Some couples have always imagined the ideal wedding, one that is attended by hundreds of loved ones and friends. Others like a modest, private wedding and reception or decide to elope with just a few people present to serve as witnesses.
Smaller weddings and elopements are becoming increasingly popular because the average cost of a wedding, excluding the honeymoon, is between $23,000 and $35,000. Although no statistics are available, Pinterest claims a 128% rise in “elopement photographs” searches this year, and the societal stigma of eloping has diminished.
Does it still make sense to have a wedding when the overall cost is comparable to that of a car or even a down payment? Before making a choice, couples should consider the following important factors: the expenses and rewards, both financial and emotional, of each strategy, as well as the logistics of preparing a wedding or an elopement.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Large Weddings
The desire of many couples has always been to share their wedding day with many of the individuals who mean the most to them. They can unite their large families, cheer up their aunts, uncles, and cousins, and enjoy the limelight.
And they’ll probably have a ton of presents to open.
Undoubtedly, a large wedding is expensive. Literally. Large weddings are typically five-figure, occasionally six-figure affairs. There is more potential for drama when there are so many family members. (Which at the very least can lead to a fantastic story later.) A large wedding requires a lot of time and effort to plan.
A lot of thank-you notes will also need to be written after the honeymoon, which becomes tiresome after using the sixth set of salt and pepper shakers.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Little Weddings
Perhaps spending the day with 150 of your closest family and friends is not something you want to do. You’d be happy if you had a few special folks in your life.
If so, you’ll undoubtedly use a lot less time, effort, and money. You don’t need a wedding planner if you DIY your wedding. Your options for locations will be much more varied. It’s unlikely that you’ll host a large number of guests from out of town who expect to be fed and amused all weekend.
A smaller ceremony and reception don’t necessarily mean less drama, however some family members or friends could be disappointed they weren’t included on the (limited) guest list. For years, you might have been hearing about it. (It’s unfortunate Aunt Edna didn’t witness your wedding before she passed away.) Of course, you’ll get less rewards as well.
Leaving The Wedding And Eloping Behind
For years, the standard elopement plan was to fly to Las Vegas, get married quickly, and then tell your loved ones when you got back. Nevada only requires the following to issue a marriage license:
- Age minimum of 18
- Possess $77 in cash
- A driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate is acceptable forms of identification.
Both blood tests and waiting periods are not required. After obtaining the marriage license, everything is set. Make a reservation at one of the more than 50 wedding chapels in Las Vegas, or (in many cases) walk in, pay the chapel, and you’ll be walking out as a married couple in a few minutes. The cost of a simple ceremony is modest ($199 or less), and if you’re a hunka hunka in burning love, you can always spend extra for an Elvis impersonator.
Not even close to Nevada? Other states allow same-day weddings without requiring blood testing.
There is little doubt that eloping costs far less, even after subtracting the expense of the journey (if you travel to get married). The average cost of a wedding, according to couples who utilized the website Simply Eloped, was $1,485. Many chose a location that had special value for them and invited a small number of people (10 on average).
The day can still be documented by a photographer or videographer, and you can throw a celebration for family and friends afterward.
Of course, it’s possible that some of your relatives or friends will feel left out or will blame you for not having “a genuine wedding” since you didn’t.
But your marriage will remain the same. Since etiquette experts advise against it, you won’t be able to register for wedding gifts, but you’ll probably still get a few. You might even have a few tales to share.
A CFPR Professional from Facet Wealth can assist you in weighing the financial costs and benefits of both if you’re still on the fence about whether you’d want to elope or have a more conventional wedding. However, you are responsible for writing the thank-you notes.
One thought on “Elopement or a wedding?”
I like that you talked about how your options for locations would be much more varied with elopement. My partner and I do not like having a big wedding, so we are planning on doing an elopement ceremony instead. So, we are thinking of looking for an elopement venue rental for now.