couple eloping in hawaii

7 Reasons to Elope: Having an Elopement vs. Wedding

Some of the biggest questions I hear from engaged couples: should we elope? Why should we have an elopement vs. wedding? Is eloping right for us?

More and more couples are opting to elope-partly due to the pandemic, and partly due to re-thinking the wedding day experience for the couple. It’s forced couples to re-evaluate their wedding day and be more intentional about planning their big day. They’re thinking more about what’s most important to them versus what their families and friends want them to do – and I think that’s amazing that more and more are opting to take back their day.

couple eloping in oahu

Now, very briefly – what is an elopement?

I’m an adventure elopement photographer in Oahu, meaning I specialize in super intimate elopements. Adventure elopements allow you to take back your wedding day and craft the perfect day + experience around you and your partner!

Adventure elopements have no or very few guests present, so that you can be more flexible with your location, overall timeline, and how you spend your day. 

They allow you to cut out all the “fluff” that typically comes with traditional weddings – who to include on the guest list, what venues are available/in budget, table settings, seating charts, wedding favors, wedding program, entertainment, etc etc. They allow you to ONLY focus on each other, and the meaning of the day.

Adventure elopements are not for everyone, but I think it is an amazing option for a lot of people. Here are the top 7 reasons you should consider eloping! 

Let’s get into it!

Couple saying vows in hawaii

Top 7 Reasons to Elope


1. You get a “just us” experience.

If you choose to do an adventure elopement versus a traditional wedding, your entire experience will be much more centered around you and your partner. The day-of (and the days leading up to it!) will be catered to what best serves YOU, and not your family, friends, or whatever traditions say should happen! 

Oftentimes with traditional weddings, there’s a lot of pressure to do certain activities or to invite certain people. But with an adventure elopement, that disappears and you have control over what your experience looks like – not your parents, not your married friends, not your Pinterest inspiration boards. There’s more room, resources, and time available in the schedule to allow for whatever YOU want to do. 

bride and groom kissing on beach

2. Intimacy is the focus.

If you’re not a fan of being the center of attention, you do NOT have to force yourself to have a traditional, bigger wedding!! I’ve talked to a ton of couples who were nervous about saying their vows in front of everybody. Who didn’t want to have to say hi to 200 people. Who would have rather enjoyed themselves and the intimacy of the day in private versus with a large guest count.

A lot of couples are finding that exchanging sacred vows privately provides them with a more intimate experience to really soak in the experience. With an adventure elopement, you can say your vows in private, read each other letters during a first look, literally do whatever feels best + most comfortable to you. No pressure of 100 pairs of eyes watching you and listening to your most emotional words – just you!!

couple getting married in oahu

3. You have way more flexibility with location + more opportunities!

With traditional weddings, couples often feel like they have to get married at an official wedding venue, even if they can’t find one that totally fits their vision. Or they might feel pressure from family members to get married at a certain place – maybe a church if they’re religious, or somewhere a family member got married at previously.

But with adventure elopements, the possibilities of locations are nearly endless! Take an epic road trip to your favorite National Park. Fly out to Hawaii. Head out for a day trip to your favorite special local spot. Go to the spot where you went on your first date together, met, or said your first “I love you.” Do some hiking, or walk on a trail right out from your car. Rent a camper van, or stay at a resort. You can do whatever best fits you & your partner, and go wherever feels the most meaningful.

couple getting married on the beach

4. You can also be more flexible with budget allocation.

Adventure elopements can provide a lot more flexibility with budget, as you’ll likely feel less pressure to spend money on things you don’t want to. If you’re eloping, you probably cherish the intimate experience & want to prioritize creating an experience YOU want versus what your family thinks you should spend your money on. 

Adventure elopements allow you to allocate your wedding budget to what you feel good about spending it on! A lot of couples that elope value experiences (travel, excursions, epic food experiences) over things (alll the wedding stuff!). So maybe instead of buying wedding favors for everybody simply because you thought you “had to,” you rent a lodge for the weekend and create a super fun camping experience for you + your guests instead. You have so much more flexibility with where and how you spend your budget.

bride and groom jumping into ocean

5. You can make a whole trip out of it!

Instead of just getting married on one day and having that be it, adventure elopements allow you to make a whole trip out of it if you want to! 

Getting married at a wedding venue often requires you to set up & clean up the same day, or within a couple of days. You’re tied to their schedule and time constraints, and it can be harder to make the celebration last longer.

But with adventure elopements, you can do whatever the heck you want – as I’ve mentioned a ton of times throughout this post already! Want to take a camping trip for a week, and say your vows one of those days? Or maybe drive an RV around your state for a couple days, then come back home and tie the knot? Maybe you bring 5 of your closest loved ones to a lodge or AirBnb in the mountains and make a weekend out of it. You can fill your celebration time (whether it be a day, two days, or a week) with every activity you love doing together, your favorite foods, EVERYTHING you get excited about. You can make it all happen when you elope!!

bride and groom kissing on beach

6. You can do FAR less planning if you want to.

If you’re not a big fan of planning and trying to coordinate a bunch of stuff, you don’t have to! You can keep your elopement simple – maybe you just hire a photographer and an officiant. Maybe you want to elope within the month and make that spur of the moment decision – no need to plan a bunch if you don’t want to. You can just find the vendors that you prioritize most & that are most important to you, and you’re good to go!

If you love planning, then feel free to plan away – maybe you choose your elopement day a year ahead, and plan everything up until then. But you don’t HAVE to! Many traditional wedding dates are often chosen a year or more in advance, and if you hate the idea of planning for a long time for only a one-day celebration, you’re not required to!

couple sitting on rocks in hawaii

7. The final, obvious one: it makes getting married during COVID a heck of a lot easier.

The ever present thing on our minds – COVID. A lot more couples that were going the traditional wedding route are opting to elope, because in a lot of places (including here in Hawaii), large gatherings are unlawful, and couples don’t want to wait to start their lives together. A lot of couples are choosing to have an elopement, with the plan of having either a virtual reception with their friends and family, a drive-by reception, or host a reception with their loved ones when things are more safe! No more worrying about postponing.

wedding ceremony in hawaii

And that’s it – those are my top 7 reasons to elope! I hope these gave you good insight into why more couples are opting to elope these days, and helped you figure out if eloping is a good match for you and your partner.

Feel free to reach out on Instagram @_emilychoy if you have any questions, or inquire with me now and I’ll help you craft your DREAM elopement experience + ditch those traditions!!

Looking for more elopement resources? Check these out!

Why You Deserve All-Day Elopement Coverage

How to Shop for Your Adventure Elopement Dress

How to Elope in Hawai’i

Hey friend!

Hi! I’m Emily, a couples, elopement and brand photographer based on Oahu, Hawaii.
You want a stress free, meaningful, and inspired approach to photography-something creative but still refined. Comfortable, but still elegant. I deeply value every couple that I get to create with, and can’t wait to hear your vision and collaborate with you!