Couples are ditching the formalities of a traditional ceremony and reception (not to mention the wild cousins and divorce parents who refuse to get along) for elopements. The twist to this old story, according to The New York Times? The price tag for “runaway” couples can often compete with destination weddings and at-home ceremonies with all the (wedding) bells and whistles.
“Gone are the days when elopement almost always meant only that spontaneous trip to City Hall,” wrote Brooke Lea Foster. “Many of today’s couples are planning their elopements more closely than ever, some plotting secret ceremonies several months in advance and spending $15,000 or more for their dream weddings — without a hundred of their closest family and friends.” Read more.
How significant is the trend? It’s hard to say, exactly, but one indicator is that businesses specializing in elopements are popping up, and thriving.
“Statistics are hard to come by concerning how many couples are forgoing the big wedding to elope,” Foster explained. “But in the last few years, interest in eloping has created a cottage industry of photographers in romantic locales like Paris, New York and Hawaii that specializes in photographing eloping couples.”
Some florists in resort cities already have gotten wise to the trend, and the wide variety of expectations and budgets among couples planning destination weddings and elopements. In Wilmington, North Carolina, Dana Cook, AAF, launched a “petite wedding collection” in 2014 specifically aimed at brides and grooms looking to keep things simple (but still festive and celebratory) for beach getaway weddings. Read more.