Six reasons why you might consider an elopement!
For many bride and grooms, a big wedding is more of a stress than a dream come true. And in light of everything going on right now with COVID engaged couples are strongly considering of doing a luxury elopement rather than a large traditional wedding. I think everyone deserves to have a wedding that celebrates their love and uniting them as a married couple, no matter how big or small the day will be. So I wanted to talk about elopements and micro weddings, a kind of wedding that many bride and grooms don't consider until they are deep into planning process and the wedding is quickly approaching. Granted a very small intimate wedding or elopement isn't for everyone, but if you are considering eloping and forgoing the big wedding, here are a few reasons why you might think about planning an elopement or micro wedding instead.
1: JUST THE TWO OF US
A big reason why many choose to elope is that the wedding day will truly be a reflection of you as a couple and your love story. Many times at large weddings even when trying to stick to keep it simple, it's inevitable that others will voice their opinions on what you should and should not do. Often bride and grooms compromise on something that was really important to them in order to make a family member or friend happy. There is nothing wrong with considering others feelings and ideas, I actually do think that's important. But eloping allows you to eliminate some the aspects of a wedding that may cause tension and extra stress. For example, things that puts the focus on the comfort, entertainment, and contentment of your family and guests. If walking down a long isle while hundreds of people look at you scares you, or if reading your vows in front of a large group of people makes you nervous, and if the putting together of a seating chart that pleases everyone gives you anxiety, then an elopement or micro wedding might be perfect for you!
2: THE GUEST LIST
Ahh the dreaded guest list! Every couple that is planning a wedding knows how hard this part of the wedding planning process can be. If you're dealing with divorced parents, toxic family members, or narrowing down a lifetime of friendships, putting together a guest list that doesn't hurt feelings can be especially challenging. Engaged couples feel the pressure to please both sides of the families, while also trying to do what they really want for their wedding. And another stressed is choosing who will be in your bridal party. It's especially tough for you if you're one with a lot of close friends, family (sisters, cousins, college friends, sister in-laws, etc) Brides sometimes feel pressured to have all of your girlfriends as your bridesmaids. And then to some of your friends may expect or get even get upset if you don't pick her to be your maid of honor. Well now you don't need to think about any of that if you're eloping! Or when planning a micro wedding here in the Tampa Bay area you can make it a truly intimate wedding by having a very limited guest list.
3: STAYING ON BUDGET
Many times wedding planning decisions come down to budget. Without having to accommodate for a large guess count, how you spend your budget is entirely up to you. If you're working within a very tight budget, you can still have an unforgettable and beautiful elopement. If your budget is small stick to a local location such a public park or beach, after all we have a ton of them here in the St. Petersburg and Sarasota areas! Just make sure to contact the local parks and rec to see if you need a special permit to exchange your vows at the location you've chosen. You can either wear a simple non traditional dress or if you want to have a gown but want to stay on budget shop sample sales at local bridal shops, or look online for gently used wedding gowns. Above all make sure to hire a professional photographer to have someone capture what will be some of the sweetest and most beautiful moments of your life, most photographers offer elopement packages that include anywhere from 2-4 hours of photography coverage. I strongly suggest having a professional florist make you a bouquet. It will make all the difference in the photos. If you have a limited budget then choose flowers that are in season and scale back the size of the bouquet. The average cost of a wedding in Tampa is about $40,000, so if your budget it closer to $10,000 then a micro wedding would be the perfect compromise. You can have a very nice luxury elopement with in that price range and still get everything you want!
4: MAKE IT A PART OF THE HONEYMOON
Since we are on the subject of budget, sometimes couples don't consider into their wedding budget the, honeymoon. I've been told by past bride and grooms that they have decided to delay or even forgo their honeymoon because they need to recoup the amount of money they spent on the wedding, especially if they went over budget. If you decide to travel somewhere exotic for your elopement, you may be able to double up on the fun and enjoy your honeymoon right away! Destination elopement, yes please! Since there is just the two of you (and maybe a handful of guests), you can get really creative with your wedding location. Want to get married on a mountaintop? Inside a forest? At your favorite fine dining restaurant? On the rooftop of a skyscraper? On a remote island? You can literally go anywhere with the two of you. That's the beauty of elopement!
5: CELEBRATE HOW YOU WANT
I'm not saying you should kick all your friends and family off your guest list when becoming husband and wife. But that doesn't mean they ALL have to be there to witness it. They can still celebrate with you with a party when return, or now days you can live stream it! Share the exciting news with your loved ones by throwing a small party so they don't feel left out. Since it's not a traditional wedding, you could have a small gathering in a friends backyard if thats what you want, if some guests wanted to dance get a bluetooth player and set up a playlist. Of if you want a nice evening out with your close friends and family, have a nice dinner at your favorite local restaurant.
6: PLANNING IT QUICKLY
There are many reasons why couples choose to elope, this can ranging from unforeseen happing, family obligations, military deployments, or like many this year due to the pandemic. Sometimes for those reasons a short planning duration is easier than waiting six months to a year before they can tie the knot. Not to mention it is difficult to plan a large guest count wedding in a matter of weeks. However, an elopement is much easier to plan in a short period of time.
Nina Bashaw is a Sarasota, Florida based fine art photographer
that specializes in luxury elopements and micro weddings. She travels throughout the Tampa Bay area for weddings.
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