The last few years have seen an explosion in popularity for Vermont and Upstate New York elopements and they are becoming a true mainstream trend for 2020 and 2021 engaged couples.
Elopements are intimate, romantic and affordable alternatives to large conventional weddings. Today they are more about giving control back to the couple and letting go of some of the old traditions that have made large weddings become so stressful, such as massive amounts of event planning, budgeting, organizing vendors and trying to make sure everyone that you’re inviting will enjoy your wedding day.
Another reason to elope or consider a small family wedding is the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic. Currently venues are restricted to social distancing and reduced capacities and elopements and small weddings practically guarantee your wedding day and date will go along as planned.
There’s also the financial reason elopements and small family weddings are becoming so popular. Traditional weddings come with a big price tag and elopements certainly reduce the wedding costs by eliminating a lot of the superfluous aspects of the wedding day.
While the nationwide average costs for weddings continue to hover around the $35,000 mark and we have photographed weddings in excess of $100,000, elopements are considerably cheaper at around $5000 or less, depending on the location and lodging. In fact, our complete elopement package starts at just $1500 and includes the officiant, up to two hours of professional photography, bridal bouquet, boutoniere and accommodation here in beautiful Vermont.
I am currently working on a list of some of my favorite local Vermont elopement destinations. Since I live in Woodstock, Vermont all of the venues I recommend will be an easy drive for me and no travel expenses will be required for your elopement photography. I will be adding to the list often, so be sure and check out this blog frequently or contact me for more information.
So, what are some of the other perks of eloping? Personally, I think money is only a tiny part of the equation and the benefits of elopements and small family weddings are endless! You have more freedom to do what you want, where you want, without the pressures and expectations that usually come with all things “wedding.” Your wedding day is "your" wedding day and instead of being a host or hostess to a multitude of guests, you are there for each other and a small circle of friends and family.
An elopement can also be a celebration for just the two of you to share, a “just us” experience and a beautiful option for couples who don’t feel like even a small wedding is the right fit for them. It creates a magical, intimate way for couples to make their wildest, most romantic dreams about their wedding day come true and to celebrate their love for each other in a totally natural and uninhibited way.
Obviously romantic locations for your elopement abound. Say "I do" in a botanical garden or cozy village nook of your choosing. Five-star hotel balconies, historic churches and charming inns, the middle of the woods or the top of a mountain. Since your costs are already low, you have the freedom to get married wherever and whenever your heart desires.
A true reflection of who you are as a couple is another perk or reason for an elopement.
Some couples feel the real reason behind getting married can be lost in the massive planning and expectations of a cookie cutter style wedding that has nothing to do with the way they, as a couple, really are. A big, traditional wedding just isn’t an honest, genuine representation of who they are or what they want.
Everyone is different, and everyone deserves to be authentically themselves on their wedding day. For people who don’t connect with big weddings, a traditional celebration can make you feel like you’ve been put into a box. Elopements are all about throwing that box out the window.
When you elope, you throw out the whole wedding "rulebook" and start from scratch. Your elopement will represent who you actually are as a couple—you can go on a hike with your dog, take a mini-road trip, stop and soak in the views, or end the day by turning on your favorite song and dancing by firelight.
What it comes down to is the fact your elopement is all about the two of you, your style, your vision and your love for each other.
With eloping couples, I hear time and again that they felt relaxed, not rushed, and completely free of stress and worry on their wedding days. The feel completely present and totally in love with their partners.
So, if planning a big wedding isn’t your thing, that’s OK—you don’t have to choose that. You can choose to have a fun, stress-free, and wholly enjoyable wedding any way you want to. You can choose to marry the love of your life without even a hint of stress or anxiety.
Of course there’s some simple planning involved. You’re just free to put as much planning (or as little planning) into your elopement as you want. Plus with the Vermont and Upstate New York elopement planning service we offer, all of that can be done for you as well.
Begin your lives together in a way that makes the most sense for you—happy, free, and entirely in love.
For more information on your Vermont or Upstate New York elopement please contact me. I cannot wait to hear all about the two of you, your elopement plans and your true love story.
Sally Carpenter is one of the top wedding and elopement photographers in Vermont. She is based in Woodstock, Vermont and serves all of Vermont, Upstate New York and work wide wedding destinations. Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Award for 2018, 2019 and 2020.