Why Elope & How It Works

Bride and Groom running in the night
Bride and Groom running in the night
Photo: Emily Heizer

For couples who are after a more intimate affair and don’t want to splash cash on a fancy wedding, elopements are becoming more and more popular.

The true meaning of the word ‘elope’ is to run away secretly in order to get married. It originates from a time when couples wished to avoid objections from their parents or because of religious obligations.

These days the word has taken on a modern meaning for a wedding that takes place quite quickly or in secret, with only a few guests or witnesses present.

The most common reasons couples choose to elope these days are:

  • to save the potentially exorbitant cost of a wedding
  • to avoid the stress of organising a wedding
  • to avoid family disagreements
  • they have limited time with either their partner or loved one due to illness
  • they don’t feel comfortable being the centre of attention
  • they want to get married somewhere exotic but don’t want guests to feel obliged to make the trip
  • they want an intimate ceremony where the focus is on their love, not the table decorations

And just because you choose to elope does not mean you have to do away with memories or traditions. You can still dress up, hire a photographer and have flowers. Many couples also announce their marriage at a casual party or get together with friends and family sometime after the ceremony.

Elopements can take place at the marriage registry or any other location of the couple’s choosing (with a civil celebrant). However, contrary to what you may think, you cannot just decide one day to elope and go do it. The same notice period (one calendar month for Australia) is required for elopements – the same as for any other type of marriage ceremony, religious or civil. And you can’t go it totally alone. You need at least two guests to act as your witnesses.

If you’re interested in discussing a potential elopement, please get in touch. A reduced fee often applies due to the simple nature of the ceremony and the small number of guests.

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