Should you have a wedding that costs next to nothing but has none of your family or should you enjoy one of the traditional weddings that cost more?
All About the Couple
The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study found that the average cost of a wedding is $33,391. That is a lot of money to spend on one day, but for most, this is a day that they’ve looked forward to since they were kids. A wedding is a grand party that brings loved ones together to celebrate a couple starting their life together as a married couple.
An elopement is an intimate ceremony typically comprised of just the couple and maybe a few witnesses, usually parents or close friends. Elopements can cost as low as a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on where a couple wants to elope. Whether you’re looking to plan the wedding of your dreams or want to escape somewhere tropical to elope, it’s entirely up to you and your significant other.
Budget Differences for Different Weddings
As you read above, the cost of a traditional wedding is as much as a car or a down payment on a house. Weddings are expensive because a lot of planning is involved and many vendors all work together to make a wedding a reality.
Venues and food are the most expensive aspects of a wedding, and depending on how big of a wedding you want to throw will also affect your costs. Having a traditional wedding with 50 guests may not cost you $30,000, but a wedding with 100 guests may very well put you at or beyond that threshold. Of course, there are ways to lower your costs by doing things like DIYing your decor and invitations, but it really just depends on how much you’re willing to spend.
If you and your significant other want to spend your money on a fancy honeymoon, then eloping is a great option. Eloping gives you the freedom to spend your money on more than one occasion. You won’t have to worry about making payments for your different vendors, at most you may have to pay an officiant and a photographer, but the cost of eloping is far less than the cost of a traditional wedding.
The guest list for traditional weddings can be a tricky part of planning because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings if you don’t invite them, but it all comes down to who you want to be present to share your special day with you and your significant other.
There will always be someone who is left out, but it’s not personal. You may cap your wedding guest based on your venue’s specifications or your budget. There is no magic number of guests for the perfect wedding. I
f you’re eloping, you can keep your guest list at zero or have a few of your family and closest friends present. There is no obligation to invite lots of people to your elopement because this intimate ceremony is just for you the couple.
Elopements used to be just between the bride and groom and were often done as a surprise to those close to the couple, but today more people are choosing to include close family and friends in their elopement. The beauty of each is you control who you invite, regardless of others’ expectations.
Stress Levels Caused by Weddings
A traditional wedding can take months and months of planning to pull off a big event like that and it can be very stressful. From finding your vendors to payment plans, you can easily become overwhelmed from all the things on your to-do list.
Working with a wedding planner or coordinator can help ease your stress, but it will be another cost to factor into your budget. Alternatively, you can stay on track by using a digital or paper planner to record important dates and deadlines, so you don’t miss anything.
Planning an elopement can also be stressful, but your stress level will likely be less than if you were planning a traditional wedding. Depending on where you’re eloping, you may or may not need a coordinator to help with logistics.
You may be stressed that you’re not having a traditional wedding, but if you’re eloping, you’re not missing out because you’re doing what you and your significant other want to do to celebrate your love instead of just having a traditional wedding because that’s what others expect.
It’s Your Day
At the end of the day, your traditional wedding or elopement should be what you and your significant other want it to be and not let others influence you over what they want for your special day. Whether you choose to have a traditional wedding or elope, there are benefits and drawbacks for both.
Discuss with your significant other and figure out what will make you two happy because at the end of the day you’re deciding how you want to spend your special day, so if you two are happy with your choice, then that’s all you need to worry about.