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What does Elope Mean?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 17, 2024
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When two people want to elope, it means that they want to run away with each other with the intent of getting married. With all of the planning that it can take to pull off a wedding, many future brides and grooms joke that it is an option. While some would not consider doing it, there are those who make the decision to go through with it.

Those who decide to elope can choose to do so for several reasons. One reason is that the couple does not want to deal with the extravagance and stress of a traditional wedding. They may feel that the day would be too commercial, and instead, decide to go a more low-key and less expensive route. Some couples also decide that running off and getting married is spontaneous and more romantic then a traditional wedding.

Another reason couples may decide to elope is because of their individual families. For example, the bride’s family may dislike the groom or the families do not get along with each other. In order to avoid drama and worry, the couple can decide to concentrate on each other instead of being troubled with situations that may ruin their special day.

Military deployment is also a reason that some couples choose to elope. If one or both individuals are getting deployed in a short amount of time there may not be enough time to plan, or continue planning, a traditional wedding. Should they want to be married before deployment, the couple might choose to elope.

Couples may decide to pass up on eloping to avoid hurting the feelings of their loved ones. In some cases, a couple elopes without any family or friends present. Other times, only a few loved ones are present, which can leave the rest upset about being excluded. Other couples may decide that they would miss the actual planning of the wedding itself.

Instead of coming home married and announcing it to their loved ones, some couples decide to speak to them first to get their opinions and their blessings. Some may decide not to make the announcement ahead of time for fear that their loved ones will show up at the ceremony uninvited or try to stop the wedding. Before announcing the elopement to loved ones, make sure to choose your words carefully and consider their feelings.

Las Vegas has long been a popular destination for those who want to elope. The chapels are usually open twenty-four hours a day, the ceremonies are short and you can get your marriage license quickly. In addition, Las Vegas can be a honeymoon destination spot in itself, so the couple can get married and begin the honeymoon right away.

While eloping is not the right choice for everyone, some may consider it their perfect wedding day or their only option in order to get married. Before choosing to elope, it is important to carefully evaluate the reasons why you are thinking of passing up a traditional wedding. In addition, be sure that it is a decision that you will not regret in the future.

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Discussion Comments

By anon347706 — On Sep 09, 2013

Personally, I would only consider eloping if having a traditional or even courthouse wedding was completely and utterly impossible. You can always tone down the expenses and scope of a traditional wedding, but you can't always tone down a posse of unhappy future in-laws. People still want to go through the rituals of a wedding, and may feel cheated if the couple just runs away. If the legal aspects of a marriage are a priority, then I say the couple can quietly get a courthouse wedding and save the elaborate ceremony for later.

By medicchristy — On Jun 12, 2011

@stormyknight- I completely understand your concerns. I have been a wedding planner for many years. I can recall one wedding couple that I was working with that decided to elope at the last minute. The family was a little upset because of all of the money that had been spent.

I think it's kind of romantic for a couple to elope but you have to decide for yourself if it is the right thing to do. My suggestion, if you elope, is to at least have a nice reception when you get home. Invite all of the people that you would have invited to your wedding. Allow your mother or mother-in-law to play a big part in it. That will ease some of the sting from you guys eloping.

By StormyKnight — On Jun 11, 2011

My fiancee wants to elope and I am not so sure that is the best thing for us to do. He just thinks it would be a lot cheaper and even a little exciting. We have looked at places to elope and have found some great elopement packages.

However, I am worried that it will disappoint my family. I am an only child and I know my mother has looked forward to my wedding for a long time. Would it be totally disrespectful for us to elope?

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