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Pros and Cons of Eloping

Updated on March 24, 2009

Many people dream of having a huge wedding with all of their friends and family to watch them honor each other with the ceremony of marriage. And then there are some people who do want to be married to one another but who don’t want to go through all of that annoying stuff that surrounds a big wedding including both the planning and the cost. Those people may decide that they’re going to skip the whole to-do of getting married in a huge wedding ceremony and instead will choose to elope. There are both positive and negative things that come along with making this decision.

Pros of Eloping

There are definitely some good reasons that a couple may decide to skip the big wedding and to elope instead. Some of the benefits of eloping include:

• Saves time and energy on planning a wedding. Wedding planning takes up a lot of time. It can also cause a lot of arguments between couples who were happy until they started trying to negotiate all of the details of what should happen at a wedding and who should be invited. You can avoid all of that wasted time and potential argument by picking a vacation together and eloping instead.

• Saves a whole lot of money. Most weddings in modern times are very expensive. They include photographers and flowers and dresses and rental halls and bands or DJs and all sorts of things that create a lot of cost really quickly. Even budget weddings are usually in the four or five figure range. Eloping, on the other hand, doesn’t have to cost much at all.

• Avoid the drama of family at a wedding. Families often cause hassles at weddings because of all of the in-fighting and issues that come up when an entire extended family is put in one small space for an event. That drama can be avoided by skipping the big wedding and eloping instead. You also don’t have to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes because this person was invited and that one wasn’t and you don’t have to worry about the awkwardness of inviting people you don’t really want to see because you feel obligated to do so. You save yourself a lot of interpersonal drama on the day of your wedding.

 Increases the intimacy of the marriage ceremony. The big wedding ceremony can sometimes end up being a big superficial show that you put on for other people which takes away from the true intimacy of choosing to marry the person that you love. When you elope, the focus really is all about the two of you and your choice to be with one another which can really heighten the intimacy of the wedding experience.

• It’s really romantic. Not everyone dreams of the big wedding. Some people dream instead of the passion and romance of running away with the person that they love. Those people will find that eloping feels far more romantic than getting married in a traditional way.

Cons of Eloping

Although all of those benefits are great, you will find that there are also negatives associated with choosing to elope rather than to get married through a traditional wedding ceremony. The cons of eloping include:

• A lot of hurt feelings. Although you will avoid drama on the day of your wedding by eloping, you will create drama when people find out. Your parents and friends and siblings may be really hurt that you didn’t invite them to be a part of your wedding and therefore may be upset with you for a long time to come.

• People may not accept the situation. Your family and your in-laws, in particular, may not really take your marriage seriously if you elope. The bonding that you need to have amongst the entire family may simply not exist without that ceremony regardless of how you personally feel about big weddings. This could be an issues for many years to come depending on the families involved.

• It can feel anti-climactic or disappointing. The passion of eloping is very exciting but there is something more solid and lasting about the marriage ceremony. A lot of memories (and photos) are created at weddings. Eloping can feel less important and this may bother you as time goes on.

• You don’t get any gifts or parties. This is a small price to pay if you really do want to elope but it’s something to take into consideration. There probably won’t be bachelor parties or presents from your families if you elope.

• It might be a mistake to get married. Eloping is something that people usually do spontaneously so you don’t have a lot of time to think about whether or not you really want to be married to this person. Taking the time to plan a wedding allows you to really think through what you’re doing and to decide whether or not the marriage is really the right thing for you.

Striking a Compromise

One of the things that couples who are considering eloping may want to do is to find a compromise that allows them to have some of the benefits of eloping without risking all of the negatives. A very small and intimate ceremony that includes only a handful of people and which is followed by a romantic and passionate honeymoon may be a good solution for the couple that wants to elope but isn’t quite sure about it. Another option is to elope but then throw a big celebration party when you return so that others in your life feel included. Ultimately, your entire marriage should be about what is right for the two of you and your new relationship so the marriage is a good time to start finding those compromises in life that really and truly work for both of you together.


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  • profile image


    7 years ago

    im still married to the father of my kids he don't want to divorced me he said if he divorced me i'd just get marry and live happily with the guy i love now. Im considering eloping what if he say im an adulterer well if he sue me for adultery then its a way to annul our marrieage too but i don't have any idea if i get locked up for adultery. Im really having a hard time dealing with him right now. its just the kids i have to stay in their house for awhile or i would have run away already godhhh any suggestion please

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    After my first wedding (over 200 people, $10,000 + put into it, and with a groom that cheated after 3 months)My boyfriend and I have talked about just eloping. My father is a Pastor so he'll be able to conduct. All I'm going to do is buy a cute white dress, him in kackies and white button up, backyard, call closest family and friends night before and tell them if they want to here is the time and place you can watch, with a cookout after. I'm perfectly happy with it and it's a lot less money. As long as we are happy I say forget who gets upset over it.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I'm still undecided on which one I want!!! I love my family and friends but they really don't have a sayso, especially if they're not helping financially!I would love a wedding but it's a lot of stress!Yeah Yeah all the planning is suppose to be fun but in reality we all know it's a lot of work! BEloping seems easy, fun, and romantic... Besides if the groom and bride are the only ones putting up the for the wedding then there shouldn't be no attitudes or nose turning!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    We're definitely eloping. Weddings are too expensive and I HATE attention. To stand in front of everyone and be stared at during such an intimate time. If I can find a way to get married online, I will. We have a 9 year old daughter and we're still madly in love, but I've avoided this marriage thing because I don't want any audience at all. lol

  • emsherman profile image


    7 years ago from Boston, MA

    Thanks for providing this hub! I recently started wedding planning and eloping had crossed my mind, just because it can be so overwhelming. I hesitated for a lot of the same reasons you listed for cons, and this helps me to re-evaluate the decision and think about a way to compromise. I probably will not elope after all, but I think that this is very informative and important as a lot of couples are definitely considering it nowadays with the tough economy.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    planning my eloping at the moment and can't wait!!!.... my younger siister is engaged three years , has booked and cancelled her wedding last year due to money problems....they have booked for sept 2012 and i have been told that if i book our wedding before her she'll cancell her wedding we have to wait year and 6 months after her ....i tried to book it in june and was told taht its two close to her wedding and she'll want a big build up etc...

    so after all the stress me and my fi are planning to elops this januray (5 months) away ....cant wait ....will plan a small party for when we get back ...willing to give up hen partys, the build up , looking for dresses with mother and sister because i just want to marry my fi and not be waiting around!!!!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Quite honestly I'm pushing for an elopement. We wanted to have a small wedding (I'm talking about 25 or less) but even that is giving me a headache. And just as it's stated above in regards to the money, time, family issues, well I'd be happy to avoid it. I just want my guy to be there and my grandfather to walk me down the aisle. A simple solution for simple people. YAY

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    We just eloped. We had a fantastic 2 week holiday/honeymoon and a very small intimate ceremony on the beach. We called the immediate family the day after and only 2 out of 10 or so phone calls were a little awkward. All in all family were pretty good but friends got very angry. I don't regret any of it and if anything it showed us a few true colours!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    My friend eloped 2 years ago and have had *practically* non-stop problems since. Families upset, FRIENDS upset, abuse (both verbal and physical), disagreements, and finally- she now feels repulsive toward him. Military elopement after only a few months of dating. Yet she says those non-married who criticize her have no room to speak, since we aren't in a marriage.

  • SoManyPaths profile image


    10 years ago from West Coast USA

    happened to me...and I am not all that giddy about nuff said.

  • LowellWriter profile image

    L.A. Walsh 

    10 years ago from Lowell, MA

    Thank you for responding to my request. Good work. :o)

  • fishskinfreak2008 profile image


    10 years ago from Fremont CA

    "When parents find out" could be a huge sticking point. Thumbs up

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    We eloped 8 years ago. Little stress, lots of fun, no hurt feelings, big party a few weeks later, too! After interviewing about 30 couples who had eloped, I found it to be the perfect option for us. We have never regretted our decision. I highly recommend eloping, especially in the current economy.

  • supercibor profile image

    Hector Herrera 

    10 years ago from Dominican Republic

    This article is superb. it describe faithfully the process of a marriage which is supposed to be happiness and fun.

    I was under so much stress on my wedding day that I ended up in the hospital and could not enjoy the wedding party. My beautiful bride had to greet all the guests by herself. Everybody stayed at the party and had a great time while I was passing kidney stones at the hospital.

    We are still happily married for more than 30 years and laugh at the event.


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