Pacific Vows

Pacific Vows Elopements

How Much Does It Cost to Elope?

Given a $42,000+ price tag for the average wedding in California these days, eloping is a very attractive option for couples that don’t like spending tons of money on things they don’t value.

The cost of eloping, just like the cost of a wedding, can vary widely. You might decide to have a 3-day adventure elopement or go with a 4-hour backyard celebration. We’ll give you a breakdown of the costs of an elopement celebration, where you take the time to appreciate and document this magical moment in your life and commit to marrying your partner.

When Lisa and I eloped, there were a lot of options for the vendors that marketed Elopements as an affordable way to get married. Don’t get us wrong, creating a personalized elopement experience is often much cheaper than a traditional wedding, and your money goes much farther toward crafting the kind of celebration you could only dream of. We just don’t believe it should be the main reason for couples to elope.

An adventure wedding or elopement is a completely different experience in comparison to a traditional wedding. It’s very intimate, and romantic, have no stress, and is tailored to exactly what you value and want as a couple.

Let’s dive in and talk about how the two compare.

How much does a Traditional wedding cost?

Average Cost of a Wedding: $42,000

What You Need for a traditional wedding:

  • A venue to host however many guests you decide to invite (usually it’s somewhere between 120 and 250 people)

  • Catering

  • Photography and/or videography

  • Wedding attire

  • Decorations for ceremony & reception locations

  • Officiant

  • Live music, DJ or both

  • A wedding planner

  • Guest book

  • Cake

  • 2 garters – one to keep, one to toss

  • Toasting glasses

  • Personalized napkins for the cake tables

  • Wedding dress

  • Wedding shoes

  • Veil or hairpiece

  • Jewelry & accessories

  • Undergarments

  • Transportation

  • Wedding bands

  • Decorations

  • Catering

  • Save the dates

  • Wedding invitations

  • Postage for wedding invitations

  • Wedding programs

  • Florals

  • Wedding exit “toss it” (sparklers, bubbles, confetti, etc.)

  • Gifts for the wedding party

  • Ring bearer pillow

  • Flower girl basket

  • Notecards (for thank-you notes)

Looks a bit Overwhelming, doesn’t it?

“Brides” has ‘The Ultimate Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timeline’ that’s about 10 pages long and consists of 12 steps, and each step takes about a month to complete….

Yes, traditional weddings have a lot of different complex elements that need a lot of time and attention. Fortunately, there is an option to have an elopement or an Adventure wedding.

How much does an Elopement cost?

Since you can do anything from getting eloped at your local courthouse to crafting a 3- day adventure, there is no set cost to elope, but from our experience, the average elopement celebration costs around $6,200-$13,500.

Let’s look at an example of Elopement that costs $8,300.

What You Need for an Elopement:

  • Wedding attire

  • Photography

  • Transport

  • A bouquet & other personal details

  • Officiant (optional)

  • Planner (optional)

What’s included in this example?

Travel: $1250 this is one of the largest expenses, and it depends on whether you decide to fly to a different state to elope, or if you live close to your dream location, you can just drive there. In this example, the couple needed to fly from Arizona to California and get an Airbnb for two nights.

Attire: $900. Usually, you can see a pretty big range here as well. In general, dresses for elopements are not nearly as complex as wedding dresses(they look just as, if not more beautiful than, wedding dresses) and are much easier to move in. As a result, eloping couples only pay about 10% to 15% of the price of a Traditional wedding dress for their comfortable and beautiful attire. There are also rental options where you can get a dress for as low as a couple of hundred dollars. This couple already had a suit, so they didn’t have to purchase one. Suites are usually significantly cheaper than dresses, and you have the option to rent one as well.

Officiant $0: – Simon took care of this part, performing a beautiful ceremony and filling out all the necessary paperwork.

Bouquet: $150. The couple went with a nice and simple bouquet of real flowers. They picked it up here in San Diego.

Elopement Team/Photographers: 6-hour experience $5000. We split the event into two parts, so everyone was well-rested and full of joy and energy for the whole length of the celebration.

Wedding Planner $0: – We helped the couple to coordinate everything, connect with the Vendors, and put together a timeline for the event.

Fun Activities – $1000. There are tons of options for all kinds of activities. We have the whole blog post that you can read here dedicated to just that.

The most important thing is that the whole process was very enjoyable and fun. By doing most of the work ourselves, we are able to eliminate all the unnecessary steps and elements from the planning process. You don’t have to deal with 20 different vendors and try to find the right help at the place you’re not familiar with. We believe that you as a couple need to enjoy your special day and everything that leads to it. We’ve built a service we wish we had when were eloping, and it brings us so much happiness when our couples go through this whole experience with smiles on their faces. It’s all about creating the moments that you will remember forever as something truly unique and beautiful.

The choice is Yours!!!

The decision whether to elope or have a traditional wedding isn’t just about the numbers. The value of elopement is in crafting a true-to-you wedding experience that you’re proud of. It’s in having a celebration that aligns with your values and fulfills you. Choosing an elopement where you’re free to be yourself and spend time with your partner while committing your lives to each other, that is a priceless experience.

Are you ready to forget about the stress of planning a traditional wedding in exchange for a true to who you are elopement?

Contact us and let’s start planning your dream marriage adventure!

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