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  • Writer's pictureJo Anastasia

Eloping or Celebrating Big: Navigating the Creative Wedding Planning Conundrum

Hey there, lovebirds! So, you're at that exciting crossroads of deciding how to say "I do." It's a big decision, and I get it. The age-old debate of eloping versus having a traditional wedding can be both thrilling and daunting. Let's dive into the heart of the matter and explore the charm of intimate elopements and the allure of grand traditional weddings. Spoiler alert... I chose the elopement route, so the following was my personal evaluation of both sides while making our own decisions.

The Allure of Elopement:

Picture this: just you, your partner, and a breathtaking backdrop. Elopements are on the rise, and it's easy to see why. There's something undeniably special about the simplicity, the freedom to pick any dreamy location, and the joy of sharing that moment with only your closest confidantes. My fiancé (now husband) is big on the outdoors. We originally looked at eloping at a location in Big Sur, CA. It was always somewhere we wanted to go, but hadn't yet as a couple. What a perfect backdrop for our nuptials! The giant sequoias, the breathtaking rocky beach... we could envision the photos and were sold.

Bride and groom walking through a dry desert landscape

The Grandeur of Traditional Weddings:

Now, shift gears a bit. Traditional weddings have their own magnetic pull, right? Think grand venues, elaborate decorations, and the chance to celebrate with all your favorite people. There's an undeniable magic in those classic traditions and the sheer excitement of a big, bustling gathering. I'm from a smaller family so the majority of my guests would've been my close friends, and the list was long. On his side, he has an immense family and is close to a large amount of them. When all was said and done, we were looking at close to 100 guests on our special day!

Financial Considerations:

Alright, let's talk money – everyone's favorite topic! Whether you're dreaming of an intimate elopement or a lavish celebration, budgeting is key. We didn't want to spend a fortune on a wedding since we would've rather put the funds to our home renovations or a vacation. I really did my homework in the preceding months of our elopement on our different venue options. Planning a creative wedding that is also special to the bride and groom is hard! Considering the financial aspects really put things into perspective, and made the decision easier for us.

Bride and groom embracing at elopement

Personalization and Creativity:

Now, let's get creative! Elopements offer a canvas for personalization – vows that are uniquely yours, a location that screams 'you,' and a ceremony that reflects your love story. On the flip side, traditional weddings open the door to creative expression, allowing you to customize everything from the ceremony to the reception, making it a true reflection of your style. We ended up choosing the desert outside of the city we first met. After the ceremony, we planned a night out on the town going to some of our old stomping grounds. Such a fun day!

Social and Family Dynamics:

Ah, the family factor. Navigating family dynamics and cultural traditions is all part of the game. How to balance personal desires with family expectations, ensuring everyone feels the love on your big day is a huge task. Being a little selfish on this subject, we chose to make the day about us. What a concept! Committing your lives to one another is no small task. So despite wanting all of our family and friends to be a part of our special day, we just included our parents. The plan is to have a gathering with family and friends on the original day that we planned to get married, our anniversary 3/30. Stay tuned!

Couple holding hands in wedding attire walking through a desert landscape


So, there you have it – the elopement vs. traditional wedding conundrum. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Your decision should reflect your story, your values, and your dreams. Whichever path you choose, make it uniquely yours, and let the adventure begin! We don't regret choosing the way we did one bit ;-)

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