.

Chase your dreams together – and make sure to have some fun while you’re at it. 

So what is an elopement – really?

An elopement – your elopement – is whatever you make it out to be.

It’s a moment – lasting a day, two days, or even a whole week – where you can let go of everything else to bask in the intimate and beautiful experience of committing your lives to each other.

If you look your partner in the eyes and know that this day – your wedding day – should be about the two of you only…

If you know that on the day you pledge yourselves to each other forever, you want total freedom to say, do, and feel whatever you want…

And if you want to immerse yourselves into the most beautiful day of your lives, without any stress, distractions, or regrets…

…then elopements are for you.

Elopements are anti-pressure. Anti-obligation. And anti-doing-what-everyone-else-tells-you-to-do.

Elopements are taking your partner’s hand, holding on, and jumping into a huge adventure together in exactly the way that you want to.

That’s what an elopement really is – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I hope this blog post has brought you closer to deciding whether or not having an elopement is the right choice for you.

And if you’ve already made up your mind…

…wouldn’t it be epic to relive all your beautiful memories again-and-again, even decades after your elopement?

Well, that’s where I come in. If you’re still looking for the perfect elopement photographer to support you on your journey, and document every moment of your elopement, look no further. Get in touch to find out how I can help you bring your vision to life!