Wedding vs Eloping: Pros and Cons

You and your fiancé are ready to get married but don’t know what to do for the ceremony. There are so many options these days and all have pros and cons. Wedding ceremonies are the most traditional of them all but elopement has become very popular in the last few years. How can you know which is right for you? In today’s post we’ll go over the pros and cons of each so you can choose what’s best for the big day.

husband and wife wedding ring

Ah the excitement has arrived, it’s time to get married to the love of your life. While the engagement is such an intimate and special time, the most special part of this all is the day you two join together and say “I do”. Without a doubt, this is the most memorable day of both of your lives and you guys want to make sure it’s exactly what y’all ever dreamed of…and more! 

Don’t forget this is a special today to honor the love between the two of you. If you are wanting something untraditional such as an elopement, that is totally ok. A lot of people live off of tradition and will say anything other than your “traditional” wedding is not right or ideal. I’m here to reassure you, this is your day, don’t let the opinion of others sway you in one direction if you don’t feel a peace about it. Choose what’s best for you two and know it will be great. This is one day you get to choose every detail for and you will be able to look back knowing it was perfect!

husband and wife eloping

Elopement Pros and Cons

Elopement is a ceremony planned in a sudden and secretive way at a specific location. Many choose to elope in a different state with only a few family members and close friends. Truly the couple’s favorite people, making the guest count fairly small. While other couples choose to travel and get married alone in a breathtaking place. Eloping makes for a more intimate wedding. Most will chose this route if they don’t like being the center of attention, want a small budget, want to get married soon, or just simply like the simplicity. 

Pros of Elopement:

Fewer Guests

This isn’t always the case with eloping but most of the time it is. Eloping is very intimate and the couple usually likes to keep the guest list very small. In return, it ends up costing way less to have a smaller amount of guests. This is a pro for those who don’t like the idea of a big wedding. Maybe the bride and groom are more private and like to keep things small. Or it was simply a last minute thing and they only had time to invite a few people. 

Very Cost Effective

Eloping allows for a pretty affordable budget. This is a great way to save a lot of money, most elopements cost anywhere from $600-$900. We know that is not the case with your average cost of a wedding, those can cost up to $33k! The exact cost will also depend on if you have more of a destination wedding or maybe more of an adventurous elopement. The biggest difference in the two is the amount of guest and where you would get married at. If at a venue, of course it will cost more. If you get married at a random location outside, like some choose national parks, then you may save some cash!


While planning an elopement wedding you have so much flexibility. You can choose to have an intimate elopement, destination elopement, or elope with friends and family. Many elopements involve the couple getting married alone and the couple being celebrated with a reception upon them arriving back home. This allows for so much flexibly. With a traditional wedding, you pretty much already have everything set and nothing can change since you have to book vendors, venues, etc. a while before the big day. A couple that chooses to elope can plan it within 15-30 days. It allows for a lot of wiggle room to choose what you want to do. Pretty wild!

husband and wife walking down the isle

Cons Of Eloping 

Missing Family & Friends 

Some couples like the idea of eloping for the different scenery because there are so many beautiful places to get married. However, they dislike the idea that not every single family member or friend may be able tom make it. This is a big turning point on whether or not a couple will elope. Those who have a large number of close family and friends find it easier to plan a traditional wedding in their home town.

Hurt Feelings

Not that it’s about others, but we all know everyone has that one aunt or uncle who would truly be hurt if you eloped. Sometimes when couples choose to elope it can cause unwanted family drama, unfortunately. A lot of the time, this is why couples will elope without telling friends and family. They share the intimate ceremony together and tell everyone once they arrive home. It saves a lot of second guessing and your family would have no choice but to be happy at that point! When you elope, you really get to make your own rules, which is nice. 

Not Familiar with Vendors

This can be a problem but thankfully now a day you can easily find good vendors online. It is hard eloping with the unknown though. Reviews for an elopement photographer for instance can be phenomenal but you won’t truly know until you meet them in person and see their work. The experience with the photographer and other vendors are just as important as the work they do. It can get tricky trying to book with people you don’t know!

husband and wife leaving reception

Pros and Cons of Traditional Weddings

Pros of traditional wedding:

It’s Traditional

Yes, I know state the obvious, but many couples love tradition. Not only that, but family and guests also enjoy a large traditional wedding as well. It takes away the surprise factor and gives everyone a peace of mind knowing this is your traditional wedding day. Eloping has become more common over the past 10 years or so but for the most part traditional weddings have been going on for years! Many couples also find they love celebrating classic wedding traditions (engagement shower, bridal brunches, dinner rehearsal, reception etc.).

Large guest count

With a traditional wedding you can have a fairly large wedding, depending on your budget of course. Down here in the south, people love large gatherings especially for weddings. Doing a traditional wedding in your local hometown allows for a wide number of people. 

You’re Familiar with Vendors

Planning a traditional wedding, you’ll know the scoop on all of the local vendors. Wedding photographer, wedding planner, dj, wedding venues, and everything else in between. You more than likely heard of these vendors through friends or family members who got married in the past. 

welcome wedding sign

Cons of Traditional Wedding

Usually a higher budget 

Typically when you choose a traditional wedding you will spend more money than you anticipated. The average cost of a wedding for 2023 is $29k, yes you read that correctly! It is possible to have a smaller budget but you may find it difficult to get all of the things you hoped for with your traditional wedding. With an elopement there are a lot of factors you don’t have to worry about. Traditional elements such as, dj, reception costs, wedding party cost, cocktail hour costs, party favors, etc. 

Guest feeling left out if they aren’t invited

This is a con for both eloping and having a traditional wedding ceremony. No matter what, there will always be someone who feels like they should have been invited. Maybe your traditional wedding was kept small for budget reasons or you just prefer a smaller wedding. Have a wedding in town automatically makes people think they are invited. This should pursued your decision though, this is you and your fiancé’s day invite who you want and don’t stress it!

Big Production 

Planning a traditional wedding can be a huge production. The planning process itself can get stressful at times because there are so many things to schedule and choose from. This may be the perfect time to think about hiring a wedding planner if you feel the planning is getting too stressful to handle. They will make sure the whole experience is stress free so that you can enjoy your amazing day. 

Choosing What’s Best For You

Ultimately, the decision is between you and your fiancé’. It’s y’alls big day and you get to decide exactly what you two want. There are so many differences in the two but truly it’s about you getting married and sharing your love for one another on the big day. Remember, this is the one day you can’t re-do, choose what you are most comfortable with and have fun. Lots of couples choose to do things differently, and that’s ok. Many like tradition and that’s ok too! It will be the best day of your entire life, enjoy the planning process and your special day. 

From all of here at Oui Jolie Bride, congratulations! Let us know in the comments below which you prefer, traditntal wedding or elopement? 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *