Elopements vs intimate weddingsWhich should you choose?


What is an elopement I hear you say? Although elopements are becoming more and more popular, not everyone knows what they actually are. The actual term ‘elopement’ means running off to get married and is often referred to when an intimate ceremony is arranged. The ceremony usually only has a registrar or celebrant present, alongside with a witness or two (often the photographer). Elopements used to be done very last minute, but as they are growing in popularity, many people pre-arrange them and choose this over a traditional wedding.


Now, I’m not going to talk about the pros and cons of elopements versus intimate or traditional weddings, because I firmly believe that this will completely depend on your circumstances and preferences. The fact that elopements may cost less money will be completely nullified if having lots of family and friends with you on your special day is very important to you.

Elopements tend to prioritise the actual ceremony and location, seeing as there is no reception afterwards and you will not have to worry about picking out decorations or colour themes for your wedding. It’s common for the couple to have a creative portrait session right after the ceremony. This will focus on your relationship and the love that you share. The photographer can fully dedicate their attention to you and your partner, creating some beautifully memorable photographs.

Most often, the location of the elopement plays a great role, serving as a beautiful backdrop not only for the ceremony, but also the portrait session afterwards.

Intimate weddings

Intimate weddings tend to follow the same set up as traditional weddings, but with a much smaller guest list. Usually, only immediate family attends the wedding along with the closest of friends – although of course, this is totally up to you. Intimate weddings, as a rule, can be a little more relaxed, often taking place in smaller venues, giving a more personal feel. It allows the couple to spend more time with their guests, and really take the whole day in. Anyone who’s had a traditional wedding will tell you that the day goes by so quickly. It’s usually due to the fact that there are so many guests to see and talk to on the day, and only so much time.

Don’t get me wrong, traditional weddings are just as beautiful. In fact, whether you’re having an elopement, an intimate wedding or a big wedding, it’s going to be one of the best days of your lives. You must pick what feels right to you and your partner. It’s one of those events in your life that you cannot repeat, so it’s important to spend a little time deciding what’s really important to you, and what you can do without.

Photographic coverage

Intimate weddings will generally still require a full days’ coverage. Elopements are a little different and can require as little as four hours coverage (usually taking place midweek). However, you may choose to hire your photographer for longer. It’s not unheard of for the photographer to hang out with the couple all day, creating emotional storytelling images, recreating the entire day’s happenings. This is particularly true for destination elopements or elopements that require extensive travel.

Elopement vs intimate wedding – what should you choose?

Putting all things aside, there are no strict rules as to how your day should look. At the end of the day, this is your wedding and you do not have to follow any of the traditions whatever type of day you choose to have – whether it’s a big wedding, an intimate one, or an elopement for that matter!

Follow your heart and do what feels right!

If you’d like to chat about your elopement or intimate wedding plans, you know where to find me!

With love,

Anna x

  • You are right! The location is key with elopement weddings and the couple can afford to travel somewhere fun!! Awesome post :) :)