Some know exactly what they want right away, but for others, it can be a bit more of a tricky decision to make!

The overall experience, cost, and expectations from loved ones can all be big factors when it comes to deciding which experience is a better option for you and your partner to say I do.  

There are so many variations and options when it comes to each type of experience too:

ELOPEMENT OPTIONS:

– Super intimate elopement with just you, your love, and a few vendors in a beautiful place.

– Super intimate elopement at the court house that you make into a vibe with a photographer and going out to a special place for dinner and portraits.

– A micro wedding or “expanded” elopement with just a super close group of family and friends (about 10-20 guests).

– Adventure elopement where you and your loved one hike out to an epic mountain lake for a memorable experience or take off in a helicopter to say I do, overlooking a volcano in Hawaii.

WEDDING OPTIONS:

– Small wedding of 30 or so guests where you know both know everyone there.

– The whole schabang! 300+ guests with every family member and friend there to help celebrate your nuptials.

– Destination wedding where you two pick a place of meaning for you and invite everyone you love and care for, knowing that only a select few will be able to be in attendance.

THE BIG DIFFERENCES

Cost

    – Weddings get expensive quickly.  The average wedding cost is upward of $35k! That includes venue, catering & libations, DJ, florals, photography (most important in my completely biased opinion), and videography. You get more but of course, you end up paying more. If you are wanting to be surrounded by all your friends and family, a wedding is the best option for you!!

    – Elopements give you a bit more flexibility to spend your money on the things that matter more to you and your loved one. You will have fewer people to deal with allowing you a bigger budget to take a trip to an area you might not have otherwise for a destination wedding or spend a little more on a photography team. Elopements don’t mean you are getting less of a celebration, they can be deeply personal and breathtakingly beautiful! Not to mention you can always throw a party afterward for your friends and family to join in on!

Guests

    – This is where the biggest difference comes down to…

        – Having a wedding with more than 20 guests requires specific venues, scheduling further in advance to ensure the vendors you want aren’t booked, coordinating people who are traveling from afar, etc..

        – You will get asked a million questions regarding transportation, can I bring a plus one or not, and in this current climate, WHAT ARE THE COVID POLICIES? **insert eye roll**

        – A micro wedding or elopement can definitely reduce the stress of having to coordinate additional vendors (chairs & tables, DJ, and larger catering company) and also opens you up to more venue options!

Planning

    – The bigger the wedding the more planning that will be involved.. and a higher guest count is a large part of that planning. Things like creating seating charts and schedules, organizing dinner for a crowd of people, selecting the right entertainment, and the best venue to allow you to party all night long!!

    – An elopement can be planned much less in-depth as not all the parts of a big wedding are needed for an elopement. Depending on your date, venue choice, and guest count, you could spend less than 24 hours planning your elopement. You could also go all out and spend a whole year planning a destination elopement. It’s all up to you.

Venues

    – In addition to planning, the venue will be a big difference when making your decision. Venue options can be more limited to places that can handle the needs of a ceremony and reception for a big wedding. You will have to choose a venue that can handle both events, match the decor/idea you envision, and accommodate the liveliness of the party you want to have.

    – An elopement can happen almost anywhere you can think of (for the most part). Exquisite mountain tops, quaint local parks, historic landmarks, gorgeous beaches, you name it. You can choose a place that is meaningful to you and your partner, like where you had your first date or a memorable vacation you took. You could also plan to go somewhere completely new and incorporate a sense of discovery into your elopement day. You’ll want to keep in mind areas that require permits and reservations as it is not always better to ask for forgiveness instead of permission!!

If you’re looking for someone to help you make your decision and a killer photographer 😉 message me!

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