Runaway Bride – Traditional Wedding or Elope?

The Pros and Cons of Eloping

We all know the 1999 film, Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts. We all saw how she nabbeddresses to elope in each of her men, planned each elaborate wedding affair, and promptly  and literally ran away from it. All of it. Hers was the case of not having found the “right one,” yet we can’t deny that there may be something larger than that at play: Maybe, just maybe, not all brides are meant for a Big White Wedding.

Today’s brides are echoing that sentiment more than ever as they opt out of traditional, larger-than-life ceremonies and opt instead for intimate elopements. We don’t have a dog in this fight other than the bride’s happiness: Large wedding or small, we want our brides to have the ceremony that suits them to a T-backed gown. That’s why we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about this popular trend, and share the pros and cons of this alternative ceremony style.

First, couples choose an elopement over a traditional ceremony. Often, it’s personal preference: They want the intimacy and the simplicity of an elopement. Spending a year planning an extravagant fête or standing in front of hundreds of folks they don’t know may not be how they envision their wedding day. Second, couples also choose elopements for budgetary reasons. With the average wedding in the United States costing over $25,000, an elopement costs a fraction of this amount. The couple may want to keep that money for a down payment on a new home, or take more frequent trips—or they just may not have the money to begin with. The beauty of elopements are: They are what you make them and what your budget says they can be.

Here are a few pros and cons of skipping off into sunset solo on your wedding day:


  • Save money and hassle. Eloping will cost you a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding.
  • More intimacy, less obligation. With the two of you as the focus, you’ll be able to truly be present in the moment.
  • Your day is your day. Spend your day however you like. It’s just the two of you. Or invite family and friends. The beauty of eloping is that it can be whatever you want it to be.


  • Absence of family and friends. This may be the hardest part of eloping: the lack of family and friends sharing your special day.
  • No ceremony, no gifts. Ok, so this isn’t exactly true. You may still receive a few gifts, but we wouldn’t count on it.
  • Feelings may be hurt. Not everyone is going to understand or agree with your choice. Be prepared for feelings to be hurt, and be respectful of those feelings, but don’t let them drag you down. It’s your day.