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Hi there! We're Ivana & Sam

We are wedding photographers, designers & hiking lovers based in Ireland. On our blog you'll find helpful resources and guides for planning your wedding in Ireland as well as our recent weddings & travels. Whether you're planning your wedding or looking for some travel inspiration, we hope you enjoy your time here.

What Does Elopement Mean in 2021? | Why Elope

To Elope is to make a brave decision and reimagine your idea of a ‘typical’ wedding. It’s new, it’s different, and it’s something not enough of us know about. That’s why we want to shed some light on this modern reinterpretation of a bold, cool way to get married. And, as you’ll see later, there really has never been a better time to Elope!

Wait, What is Eloping?

Secretly running away from a disapproving family is typically what ‘eloping’ meant in bygone years. Escaping hand-in-hand to elope like this was once frowned upon and drew suspicion. To some, this connotation (and guilt) still lingers around elopement, or even in reducing the size of your wedding!

However, more and more couples nowadays choose to elope and get married in private.

In fact, an astonishing 91% of Millennials consider having an elopement wedding!

Old-school, big-event weddings are far less popular for younger generations, who now prefer to celebrate their marriage more intimately.

To elope is to make your wedding day more authentic, personal, and reflective of your unique relationship. Your elopement is:

  • Not limited by venue requirements and min/maximum guest limits;
  • Free to be anywhere you choose – from the beach, to the wild moors, to a mountaintop, or a cliff edge;
  • Able to include (or exclude) anyone you want;
  • Free from worry and stress about drama or schedules;
  • And can last as long as you need it to.

The idea here is: Your elopement can be whatever you want! It can be set outdoors, in public or secluded, surrounded by close family, or literally just you and your spouse.

It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do; the point of an elopement is freedom. For example, some couples choose a serene lake in Connemara, a breezy Greek island, a rocky mountain cliff, or a hidden pastoral valley. There, they conduct their ceremony as they wish, say their vows, and are married.

American Honeymoon couple Elope in Connemara, Ireland

Why is Eloping Becoming More Popular?

Elopement weddings surged in popularity earlier this decade once couples discovered an alternative. Now, more people are aware of how to have a more personal, intimate, and adventurous marriage. For many engaged couples, the pageantry of big traditional weddings just doesn’t resonate as a meaningful way to celebrate their marriage; these big event weddings can feel more like a festival, and they are the entertainment.

There’s nothing wrong with traditional weddings at all, but they’re just not for everyone.

There are also many socio-economic factors behind the rise of smaller, more intimate, and more secluded weddings. To some, however, it’s just a personal preference, since elopements can also be big and fancy (if desired). But one big reason to choose to elope now is… well, the global pandemic.

You mean.. Coronavirus?

We can’t ignore the elephant in the room; Many people, including Ivana and I, really thought 2020 would be ‘Our Big Year’ for new travel adventures and catching up with old buddies worldwide. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has changed everything, especially travel and big events like weddings.

Guest lists must be cut short, venues must be sparsely populated, and large social gatherings present risks. Although change may be on the horizon, for now eloping has never looked better.

Eloping (or at least, downsizing your guest list) is now one of the best ways to celebrate your wedding in 2021 and beyond. Not only do elopements cooperate with social distancing but they aren’t limited by venue availability too!

Irish Scenery Lavender

Why Should We Elope in 2021?

It should already be clear that an elopement wedding is the wisest choice in these times. Now, we’ll explain just how much better it is.

Over the past few years, couples who eloped did so because they wanted to strip away the pressure, anxiety, and obligations that came with traditional weddings. The primary reason these couples opted to elope however, was to have a totally intimate wedding experience.

Remember, these early elopers were breaking new ground. For many couples, that pressure to conform and invite the whole village is still too much. Eloping is still considered quite ‘new’ in Europe too.

That’s all about to change now though. Covid-19 has cancelled and postponed millions of weddings; the obvious alternatives now are stripping down the guest list and getting married in 2 years time…

But that really doesn’t have to be the only way to get married post-pandemic.

Elopements present the perfect opportunity to:

  • Make the best out of a bad situation for your wedding;
  • Invite only your nearest and dearest;
  • or adventure only by yourselves;
  • Choose a location that is significant to you or that you’ve always dreamed of;
  • And experience a ‘just us’ adventure in a way that’s true to you.

What really matters is what you both want. An elopement grants you the complete freedom to decide how and where you get married!

Although an elopement can be just about anything you want, typically an elopement is up to 15 people. After that, you’re back into ‘small wedding’ territory. Furthermore, elopements are typically outdoor events.

That said, adventure weddings do not have to be conducted exclusively outdoors! Many venues realise the pressure of set-guest-lists and how the game has now changed; some have become more flexible in how you conduct your wedding.

Gloster House bride and groom dancing portrait

If eloping in the windy hills is not your thing, there are other options that include stunning venues. Gloster House, for example, has no minimum guest requirement; so you can elope with your nearest-and-dearest and make use of their indoor and outdoor spaces! Tucked quietly away in the countryside of Co. Offaly, this manor is luxurious, yet feels cosy and familial; Gloster House would not feel empty with only a few of your closest guests by your side.

Ireland is dotted with cosy and intimate spaces like Gloster House; some more regal, others more pastoral. Don’t see this pandemic as a limit; see it as an opportunity to exercise your imagination and explore places you wouldn’t have considered before!

Small Indoor Gloster House Elopement with Bride and Dress

With the challenges of the pandemic, now you can ask yourself what kind of wedding you really want.

What Kind of Elopement do you Want?

We firmly believe that an elopement can be the greatest way to reinvent your wedding day. Whether you’re considering an elopement, or sticking within the new parameters of a ‘traditional’ wedding, we still firmly believe that you should do so for the right reasons…

Here are a few points to consider when planning your elopement:

  1. Do it for the right reason (are you avoiding family drama, or really finding intimacy?);
  2. Follow your heart without regret (you may be concerned about disappointing guests, but is that really what your day and marriage is all about?);
  3. Plan how to share the news (you may want a reveal party, or just to tell the dearest and show the amazing photos you’ll have captured during your elopement);
  4. Get the paperwork and legalities out of the way first (and collect your certificate before you head home!);
  5. Get to know your vendors (during elopements, your photographer is usually also your guide, planner, and best friend who helps you craft this amazing day from start to finish. Make sure you like the person you choose and that you feel comfortable around them);
  6. Plan your timeline far in advance (the day may sound simple, but it still needs to run smoothly. Even a mountain hike elopement with a picnic requires a lot of prep work; think of the logistics and timeline planning needed to make sure you have a wildly enjoyable day together. As photographers, we’re here to help you plan all of this as well);
  7. Plan how you want to celebrate afterwards (will you host a party for ‘guests’, honeymoon, or..?).

Honeymoon Couple Elope to Connemara, Ireland

Eloping is about crafting a meaningful marriage adventure.

Imagine going on the biggest adventure you’ve yet had; now imagine getting married while you do it! If you think an elopement might be right for you, then let’s talk planning!

Let’s make your Elopement the Adventure you’ve Always Wanted!

ELOPEMENT, INSPIRATION, PLANNING

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What Does Elopement Mean in 2021? | Why Elope

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