Let's marry in Las Vegas: elopement, a wedding on the run.
What is an elopement wedding?
The origin of the elopement wedding dates back many centuries ago. It normally happened when the couple did not have the family approval to marry. Then they chose to run away to get married anyway. There is evidence of elopement weddings since the fourteenth century, in the Middle Ages.
Elopement comes from the English verb to elope, which means to escape and not return to the point of origin. So we can also talk about a wedding on the run.
Nowadays, couples who decide to marry this way do not have the same motivations. It happens mainly because there is a will to do it in a more simple and intimate way. It is also an option that is gaining many followers to celebrate a vow renewal, when a couple chooses a destination away from where they live and they marry again with no guests.
What is the difference between an elopement and a destination wedding?
A destination wedding occurs when the bride and groom travel to celebrate their wedding in another place where they do not reside, usually in another country. And what sets it apart from an elopement is that there are guests, friends, and close family members. In a destination wedding the number of guests is lower than a conventional wedding since not everyone can travel to another part of the world.
You can watch by clicking here a destination wedding in Barcelona.
And here it is a destination wedding in Cascais, 40 km from Lisbon, Portugal.
I appreciate the collaboration in this post of my colleague and friend Lucho Vargas, author of the photographs that accompany these lines. All photos here are part of real elopements.
Pros and cons of an elopement wedding
There are no guests. With no guests, the stress and time spent coordinating so many people is eliminated. In a destination wedding sometimes you have to coordinate even the trip of the guests. The fact that in an elopement there are no guests makes it even more necessary than in a conventional wedding to hire photo and video services to keep a memory of the moment. besides, you will have all the time in the world to do a relaxed photo and video shooting that you can enjoy without haste.
These months in which we live affected by the coronavirus crisis, elopements appear as a very good option for those couples who do not want to postpone their weddings.
You can invest more money in your dream dress, in a good photography and video service and in your honeymoon. By cutting reception/meals expenses, there is room for all of that and more. It would still be necessary to buy the chosen clothes, airline tickets and the hotel, and perhaps a small investment in flowers or decoration for the ceremony if desired. Photography and video services for the wedding day are also lower as they cover far fewer hours.
Exciting. The fact of going to a place that you do not know or simply that is different from your day to day is already a reward for the brain, to get a point of extra joy and adrenaline. If you already like traveling, adding the fact of getting married will make it something unique and unforgettable.
Intimacy. You will have more time to feel each other without worrying about your surroundings, about whether the guests are having a good time or not. The only thing that matters is you two. This wedding option can be very attractive for couples who do not want a traditional wedding but still feel that doing a ritual between the two is a step they do want to do. It is a way of declaring that you are doing it for yourself, not to please anyone else.
Fewer headaches. You don’t have to coordinate so many things. You will need to find someone to officiate the ceremony and prepare the necessary paperwork for this to happen. It can be a symbolic ceremony, with no paperwork involved, so even this step is not essential. And coordinate the stay, but that is not far from the time that could be spent preparing a regular trip.
More improvised and spontaneous. You can choose practically any place in the world to celebrate the wedding: from a remote place that needs almost climbing to get there like Monte Roraima in Venezuela, in front of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, on a sailboat in Mallorca, in the Nevada desert, in a square in Paris, on the banks of the Tejo river in Lisbon, etc. You can choose any option that fits with you and how you are. Your imagination will be the limit. Do you feel that it is the moment? Do it, don’t think about it anymore!!
What will you need to do an elopement?
Someone to officiate the ceremony. If it’s going to be official, you need someone who has authorization to officiate ceremonies. You can choose a symbolic ceremony, with no paperwork involved, so this process is simplified.
Your wedding clothes. Usually less voluptuous, simpler dresses are chosen, since the place of the ceremony is usually a less controlled place, where it may even be necessary to walk through complicated places.
The stay. How you are going to get to where you plan to get married (plane, rent a car, etc.) and where you are going to stay if you are going to spend more than a day.
Photography and video services for elopement. The fact that you get married without friends or family makes this part almost essential. So much so that you can share part of that day with them and so that you can save forever the images of that unique moment. You can also surprise them by hiring a streaming video service so they can follow the ceremony live.
Flowers and decoration. It is optional if you want some decoration. It will also depend on whether or not it is possible to mount something. For example, if you get married within the city, such as in Barcelona, it is not allowed to put anything in the public space without authorization. You would not have this problem in any private space or somewhere remote in nature.
Celebration, yes or no? You can decide to book somewhere for lunch or dinner, or also hire a mini-catering to prepare something for you to eat and that you can enjoy in any corner you decide.
Finally, if you want to further simplify the process, you can choose to hire a wedding planner. The wedding planner will be able to propose ideas that you would not have come up with and he/she has a portfolio of reliable collaborators (officiating, catering, suits, decoration, photographers and videographers, etc).
Do you feel up to elope?
Are you getting married and want more information for your wedding video?
If you are looking for a unique and personalized wedding video that reflects your relationship and personality, write me and tell me about you and your wedding. Take a look in my website for more videos made in Barcelona and other places from Spain, Portugal and Brazil.