Eloping vs Wedding: What’s the Difference?

eloping vs wedding

Planning your marriage ceremony can be overwhelming, especially when you have to choose between an elopement and a wedding – and you have no idea what’s the difference between the two.

Well, in this guide, we’ll explore both of these concepts in complete detail. We’ll check out:

  • What is a wedding?
  • What is elopement?
  • What are the differences between both?
  • Which one should you opt for?

Let’s get started!

The Basics

Before we dive into the differences between an elopement and a wedding, let’s first define each term.

What is a wedding?

A wedding is a public and formal celebration that involves family, friends, and guests. Weddings are often held in a church or any other designated venue, and the couple may choose to have a reception afterward.

What is elopement?

An elopement is a private and intimate wedding ceremony involving the couple and a few guests. Usually, the count of these guests is less than ten. That said, most couples opt for an elopement usually when they want to avoid the financial burden and stress that comes with a traditional wedding.

Elopement VS Wedding: 5 Key Differences

Now that we have defined elopement and a wedding let’s dive into the five key differences between the two.

Guest List

The primary difference between an elopement and a wedding is the number of guests. Elopements are often limited to the couple and a few close family members or friends. On the contrary, weddings can accommodate a larger guest list.


Weddings are often held in a designated venue like a church or a hotel, while elopements can be held anywhere the couple desires. An elopement can take place on a mountaintop, at the beach, or even in a backyard.


Weddings are formal events that require the couple and guests to dress up. Each culture has a unique dress code for both the bride and the groom.

But in American culture, the bride usually wears a white gown, and the groom wears a suit. Elopements, on the other hand, can be as casual as the couple desires. The couple can have it in their casual clothes or have a themed dress. It totally depends on them.


Weddings are often expensive due to the numerous expenses involved, such as venue rental, catering, and photography. But elopements are a cost-effective solution. And it’s because they involve a smaller number of guests and fewer expenses.


Weddings require extensive planning and coordination with numerous vendors, such as florists, caterers, and photographers. Elopements only require minimal planning since they involve a smaller number of guests and fewer details to take care of.

eloping vs wedding
eloping vs wedding

How to Choose One?

By now, we hope you’re clear about the differences between these modes of tying a knot. Now, let’s check out how you can pick the best one for yourself.

We recommend considering the following factors:


Your budget plays a crucial role in deciding whether to elope or have a wedding. If you have a limited budget, an elopement might be the best option for you. Elopements are cost-effective and can save you a lot of money compared to a traditional wedding.

Guest List

If you prefer a more intimate ceremony and want to avoid the stress of a large wedding, then an elopement might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you want to share your special day with a larger group of family and friends, then a wedding might be the way to go.

Venue Preference

The venue is an essential factor to consider when deciding between an elopement and a wedding.

If you have a crazy destination idea, like a mountaintop or a beach, elopement is a good pick for you. On that note, we recommend browsing these top elopement tips if you truly wish to have an unforgettable elopement with your beloved.

But if you have always dreamed of walking down the aisle, wedding venues are for you. Traditional weddings should be your pick.


If you are short on time and don’t want to spend months planning a wedding, then an elopement might be the best option for you. Elopements require minimal planning and can be arranged in a short amount of time.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you choose to elope or have a wedding, the most important thing is that you celebrate your love and commitment to each other.

Always remember that marriage is not just about the wedding day; it’s about building a life together. Communicate openly and honestly with your partner, make time for each other, and always remember why you fell in love in the first place. With these thoughts in your mind, you can have a successful and fulfilling life together as a couple.

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