What is an Elopement?

The fact of the matter is, an elopement refers to a couple quietly (and often spontaneously) getting married by simply going through the legalities of matrimony; that is to say, there is no ceremony, simply the giving of mutual consent to wed one another and being declared married by a credentialed officiant.

The wedding license is signed by the witnesses (if applicable). The officiant completes the license and submits it to the appropriate office. There is no ceremony. There are no guests (unless one or two witnesses are required) and it only takes a couple of minutes.

A wedding ceremony typically involves several guests, a bridal party, a processional, a recessional, a reception and several added and varying features, i.e. DJ’s, photographers, videographers, a wedding cake, etc.

The end result of both an elopement and a wedding ceremony is (of course) the same. Two people are now married. It gets very confusing however, when people contact us and explain that they are eloping eleven months from now and plan on having 120 guests. Traditionally speaking, that is not an elopement that is a wedding.

The misuse of the term elopement has actually become so commonplace, that it has prompted many wedding officiants to offer an elopement package. Quite often, an elopement package is the performance of a wedding ceremony at a discount price.

Of course, there are typically rules and conditions that apply. The most common rules often limit the number of guests allowed at the wedding and quite often there is little to no customization or personalization involved in the creation of the ceremony.