You want the wedding pictures, the memorable experience, the romance and the moment of union — but you're not so excited about coordinating guests, spending tons of money, or giving up your idea of a perfect wedding to make your mother or grandparents-in-law happy. 


Why not consider an elopement? 


These days, it's a popular option for older, more established couples who are getting married, who want to spend their small wedding budget on themselves rather than less-than-interested relatives. According to Carey Provost, it's worth it to focus on what's important. She told the New York Times, "... when you have guests, we felt like it ends up being more for them, not for the bride and groom. We wanted it to be for us.”


Elopement doesn't mean what it used to; now 'running off and getting married' is seen as a viable, even preferential option, since a bit of planning and preparation can yield all the best parts of a traditional wedding without the expense and hassle. Meaning that elopement doesn't have to include a cheapie dress and a lack of photos or ambiance. Today's eloping couples plan it out, including fabulous dress, amazing pictures to share on Facebook or a wedding website, and a wonderful meal — but instead of expecting it all to include myriad friends and family, it can just include the couple, who will probably be paying for the celebration out of their own pockets. 


Besides saving money, what could be more eco-friendly than a wedding for two? Keeping travel, food and celebrations to just a couple (rather than 50, 100 or 200 people) reduces the carbon footprint and resource use, and couples with planned elopements also report it being a lower-stress and more fun experience. Provost told the NY Times, "“We got to spend the whole day together, just the two of us, which almost made it more meaningful. There wasn’t a distant cousin or mother or girlfriend there adding stress.”


While the meaning and importance of marriage changes as society evolves, new and different ways to express commitment come to the fore; planned elopements are just one of the ways the new generation of couples chooses to express their love. 

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Elopements are the new wedding trend
In a down economy, weddings for 2 instead of 200 are on the upswing (and they're more eco-friendly and personal, too).